Stories about Africa

The world will not forgive ‘Captain Chainsaw’ if the Amazon continues to burn

The fires in the Amazon rainforest have been the current topic of discussion this past week on social media, as people share photographs and outrage over the destruction of the ‘lungs of the earth’. However, a lot of the information is not exactly accurate, including many outdated pictures that have gone viral. Some Brazilians also feel that there is some sort of conspiracy against their new government, led by their right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, especially since he has dismissed the scientific consensus about climate change, calling it a hoax. Given his allegations of a “fake news campaign built against our sovereignty,” perhaps the best ...

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The international response to Sudan: just another day in ‘Dictatorland’

Rarely does Africa make American headlines. Briefly we may hear about Boko Haram, or read about pirates off the coast of Somalia. Occasionally, a rich American game hunter murders an animal in Africa which, while heart-breaking, triggered more outrage than the unremitting plight of human beings across the region. Sometimes we learn of military losses in Mali, never asking why American soldiers are deployed there to begin with. Beyond that, Africa is perceived much like it was during the time of Joseph Conrad – a “heart of darkness”. This disinterest persists even during the current upheaval in Sudan, where ordinary citizens have ...

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Beauty at its ‘peak’: Climbing the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa

At 5,895 metres, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in the continent of Africa. Though dormant now, it is also the highest volcano in the world outside of South America. The mountain is one of the seven summits (a term used for highest peak in each of the seven continents). From the plains of Moshi to its summit, the mountain rises a staggering 5,100 metres, which makes it the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet. While it may not be for the faint-hearted, for many trekking/mountain climbing enthusiasts like myself, it is one of the starting points of their climbing career. [caption ...

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The curse of the green passport: 4 places to visit this Eid break without any visa woes

English novelist Aldous Huxley once said, “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” He could not have been more accurate, as only the bearer of a green passport can truly understand this. However, though it is obviously very difficult to get a visa on a green passport, it is not entirely impossible. If you move away from the Americas and the European destinations to allow for an easier visa, there are several countries that wholeheartedly welcome you despite the colour of your passport. Given the (not so) long Eid holidays coming up, I shall highlight a ...

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“If I score, I’m French; If I don’t, I’m Arab”: Why France needs to recognise its “others”

As a Muslim French woman, my feelings regarding France’s victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup are quite divided. They are not divided about the game per se – the players undoubtedly demonstrated their brilliance on the field, and I do not see how I could be unhappy about winning the title again after 20 long years. Rather, I am sceptical about what changes this win will bring to individuals belonging to certain ethnic groups in this country, and to the Muslim faith in particular. Nothing major, I fear. Dear France, Congratulations on winning the #WorldCup. 80% of your team ...

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Black Panther is hypnotic, imaginative and nothing like anything you would have ever seen

After spending thousands of hours watching films over the years, I rarely come across anything that I haven’t already watched before in a slightly different guise. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we have run out of good cinema. It is just that someone like me who is a prolific movie-watcher hardly gets to experience a work of cinematic art these days, which is truly novel. But to my utter surprise, I did manage to find such a gem and that too in the most unlikeliest of places. Imagine my astonishment when I went in to watch a Marvel movie ...

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Why 2016 was not a good year for gadgets and technology

“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.” – (Einstein) But is this famous quote fit for tech giants like Apple, Samsung, SpaceX, etc? 2016 is ending with many new gadgets, smartphones and other tech innovations. But this year, we saw some major technology flaws and failures from different companies. So let’s take a look at some of them. The SpaceX Falcon 9 explosion Facebook’s dream was broken into pieces when on September 1,2016, the Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during a test launch at Cape Canaveral. This video is nuts: Moment of #SpaceX explosion at Cape Canaveral. pic.twitter.com/Vu6aLF3YYs — Dan ...

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Why I will never travel by Shaheen International Airline ever again

I’m a very patriotic Pakistani; I love my country. I was born and raised here. Its fruits have satiated my hunger. Its water has quenched my thirst. I love its people, its cities and its weather. There’s nothing I hate about my country. But sadly, I say with a contrite heart, it’s not perfect. I experienced one of these imperfections in a very recent journey of mine to Kenya, which left an indelible scar on my heart and mind. On my trips to Africa, I usually travel by Emirates or other airlines that are affiliated with the gulf countries. Since there ...

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Does Islam prevent AIDS?

Maps have many fathers. One of them is the genie of omission. So beware of the map that is too straightforward and simple. It may very well be obscuring something. For also in cartography, this general rule applies: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. An interesting point in case are the twin maps of Africa shown below, one of the spread of Islam, the other the spread of AIDS. The contrast is striking – where one occurs, the other is absent. Is this proof of Islam’s salutary effects? Or do the maps merely demonstrate the power of map-based ...

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Are we really going to blame India for the heatwave?

The recent heat wave in Karachi that has claimed over a thousand lives is one more nail in our government’s coffin of negligence and its inability to deal with a crisis. It has also become the norm in the subcontinent to give public officials the opportunity to show just how mind-numbingly dumb they really are. In a recent statement, the Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan has said that the actual responsibility for the heat wave lies with the boogie across the border, India. He claims that coal-powered plants in Rajasthan, India could have contributed to the heat wave. The senator does not quote any scientific research to support his claim, ...

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