Stories about O-levels

Remembering Asma Jahangir: A democrat in a country that loved dictators

“Pakistan cannot live in isolation. We cannot remain shackled while other women progress.” – Asma Jahangir A year ago, when the news came in that Jahangir had passed away, I felt like I no longer recognised the legal system I had worked so hard to become a part of. To understand why, let me tell you a little bit about who Jahangir was. Jahangir was a woman who was born a democrat in a country that loved dictators. The Convent of Jesus and Mary may have been the first to discover this. The Convent had a system for selecting their head girl ...

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KGS, FPS, Nixor, Southshore, Lyceum or Cedar – The choices you make today will mould your future tomorrow

If you think you can relax right after taking your O’ level examinations, you’re wrong. Right after you’re done with your exams, people begin bombarding you with all sorts of questions, asking you what your plans are for college and what subjects you’re going to opt for. There is literally no chill, and apparently for all the right reasons. The decisions you make now will affect the course of your life. I know this sounds scary, but it’s true. After O’ level exams finish, the main concern is the arduous process of choosing a school for A’ levels. But before getting to that part, you ...

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Millennials and their “my life, my rules” approach

I started out early in the corporate world and I think that’s one of the reasons why I’ve always been motivated. But before I detail my torrid experience with Pakistan’s burgeoning youth, let me state for the record, these views do not represent all the youngsters in the country. This article is merely a reflection of what I have encountered in the field. When I began my first internship during my O’ level days, I did the usual; hang around the office at times, Facebook a lot and extensively read up on European football. I basically enjoyed myself, but there were some things my boss never ...

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The spark that makes #AmanKahani worth it

In June of 2016, I gave interviews and follow-up interviews at what they called a “social corporate enterprise” for my first job, fresh out of college. I was sceptical. I wasn’t sure I wanted to work for a non-profit foundation, even if I got in. But an interview is an interview and you give it your best. That is what I did. Eight months in and I have been working, churning out words as a content developer and wordsmith, to inform people about what the Aman Foundation does in the verticals of health and education. But have I really made any difference? I’m ...

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My guitar and me

My interest in music developed when I was in the third grade. I began to play the flute and snare drums. My parents had always made it a point to get me involved in extracurricular activities and music was on top of that list. One day, my father told me to move on and learn how to play a ‘proper’ instrument – not that flutes and snare drums aren’t, but he wanted me to venture further. Maybe he saw something I couldn’t see at the time. So, as any other obedient child would, I complied. He encouraged me to learn ...

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The educated housewife: A choice, not a chore

Until recently I’d felt that feminism, when it came to women working, was baseless because in most modern families, women can choose to either work or stay at home. But I’ve come to realise that the only reason I feel this way is because I’m lucky enough to have been raised in an environment where I am not expected to give up my dreams because of something as trivial as my gender. Let me tell you a story. I know someone who married at the age of twenty-six, of her own accord. She had already completed her Bachelor’s degree with a ...

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10 reactions students have before the CIE results, explained through Disney

It is that time of the year again, when the world is about to come crashing down and you would rather go into hibernation than face the inevitable. No, I am not talking about the apocalypse. I am focusing on something much worse – the CIE results. This year, the fated day befalls on August 11th, and for all O’ and A’ level students who appeared for the May/June 2015 exams, the countdown has already begun. Since I have gone through the same countdown during my time, I can empathise with a lot of students who will face the kraken tomorrow. And in order ...

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What they didn’t tell you about Pakistan: Seven common myths dispelled

Pakistan may be one of the most misunderstood countries around and it is certainly easy to see why when you hit the layman’s ceiling of knowledge in about 10 seconds. What most people don’t see is what lies beyond the media coverage, highlighting just the challenges the country is facing today. There is a lot more to Pakistan than what meets the eye, so prepare for some enlightenment and let’s go bust some myths. 1. Pakistan is no place for women A young girl from Kailash in native dress. Photo: Asfandi Yar. Contrary to the stereotype, not all Pakistani ...

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The culture of fat-shaming: A conversation with Ali Moeen Nawazish

I’ve written extensively about the society’s attitude towards overweight people. Seemingly harmless jokes and unsolicited weight-loss advice often has serious, negative impact on the lives of people struggling with weight problem. I sat down with academic prodigy Ali Moeen Nawazish, to discuss the issue of fat-shaming and body image. Do you consider shaming people for their weight as something perverse? Definitely. Just judging anyone by not their actions, but the way they look, they sound, they speak; the whole concept of judging people based on these arbitrary things is perverse. Have you personally been a victim of fat-shaming, or suffered from poor self-image? Ever ...

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Rishta aunties and the girls who submit

“You’ve completed your O and A’ Levels. You got amazing grades and A’ Level is a great accomplishment. It’s time you get married now,” said my mother, on several occasions. When asked anxiously, “But what about my admission into IBA?” She would calmly reply, “Yes, yes. You’ve proved your mettle. Everyone knows you’re smart and clever. That’s why there are so many proposals.” Yes, that time was here. I was being badgered into getting married. The sad part about being educated is that you can tell when a person is annoyingly dim-witted. On the one hand, the aunties gushed about my intelligence, which according to my mother ...

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