Stories about Rome

Wanderlust: 8 cities, 20 days, and a life-changing trip across Europe

The earth is like a book; if you spend your entire life in your own country, then you’ve only read one page. Humanity has concluded, almost unanimously, that freedom is the fundamental right of every individual, yet they have understood it conservatively. To be fully free, you must wander, travel, eat and live – as you like and deem fit. However, given our cultural barriers, most of us are unable to realise or appreciate this freedom. Only exposure to and interaction with different people and cultures makes people tolerant and empathetic. To internalise and own the beauty you appreciate, ...

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If you have seen Mission Impossible, Jason Bourne or Taken, then you have already seen American Assassin

With James Bond and Jason Bourne on a temporary hiatus, and Jack Reacher likely on a permanent one, the espionage and spy-thriller market in Hollywood has been left largely untapped. So it makes sense that American Assassin ‒ based on the first book in a long-running series of spy novels by author Vince Flynn ‒ would swoop in and try to make easy money at the box office. Dylan O’Brien, star of the Maze Runner series, plays Mitch Rapp, a man on a path of vengeance. The film opens two years earlier on a beach in Ibiza, Spain where Mitch ...

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When Trump met the pope…

On May 19, 2017, Donald Trump landed in Saudi Arabia, to mark his first series of international appearances as the President of the United States of America. The itinerary read as follows; Saudi Arabia, Israel, The Vatican City, Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) leaders meeting and finally Sicily for the G7 summit. As one would expect, there were a myriad of talking points, just hours after Trump left his Mar-a-lago comfort zone. Firstly, from a journalistic point of view it was exceedingly hard to cover this trip. In Saudi Arabia, gender segregation is still at an all-time ...

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John Wick: Chapter 2 is as entertaining as an action movie can get

John Wick: Chapter 2 is the sequel to the 2014 hit action thriller with the same name. This second coming of the lead protagonist, played by Keanu Reeves, as a retired yet highly skilled assassin emulates the same neo-noir action scenes combined with highly stylised close quarters fighting and gun sequences. Unlike its predecessor, it lacks to exhibit the same grit and originality of the prequel but it is an entertaining chapter in the franchise nonetheless. This movie is directed by Chad Stahelski, who is also the co-director of the first part, along with David Leitch. John Wick: Chapter 2 is bolder and more brutal when it comes ...

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What globalisation?

Although globalism itself remains safe from doomsayers, they have started congregating at the gates of globalisation. Take the bogged down Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) designed to remove 98% of trade tariffs between Canada and the European Union (EU). It was stuck there by the dissenting voices of three of Belgium’s French-speaking regions. Consequently, Belgium had to withhold assent, thus preventing EU unanimity, a prerequisite for ratification. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council tweeted: Together with PM @JustinTrudeau, we think Thursday's summit still possible. We encourage all parties to find a solution. There's yet time. — Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) ...

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The neglected and forgotten residents of Youhanabad, Lahore

My foot got stuck in the sewage, and closing my eyes I half prayed that it doesn’t consist of human waste. The groan from a friend watching from across the road, though, was enough to warrant a shudder from me. I had slipped and now was standing, ankle deep, in two days’ worth of rain water and human sewage. The terrifying part regarding this story is the repeated variation of this occurrence. My favourite part (yes, there was one) about these streets though, was covering our heads and making our way down the road to the rairiwala, the man who ...

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Ephesus: City that rivaled Rome

Rome has existed as far back as the eighth century. The Roman Empire covered most of Europe, parts of North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. During its peak, this empire rivalled existing empires. Due to the expansion the Roman Empire, new cities evolved and flourished. The city of Ephesus was one of the major commerce centres that strengthened the Roman foothold in Asia. Ephesus existed since before the Bronze Age and had lived through the Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman periods. But it was during the Roman period that this harbour city progressed, and ultimately became the second largest city ...

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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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Tennis 101: French Open 2014

Under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the world’s best tennis players are battling it out for the second grand slam of the year. The 2014 tournament is the 113th edition which will be held at Stade, Roland Garros. Both men and women have been competing at the French open since 1897 with mixed double added in 1907. Last year, the ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal defeated country man David Ferrer in straight sets to claim his eighth French Open title while Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova to claim the women’s title. This year’s French Open, however, ended up disappointing tennis fans when Serena ...

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Love in the time of Marquez

I woke up today and switched on my cell, a morning ritual. The first ping was a WhatsApp message from fellow journalist and dear friend Shai Venkatraman, “Marquez is dead!” It was followed by an emoticon denoting sadness. I sat up, partly due to disbelief. Illogical disbelief. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was 87-years-old. He was sick and frail. Reports of Alzheimer’s pointed in the direction that the beautiful mind that had given us works that pulled us through our years of solitude had exhausted its reservoir of memories. He had done his job. He had given enough to this world. It was his ...

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