Stories about Belgium

Wanderlust: 8 cities, 20 days, and a life-changing trip across Europe

The earth is like a book; if you spend your entire life in your own country, then you’ve only read one page. Humanity has concluded, almost unanimously, that freedom is the fundamental right of every individual, yet they have understood it conservatively. To be fully free, you must wander, travel, eat and live – as you like and deem fit. However, given our cultural barriers, most of us are unable to realise or appreciate this freedom. Only exposure to and interaction with different people and cultures makes people tolerant and empathetic. To internalise and own the beauty you appreciate, ...

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From Fatima Jinnah to Nasira Iqbal: Can Pakistan make the choice 53 years later?

The first woman to run for Pakistan’s presidential elections did so in 1965, and it was Fatima Jinnah versus Ayub Khan. The latter swept the elections and was sworn in as president. That was 53 years ago. Now, 53 years later, is Pakistan ready to make history and elect the first woman president of the country? Recently, social media was rife with speculation that Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, a Pakistani jurist and law professor who served as a justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) for eight years until 2002, was being considered for the office of the President of Pakistan. ...

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Why Belgium and England will win the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has reached a fascinating stage. After a dramatic Round of 16, which saw two of this generation’s greatest players, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, exiting the tournament on the same day, the quarter finals treated us to some memorable encounters, with England and France – both one-time champions – breezing past their opponents Sweden and Uruguay respectively. Belgium beat heavy tournament-favourites Brazil, courtesy of a classic display of quick counterattacking football, while Croatia defeated a spirited Russian side on penalties. Neither Belgium nor Croatia have ever won the World Cup. The semi-final line-up ...

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Munch on these easy, lip-smacking snacks instead of your nails while rooting for your World Cup team!

The stage has been set. Stadium lights are ablaze. Billions around the world are worshipping the black and white ball. Even those who don’t really follow football are simply tailgating and gathering in groups to cheer on their favourite teams. The FIFA World Cup is already shaping up to be more exciting than many had hoped. Hosts Russia kicked off the 2018 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in Moscow. There have already been some shocks: Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, was the first to qualify for the Round-of-16; defending champions Germany have been knocked out of the ...

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For these 10 players, the 2018 FIFA World Cup could be their last shot at redemption

There are superstars and there are rising stars. There are seasoned veterans and there are hidden gems. Then there are those looking for a final chance at reviving their stagnating careers. The World Cup is a showcase for everyone and anyone but for some players, it is more about one last shot at salvaging their careers than aiming for the World Cup glory. But then again, things can go either way and players can find their careers sinking, if they exhibit poor performance in this tournament. In this list, let’s look at 10 players for whom this World Cup could ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: These 4 formidable teams do not need Ronaldo or Messi to go the distance

FIFA World Cup is football’s showpiece event which breathes life into the sport every four years. The mega event has a distinctive swagger attached to it, promoting national unity and radiating positivity.  You will find passionate Barcelona and Real Madrid fans coexisting in harmony, derby rivals sharing a drink at a pub in Manchester, and a multicultural French team with the backing of the entire nation, for the sole reason of winning the elusive trophy. Let’s take a dip in the dynamics of international football, and ascertain the teams which have a realistic chance of going the distance in the World Cup ...

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As a Muslim, I strongly support the right to ban the veil

I was raised as an observant Muslim in a British family. Women, I was taught, determine their own conduct — including their ‘veiling’. We’d cover our hair only if we freely chose to do so. That’s why I’m baffled by the notion that all good Muslim women should cover their hair or face. My entire family is puzzled by it too, as are millions like us. Not until recent years has the idea taken root that Muslim women are obliged by their faith to wear a veil. It’s a sign, I think, not of assertive Islam, but of what happens ...

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The best and worst moments of Euro 2016

UEFA Euro 2016 signed off with numerous lasting memories. It is now time that we bid farewell to a tournament that brought a number of awe-inspiring moments and left the game with a healthy prospect. This year has been full of surprises in the world of football with underdogs breaking through the dominion of strong teams to claim prizes they previously never dared to dream of. Let’s look back at the tournament. Best moment: Of all the outfield players, Hal Robson-Kanu makes a Johan Cruyff turn During 55 minutes of flogging through a tied score-line against Belgium, Aaron Ramsey charges down the right flank, finds Robson-Kanu, who swiftly finds ...

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I want a Liverpool versus Liverpool UEFA Euro 2016 final

FIFA World Cup..  Nah! UEFA Euro.. Meh!! Copa America.. Not a chance!!! Africa Cup of Nations.. Are you frikkin kidding me??? We are a strange lot, we club football fans. Even while there’s a major international football tournament going on, someone like me is more interested in something as insignificant to an outsider as, well, Liverpool (LFC)’s pre-season training.

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That in no way should mean that I am not fully aware of what is going in any of the aforementioned ‘country versus country’ tourney, but putting it mildly let’s just say… ‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!’ That is unless one of my ...

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Brussels Attacks: These attacks are a home grown problem

It seems like us Pakistanis are not the only ones who get caught in compromising situations nowadays. Case in point right now is Belgium. Despite knowing about the link between Molenbeek, notoriously dubbed as Jihadi Central and only three miles to the west of Brussels, and the brutal Paris attacks, how is it that Belgian authorities remained so complacent? After all, they had conducted multiple raids at this particular neighbourhood, hadn’t they? Let’s say somehow they overlooked the potential threat of a hotbed of extremism existing nearby due to some error, but were previous incidents not warning enough? With events like the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the ...

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