Stories about Nobel Prize

For the West, Malala fits the image of Pakistan but Edhi does not

Let me begin by saying that I like Malala Yousafzai – she is courageous, authentic and has great conviction. But a couple of questions keep dwelling in my mind; why does the West like her so much? What is her appeal to them? And along with these questions dwells the answer as well, which is quite simple; the West is courting her because she represents a side of Pakistan and Islam that suits them. By suggesting this, I am not trying to imply that Malala doesn’t deserve her accolades; she represents hope, valour, defiance and the image of a strong ...

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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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9 things I hate about Naya Pakistan

I cannot pinpoint any single incident that sparked off this piece of satire but one of the many triggers for me was the ludicrous vanity that has been displayed in full swing over the past one month. At first, I was very optimistic about this so-called Naya Pakistan. But the kind of polarisation it has created in an already fragmented society is beyond disappointment. Now I fully understand what Aristotle meant when he said, “Youth is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope”. So here are the nine things that I hate about Naya Pakistan and those who blindly follow this idea. Inability to take ...

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Why Aitchison?

“Don’t you realise this behaviour is unbecoming of an Aitchisonian?” Mr Zafar Ahmad stared at me. Stress on the word Aitchisonian caused extra ripples of guilt. There is a reason Mr Zafar Ahmad, my housemaster, was stressing on the Aitchisonian angle; he knew it would make me feel like a downcast in my own eyes. And it did. Both of us knew I would not repeat that adventure at least. Aitchison College is in the spotlight these days. Pakistani press is not alone this time because The Guardian, one of the leading British dailies, has also covered the latest issue surrounding the institution’s policy regarding ...

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Get well soon Edhi sahib, you are one in a million!

Dear Edhi sahib, As you lay in the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation for your routine dialysis, we hear worrying news that you have been admitted in the ICU. Edhi sahib, I am very worried about your deteriorating health, as I assume every Pakistani is. I have been checking the news every hour to find out about your well-being. I wish you a speedy and a complete recovery. You are 86-years-old, we pray you live to be 186. While, like every Pakistani, I am praying for you, a part of me is covertly but awfully scared. What if… you…? I am not known to be an emotionally ...

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Our nukes, their drones, our loss, their science

A news bulletin pops up on our television every now and then – showing that some region in our country – mostly the Federally Administered Tribal Agency or FATA – has been the recipient of a drone attack. These attacks often result in considerable damage to life and property, and there have been so many of them to date that it raised some questions in my mind. How can a country, located at least two continents away, kill anyone in our land with such impunity? How did the US gain access to the kind of technology that is able to pinpoint individuals from ...

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Does the EU deserve a Nobel Peace Prize?

The European Union (EU) has been recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2012 recently ‘for bringing peace to a continent that tore itself apart in two world wars’. There is no doubt that a supra-national political framework such as EU has done a lot of good work in the past, but choosing the EU for a Nobel Peace Prize has been more of a motivational gesture. The Eurozone’s economic troubles have escalated to a point that an economic breakup of the organisation is being discussed by experts and diplomats. In these hard times, awarding this prize is only ...

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Edhi we love you

On November 28, 2011, the Prime Minister of Pakistan nominated Abdul Sattar Edhi for a Nobel Prize. For Pakistanis and most other people around the world, Abdul Sattar Edhi is a name that requires no introduction. The founder of the largest welfare organization in Pakistan, the ‘Edhi Foundation’, Edhi has been referred to as an inspiration, a saviour, and a living saint. For those who know his story, he is no less than a legend who has overcome the odds to accomplish a selfless goal that has helped millions see a glimmer ...

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Dr Abdus Salam who?

Recently the 15th death anniversary of one of Pakistan’s greatest sons, the Nobel Laureate Dr Abdus Salam, passed away unnoticed. One often hears well-meaning voices and laments in the national media about how Pakistan cruelly and ungratefully refused to honour its only Nobel Prize recipient, just because he was from the Ahmadiyya community. But is religious bigotry the only reason behind the lack of recognition accorded to Dr Salam? Pakistanis as a nation have a few iron-clad traditions that are rigorously followed come what may. The most prominent of these is to mistreat anyone who does any favour to this ...

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In praise of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2011

In case you didn’t notice, it was the annual literary maelstrom last week. The Nobel Prize in Literature was handed to somebody, Tomas Tranströmer of Sweden. The announcement evoked a global response which entailed synchronised hair pulling, angry tweeting, cynical literary opining in the millions. On the whole, it turned out to be an entirely predictable show of hostility from a world of outraged readers. The ruling sentiments went something like this: “Oh right! So Roth/Murakami/Pynchon/Nadas/Adonis is going to lose out AGAIN to somebody I’ve not even heard of?” “Wait, are you saying, like, this guy Transformer-whatever, haha, his work is ...

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