Stories about Samina Baig

An open letter to conservative father and cricket icon Shahid Afridi

Dear Shahid Afridi, One must appreciate your energy, which helps you stay in the news despite having retired from mainstream cricket a long time ago. Be it charity drives, advertisements, special appearances in entertainment shows or simply your comments to the press, you remain in the picture. We still haven’t forgotten the flash runs you made which earned you the title ‘Boom Boom’. And recently, you created another boom with your book, Game Changer. Now some people are criticising the political comments you made over bigwigs in the cricket world. Frankly, you may know better there; they are not my concern. ...

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I spent my 30th birthday trying to prove that no mountain is high enough for Pakistani women to climb

I have always loved mountains from afar, but never thought that one day I would be ready to actually climb a mountain for real. I have never been a mountaineering aficionado, nor did I have any prior experience of mountaineering or technical trekking. Yet, as my 30th birthday approached, my adventurous-self decided to be part of an expedition to climb the Baaushal Peak, which stands at 5,720 metres approximately.  Celebrating my 30th  on a mountain top in the majestic Karakoram Range of Pakistan seemed like a good idea at the time. It is also interesting how I became part of this group of brave ...

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Quaid-e-Azam inter-provincial games: A light at the end of Pakistan’s barren sports tunnel

What is it about Lionel Messi that excites fans as he dribbles the ball across the field? What gives players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic the ability to hypnotise fans as they compete on the court? Is Usain Bolt’s speed really a big deal, after all, he did only run a 100-meter race at the Olympics. It seems as though for the average Pakistani, everything that is remotely foreign seems to be infinitely more appealing, but does that really come as a surprise? Pakistan’s football team is ranked 190th in the world, we are still raving about Aisamul Haq’s success ...

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23 reasons why I love Pakistan and you should too!

In a country with a population of over 188.2 million people, a lot can go wrong, but a lot can go right too! Here is a list of 23 things that make Pakistan home. 1. The men Photo: AFP We may belong to a patriarchal society, but not all men are alike. They don’t all suffer from the disease of misogyny. True gems like Abdul Sattar Eidhi, Ansar Burney and Imran Khan also exist in our society, individuals who play a pivotal role in the betterment of society. 2. The women  Photo: AFP Contrary to the patriarchal outlook of ...

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Pakistanis pushing boundaries – An ode to my people!

I was invited to speak at the opening ceremony of Khayaal Arts Festival 2014 as one of four keynote speakers. The theme of the festival was ‘Pushing Boundaries’ and I was asked to discuss how I attempt to push boundaries in my life. However, I’m of the view that enough has been written and said about my work. It is unfair that we develop a habit of only recognising a select few as people doing good work in the country. I, myself, have benefited from the contributions of countless Pakistanis who have made this country prosper and become better for me to live, grow, ...

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Setting the record straight: 6 stereotypes overseas Pakistanis face

A Pakistani living abroad has to battle with numerous stereotypes. It has been a year since I moved to Australia and I still get heckled by people’s pre-conceived notions about where I’m from. It is not just because I am from Pakistan, a country plagued by terrorism and corrupt regressive regimes, but also because Pakistan is considered to be a religiously extremist country. There is a distinct need to set the record straight and inform the international community that Pakistan is a lot more than what they have assumed it to be. I want to address some of the questions that were ...

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Forbes’ list of influential women: Are Pakistani women not good enough?

We are a nation of contradictions. We are a nation that goes to watch Bollywood movies on the weekend and during the weekday, we like to blame RAW for terrorism. We are a nation where everyone has high sounding degrees but when we’re standing on the road, we won’t be bothered to find a trashcan. Then we blame the government for not cleaning up after us. We are a nation that spends hundreds of thousands of rupees on our weddings but refuse to pay even minimum wage to underage labourers that we love to boss/beat around. We are a nation that is ...

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Are all Pakistani women damsels in distress?

It feels really good to be a Pakistani woman these days. It brings a big smile to my face when I see five Pakistani women in the list of BBC’s 100 women of 2014. And no matter how controversial one may call Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize, there is no denying the fact that it has brought Pakistani women at the centre stage again. Yes, the world is often quick to assume that women in our country are weaklings – damsels in perpetual distress. For a very long time the west has considered them little more than slaves of their male counterparts. ...

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Feminism will never work in Pakistan

Rebecca West, a famous author, once said, “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” These are powerful words, indeed. Everyone has a different perception of what feminism entails but, universally, it espouses equality and freedom from discrimination, degradation and sexual violence. However, feminism is a concept that sits at odds with a fiercely patriarchal, deeply religious and culture-obsessed society like Pakistan. This is not to say that feminism doesn’t exist in Pakistan; it’s just not given much emphasis or is ...

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The problem with our drama industry and its depiction of Pakistani women

The troubled image of modern Pakistani women conjured up by Pakistani dramas is extremely distorted and single dimensional. Stories, it is said, are a subtle yet are the most influential way of documenting the social evolution of a society. The story of a woman sells but the modern media has gone one step ahead by proving that the story of a woman being abused, tortured, beaten and humiliated sells faster. The massive projection of domestic and women related violence might appear as an attempt to serve the cause but a closer look will reveal an entirely different and gross story. The disturbing image of woman ...

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