Stories about sacrifice

My beloved daughter, do not weep when I am gone

To my beloved Daughter, It seems that today may be my last day on earth, my last day with my family, my last day with you. Today, I managed to get a chance to reflect on all that I have done in my life as a father. It has been pretty interesting, in my opinion. I leave to you my final memories as I prepare for my transition into the life hereafter. The first time I held you in my arms and saw your smile, sweetheart, I felt more blessed than you can ever imagination. I gazed at you, God’s marvellous creation, wondering if you ...

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The importance we (don’t) give our country

When one thinks about Pakistan, what is it that comes to mind? For some, it’s a land with troubled tribal areas or a cradle for terrorism. For many, it’s a haven for corrupt politicians, backed by a corrupt legislation and a flawed constitution. And for others, it’s just a mistake that Mr Jinnah made 67 years ago. If you ask a young, college-going boy about what Pakistan is to him, he will probably say that it’s, “A country in which I was born, raised and taught the tricks of getting my way in the world either by hook or by crook. A ...

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The nightmare that is my life

Confusion seemed to be everywhere. I shuffled out of bed, reassuring myself, blocking the sound of his voice from my head. Sprawled across the cold floor, shattered, I lay – for what seemed like hours, maybe even days. Uncomfortable in my own skin, I tossed and turned, desperate for comfort. I could hear the laughter, our wedding day, a new beginning… ha! What a joke! It’s a nightmare now; one that I relive every night and hide every day. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother; nights like these are always sleepless. The cold bites into me as I lay alone, his ...

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Has your husband lost his job? Here’s how you can help!

Huma followed her two children as they ran to the apartment balcony, shrieking, “Dad is here!!” She was shocked to see her husband getting out of a cab instead of the green Suzuki Cultus given to him by the company he worked in. Looking at her tired and exhausted husband she inquired, “Where is your car?” He handed her an envelope and instead of sitting down for their routine evening sessions where they would discuss the day’s happenings, he dashed to the bedroom saying, “I am tired, just leave me alone.” Huma opened the envelope and to her surprise it was a letter from the company ...

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Don’t blame yourself, Raza

Dearest Raza, I was on my way to meet a friend when I got the news. I was frantic. I spent the next few hours refreshing every device I had connected to the internet to make sure you hadn’t personally been hurt in the attack. I then found out you had been, but seeing your injuries were minor, I thought,  “Thank God” Not that anyone wants to lose a friend, but you are more than a friend. You are someone I deeply respect and admire for both your candour and your passion. I thought I knew you well until I read your book, ‘Dehli ...

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What it means to be a ‘Pakistani’

A few days ago a good friend of mine, living abroad, asked me a question: “What do you think ‘Pakistani’ means?” The question threw me aback, partly because it was unexpected and partly because I couldn’t think of an immediate answer. A myriad of images flew around in my head in an instant; from the hustle and bustle of Karachi’s Empress Market, to the textures of the Anarkali bazaar in Lahore. But my friend’s question went deeper than just images and feelings. I found myself trying to truly explore what the concept of being ‘Pakistani’ entails. EMPRESS MARKET. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA Looking at it purely ...

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Don’t forget our police jawans, they are the real heroes!

I would like to thank everyone for spreading and sharing the word about Ibtihaj when he visited Karachi for his treatment. He was a little boy who ended up being a victim of terrorism. He smiled through his pain and misery and gave us hope. We rallied up behind him and celebrated him as a hero and rightfully so. However, there is a group of men in Pakistan who, by their very job description, fill in the category of heroes but they don’t get the adoration, love and respect. In these times, when we are at war or at least living in ...

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18 memorable moments that define Bakra Eid in Pakistan

1. Wear new Eid clothes! Take photos of family looking like a cheesy ad Photo: xcitefun.net   2. Wake up early to go pray at the local mosque. Photo: Shahbaz Malik/Express   3. Pray there is no terrorist attack. Keep one eye on the security… Photo: Express/File   4. Buy a giant balloon for the house after Eid prayers (just because) Photo: AFP   5. Exchange the first of 220 hugs with family members and friends Photo: PPI   6. Check out celebrity hugs on TV (just because) Photo: Tariq Hassan/Express   7. ...

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A father’s wish on Eidul Azha

Azhar stood at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to come. His eyes filled with tears and standing there in the heat of the scorching sun just made everything seem even more dismal. Before he could stop himself, a helpless sigh escaped him; then, straightening his shoulders, he took a deep breath and pretended to look eagerly towards the corner of the road from where the bus was to come. Yet, as much as he tried, his mind kept taking him back to the comfort of his boss’s air-conditioned office. He still couldn’t believe that his employer had asked ...

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Working Parents’ Day: A tribute to the struggles of working parents

Nestled in the comforting embrace of my sister, I would nervously bite my lips and await the doorbell to ring; that ring of the doorbell after the sun had set symbolised the return of my mother from a long, hard day of work. It was the high point of my day. Every day, I would wake up to the sound of the sparrows chirping, but soon I would be rushed into a frenzy because my mother was in a hurry to leave for work. With each strand of my hair braided neatly and my stomach filled with a wholesome breakfast, ...

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