Stories about Arabs

From Lahore to London – From Karachi to Kensington

London held a host of activities highlighting Pakistan and the cultural vibrancy it has to offer to the world. This weekend saw the launch of Suzali, a platform showcasing Pakistan’s most well-renowned designers which included Mehreen Noorani, Nida Azwer, Naureen Arbab, Lalarukh, Shirin Hassan, and Sarah Anees.  Although these designers are well-established in Pakistan and Dubai, they are not so accessible to Pakistanis living in London. Suzali aims to provide a bridge between renowned Pakistani designers and potential customers in England who have limited access to high-quality Pakistani clothes. Sana Habib, the brainchild of Suzali, was inspired to create the name using the ...

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Dealing with Iran – Tearing down the walls of hatred and animosity

So we finally have a preliminary agreement, a structural framework on Iran’s nuclear program and a culmination of eight long days of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland that continued well past the self-imposed March 31 deadline. The talks involve representatives from Iran and the P5+1 – a group comprising of the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany. An inside source, who happens to be a part of the negotiation process, tells me that negotiators have been sitting on their butts for a week now, making an honest effort to push through the never-ending, long drawn conversations and arguments. While most are used to sitting ...

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India to Pakistan: Telling sore losers they’re beautiful

While it’s true that we Pakistanis are robustly enthusiastic about cricket and winning, it is also true that we are sour losers. A loss in cricket makes us sulk. A loss in cricket against India makes us downright treacherous to our own country. While we licked our wounds after the match on Sunday, we looked around social media for any glimpse of hope that could redeem our burnt self-esteems. The Indian cricket team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, “We should not forget that Pakistan has a better overall record than us. They are a fantastic side and it is never easy to beat them.” Thanks Dhoni. ...

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Are we going through the South Asian Complex?

When Israel resumed its onslaught on the people of Gaza, social networking sites became a medium of protests from around the world. But in Pakistan, there were mixed reactions. Some were quite exasperating, to be honest. Despite hearing the news about Israeli jets hovering over Gaza like death angels, carrying out experimental strikes on local residents, some Pakistanis have been quite thick-skinned. There were those who disregarded the issue as an international dispute, while others felt that Semitism is the root cause of the conflict, although both Arabs and Jews are Semites. But the most juvenile counter arguments I found were the ones which ...

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If Turkey can do it, why can’t other Muslim states?

Over the indiscriminate genocide of innocent people of Gaza, the Muslim leadership, the Arabs in particular and other Muslim states in general, have blatantly and deliberately remained silent. More than 1200 people have been killed and over 6,000 have been seriously injured in Gaza since the launch of Israel’s army offensive. Physical infrastructure is severely damaged: several houses and buildings have been demolished including mosques, schools and hospitals. There are about 57 self-governing Muslim states across the globe; some are absolute monarchies while others are sovereign democratic republics. Yet, none of them has dared to openly condemn or curb Israel’s vicious character. Leaders ...

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6 Pakistanis who think Israel is their problem

I feel bad and a little guilty saying it, but I’m not interested in the Palestinian crisis. There, I said it. * Exhale * I don’t understand this outpouring of emotions for Palestine on Facebook. How come there weren’t any well designed posters shared on Facebook when 10 people were shot by police forces in Model Town, Lahore? Why wasn’t Facebook overwhelmed with emotional anti-Taliban visuals when they attacked Karachi airport? Were we sleeping earlier or are we just tuned to only hate Israel? Do things going kaboom in our backyard not make us flinch? Or are we afraid of criticising the Taliban because they might be ...

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From Palestine to Chitral: Miracles do happen

In an age in which reading or watching the news is enough to turn any normal human being into a raging lunatic or a hardened cynic, the smallest piece of good news is often like a breath of fresh air and can do wonders for restoring a positive outlook on life. Rooftops near North Jerusalem. Photo: Abdullah Saad I am originally a Palestinian from Jerusalem, and like many Palestinians, I suffer (or perhaps benefit) from a severe case of Wanderlust. Dome of the Rock. Photo: Abdullah Saad This means that we have to remain on the move ...

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11 things I love about Dubai

I am not much of a blogger, but ever since I read a hate piece about Dubai, I wanted to revive its charm. Dubai, can be assessed from several angles; a tourist, a family, a labourer, a tycoon or an individual. I fall in the last. So here is my list of why I absolutely adore Dubai.  1. Array of cuisines When it comes to food, Dubai is a mixed platter of delicacies from all around the world. Being a foodie in Dubai and its variety of dining options, is like an unleashed child in a candy-store. From Brazilian Churrasscaria to Vietnamese Bun Bo hue, Dubai offers it ...

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Ten things I hate about Dubai

Now, I know that the title makes me look like a snob who gets to go places but is just so ungrateful. However, my trips to Dubai are really never out of willingness to visit, but mandatory – mum’s orders. I cannot stand Dubai. I was born in Dubai and spent my early years there. Now I have to visit twice a year to see my dad and brother, them being one of the few good things about the place. Here are ten things that I don’t like about Dubai: 1. Malls: I know malls are fun, but what if they were all you ...

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Million dollar mosques surrounded by hungry Muslims

I came across a BBC article about the grandest mosque in Abu Dhabi. Built in 2007, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers under its 57 domes. The breathtaking architecture is the result of a deliberate attempt to represent the many cultures within the Islamic world by incorporating Arab, Mughal, Moorish, and Turkish designs.  The interior boasts the largest chandelier and hand-woven carpet in the world.  Beautiful?  Absolutely.  Worth it?  Not so sure. In a region where we’ve recently seen people take to the streets due to economic, financial, and social hardships, it makes me a little ...

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