Stories about Africa

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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India’s unhealthy obsession with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

A mammoth $46 billion project, stretching over 3000 kilometres from Gwadar to Xinjiang, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to make Pakistan’s economy grow by leaps and bounds. The project that consists of construction and up gradation of roads, oil and gas pipelines, railway tracks and an international airport in Gwadar, promises to make Pakistan an economic power in the world, and Gwadar a trade and economic hub of the region. But the CPEC does not promise wonders for just Pakistan; China stands to gain just as much, if not more, from this initiative. China will gain easier ...

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Understanding rape through the Game of Thrones

Warning: For those of you, who have yet to watch the new season of Game of Thrones, be prepared for spoilers. Or stop reading.   ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————- I’ve been following the controversy about the Game of Thrones rape scene, which troubled a lot of women when it was aired this past Sunday. In the scene, Sansa Stark is raped by the sadistic psychopath Ramsey Bolton, while Theon Greyjoy is invited to watch. You don’t see Sansa or Ramsey, but you hear everything, while the camera focuses on Theon as he weeps. This, women have said, is unacceptable. Rape should not be used as a plot point. It’s gratuitous. ...

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