Stories about christmas

I am a Muslim who celebrates Christmas – and you should too

I plan to take my family out for dinner. I may call it a Christmas dinner and I don’t think there is anything wrong in calling it that. As Pakistanis, I think it is a great coincidence and blessing that today is also the birthday of our founder, Quaid-e-Azam, whose message wasn’t far off from what Jesus Christ taught us. Not only is there a religious connotation but a national association to this day for us to be united as one, spread the love and share the blessings with those less privileged. Before anyone takes objection to the term “Jesus Christ” please note ...

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With love, from Santa: Christmas cupcake delights!

Christmas is that time of the year where you just want to cozy up near a fire with your loved ones and enjoy some soul food. Whether it’s a nice little turkey combined with some exceptional roasted vegetables or some scrumptious dessert that just melts in your mouth. So in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve decided to spruce up an old Christmas recipe and give you something to share with your loved ones. For those who want to spread some Christmas spirit this holiday, here is my recipe of Christmas cupcakes with lemon zest and dried fruits. Ingredients: Photo: Laila Dharamsey Butter – 125 grams Soft ...

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Christmas and Boxing Day: Celebrations in pictures around the world!

Christmas- a day of celebration for most of the world and Boxing Day – the perfect cherry on top. Besides Eid, Christmas takes priority in my life as well. My grandmother, a Czech national, Christian who converted to Islam long long ago still celebrates Christmas with the same zeal as she does Eid. Secretly, I believe Santa Claus still exists too. Many argue that being a Muslim I should not be celebrating a Christian tradition– however, being brought up in the family that I have, I believe that life is way too short and we need all the occasions we can ...

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Christmas dessert: Red velvet cake is served!

It’s the season to be jolly! What’s better than a beautiful, moist red velvet cake? It fits perfectly with the theme of Christmas and it’s sure to be a hit no matter when you serve it. This cake goes back to my grandmother’s kitchen; I spent every holiday as a child with my American family in Washington, DC. Come Christmas and the tree, decorations and stockings would be pulled out. The one thing that fixated in my memory was Thetah’s (Thetah is grandmother in Arabic) red velvet cake. Here’s how to prepare this cake. Please remember to be patient with this ...

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Shariah4Pakistan: Send in the clowns

Next Friday, a group of controversial religious leaders from Britain are going to visit Islamabad’s Lal Masjid under the banner of something called Shariah4Pakistan to speak about what plagues this country. The ‘conference’, which the Lal Masjid cleric says is not authorised and has not been discussed with him by the organisers, is ostensibly going to be held anyway because according to Anjem Choudary, “permission to speak in a mosque is not needed”. Mr Choudary is a law graduate and a self-proclaimed Islamic scholar with no formal religious education, who, according to the British press, lives on state benefits thanks to ...

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8 things I love about Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving and sharing; it is by far my most favourite time of the year. Since I have been I child, I anxiously await December 25 because there is so much that I love about this holiday. This Christmas, I have decided to share a list of things that I enjoy the most of this merry season. Listening to Christmas carols. The joy of listening to Christmas carols with a cup a cocoa is one that is matched by very few other things in life. Snuggling in a blanket with family and friends, and humming these tunes can cheer ...

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The spirit of Christmas

Over recent centuries, especially in the west, the season of Christmas has been commercialised and glamourised beyond recognition, and its basic significance has faded into the background, perhaps forgotten. The Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, the exchange of gifts, the shopping, the new clothes, the house decorations, the dancing and singing, the community festivities – these are a far cry from the simplicity of the event that all of us supposedly commemorate: the birth of the messenger of peace and goodwill, in a manger in a stable meant for animals, attended only by his carpenter family parents and poor shepherds ...

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Imran Khan: The hero that stole Christmas

In a recent letter addressed to Imran Khan, the Lahore-based umbrella organisation for NGOs, the Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE), expressed its ‘concern’ to the PTI chairman on his party’s plan of holding a public rally in Karachi on December 25 which marks the celebration of Christmas the world over. While recognising the right of the party to hold a public gathering on a day of its choosing, the organisation asked the PTI chief to change the day for the rally that is scheduled to be held in Karachi on Christmas. The letter states that holding a rally on December 25 will ...

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Tolerance & understanding: Learning from Egypt

Just before Christmas last year, I passed a group of children arranging themselves in two straight lines outside the big church in F-8, Islamabad. They had a special program planned and were waiting to welcome their guests with flowers. I caught a glimpse of laughter and nervous excitement and nearly smiled, before seeing the police van, ambulance and fire engine parked on the curb. Then there was a sudden stab of panic and I wished I could stop to usher them all inside. “Please, God, let them be safe,” was all I could think on the way home. Is it ironic ...

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Hijab, Santa and the Christmas spirit

Earlier this month my class mates and I were given an assignment on interfaith awareness between Muslims and Christians. Over the past decade the two communities have not had very warm relations especially since after 9/11. My friends and I felt nervous about this task as we had never interacted with a member of the Christian faith before. We were oblivious to what their traditions were and how they would react to us. I was particularly panicky because I wear a veil and hijaab. Will they even talk to me, I wondered. Our project required that we take photographs of ...

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