Stories about New York Times

Ben Affleck, Islamophobia and the Western media

I am a Christian Bale aficionado, especially for his portrayal as Batman. So when it was announced that Ben Affleck is going to be featured as the new Batman in an upcoming movie, I was heartbroken. But putting that aside, in the recent episode between Bill Maher and Affleck that has been stirring quite the hype, I am going to try to pledge my allegiance with Affleck and let my conscience agree to him being Batman. If you have been following the recent clash between Maher and Affleck, then let’s give a high five to Affleck for standing up against Islamophobia. Generalising an entire population is, in ...

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Are you failing at being a parent?

I recently came across an article which listed ten common parenting mistakes. It got me thinking about my own parenting skills, or lack thereof. The insecurity about parenting most likely stemmed from my biases that were challenged by that article. I think parenting is made out to be harder than it actually is or should be. The point I’m really trying to make is that in parenting misperceptions are amplified. The so called mistakes simply reflect on the struggle that exists within all of us as human beings, compounded by the fact that we, as parents, are liable to err. The conflict ...

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A New York state of mind

Walking along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, can be an exhilarating experience. Imposing architectural wonders staring down at you on all sides, the throbbing, pulsating and electrifying pace of city life can be, overwhelming to say the least. Yet one cannot help falling in love with this impossibly grand monument to human achievement and skill. The grandeur of the city hits you even before you land on the historic JFK Airport as you get the bird’s eye view of this extremely modern city from the plane window. Once out of the plane, you encounter the thoroughly organised discipline of the airport staff and you begin to ...

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Yes, because we need Selena Gomez and a Jonas brother to promote Malala’s campaign

By now, most of us are well aware of the white saviour narrative that has become a ubiquitous component to the Malala Yousafzai story. By now, we have seen Malala be rightfully lauded around the world for her bravery and dedication to the cause of equal educational opportunity. By now, we are mindful of the polarising sentiments that constitute a response to Malala’s name in this country. So when a promotional video for the We Are Silent campaign, a joint venture between The Malala Fund and Free The Children, hit the airwaves last week, it was not surprising that the Malala story was once again being ...

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Four Pakistani conspiracy theories that are less fictitious than you’d think

Last year, Pakistani journalist Nadeem F Paracha published an article titled Malala: The real story (with evidence) on the website of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper. The article argued that schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot not by the Pakistani Taliban but by the CIA – and with blanks. The shooting had been completely staged. The triggerman? Robert De Niro “posing as an Uzbek homeopath”. Paracha was clearly satirising Pakistani conspiracy theories but some of his countrymen took him quite literally. One obscure newspaper, The Lahore Times, even published an article which was later removed from its website, reporting Paracha’s article as fact. Dawn eventually posted a disclaimer noting that the article was fictitious. One ...

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To Pakistani social media trolls, don’t you have any manners?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines etiquette as ‘the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave’. The history of etiquette dates back to prehistoric times when man first began interacting with others and hence started devising rules for making these interactions bearable and pleasant. Over the centuries, as societies and human interactions started falling into specific slots, etiquette was drafted for different settings. For instance, there is etiquette for behaving with elders, with neighbours, with teachers, with siblings, with parents and so forth. Similarly, as the presence of social media grew progressively pronounced in our lives, the proper etiquette of ...

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How to write an article on Pakistan (for the foreign press)

Dear journalist, blogger, columnist or on-again, off-again writer, congratulations! You have chosen to cover Pakistan in an article aimed at a global audience and (fingers crossed) paid for by a foreign news service/agency. Your guide awaits you below – check off your game plan and repeat ad nauseum. STEP 1: Choose your topic A: I want to write on terrorism, the impact of the US exit from Afghanistan, drone attacks, the tribal badlands, ‘Nuclear-armed’ dangers and Pakistan’s foreign policy in general. Pros: I can be an expert on all the above thanks to Google and many hours of spare time. Cons: There is ...

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Do what you love, love what you do!

A recent article by Cal Newport in the New York Times stirred up the debate on how people should choose their career path. The mantra of ‘life coaches’, self-help literature and career counsellors alike is to ‘find’ your passion and do what you love. Some know earlier on in life what that they want to become ─ doctors, entrepreneurs, scientists or even ballerinas. These people are lucky enough to identify and live out their passion. However, my experience tells me that most people are unaware of what they want to do, or they fail to avail the opportunities for pursuing their passion. In most ...

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Obama or Romney, Pakistan must make its own decisions!

Pakistan has always kept a special place in my heart. It is a place that I’ve studied intently throughout my studies, both at the university and post-graduate level here in the United States, and even more so as a journalist. But, my real education on the country has not come in the classroom under the tutelage of proclaimed experts but, rather, it has come from Pakistanis themselves. Over the course of more than five years of study, I have spoken with countless Pakistani students, journalists and academics, all either Pakistani-Americans or Pakistani nationals, and what I have learned as an outside ...

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Aren’t we already a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’?

Last week, major media outlets reported that the Obama administration was considering designating the Haqqani network a “terrorist organisation”. The New York Times, meanwhile, pointed out that the United States was considering the decision’s impact on its relationship with Pakistan. The article added that “such a move would seem to bring Pakistan a step closer to being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism”. Let’s address the issue of Pakistan being declared a “state sponsor of terrorism”. On the list of terrorist organisations available on the US State Department’s website are familiar names like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkatul Mujahideen, Jundallah and ...

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