Stories about Canada

What globalisation?

Although globalism itself remains safe from doomsayers, they have started congregating at the gates of globalisation. Take the bogged down Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) designed to remove 98% of trade tariffs between Canada and the European Union (EU). It was stuck there by the dissenting voices of three of Belgium’s French-speaking regions. Consequently, Belgium had to withhold assent, thus preventing EU unanimity, a prerequisite for ratification. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council tweeted: Together with PM @JustinTrudeau, we think Thursday's summit still possible. We encourage all parties to find a solution. There's yet time. — Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) ...

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Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have always been much better off without the British

In 1944, Beverley Nichols’ sensational Verdict on India came out with a slap in the face of what we know today as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan — or BIP, to duck a mouthful. Nichols thoughtlessly trashed BIP’s society and culture, out-doing Churchill’s well-known: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” The religion might have been Hinduism, but the cigar-puffing fat man’s book, The River War, reveals as much contempt for Muslims. Nichols’ vitriol, though, stands in a class of its own. BIP’s classical music was a “… shattering onslaught of sheer Bedlam … hullabaloo … pandemonium.” He dismissed Ayurveda, ...

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What purpose did Trump’s naked statue serve?

Let’s face it, there are not too many of us out there who are fans of Donald Trump.  I am fairly certain even his kids cringe deep inside right before he goes on stage and opens his mouth. We have all been disgusted when he has made sexist and derogatory comments. His constant bigotry against Muslims is worn on his sleeve as a symbol of pride. He has made fun of people with special needs and has even gone far enough to make hypothetical comments about shooting Hillary Clinton; and then even bragged about that comment having gotten him even more votes. He has used tragic ...

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Would you buy your children a Malala inspired Bratz doll?

Nothing in our world happens without meaning or impact. In every moment, we absorb different forms of energy from whatever our surroundings hold, especially in the tender stage of childhood. Toys, for one, might simply be seen as objects children play with, but is there a chance that they too have a deeper meaning and effect on the minds and personalities of minors?  Toys also play a part in implementing gender roles – we all have seen little girls playing with dolls, and boys being given toy cars or guns to play with. I, myself, was fond of dolls as a child ...

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Pakistan and India should celebrate independence from the British – not from each other

Sometime back I ran into an elderly man at work. Since I live in an area of Canada that is densely populated with immigrants from Indian Punjab, I knew the gentleman was from India. After I was done helping him out, he looked at my name-tag and asked me what part of India I was from. I told him I was from Pakistan, not India. A wide smile appeared on his face, and he asked me what city of Pakistan I belonged to. After I mentioned that I was from Lahore, his smile grew even wider as he got teary-eyed. ...

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A six-year-old’s wish: “I like Pakistan. But I hope they make it better like Canada”

 “I like Pakistan. But I hope they make it better like Canada.” These words have been haunting me for the last couple of hours, written by an ostensibly vivacious six-year-old. They speak of the intense trauma that he is currently experiencing when relating to his homeland. A child’s innocence enables him/her to create impressions that perhaps lays bare the lines of fault and pretence which envelops our vastly deceptive lives. Children often have the uncanny ability to see through the façades which we erect on impoverished realities of life, and since their hearts are yet to be tainted by the vices ...

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The B-side: Junaid Jamshed and untold stories behind the controversies

After leaving a lucrative career as a pop singer, Junaid Jamshed (JJ) has evolved into a preacher and poster boy for the austere deobandi group, the Tableeghi Jamaat. He once jokingly remarked, “When I was a singer people use to throw rose petals at me, since I came into Islam they throw stones at me.” This simple statement does more to highlight Pakistan’s state of affairs than explain how someone, who has been referred to by his musician friends, and in his Islamic circles, as “the nicest person one can meet”, can be party to one controversy after another? Some say, he is ...

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Tip of my tongue: Navigating the silences of being Chinese and female

Memories murmur. In my flesh, in the flesh of the world. My migration story, beginning two decades ago in 1995, is made up of many of these murmurs and some have taken years to unearth and delve into. When a new friend in the seventh grade asked me if I ate dog, I thought it a strange question, said “no” and told no one. It’s not like my family talked about what it meant to assimilate into a new country. We didn’t talk about the immigration experience — however life changing — we simply, quietly and peacefully attempted to blend in. Even after an ...

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A Syrian refugee’s message to the European Union

When we first got here we had money to buy a little food. Now it’s gone. We stand in line for hours for a sandwich. My husband told a journalist recently, “People are fed up. Maybe tomorrow they will break down the gate and flood across the border.” The journalist said, “How many weapons do you have?” If we knew how to carry weapons or wanted to carry weapons we would not have fled Syria. We want peace. We are sick of killing. We fled a war, and now the European Union is making war against us, a psychological war. When we hear rumours that we’ll be let ...

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No, I don’t think my body or my complexion needs to be “fixed” to meet a guy

Born in a country with a colonial past, the light skin fetish has been ingrained in us from time immemorial. My existence was like the biggest curse – I was a girl in a patriarchal society, dark-skinned and slightly overweight.  “2016 is your year,” typed a close male friend of mine on a WhatsApp group of around nine people. The intention for this group was to coordinate my sister’s wedding dance practices but ended up becoming a crazy corner where we all discussed each other’s daily struggles and laughed on lame jokes. The conversation continued, “I am going to give you a makeover.” I replied thanks ...

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