Stories about New York Times

Yan Lianke’s The Four Books brings Chinese history to its knees

Chinese literature, one of the most overlooked in the world, is also one of the richest. Since the beginning of this century alone, China has produced two Nobel Laureates in Literature: Gao Xingjian (2000) and Mo Yan (2012), and yet it remains mainly unknown to a larger reading population worldwide. And while many Chinese novelists are lauded internationally, their plight is such that, at home, they constantly have to grapple with state sponsored censors and almost despotic regulations. In a melancholy article for the New York Times that was published in 2012, the internationally celebrated Chinese writer, Yan Lianke, lamented ...

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War is beautiful: Does photography glamourise war?

Forty years ago, Susan Sontag, in an essay for the New York Review of Books, wrote, “To photograph people is to violate them… Just as a camera is a sublimation of a gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder.” This and other essays backed her argument that photography was “essentially an act of non-intervention” that shared “complicity” in “another person’s pain or misfortune”. Photo: www.worldpressphoto.org Significantly, Sontag noted that Nick Ut’s (Huỳnh Công Út) photo of Kim Phuc, a naked South Vietnamese girl with arms spread, wracked in pain from napalm, “Did more to increase the public revulsion against the ...

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President Barack Obama is probably the best president America has ever had

After listening to the debate of prospective presidential candidates, from the Democratic and Republican parties, one can’t fail to notice the stark difference in their leadership styles with the present incumbent. President Obama presents a dignified image, a vision backed with impeccable integrity coupled with great communication skills. Perhaps, these qualities are enough to set him apart from the aspiring candidates. Although, it would be too early to assess his performance as the president, since he will be demitting from his position in January 2017. Regardless, one can’t resist the temptation of revealing a scorecard of his achievements and failures during his two terms tenure. Obama’s inclusive ...

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Karachi will, for time and memoriam, be divided along lines of caste and ethnicity

I find it rather problematic to fashion a semblance of a concrete structure from the conundrum that is Karachi’s metropolis. The metropolis I speak of comprises not of sky-scrapers and high-rise buildings that brush against the clouds and billboards lit with neon lights. On the contrary, the metropolis that harbours the heart of Pakistan lives and breathes, just like you and I. She breathes with the quivering, ragged gasps of an invalid. She inhales mouthfuls of air contaminated by generations of ignorance and growing dissent, and punctuated by the overpowering stench of rotting human remains. The city that once stood ...

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Condemning Trump’s bigotry does not make you any less of a bigot, Netanyahu

When Benjamin Netanyahu wags his finger at Donald Trump for his bigoted remarks against Muslims, a simple eye roll should suffice as political commentary. But it’s not difficult to explain exactly why we’re dumbstruck by the irony of the Israeli prime minister’s statement. Joining a chorus of condemnations from world leaders, Netanyahu decried Trump’s call to shut down entry of all Muslims to the United States, adding: “The state of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.” Having wiped off the coffee we’d accidentally sprayed upon our computer screens, liberals around the world marvelled at such straight-faced ...

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When will we start recognising our Women of Impact like the West does?

Pakistani women have done us proud again by securing a place in New York Time’s Women of Impact list 2015. The list honours outstanding women from around the world. It is diverse and interesting, bringing home the point that these individuals have managed to carve a place for themselves by standing up for the cause of women and other marginalised factions of society. Out of the 50 women given the honour, education activist Malala Yousafzai and film maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy have bagged the 36th and 48th positions respectively, and we all know that honours and recognitions are not new to them. Both ladies have devoted their lives to ...

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If Angelina Jolie and Deepika Padukone can do it, so can you!

Almost two years ago, American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, shocked the world when she disclosed that she underwent a double mastectomy due to the risk of breast cancer. A few months back, Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone revealed that she had been suffering from depression and had been on medication.

Jolie again stunned the world by revealing that, recently, she had her ovaries removed. Two of her letters published in The New York Times, the recent one on March 24, 2015, was solely aimed at informing and encouraging women, who suffer from cancer, motivating them towards dealing with its physical and psychological effects. These actresses, sharing their vulnerable side, ...

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What Netanyahu’s victory means for Palestinians

The latest chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict saw Benjamin Netanyahu winning a key March 17th election. The victory provided drama and controversy. Trailing in the polls a few days before the vote, he garnered accusations of racism by saying, “Arabs are coming out in droves to the polling stations. Leftist NGOs are busing them in.” He was also accused of breaking a promise regarding a two-state solution, as quoted in the New York Times, “I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel.” Let’s examine. Netanyahu ...

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Should Eid be counted as a public holiday in New York City?

On March 4, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City public schools would close to recognise Eidul Azha and Eidul Fitr. He said, “Hundreds of thousands of Muslim families will no longer have to choose between honouring the most sacred days on their calendar or attending school.” In the New York Times, de Blasio called this a “matter of fairness” to the Muslim population, about 10% of all students. Six other school districts in the US celebrate Muslim holidays while other districts have resisted, one in Maryland already having eliminated all religious holidays in response to Muslims activists’ requests. De Blasio’s announcement has also ...

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Good vs evil: Where does America stand?

Having read through the 500-odd page US Senate report on CIA torture and all of its gory details, I can understand why the CIA, Pentagon and White House didn’t want this report to come out. Remembering the international outcry over the pictures that were leaked from Abu Ghraib and Bagram, the US intelligence services knew the powder keg that they were hiding from the world. They knew what they had done were crimes against humanity and no amount of verbal discourse would make this acceptable, tolerable or forgivable. There are two parts of this discourse that are disturbing to me as a human being. First, ...

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