Stories about Germany

Indian media’s ‘lack’ of Kashmir and Pakistan’s geographical understanding

In the words of one very well-meaning Kashmiri journalist, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led New Delhi government and largely jingoist Indian electronic media have made anti-India resistance in restive Jammu and Kashmir much easier than before. What he meant was that now one only needs to wave a Pakistani flag for a brief moment in any part of Jammu and Kashmir to irritate the Indian government and irk its electronic media. It has become so easy to get them worked up. And once you infuriate them, the right-wing politicians issue strong-worded statements against “pro-Pakistan elements” within Kashmir and the electronic media follows ...

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Don’t want to pay for a hotel while travelling? Find a couch!

“Hello Azhar. Yes, I will be available to host that weekend. Regards, from Germany.” This was the reply I received from Markus, my to-be host, with regards to my couch-surfing request that I had sent, for a two day night-stay in Heidelberg. I was nominated by my employer to attend a week-long seminar in Frankfurt, Germany and after the five-day sponsored-stay was over, I had decided to stay back and explore other parts of Germany on my own. I searched on the internet for tourist attractions in the country and picked Heidelberg, for its scenic beauty and diversity. But for this two-day stay, I chose not to ...

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What are you trying to prove by denying Geelani a passport, India?

Ignorant of their own history and overlooking how leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Subhash Chandra Bose visited countries like South Africa, England and Germany to further their political ideologies, a certain ultra-jingoist Indian media channel recently aired a provocative debate titled Fly Pak Flag, Seek Indian Passport. This was done on Kashmir’s octogenarian resistance leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s request for a passport, as he wanted to visit his ailing daughter, Farhat Jabeen Geelani, in Saudi Arabia. Did Gandhi, Savarkar and Bose visit European countries as Indian citizens and on Indian passports? Did they surrender their political ideology and abandon their struggle for freedom in exchange of ...

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“It was funny… (he) squealed like a pig”: Germany’s Muslim-intolerant police force

The recent news circulating about a German police officer who shared a gruesome video on Whatsapp that featured him torturing a Moroccan Muslim man has had me in a spin. The video shows how the victim was forced to eat rotten pork off the floor. The same German officer is also being prosecuted and thereby is being investigated for physically abusing (and strangling) an Afghan refugee. Until last week, I, being a college counsellor for one of the top ranking schools in Lahore, was trying to educate my students on the perks of gaining further education from Germany – a country that is offering foundation ...

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How these four managers changed modern day football

Joachim Leow managed to win Coach of the Year Award in this year’s Ballon d’Or awards. He guided the Germans to their historical World Cup win, which easily tells us the importance of managers in modern football. Therefore, let’s have a look at the four best managers of modern era, who were selected on the basis of managing successful clubs in different leagues, the resources they had, and their achievements in Europe and internationally. 1. Sir Alex Ferguson Sir Alex is regarded as one of the most successful, admired and respected managers in the history of the game. A disciplinary and a dictator, he was famous for playing mind games ...

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Dealing with Iran – Tearing down the walls of hatred and animosity

So we finally have a preliminary agreement, a structural framework on Iran’s nuclear program and a culmination of eight long days of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland that continued well past the self-imposed March 31 deadline. The talks involve representatives from Iran and the P5+1 – a group comprising of the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany. An inside source, who happens to be a part of the negotiation process, tells me that negotiators have been sitting on their butts for a week now, making an honest effort to push through the never-ending, long drawn conversations and arguments. While most are used to sitting ...

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If you are gay and Muslim, “change your sexual orientation!”

I was shocked when I read the recent news story about a Muslim family living in Germany who wanted to arrange the marriage of their 18-year-old homosexual son against his will with a Lebanese girl. The son told the media that his family threatened to slit his throat and burn him alive if he did not change his sexual orientation. Eventually, the court intervened and saved the young man from the brutal punishment from his family. This news reminded me of an acquaintance, Azam*, who runs a delicatessen in New York. He told his mother that he was gay when they ...

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10 great foreign language films that we should all watch

While all of us have seen classic Hollywood, Bollywood and Lollywood blockbusters, many of us are unaware of a lot of amazing movies that have been directed by foreign film industries which are equally worthy of our attention. Therefore, I have come up with a list of 10 such foreign movies which I believe everyone should watch in order to appreciate cinematic finesse and art of other regions as well. Seven Samurai – Japan, 1954 Photo: IMDb Akira Kurosawa is an auteur in the broadest sense. His work has influenced many people including the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and ...

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Wanderlust

I want to do more with my life Than just be a Pakistani girl, a wife, a mother, I want to take two years off, And backpack through Europe!   I want to watch the sun set over Paris from the Eiffel Tower, I want to walk on the streets of Venice, I want to get lost on the tube in London, I want to swim in the waters of Greece, I want to be mesmerised by the northern lights in Iceland, I want to go cycling in Holland, I want to walk through the Black forest during autumn in Germany, I want to follow the Sound of Music in Austria, I want to ...

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Is Messi getting ready to pack his bags and leave Barcelona?

The year 2015 hasn’t started so well for the 27-years-old Argentinean, Lionel Messi, who lost the Ballon d’Or award to his rival, Ronaldo. Last year, however, was a great year for Messi; from becoming the all-time leading goal scorer in La Liga (and in the history of the UEFA Champions League with 72 goals) breaking Raul Gozalez’s record, to captaining his Argentinean side in the FIFA World Cup, making it to the final against the World Cup Champions, Germany, he had done it all. Messi, who has been a Barcelona player through the academy ranks and made his debut in 2004, has been ...

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