Stories about Nelson Mandela

The well-remembered Gandhi, but the oft-forgotten Bacha Khan

When we look back at our history, almost every country in the world has experienced some form of foreign occupation, colonisation, massive violence and bloodshed simply based on either regional, religious, ethnic, or racial conflict. And while most of the leaders, who’ve led such warfare and occupations, have been violent and tyrannical, there have also been a few, very few, leaders who have gone against the status quo, and only believed in and promoted non-violence. These exceptional leaders have hailed from all over the world, of which some prominent examples include Baha’u’llah from Persia, Martin Luther King Jr from America, the Dalai Lama from Tibet, Nelson Mandela from ...

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Today, let’s celebrate Malala Yousafzai

“Live, Malala!” I remember seeing this line somewhere on social media when Malala was shot. I remember sitting anxiously, watching the television, while channels aired the live coverage of Malala being shifted to a hospital in England for treatment. I remember the moment I found out that she was shot. I couldn’t believe my ears. I couldn’t believe the news. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. October 09, 2012 – almost exactly two years ago, she was returning from school when a masked gunman had asked her name and shot her at point blank range thrice. Thrice. She was just 14. There were many ...

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The Goodwill Ambassadors – Shining brighter than ever

For a moment, I felt star-struck, as Alicia Keys entered the room bustling with journalists from world over. We, a varied group of journalists, had been invited by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) to report on and learn from the experience of being in the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York for the UN General Assembly and the Climate Summit 2014. All of us are fans of the many celebrities that we saw all around us in those few days. But once done with the initial gushing and surreal feeling of being in the presence of “stars”, we not ...

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Nelson Mandela’s funeral: Was the sign interpreter deliberately trying to mock the deaf and mute community across the world?

Life is a precious gift, taken for granted by the majority of us. We always manage to take time out for complaining about corrupt politicians, flawed systems and increasing taxes but do we ever simply take a minute to be thankful for all that God has bestowed upon us? Before we ask for more, can we not be grateful for all that we already have? It might be human nature to be selfish, but there is no doubt in the fact that God’s blessings are impossible to keep count of. However, if one does intend to be appreciative, why not start from the ...

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Farewell Mandela, farewell to the voice of morality

Omar Khayyam’s words ring in my ears today as the world bids its last farewell to Nelson Mandela, “Lo! Some we loved, the loveliest and best that time and fate of all their vintage prest, Have drunk their cup a round or two before, and one by one crept silently to rest.” I was still a child in the late 1980s. I was too young to understand the ways of the world, blissfully unaware of the earth-shattering global events that dominated the newspaper and the daily news program on PTV. I did not understand why the Berlin Wall fell, who George Bush was, ...

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This Ashura, I have a confession

My beloved Hussain, I write to you today on the anniversary of the day you died. Take it as what you will, I think of it more as a confession. Ever since I was very little, they told me to love you. To know you and understand you. To be like you. Probably one of the first things anyone ever told me was that your death on the 10th day of Muharram – Ashura as they said – was a tragedy that should only elicit heartache and sympathy. But before that, I knew nothing. As I child, I didn’t know who I ...

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Celebrating 95 years: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela. Having lived in Zimbabwe as part of larger Southern African community for more than a year or so, I have found that you cannot remain untouched by the magic of Madiba. Probably one of the most influential icons of African history and a sparkling star of our times, Nelson Mandela is fighting the ultimate battle for his life today, physically. However, his legacy will remain as ...

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Mandela without you, Africa will not be Africa

The world watches with bated breath as Nelson Mandela or Madiba, as he is fondly called, battles against his illness. The great leader redefined courage and freedom, proving that persistent effort is the best weapon to ‘conquer that fear’ of failure that often keeps us from achieving our goals. The fact that Mandela survived 27 years in prison before claiming his greatest political victory is awe-inspiring. Who would have ever imagined that a herd boy from a village on the banks of the Mbashe River would one day change forever the course of his entire nation? Indeed, legends like Mandela are not ...

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Life in Pakistan: Can we afford to hope for improvement?

I find it difficult to come up with a truthful answer to the question “How is life in Pakistan these days?” A simple “It’s complicated” does not even begin to describe the complexities of everyday life in this country. Pakistan is a difficult country; difficult like dealing with a child who has started screaming and crying in a crowded market, a child that cannot be pacified by meeting its unreasonable demands. Sheer patience is required to face the unending drama we create and encounter in this country every day. However, patience is not a virtue known to prosper in the ...

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Nelson Mandela: What one man’s vision can accomplish

Nelson Mandela (Madiba) is unarguably one of the greatest freedom fighters of our time. With official statements using stronger language everyday to report on his ailing health, it is a time for reflection for the global community as the fulfillment of several causes upheld by Mandela remains ambiguous. What is crystal clear, however, is Mandela’s everlasting influence on how the world will perceive equality, freedom and change for years to come “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  – Nelson Mandela Mandela joined the African National ...

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