Stories about BBC

The Pakistan International School of Damascus: The unreported and silent success story of diplomacy

Almost all the stories coming out of Syria over the last few years have been of doom and gloom. There has been much destruction to a land rooted in deep and unparalleled history, possessing two of the world’s oldest cities along with people who can easily be called the world’s most diverse set of communities coexisting peacefully; all before regional and international actors made it a battleground for proxy warfare. Before the war, Syria had the most robust state education system in the Arab world, and even the BBC did an in-depth documentary on the diversity and progressive nature of the Syrian school system. It is these real ...

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Why Imran Khan’s HARDtalk interview would make every Pakistani cringe

Leaders and polished politicians are frequently called masters of the art of spin. They use this ‘spin doctrine’ in debates and interviews to satisfy the viewers, all the while deflecting from the real questions being asked. Similarly, even second-tier politicians know that defensive body language like hand-wringing, arms folded across the chest, clenched fists or narrowed eyes should be avoided during interviews, so as to seem collected in their responses. But perhaps Imran Khan is not a seasoned politician yet, or he simply is not good at being asked critical questions. His recent interview to Zeinab Badawi, the host of the famous ...

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#IamParis, #IamLondon, #IamKabul, #IamManchester – but what about #IamSomalia?

I was at my desk, typing away on my laptop when my friend decided to lean in and see what I was working on. Her jaw dropped open as she read the headline: ‘Somalia to announce state of war on al Shabab’. She asks me what happened to bring this on, and I got up from my seat to let her read the news herself. After several minutes, she turned around and stared at me, stunned. “Why wasn’t this on the news?” she asked. To be honest, I ended up asking myself that very same question, and I didn’t have an answer. Positioned ...

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Silence of the lambs: Pakistan is doing its fair share for the Rohingya refugees, but what about India and Bangladesh?

One wonders what is more appalling – Myanmar’s systematic genocide of its Muslim minority, or the inexplicable manner in which the world stayed numb while a small country, wielding hardly any politico-economic clout in international affairs, went about openly violating all norms of international law. Let us forget about the world for a second, what exactly has the “Muslim Ummah” done to stop the killings of our Rohingya brethren? It is because of the inaction of Muslim governments in times like these that the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) is often referred to as “Oh, I see”. If Muslim countries had ...

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Harvey was the daddy of all hurricanes, but is climate change solely to blame?

Recently, I was asked, “Aren’t you glad that you left Houston when you did?” In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, perhaps that was a valid question, not an insensitive one. However, on further introspection, I realised that I was neither glad that I had left Houston when I did, nor could I wish that I was still there. Au contraire, I was pensive about family, friends and former work colleagues having to deal with this newest water-related calamity of Houston. That Houston is flood prone is not news to me. During my 15-year-long ‘sojourn’ in Houston, I had to deal with several flash ...

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Yes, Mashal Khan’s story is a difficult watch, but it’s a necessary watch to keep us from forgetting

In April, a deranged mob of college students murdered Mashal Khan, an intelligent, curious, and outspoken journalism student, over views and comments that some regarded as ‘blasphemous’. The mob-led murder caught the world’s attention after a shakily recorded cell phone video of the lynching went viral. Just like that, the door had been flung open, exposing the sheer inhumanity and intellectual neglect that constantly simmers below the surface of Pakistani society, even within its supposedly enlightened institutions. In these past few months, many minutes of prime-time were devoted to and much ink was spilled over Mashal and Pakistan’s notoriously inhumane and antiquated blasphemy laws. This week, the story ...

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BBC’s The Real Housewives of ISIS: Offensive or not?

BBC’s Revolting: The Real Housewives of ISIS skit has earned mixed reviews across social media, from praise to explosive anger. The video is a brilliant and hilarious piece of satire. It takes aim, not only at lowbrow reality shows like Big Brother but at the United Kingdom’s growing radicalisation problem, where, over the years, a large number of young Muslims have travelled through Turkey to Syria and Iraq to join the world’s most infamous terrorist group. Inexplicably, a fair percentage of these Muslims happen to be British women, ranging from girls in their late teens to early 20s, who leave ...

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I refused a sexual relationship with my boss, he refused to pay me for my work

If you’re working as a freelance writer, you’re bound to meet and work with people belonging to different cultures and mentalities. To maintain a healthy business in a professional manner, especially now when technology and virtual communication is integral to any business, it’s important to set certain restrictions and guidelines, leaving room for flexibility. But in all cases, be careful about who you trust because this is what happened to me when I let myself trust a ‘big name’. Two months ago, I chose to work for a well-known journalist, Wajahat Kazmi – one of those personalities who have a ...

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It’s the 21st century, don’t expect a pat on the back for allowing women to drive, Saudi Arabia

Having lived in Saudi Arabia and seen first-hand the difficulties of women not being allowed to drive, it was such a relief to see a member of the Saudi royalty adding some common sense to an already absurd situation. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a quagmire of sorts in an ultra-conservative kingdom, tweeted that it was time to let women drive. Economic necessity demanded it. According to the prince, it was too costly to keep drivers and too inefficient to let men leave their offices to drive women round. كفى نقاش: حان وقت قيادة المرأة للسيارةhttps://t.co/BBgyF8i1Gs Stop the debate: Time for women to drivehttps://t.co/6KAniFa4BT — الوليد بن طلال ...

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Can The Night Manager be as good as a small-screen James Bond?

The Night Manager is one of the many adaptions based on the work of the bestselling espionage novelist, John le Carré.  The Night Manager, the book, was published in 1993 and was brought to TV by BBC and AMC as a mini-series comprising of six episodes. This mini-series is directed by Susanne Bier, staring  Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine and Olivia Colman as Angela Burr. The Night Manager, adapted by the BBC and due to be screened later this yearPhoto: Mitch Jenkins/The Ink Factory/AM Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier, currently working as a night manager of a hotel in Egypt, is hired by intelligence agents for an exciting yet dangerous mission. ...

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