Stories about europe

Amazon drones: Risk vs convenience, which will win this war?

Just when you thought you had seen and heard enough, the world comes up and punches your imagination into oblivion. You’ve heard about Amazon.com, and you’ve heard about drones. What you didn’t realise was that one day both these things would be used in the same sentence. While that day isn’t completely upon us, in another five years, it most certainly will be. The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, claims it is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers. Like all other new concepts, this too will be met with a fair amount of scepticism. And again, like other new concepts, this will ...

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Cambridge International Examinations: Not Pakistani, so it must be good

I remember when my anxiety towards an impending CIE A level examination superseded the boundaries of personal interest and assumed a political nature. Disappointed with the B in my Chemistry mock exam, I turned to my teacher for further evaluation. Instead of relieving me of my worries, the response I received gave way to a wide array of concerns. “Come on, how many past papers did you guys really do? You can’t expect an A without having done enough past papers!” I began to notice, with increasing clarity, how much emphasis our teachers put upon the internalisation of what I call the CIE ...

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Can Pakistan learn from Belgium?

Is Pakistan the only country in the world that is facing sectarian violence in today’s world? Can we expect Pakistan to overcome it in the coming years? With a huge population, widespread poverty and various non-state actors, it may take Pakistan many years to fight this menace but it is not impossible to take this challenge head-on. We have the example of Belgium before us, which resolved this problem successfully. Belgium – a small but ethnically diverse country in the heart of Europe consisting of French, German and Dutch-speaking population – took over four centuries to learn the lesson of peaceful ...

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Barcelona versus Paris Saint Germain: Are we in for something special?

As the season comes to a close and league winners become apparent, Europe’s illustrious competition, the Champions League still hangs in the balance. After the first leg of the quarter finals, some have already progressed to the next round, but little has happened that was of the unexpected. The first leg clash between Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) resulted in a 2-2 draw in Paris. PSG was lucky to grab an equaliser at a crucial point in time. However, the French still have to travel to the port city for the return leg and have gotten themselves trapped in an uphill task. At this ...

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Pakistan has all it takes to be a great nation!

It has been four years since I moved to Austria to pursue a PhD degree. At the time of leaving Pakistan, I was overjoyed, filled with excitement and enthusiasm. The picture of Europe, though largely exaggerated, depicted by my friends who were already studying there, was so appealing that I could hardly wait to get there. The excitement was so overwhelming that I did not even bother to see the tears in my mother’s eyes when she came to see me off at Jinnah Airport. I rushed to the check-in counter, fearing that I may miss the flight and ...

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Pep Guardiola: Respect to a living legend

Barcelona talisman and manager Pep Guardiola recently announced that he would not be continuing in his managerial role at Barcelona beyond the end of this season. I cannot even begin to describe the profound effect he had on Barcelona and the world of football itself. Josep Guardiola i Sala or ‘Pep’ as they call him, was born in Santpedor; a relatively small town in central Catalonia, Spain. Pep’s rise in football was quite a fairy-tale. He started out working as a ball-boy for FC Barcelona – little did anyone know that this ordinary ball-boy would one day end up as manager of ...

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The beginning and end of Anders Breivik

In this day and age of Islamophobia, Anders Breivik’s recent trial marks a significant shift in the way the word ‘terrorist’ is perceived. My perceived image of a ‘terrorist’ stems from my own country. Unfortunately, there is irrefutable evidence to prove this – be it the incidents external to Pakistan, such as the July 2005 London bombings and the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, or the list of internal suicide bombings. Since the 9/11 attacks, certain prominent characteristics have come to be associated with the word ‘terrorists’ including but not limited to: ‘Muslim’, ‘Pakistani’, ‘rightist’, ‘conservative’, ‘extremist’, ‘young’, ‘male’ and many others. July 22, ...

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What Turkey has done right

Turkey is turning heads. A few weeks ago the top brass of the entire Turkish army resigned– an act that could have previously brought down whatever democratic government was at the helm- but Prime Minister Erdogan reacted coolly and appointed a new army chief. The present AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has slowly chipped away the power of the deep state. Moreover many have alluded to Turkey’s pluralism and democracy as an example for all Muslim countries to follow. Turkey was also the fastest growing country in the world last year, with a growth rate of just over 9%. ...

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Who cares? Not me

I am a Pakistani. Don’t confuse me for an illiterate, poverty-stricken person. Or a displaced one in that case. Not at all! I can assure you, I live quite comfortably. I did my schooling from one of the best institutes in the country. I speak English very well, and I only wear branded clothes. I buy them from the US or Europe during my annual visits abroad. It’s annoying how people assume I’m needy just because I’m from Pakistan. Oh no! I’m a first-grade citizen, albeit of a third world country. Apparently the fact that our power generation is less ...

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Musings of a ‘Westernised’ Pakistani

We often blame “the West” for constructing and perpetuating unjust stereotypes about Muslims and Pakistanis, while not realising that we’re constantly returning the favour without even knowing it! So, on behalf of the “burger-society,” I’d like to speak a little in defense of “the West.”  Ready your rotten eggs if you must. Let me start by saying that “the West” does not exist. If it does, could someone please delineate it for me? Is Japan included in your definition of the West, despite being a Far-Eastern nation? What about Russia, industrialised China or Romania? When radicals make blunt statements like, “the West is waging a ...

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