Stories about social

World Thalassemia Day: Is Pakistan not charitable enough?

My dear homeland not only lingers behind in valuable energy resources but also lacks in philanthropy and benevolence. Very few people endeavour to promote human welfare and even fewer perform charitable tasks in our society. We hardly desire or care about doing something to help the less fortunate. A spider bite may not be able to transform you into a superhero but a tiny needle prick and a little bit of your time definitely can. Yes, you can become a super hero and for that, all you have to do is donate blood. All of us know that giving blood provides an essential lifeline ...

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A social pariah even in Maryland – all because I am Shia

After almost two years, I returned to my old home town in Maryland. It was a small town and when I had lived there, nearly 40 Pakistani families resided in the area; most of them were from Punjab and a few were from Karachi. Many of these Pakistanis were physicians, pharmacists and businessmen. My husband was also a physician; hence we had anticipated many similarities within the neighbourhood. However, soon after we moved in, I realised how wrong we were. Even though I made a few good friends, I never felt wanted in the neighbourhood. The reason I left Maryland in the first place was the ...

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Cyber impersonation, don’t just let it go, trace them!

With the increase in usage of social media in Pakistan, we are also witness to the trend of ‘cyber impersonation’ – often a dangerous crime. This is a common method used by harassers and can do irreparable damage to the person or organisation the victim is attached to. However, there are options available if you are a victim of digital impersonation. Here, I would like to bring forth a case that took place recently. Mr Uroojuddin Ansari, a resident of District Central in Karachi, became the victim of cyber impersonation by one of his colleagues who made a fake identity for Ansari on Facebook and ...

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Afridi’s opinion on women is none of your business!

Just when we think we are over it, it starts all over again. Another video goes viral over social websites, attracts conversations and often takes you nowhere but through a vicious circle of ongoing rebuttals. This time it’s Shahid Afridi under attack. So here goes, it starts with Afridi making a grand comeback, surprising us with his performance in matches against India and Bangladesh. Suddenly, all the loyalty towards him is regained. Then come all the memes about him against Virat Kohli, Indian fans, Bangladeshi fans and the likes. In between the hundreds of comments, we see people praying for Afridi to have a son now after three ...

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Losing our culture and identity, one drama at a time

Gone are the days when families would sit together and watch Pakistani dramas. Instead, today we get to see the ‘not-so-moving’ storylines that seem to be inspired by Indian soaps. What is worse is that our TV channels show things that are in direct contradiction with our cultural and social values. From pregnancies to abortions, from extra-marital affairs to illegitimate children and elopements, we have been exposed to all kinds and degrees of absurd content in these dramas in the name of modern entertainment. Even respectable relationships are not spared. I have seen countless dramas where a guy falls in love with ...

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‘Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan’: A chance for us to introspect

There are many evils on this earth and our country has its fair share. Since our childhood, we have heard a countless number of disturbing stories – stories about little girls beaten to death by angry employers; the youngest daughter of a poor farmer being ‘taken’ by a cruel landlord only because her father failed to pay his debts; a young boy molested by his teacher in primary school; girls traded for money, women raped by beasts in the guise of aamils. And the list goes on. While female writers – including myself – are more sensitive towards issues of their own gender ...

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A visit to the Salvation Army

While handing me a letter, my wife says to me, “Tomorrow, you have the ‘writing for fun’ training from 10am until 3pm” I read the letter and then read it again. I thought the training venue was going to be the university but it was at The Salvation Army instead. Initially, I didn’t like the idea. I searched for the postal code of the address on Google Maps to find out the whereabouts of the building. To my surprise, the venue was literally a 20 minutes’ walk from my house, which was closer than the university. However, being the curious person that I am, I decided to ...

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Can the banking sector help Pakistan’s education crisis?

Pakistan is going through an economic crisis. It has been years since the nation has been suffering. For more than 60 years, the nation has put up with different politicians and military dictators. We have no one but ourselves to blame. We are the one who welcomed each of these rulers as our saviours. Despite all of these governing problems, we see that the private sector has sustained itself, and is growing no matter what the circumstances may be. A recent study shows that large private sector organisations can impact the country’s GDP by working on becoming more efficient and improving ...

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My university, NUST, grooms to minimise differences

The dress code at NUST (National University of Science & Technology) has cooked up quite a storm and as a student at the prestigious institution, this is what I have to say: “It was an overreaction.” The match that struck the flame was an image of a student fine notice stuck to a bulletin board at the university. This image, detailing what the students were being fined for, went viral. I admit that the grammar used in the notice was less than satisfactory including the terms ‘wearing tight’, ‘no dopata’ and so forth; but this error has been unfairly used to ...

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La Tomatina in Karachi and the power of social media

September 14, 2013 was another day in Pakistan where the rich shamelessly failed to take in to account the plight of the poor. On this day, some 3,000 people got together and pelted each other with tomatoes. “La Tomatina, Lahore” was celebrated at a Bedian farmhouse, shamelessly organised to perfection by HK Events. One wonders if the people who attended this ghastly display ever thought about the other 50% of Pakistan – the ones suffering from food insecurity and those who go to bed on an empty stomach everyday. While the sheer number of people who are starving in Pakistan may catch many by surprise, ...

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