Stories about LUMS

Is literary guidance in Pakistan comparable to the US?

I had never been to upstate New York before, and the whole idea of attending a writers’ conference at a liberal arts college ten hours away from my home in Michigan seemed daunting. I didn’t know what to expect. I was intimidated, to say the least. I have been residing in America for the past two years only, and I still consider my poetry in English to be deeply Pakistani; I believe it will take me some time until I fully adopt the American idioms. As my father drove us through the gorgeous green hills of upstate, I was filled ...

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Zarmeen’s story: On giving the poor a chance

In an age and country where material and financial resources reign supreme in most aspects of existence and the masses strive to barely fulfil the basic necessities of life, the heart-warming story of Zarmeen is truly uplifting for spirits.  This young girl has been given a chance to earn a full scholarship for studying much to the joy of her father who is a guard at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) itself!  “Finally there was a letter from Lums which said that my daughter had been selected for the National Outreach Programme (NOP),” related a beaming Akhtar about his daughter. Other than a poor girl getting the ...

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The curse of being a South Asian student

When an eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after suffering silently from months of cyber-bullying, journalist Josh Goodman at the The Huffington Post demanded that not only his bullies but the whole of society be put on trial for its role in the suicide. As virtually every media outlet, numerous celebrities, and even President Obama, spoke out about the tragedy, the question remained: Why would a young man just starting college, seemingly on the first page of a new chapter, change course and set sail in the direction of death instead? It is true that ...

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TEDx Margalla: Pakistan’s got talent

I recently went to TEDx Margalla, where the bright minds from Islamabad and Rawalpindi sat together to discuss ideas that could help change Pakistan. The event was the brainchild of two young heroes – Ahsan Mukhtar (winner of top blogger award of Pakistan in the infotainment category) and Saad Hamid – two ordinary guys with extraordinary ideas. It was a truly fascinating experience. TED is a non-profit organisation where people from different backgrounds come together and share unique ideas for the benefit of communities. TEDx is an independently organised TED event where local communities come together to discuss problems and carve out plans to ...

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The 101 on how to survive an admission test

Overheard at Regent Plaza last Sunday… “These pagals who give the Scholastics Aptitude Tests (SATs) and get their 2400s,” said girl A, “Bar bar daytay hain, aur phir LUMS Common Admission Test (LCAT) ka grading scheme mess up kar day tay hain” (they take the test over and over again and mess up the LCAT grading curve).” “I swear yaar…,” said girl B. That was the weekend the Karachi Literature Festival kicked off at Carlton Hotel while a rally was taking place at Mazar-e-Quaid to protest against India, drones and everything in between. It also happened to be the weekend that the Opal ...

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LUMUN: Students learn the truth in a language they can’t debate in

What’s the point of debating if the person opposite you can’t understand a word you’re saying? In my previous piece, how at model United Nations (MUN) some kids were shaken by the sheer scale of competitiveness – a rampant obsession with coming first across the country. This is why events like these, which bring together such a diverse group of people from across the country, are so useful. You can glean so much from the way people interact, or in this case, don’t. I’m going to talk about the Lahore University of Management Sciences model United National (LUMUN) again, because this ...

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LUMUN or competitions that turn into a losing game

Two weeks ago, Jinnah International airport was deluged by nervous yet excited parents. “Kya aap ki beti bhi LUMUN ja rahi he?” (is your daughter going to LUMUN too?) they cried as they bumped into each other. School teams kept arriving in jam-packed buses, students streamed through security checks in their uniforms and blazers. They were headed for Lahore University of Management Sciences Model United Nations, an endeavour that consists of night-long research marathons on different countries, eating too much at Hardees, and chilling out at the free concerts. It is also incidentally a convergence of some of the country’s brightest, sharpest ...

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This year, I need to get in to college

This is what most reporters, bloggers and conscientious people will worry about in the year 2012 – Imran Khan, terrorism, Pak-US ties and Afghanistan. And this is what a certain demographic of 17 to 18-year-olds across the country will care about in the year 2012 – college. And yeah, Imran Khan, he’s a cool guy. It is now January 2 and the biggest firework or patakha that anyone this age can face is a blank Word document for a college essay. Today, I know the following – the admission dates for the Institute of Business Administration, the zipcode of various locations in Karachi ...

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10 reasons why Karachi University is better than LUMS

A bit of university rivalry is always on display at any workplace, with those belonging to one institution drawn together in an alumni-brotherhood, whose sole purpose at times is to make fun of the inferiority of the the other institutions duly represented among their colleagues. Suffice to say, the old our-frat-party-was-cooler-than-theirs-ever-could-be always makes for idle chit chat at the water dispenser or smoke room. So, what happens when you try to pit one of the top business schools with the largest university in the country? 1.The real estate: Karachi University has a main campus which sprawls over 1,800 acres, a small town in ...

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Grad schools: Expensive education

‘Profit-making machines! That’s what these educational institutions have become’, I keep shouting out, sometimes to my friends, at times in my head. I just can’t stop cursing our top grad schools; they are so unaffordable, especially for the average income families. My frustration arises from the fact that our educational institutions have transformed into these lucrative profit-seeking businesses that leave ‘consumers’ (as they would call the ‘students’ in their business jargon) drained of their earnings and savings. I finished my undergrad programme almost a year back and now I’m hunting for grad schools in Pakistan. After having made my parents go ...

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