Stories about New York

Are Jibran Nasir and his friends game changers in today’s Pakistan?

One cold Karachi night On the night of February 1st, Jibran Nasir – Pakistan’s leading activist – and a handful of peaceful protesters sat on a road in Karachi near the Sindh chief minister’s house for more than 24 hours, demanding the arrest of terrorists responsible for the January 30th, 2015, Shikarpur attack which killed 65 Shias during Friday prayers, and demanding action against banned sectarian organisations. There were only 20 protesters, their average age 25, outnumbered it seemed by riot police with water cannon and batons at the ready. Protest in Karachi against terrorism and secterian violence. Photo: Kafila Karachi is ...

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Islam may be trending on the streets of New York

Thirteen years after the events of September 11, 2001, New York is ready to begin its cathartic process. News of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda may still dominate the majority of the news, but the feeling of the streets is more of intrigue rather than fear. Most of the food carts in the city are halal, and the number one street cart in the city is called ‘Halal Guys’. To see people have chicken over rice from these carts has never been surprising but now some bars are also exclusively serving halal meat, ‘halal’ food is being embraced ...

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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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No, Arnab Goswami, Pakistan is not an “untrustworthy neighbour” or “a strategic wreck”

On September 26, 2014, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in which he emphasised the urgent need to resolve the Kashmir issue “in accordance with the aspirations of the people” living in the disputed Himalayan region. “We cannot draw a veil over the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” An Indian television anchor had apprehended that Pakistan would once again raise the Kashmir issue at the UNGA to ‘internationalise’ the dispute. The anchor believed that Kashmir was neither ...

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Malaysian Airlines MH17: Let’s put an end to aviation tragedies

On July 17, 1996, a Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800, operated on a Boeing 747, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near New York soon after it took off from John F Kennedy Airport. The flight was bound for Rome with a short stopover at Paris. The incident killed all 212 passengers and 18 crew members aboard. This was the third largest air crash incident of that year, after the Garuda Indonesia Flight 865 crash, in which 272 people died, and the Saudi-Kazakhstan mid-air collision over Chakdari, India, in which 349 people lost their lives. The remains of the ...

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Lemon squares with a sprinkle of Ali Zafar please!

Born and bred in good ol’ Lahore, this Lahori munda has done us proud in many fields. His claim to fame is painting, singing, dancing and acting. With his adverts zapped nationwide on billboards and television channels, singing and dancing to his own composition, Ali Zafar goes around painting the town yellow and red. Shuffling between the neighbouring Indian film industry, local adverts and composing albums, he is a busy man, yet he was kind enough to take my call whilst driving back home from his dentist appointment. Given the lack of time and opportunities to meet him, I managed a ‘lightning round’ with him ...

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A FRESH! prespective at the Amin Gulgee Gallery

This evening I attended the launch of an unusual art exhibition in Karachi at the Amin Gulgee Gallery. It was called ‘Fresh!’ – 64 artists under 30, and showcased the art of yes, you guessed it, 64 young Pakistani artists from all across the country. Source: AminGulgee.com John McCarry, coordinator of the gallery, told me that Amin had attended an exhibition in New York at the New Museum called ‘Younger than Jesus’, which showcased artists all under the age of 34. “Why not do something like that here?” wondered Amin. So he found two co-curators, Raania Azam Khan Durrani, founder of the Commune Artist ...

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Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is not worthy of a Golden Globe

As I sat in a cosy small Indie cinema in the dark waiting for the film to start, I was struck by the strangest sense of déjà vu… ‘Will this be another lack lustre Woody Allen film or a hidden gem?’ It’s quite easy to deduce that now. Source: IMDb Woody Allen has been working in the film industry for almost 50 years now, but the past decade has seen a distinct decline in the ingenuity of his films. The characters are not as fresh and insightful as they were during his early years and most critics believe that his ‘stammering, ...

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In the Indian diplomat’s case, does anyone care about the nanny?

Paying a maid roughly 200 Indian Rupees (INR) an hour may seem overly generous in places like India and Pakistan where the job market is flooded with excess manpower. But can an Indian diplomat play by the same rules on American soil? Devyani Khobragade had relied on her diplomatic immunity to be able to import her own slice of cheap Indian labour to New York, but the US law intruded her haven nonetheless. She was arrested not only for paying the housekeeper less than half the minimum wage, but also for lying about it on her visa documents. There have been ...

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12 Years A Slave: A peek into the dark history of the US

While my friend and I were having coffee, he shared an interesting observation with me: “I always wondered why the black people were unable to overcome the practice of slavery in the United States through revolt?” I pondered for a few seconds and replied,  “Hasn’t this always been the case when it comes to dynamics between oppressor and oppressed? It is not just the physical scare that prevents a revolt, but a psychological one.” 12 years a slave is a film based on a book written by Solomon Northup, a ‘free negro’ in 1853. In 1841, Northup was living in the state of New York, alongside his wife and two ...

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