Stories about image

Atonement for Aylan: In refusing to witness suffering, we dehumanise ourselves

As the old year gives into the new, one image comes to my mind. His shoes had been carefully buckled. The rubber-soled sandals matched. Somehow in all the upheaval, Aylan’s mother had kept them safe in the thousands of miles trek from their Syrian home to these shores. Tonight, they must leave – the people-smugglers who would bring them to Europe now readied the boat to freedom. She coaxed him to sit still as she fastened them tight. The boat would be cold. Her son must be warm. His feet must not slip in the wet. Smoothing his hair into place, ...

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Sensationalism over ethics, what happened to journalism?

A picture is worth a thousand words, but what if those words are untrue or misrepresent the truth? From the time print journalism made its advent, news organisations have realised the importance of the supplementary support offered to text by an image, even if it had to be a sketch or a caricature. However, with the development of photojournalism as a niche field, imagery started competing for space with words to tell a story. Sometimes, pictures told the whole story, whilst others complemented a story by supporting, embellishing and enhancing it. Things went out of synch when the editorial staff’s choice of the ...

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For the West, Malala fits the image of Pakistan but Edhi does not

Let me begin by saying that I like Malala Yousafzai – she is courageous, authentic and has great conviction. But a couple of questions keep dwelling in my mind; why does the West like her so much? What is her appeal to them? And along with these questions dwells the answer as well, which is quite simple; the West is courting her because she represents a side of Pakistan and Islam that suits them. By suggesting this, I am not trying to imply that Malala doesn’t deserve her accolades; she represents hope, valour, defiance and the image of a strong ...

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Brother, you are from Pakistan and you don’t speak Arabic?

One of the biggest advantages of living abroad is the chance to hear what people think about your country. I have been living in Germany for the last three months and during this short stay, I have made friends from different regions of the world. At first, it appeared mystifying, the fact that everyone that I had met, knew something about Pakistan. It is no surprise that with the ongoing situation in Pakistan, where every day there is horrifying news that in the imagination of people I have come across, Pakistan comes closer to being an aberration. Wishfully, I often think ...

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The problem with our drama industry and its depiction of Pakistani women

The troubled image of modern Pakistani women conjured up by Pakistani dramas is extremely distorted and single dimensional. Stories, it is said, are a subtle yet are the most influential way of documenting the social evolution of a society. The story of a woman sells but the modern media has gone one step ahead by proving that the story of a woman being abused, tortured, beaten and humiliated sells faster. The massive projection of domestic and women related violence might appear as an attempt to serve the cause but a closer look will reveal an entirely different and gross story. The disturbing image of woman ...

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How I learnt ‘I can’t speak Urdu’ is not cool

I had recently shifted to the web desk at The Express Tribune and much to my amazement, it was only fun up until I had to translate breaking news into English! I didn’t really learn how to speak Urdu as a child, and never did well in that subject at school either. Guess what, it’s come back to bite me on my backside! Make no mistake, Urdu is not just a problem for me. There are lots of societal “burgers” out there who struggle with the language at all times and do absolutely nothing about it. What’s embarrassing is, I was born and brought up ...

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Enemies of Pakistan: Now on Facebook

The uproar over the anti-Islam ‘film’ (if it can really be called a film) has finally become a fad for Pakistan’s youth. It’s hip. Its trendy now, and I can say this with surety, because its finally all over my Facebook wall. If ever there was proof that social media is simply a tool reflecting the community that wields it, and not some glorious tool towards progressive change, that time for Pakistanis is now. First I got the seemingly harmless (although the stat cited is obviously just cooked up) viral image demanding the removal of the video from YouTube: I decided to follow the ...

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Image is nothing: Pakistan as Andre Agassi

Even before he had won anything of note, tennis player Andre Agassi became a celebrity thanks to his “Image is Everything” ads for Cannon, which capitalised on his ridiculous blonde locks and cut-off denim shorts. Although he would go on to reveal that the hair was augmented by a toupee and win a bunch of majors on his way to becoming a truly legendary player, Agassi admitted in his searing autobiography” Open” that he was never comfortable with his rockstar status, unearned that it was. The lesson is clear: image is a self-created ...

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No one wants to tour Pakistan

As someone who has watched Pakistan play cricket on numerous occasions overseas, as well as in Karachi, I can tell you the experience is enormously different at home. Overseas, the seats are comfortable, the stadiums in pristine condition, the crowds well-behaved, the food non-threatening and no eyesore security grill to separate the playing area from the spectators. At home, the seats will put your rear to sleep, the biryani is spicy enough to make you wish you brought antacid with you, and the frighteningly energetic crowd is so loud that you can’t speak to the person next to you without the aid ...

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

Spotting a strand of white in a head full of black hair is fairly easy and insignificant, but if you are over 30, it can be very traumatic. Combine this with the hair-fall situation and the ever-increasing “naked-eye” visibility of your scalp and hello, Paranoia. Depending on: (a) how rich (or poor) you are (b) how bad the present situation really is, or (c) your organic/herbal orientation (straight or otherwise), one of the following will be your next course of action: Pretend everything is okay and do nothing; after all, you still have a lot more hair compared to cousin Salman (and I really mean a lot). Try ...

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