Stories about humanity

“I was going home after 71 years”: The emotional ‘homecoming’ of an Indian in Pakistan

“I am going home… after 71 years.” I mumbled something along those lines to passengers sitting beside me, while taking a flight from Karachi to Islamabad on Christmas morning. Late in October, a friend of mine who is like an elder brother and a bitter critic of Indian state policies, asked me for my passport. I quickly took some pictures and sent it over to him. A week later, he sent me an affidavit with an invitation to his daughter’s wedding in Karachi that was to be held in late December. And that is how my journey of going home began. It is ...

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Born in between, without honour

A loud cry echoed throughout the silent room, followed by the hustle and bustle of nurses. Sighs of relief were let out along with cries of joy as smiles crept across everyone’s faces. The long-awaited guest had finally arrived. The father swirled in ecstasy as he leapt forward to take the little bundle of joy into his arms. However, this feeling of joy was quick to fade as the nurse brought forth the baby with her head bowed down in dismay. She walked past the joyous father and placed the small human wrapped cosily in a blanket into the mother’s ...

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Arbaeen: “If you want to see humanity living and breathing, experience this walk”

The 40th – or Arbaeen in Arabic – holds great significance in the traditions of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Ahle Bait (AS). Arbaeen marks the completion of Ashura, the day when Imam Hussain (RA) was martyred on the planes of Karbala. Since then, his followers and lovers walk to their beloved as they feel his plight as their own. The walk particularly takes place in the memory of the return of Imam Hussain’s (RA) family from Syria, after getting freed from the shackles of Yazid. People from different parts of the world participate in this event, which remained banned ...

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From Zahid to Bubbly

“So you have decided to keep humiliating us in front of people,” he said with a roaring voice. His beloved Baba had slapped Zahid on wearing red lipstick again. “You are a boy, a man! The only waris (successor) of our hundreds of acres of land. I will beat you black and blue if I ever find you doing anything girly again.” Zahid had tightly clenched a broken red lipstick in his hands. Baba was continuously lecturing him about masculinity but surprisingly, all this scolding was appearing so rhythmical to him. Baba was admonishing him but he was dancing in his mind, wrapping red dupatta and responding ...

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Fry, bake or freeze: These iftar recipes will give delicious and easy a whole new meaning!

For me, fasting is like a reset button. It reminds me that I can still be whole without all the vast amount of consumerism I am involved in every day. It is also a reminder that I can do more with my time, my money, and my life if I wanted to. I can still be happy with little things in life. This Ramazan, I invested my time in a weekend guest lecture for kids from slum areas. While I love my work, sometimes one needs an escape to breathe and get a better perspective on life, and this experience did just ...

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5 reasons why ‘Homo Deus’ will get under your skin and make you question humanity’s future

If you are lucky, you may come across a book that challenges your assumptions, upends your convictions, and knocks down your indoctrination. If you are really lucky, then the said book may present an alternative and limitless world view of possibilities, generating a warm fuzzy feeling within; perhaps because your assumptions have been challenged, convictions upended, and indoctrination knocked down. I can safely say this has happened to me recently. After several years of sporadic reading of contemporary fiction, creative non-fiction and general non-fiction, I finally had the pleasure of reading Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah ...

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How travelling to Baku restored my faith in humanity

One major reason as to why the travel bug constantly tugs at my heartstrings, even more than the wonderment of places, is the diversity of the people I get to meet. It is amazing how social, cultural, geographic, religious and political factors concoct such diversity in human beings, giving them a distinction in disposition, aura, colour and character. And then, people’s individual quirks and personalities make these encounters even more insightful, enriching, and sometimes life changing. A few months ago, when I announced to my parents that I planned to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, for the very first time, they became ...

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Oh Canada…

Fear is an unusual entity. More often than not, it is unwarranted and unreal. But it becomes the biggest reality some of us will ever experience. And if we aren’t careful, it becomes us. It becomes the people around us.  A lot has already been said about Islamophobia. A lot has been spewed in the broad spectrum of bigotry, hate, prejudice, terrorism and intolerance. In Canada, in the wake of the recent racist attack on a Quebec mosque early this year, the Canadian government decided to pass an anti-Islamophobia motion known as M103. As per the bill, the government felt compelled to “recognise the need ...

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Omran, we can all play together

He looks well. Well-dressed, well-fed and well-rested, his face is not covered in the debris of a house demolished by shrapnel. He sits in peace and quiet, not against a backdrop of blood-curdling screams of humans in pain or the earth-shattering sound of rockets hitting targets. His eyes sparkle, not with tears but with hope and promise. His aura reflects confidence that comes from living in a safe home not by living under the real threat of death every day. This is Alex from Scarsdale, New York, the subject of yet another emotionally moving video in which a child ...

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Who advised President Obama to intervene in Yemen any way?

The on-going carnage in Yemen is perhaps one of the least talked about issues in the US media. There’s too much else going on here that catches attention and is talked about non-stop. We have the Trump problem, the race menace, Islamophobia, the never-ending Louisiana nature-inflicted catastrophes and, of course, the constant bickering vis-à-vis playing a major global role at a time when many who dare to care, believe that the US must scale back its international commitments and focus on the burning priorities at home. Speaking of global role (read ‘hobnobbing’), the crisis in Yemen is yet another example of the ‘ugly Americans’ landing themselves in muddy waters, acting like social miracle ...

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