Stories about humanity

Hush little bomb

Hush little bomb, You’ve done your work. Hush little bomb, Please hide that smirk.   Smother your fire, Please, just take a break. Leave the sky, Please, for humanity’s sake.   Don’t you see? The lives you’ve snatched? Don’t you feel? The anger you’ve hatched?   Hush little bomb, You’ve done your work. Hush little bomb, Please hide that smirk.   Silence your roar, Please, just lie on the ground. We have had enough, Please, not one more sound.   What have you done? You broke their lives in half, You crushed their bones, But here you sit and laugh.   Hush little bomb, You’ve done your work. Hush little bomb, Please hide that smirk.   Think of the blood, You’ve sprayed in our eyes. Think of the sorrow, You’ve thrown in our lives.   The hatred, the misery, It’s all because of you. The ...

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The day Lascaux cried

The first light of dawn was setting on nature’s various wonders and the tribe of Shamosis was waking up to the incessant chirping of early-morning birds. The water in the nearby lake stood motionless. Serenity prevailed: nature reigned supreme, humanity remained at peace. The Shamosis had been travelling for the past six months now without a stop. Usually, Closett used to initiate a gathering of elders whenever an area was discovered fit for encampment but the last such gathering had been a long time ago, when they had left the territorial fringes of modern-day Turkey and entered what one today ...

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Today, we take solace in the hope that #PorteOuverte has offered us

When a calamity strikes, be it an earthquake, a flood, or a terrorist attack, headlines are made all over the world, a certain meta-narrative grips us all. We are told that a certain number of people died, a certain amount of damage was done, a certain type of people was responsible. We become transfixed with questions like ‘what happened?’, ‘why did it happen?’ and ‘who did it?’ We become consumed with the pathology of violence. They answers we seek are what we call ‘primary’ pellets of empirical information that are intertwined to form a story that conforms to the framework of ...

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Explaining Bakra Eid to a foreigner: “Why do you people sacrifice animals?”

Bakra Eid and ‘bari’  Eid are the two loving nicknames I used while referring to the feast of sacrifice all of my childhood that I spent in Pakistan, until I moved to the West and realised that people mostly referred to it to as Eidul Azha in this part of the world. I have often been asked by Americans and people from other faiths about the significance of both the Eids, and while Eidul Fitr has been naturally easy to explain, Eidul Azha not so much. Most of us growing up in liberal Muslim households do not educate ourselves, cerebrally, on the philosophy behind the Islamic rituals and practices ...

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The Rohingya of Burma is the Shia of Pakistan

This is possibly one of the least highlighted human rights violations that has and continues to take place in the day and age when communication and cyber systems dominate our lives and nothing seems to escape an ordinary person’s attention. This is probably the most dragging, prolonged episode of persecution and genocide in modern history, the worst of its kind since the holocaust even. I’m talking about the Rohingya catastrophe – a story of blatant hatred, spite and animosity. Regrettably, I never dug deep enough into the origin of the Rohingyas. I did, however, come across an article called The Muslim Rohingya ...

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Is the Zimbabwe tour more important than our minorities?

The Zimbabwean cricket team will be arriving in Pakistan tomorrow night. After much confusion and shaky decision-making, the team will finally play cricket in Pakistan. This is the first Test team to visit Pakistan after six years. The security arrangements for the team entail a fleet of policemen protecting them at all times. Alongside this, 4000 special officers, 30 snipers and four patrol vehicles will keep an eye during the five-match series whilst four security check posts will be made at the main Gulberg entrance. I, like any other cricket fanatic, am ecstatic and charged for the historic event but the guilt of having failed ...

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Déjà vu: They were just innocent students…

Following in the footsteps of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Boko Haram, al Shabab, an Islamic extremist organisation, has conveyed its message of the ‘religion of peace’ through the massacre of 147 innocent, Christian students at a university in Garissa, Kenya. Kenya is not a predominantly Muslim country; its population holds 83% Christians and only 11% Muslims. So this attack needs to be seen in context of Kenya’s population dynamic. And this isn’t the first attack of its kind. In 2013, al Shabab attacked the Nairobi Mall and claimed responsibility of the 70 deaths that took place as a result. According to news channels, on April 2nd, masked men marched into the ...

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As a student in grade 9, I pledge my future to Pakistan – do you?

On December 16th, around 10am, a group of heavily armed men belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stormed the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar. These men opened fire and took several students hostage in the main auditorium of the school. The number of casualties is officially reported to be over 140 and more than 180 injured. TTP has claimed this attack to be in retaliation to Pakistan’s military offensive known as Operation Zarb-e-Azb, which started in June, 2014, in North Waziristan. This school was attacked in an attempt to kill the future military potential of Pakistan, in the hopes of ...

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The filth of humanity unvieled: Raping and murdering a 5-year-old boy

The terrorists who attacked and massacred children in Peshawar, murderers who end lives all around the world, or States that wage wars on the innocent, are not the worst. For me, even the most vicious of murders is surpassed, in brutality and inhumanity, by rape. The act of sexually assaulting or abusing another human being is way worse than taking a life. Both acts – of rape and murder – coupled together give us a glimpse of humanity at its worst. And both acts coupled against a child, is rock bottom. A five-year-old boy was raped, murdered and hanged in my city. The awareness ...

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The death penalty is justified today

Two recent terrorist attacks have proven to be a watershed in our history.  First, the unfortunate siege at the Karachi airport which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and thereby, creating a proverbial consensus among many Pakistanis in support of a military operation. Since then, there have been debates on what a successful military operation entails. The commentators have regularly suggested that a military solution must accompany certain policy changes such as terminating the distinction between good Taliban and bad Taliban, reversal in our Afghan policy and developing a counter-terrorism strategy.  However, it failed to mark any seismic shift in our policies. The second is Tuesday’s massacre ...

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