Stories about time

I’d wear the burkini over a bikini any day

The women’s rights minister in France, Laurence Rossignol, thinks that burkinis are “profoundly archaic”. Who wouldn’t agree with me, if I said that she is no different than any rigidly religious person who criticises a woman for what she wears. It is a woman’s own choice and no one gets to make that decision for us. I am a Muslim but perhaps not the ‘best’ practising Muslim. Religion usually doesn’t play a very big role in my decisions (fellow Muslims please don’t jump to conclusion for my statement, but I would rather be honest than be a hypocrite!). So anything that I ...

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Before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, Pakistan had bathroom walls

Long before Pakistanis vented their frustrations out on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp, there was another social networking platform where they would speak their minds; the walls of public bathrooms. You may have a brief sojourn at your favourite motorway stop, a loo in a college or one of those rare public rest-rooms that your rulers kindly allowed you to have. All you needed to do was have a look at the wall and there they were: the hopes and the fears, the laughs and the hatred, the good and the bad of a society constantly ruminating over their existential woes in the most ...

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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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Is it time for Roger Federer to retire?

To say that Roger Federer has had an illustrious career in tennis is perhaps an understatement. His accomplishments in the sport have caused him to be regarded by many as the greatest tennis player of all time. His career endeavours have even given birth to speculations that Federer, the brand, has become bigger than the game of tennis itself. Similar to Federer, every sport has a legend who transcends the boundaries of being just a sportsperson and reach a god-like status; being adored and ‘worshipped’ by sports-crazed fan all across the globe. Myths are weaved around the mortal human whose ...

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Shahbaz Taseer finally breaks his silence and we blame him for cooking up a story? Really, Pakistan?

Warning: The pictures displayed below are graphic. Please use discretion. Shahbaz Taseer has spoken up for the first time about his five-year horrific ordeal. Why now, is anyone’s guess but with so much negativity and fabrications going around, perhaps it was time to set the record straight. Even after his interview with CNN and BBC where he had to relive the torture by recalling the details, many people called him out for not being truthful and making up most of it. There were comments like:  “But he doesn’t look like he was tortured.” He clearly states that his torture stopped after a while, so there ...

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Will Pakistan be able raise the T20 World Cup?

Cricket has come a long way since 2003, when the T20 cricket concept was first introduced. In 2007, the ICC T20 World Cup was first introduced along with 16 teams – from across the world – participating to win a prestigious trophy. Unlike Test matches, which can last up to five days, T20 matches are typically completed within six hours. The fast pace of the game, shared with the short duration, results in an extremely active crowd. When the date for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2016 was announced, March 15, 2016, cricket fans worldwide began to prepare themselves to support their favourite teams. [caption ...

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No, I don’t think my body or my complexion needs to be “fixed” to meet a guy

Born in a country with a colonial past, the light skin fetish has been ingrained in us from time immemorial. My existence was like the biggest curse – I was a girl in a patriarchal society, dark-skinned and slightly overweight.  “2016 is your year,” typed a close male friend of mine on a WhatsApp group of around nine people. The intention for this group was to coordinate my sister’s wedding dance practices but ended up becoming a crazy corner where we all discussed each other’s daily struggles and laughed on lame jokes. The conversation continued, “I am going to give you a makeover.” I replied thanks ...

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Why does the world continue to ignore these roots of Islamic extremism?

The ghastly terrorist attacks in Paris have once again put Islamic extremism under the microscope. Similarly to all religions, Islam is like a stream of water, available to anyone to drink from. Out of the two billion Muslims in the world, the vast majority draws from this stream uneventfully, living out peaceful lives. There is, however, a corrupt and hateful minority, drinking from an infected portion of the stream because it suits their world view. This infected stream has been allowed to flow for over half a century in the modern era, because confronting it would result in painful and costly soul searching ...

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Amidst such dismal set of facts, how is Pakistan still existing?

A former CIA official, Kevin Hulbert, recently wrote in his blog for The Cipher Brief, that Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country of the world as it is ripe with threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal. Once again, sadly, this nation has been put on the map for the most ominous things. Hulbert says, quite dramatically: “The spectre of the sixth largest country in the world being a failed state is a hypothetical catastrophe that would unleash a world of unintended consequences.” Country profiles by organisations such as BBC and HRW have named Pakistan as one of the world’s deadliest countries for ...

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Rocks and ambulances

“Couldn’t we have gone to a better mechanic, gotten a new and reliable battery, so this wouldn’t have happened?” “I don’t know. This is not the first time this has happened, anyway.” “What? How can you talk about it like this? Every time!” “Like what?” “You know!” He looked at him, his eyes had been previously glued to the movements of the people around him, “If we thought in such detail, you know what would happen. And you also know I hate repeating things!” Ali knew his friend was right, as always, and, as usual, he bit his tongue. “Drive faster,” moaned two voices from the interior. Hearing ...

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