Stories about French

Allied: Average, unexciting and forgettable

The hoopla around the real life of thespians can occasionally overshadow their work, but few films have been upstaged quite as ferociously by gossip as Allied has. The movie found itself being thrust in the middle of the Jolie/Pitt split (quite like Mr & Mr Smith landed in the centre of the Aniston/Pitt divorce around a decade ago). It doesn’t bode well for the film, however, that its alleged – and categorically denied – involvement in the Brangelina breakup is perhaps the most exciting thing about this otherwise mediocre project. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Robert Zemeckis’ romantic thriller tries to evoke ...

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Rounding up the usual suspects in Casablanca

Morocco – a country filled with diverse culture, memorable sights, sounds, and a remarkable cuisine. There are so many things that make this country stand out in my eyes. The divine bed and breakfast boutique hotels known as ‘riads’, the beautiful resorts, and the list goes on. My trip lasted a total of ten days, and started in Casablanca, followed by Marrakech and Fes. “Mystical” is the one word that describes my trip to Morocco the most. As I walked down the streets, I felt everything was alive around me. The atmosphere was thriving, and the energy was inexplicable. Women were ...

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Of course she is oppressed, she wears a hijab!

The hijab has always seemed to invoke extensive debate in Muslim and non-Muslim societies. There have been numerous cases of harassment of hijab-clad women in the western societies, with the French going to the extreme of banning it. The west believes that hijab is a symbol of oppression towards women. When you see a woman wearing a hijab walk into the coffee shop, and order a mocha latte, do you wonder if she’s oppressed? Do you wonder if her male relatives watch her every step? Do you wonder if hijab limits her in any way? Do you feel sympathy for her? How many of the above-mentioned ...

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Why has it become so acceptable to know English but not know Urdu?

“Humne Urdu k saath sautanon wala sulook kara hai aur almiya ye k ye samjhanay k liye bhi aik dusri zubaan ka sahara lena parega.” (We have always treated Urdu as a step-child and the worst part is, in order to fully understand our native language, we seek help from a foreign one.) It hits hard, doesn’t it? Sadly, what we never realise is that language is an art that breathes with those who breathe it. It matters not which language you speak, neither does is matter what your prowess is in the language, but what does matter is the respect any and all languages command. ...

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Shut up and listen to the music by Talal and Zoi

Drones, poverty and fundamentalism – these are often the things we hear on the news about Pakistan. But over the last two years, Pakistanis have brought home an Oscar, an Emmy, the Nobel Peace Prize, won second place in the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the World competition and secured four places in the BBC 100 Women 2014 list. On a smaller scale, Pakistani contribution to local art, literature, fashion and music is everywhere. You just have to look. In Canada, Talal Chaudhry and Zohaib Bakhtyar are one of Toronto’s most talented duos on the electronic music scene. They are gaining international attention with their deep, melodic and ...

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A French, a German, a British and an awesome Pakistani

“Pakistan? Where are your burqas?” “We don’t wear one”, I gestured to my friends and myself. “Yeah, of course – not on holidays. But you know, the ones you’re forced to wear in Pakistan.” Laughing with disbelief, we shook our heads. “No, we don’t. It’s usually a personal choice.” “But…” his voice trailed off. A pause, and then he threw more questions at us. I spent seven weeks this summer interning overseas. There I was asked these questions, surprisingly by an Indian, a fellow ‘desi’ living only a border apart. Here he was, asking eagerly about how it was to live in a rocky, gun-strewn desert. He was pretty ...

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Why the French burqa ban upsets me as a secular feminist

The European Court of Human Rights has weighed in on the face veil ban in France and, in a flagrant exhibition of institutionalised bigotry, has upheld the government’s decision. As goes France, so goes Europe. The verdict breathes fresh air into an old debate, in which the opposing sides had begun to take comfort in the thought of this restriction being a French anomaly, not representative of the general European psyche. But we’ve faced disappointments before. We’ve been led to believe that we may choose either one of the two positions: – Burqa is benign, and must be allowed – Burqa is a harmful, patriarchal icon, ...

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French open: Halep vs Sharapova and Djokovic vs Nadal, excitement galore!

Nine days ago, in my French Open preview blog, I wrote that Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova will be the main contenders for this year’s French open. As predicted, the decision of this year’s ladies championship will be finalised, at court Philippe Chatrier, when Halep and Sharapova will battle it out for the 2014 French open crown with prize money of 1.65 million Euros and 2000 ranking points at stake. This year’s French Open saw elite players crumble and the rise of a whole new generation of tennis players. For the ladies final, both Sharapova and Halep have played some ...

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Wenger in, Wenger out and shake it all about

This summer wasn’t an easy time for Arsenal fans. The eight-year trophy drought had already cast doubts over Arsene Wenger’s ability to deliver silverware at the Emirates and there were thoughts if it was time for the French tactician to hang his boots. Fans turned against him and went so far as to call for his head. Arsenal’s lack of success coupled with their reluctance to spend money in the market over the past seasons had aggravated frustrations among its ranks and fans. With rival clubs dishing out Russian oil money and Arab capital to strengthen their squads, one thing was ...

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Chicken Liver Pâté: Dip it, spread it – just enjoy it!

We have been eating sautéed, grilled or fried chicken liver with different spices for ages, now it’s time to try it in a different way. Yes the French way, in the form of a creamy, smooth delicately herb flavoured liver pâté. Chicken liver pâté is a high class spread prepared by combining chicken liver cooked with onions, garlic, butter/olive oil and a range of other flavours, herbs and then finely chopping or pureeing the mixed ingredients. The mixture is then refrigerated so it can develop its full taste in at least two to three days. It is usually used for appetisers, such as, a ...

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