Stories about freedom

The Paradox

I am baffled, oh people! I am perplexed, I am strong one minute and weak the next,   I adore my milieu; furtively my hinterland do I detest, I am at peace with myself, only to be hit by unrest,   Perseverance drives me; fatigue compels me to withdraw, I seek perfection, though my eyes only see flaw,   I long for affection; I have just hate to offer, I desire harmony; except with no one can I concur,   I yearn for the joy of life; but I want death to set me free, I wish to face all odds; yet there is a strong urge to flee,   I thirst for my jovial side; ...

Read Full Post

Working Parents’ Day: A tribute to the struggles of working parents

Nestled in the comforting embrace of my sister, I would nervously bite my lips and await the doorbell to ring; that ring of the doorbell after the sun had set symbolised the return of my mother from a long, hard day of work. It was the high point of my day. Every day, I would wake up to the sound of the sparrows chirping, but soon I would be rushed into a frenzy because my mother was in a hurry to leave for work. With each strand of my hair braided neatly and my stomach filled with a wholesome breakfast, ...

Read Full Post

Why you should pick a college away from home

Unlike the West, where living away from home is a norm, a large part of our traditional Pakistani society is new and rather averse to this notion. Most parents are overprotective by nature and are unwilling to disrupt the family dynamics. Thus, they are reluctant to even consider the possibility of sending their children away from home. Sure, attending college in one’s hometown is an experience in itself.  However, I think that the purpose of college education entails character-building, ability to deal with copious amount of pressure and exploring the person that one is or wishes to be. Dorm-life, in ...

Read Full Post

Attacked for wearing a Hijab: What is religious freedom to the West?

On August 16, 2013, a pregnant Swedish Muslim woman was attacked, because she donned the hijab. It was near midnight when this young woman approached her car. She was not only harassed with racial slurs and taunts, but was assaulted in multiple forms including her scarf being ripped off from her head. This violence left her suffering from a concussion. The attack took place in suburban Farsta, which is in the south of Stockholm. Swedish police are treating the incident as a hate crime, though no arrests have been made yet. The attacker, a male, made what the Swedish media ...

Read Full Post

Red Ant Dream: A documentary on naxalism, Moaists and the Punjab revolution

A few years ago, I watched a documentary film. I watched it till the very end. Once finished, I played it again – for I searched for meaning; the meaning of ‘azaadi’ (freedom), which to me, before watching this documentary had an altogether different connotation. The film inspired me. It made me believe in the significance of the word azaadi. It turned my life towards a different dimension. For the first time, I understood that occupation is not only about tyranny, killings and oppression. Something more perilous was hidden beneath – capitalism and foreign investment, just to fulfil some neo-liberal aspirations. ...

Read Full Post

Celebrating 95 years: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela. Having lived in Zimbabwe as part of larger Southern African community for more than a year or so, I have found that you cannot remain untouched by the magic of Madiba. Probably one of the most influential icons of African history and a sparkling star of our times, Nelson Mandela is fighting the ultimate battle for his life today, physically. However, his legacy will remain as ...

Read Full Post

Mandela without you, Africa will not be Africa

The world watches with bated breath as Nelson Mandela or Madiba, as he is fondly called, battles against his illness. The great leader redefined courage and freedom, proving that persistent effort is the best weapon to ‘conquer that fear’ of failure that often keeps us from achieving our goals. The fact that Mandela survived 27 years in prison before claiming his greatest political victory is awe-inspiring. Who would have ever imagined that a herd boy from a village on the banks of the Mbashe River would one day change forever the course of his entire nation? Indeed, legends like Mandela are not ...

Read Full Post

Nelson Mandela: What one man’s vision can accomplish

Nelson Mandela (Madiba) is unarguably one of the greatest freedom fighters of our time. With official statements using stronger language everyday to report on his ailing health, it is a time for reflection for the global community as the fulfillment of several causes upheld by Mandela remains ambiguous. What is crystal clear, however, is Mandela’s everlasting influence on how the world will perceive equality, freedom and change for years to come “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  – Nelson Mandela Mandela joined the African National ...

Read Full Post

A letter to overseas Pakistanis: Don’t give up on Pakistan just yet

I have been fortunate enough to travel abroad. During these trips I have met successful young Pakistani entrepreneurs, from high street shop owners to rising bankers and several others who are building their careers with hard work and dedication. It’s always refreshing to talk with fellow countrymen in foreign lands, but seldom is the topic of the political climate or general atmosphere of Pakistan avoided in these talks. Many Pakistanis living abroad are very passionate about their country and its people. They play active roles in contributing towards the welfare of their country by supporting charitable causes that are close to ...

Read Full Post

Can they call Palestine home?

11:oo pm Global Village, Dubai My sisters and I were running wildly to catch a bus. The bus was, apparently, the only cheap way home and it was to leave in the next 15 minutes. 11:15 pm My sister, laden with shopping bags, walked to the bus stand to get some information from two obscure figures seated under a dark shed – two young women wrapped in printed headscarves, wearing identical leather overcoats, bracing themselves against the chill in the air. Hey, do you know about the bus? Where is it headed? We are waiting ourselves. Don’t know. We are not from Dubai. Where are you from ...

Read Full Post