Stories about truth

Dubai: Look beyond the glitter to see the sorrow of migrant workers

Dubai has undergone a massive transformation, from a fishing and pearl diving centre on the shores of the gulf, to an ultra-modern city-state of today in a matter of just a few decades. Modern Dubai is a cosmopolitan society with a wide range of attractions. Its architecture is entering the realms of impossible construction and the sort of life of great opulence and grandeur it offers seems almost unrivaled. Dubai wished to undertake extremely interesting and intriguing projects in the past couple of years: Dubai Land – a vast landscape of leisure; Hydropolis – an underwater hotel; The Cloud – a city built ...

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There is a Muslim in evolution class

Protest is becoming a fanatical obsession within Islamic discourse. In recent news, British Muslim students have been walking out and boycotting biology lectures that focus on the theory of evolution. Before we revert to citing the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism let us remind ourselves these are students that are clearly intelligent enough to study medicine in one of the most competitive universities within the country. Clearly, we must move beyond stereotypical divisions of ‘faith vs. reason’. This is a complex issue because the issue here is clearly not about intelligence, scientific curiosity, hard work or open enquiry. These British Muslim students have enrolled ...

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LUMUN: Students learn the truth in a language they can’t debate in

What’s the point of debating if the person opposite you can’t understand a word you’re saying? In my previous piece, how at model United Nations (MUN) some kids were shaken by the sheer scale of competitiveness – a rampant obsession with coming first across the country. This is why events like these, which bring together such a diverse group of people from across the country, are so useful. You can glean so much from the way people interact, or in this case, don’t. I’m going to talk about the Lahore University of Management Sciences model United National (LUMUN) again, because this ...

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What the media did not tell you

As always, we have been busy with our usual chronic problems – Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) having a go at each other, the worsening electricity crisis, crying and cribbing over foreign aid, making insane statements that hurt at least one segment of our society and so on. But, while the nation was kept busy with this, there were other serious developments happening on the political front and economic front that our lovely media forgot to tell you about because they either thought it was not news worthy or they just decided that you do not ...

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Are you part of the ‘kewl’ club?

I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A couple, who happen to teach English Language, went to meet the love of their son’s life in order to proceed with the proposal the eastern way. When someone asked the professor afterwards, if he was happy with his son’s choice, he had only one thing to say: The girl was fine but her father kept speaking inaccurate English; his grammar and tenses were highly misplaced. This may come across as a rude remark to some, but it truly reflects a teacher’s dilemma. I, however, am no tutor ...

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Noori: Don’t make digs at pop culture

I recently chanced upon a local morning show where Ali Hamza and Ali Noor of the infamous band Noori were the guests. As the simpering hostess struggled under the weight of roughly two kilogrammes of cosmetics and artificial hair, her more composed male co-host raised a topic of actual interest. There have been few mentions of south-eastern pop culture without Munni Badnaam coming up, as it did on this instance. The brothers vehemently declared their dislike for such mainstream, sales-oriented musical productions – contrary to the opinion shared by a majority of heterosexual males. Looking like he had just discovered a piece ...

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When swords and pens collide

Pakistan is the deadliest place in South Asia to pursue the profession of journalism. When one thinks of journalism as a profession, deadly is rarely the first word that comes to mind. Sadly, for 12 of our colleagues, that is exactly what 2010 proved to be. Suicide bombings, grenade attacks and indiscriminate fire by terrorists and anti-social elements took their lives, but there is a much more scary side to the story – one that every Pakistani needs to take note of. Two members of the fraternity were kidnapped and tortured, not by al Qaeda or the Taliban, but reportedly by ...

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WikiLeaks: Democracy undressed

WikiLeaks has now been added to our burgeoning dictionary of new labels of social media but undoubtedly, it is one of the most controversial. The proliferation of different types of social media from Facebook to YouTube is raising deep questions about public discussion, and the workings of democracy itself. It is not so much the content that is released by WikiLeaks that is of concern or indeed of any great surprise, since they merely confirmed what many suspected. Democracy looks like a sham The great concern is how foreign policy is being conducted behind closed doors, in secret corridors of power where only an elite ...

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WikiLeaks: Is the truth unpatriotic?

Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks indomitably dominated the headlines of late. The content of the leaked US diplomatic cables is definitively headline worthy. The repercussions of the unveiling of dangerous government secrets are colossal. As the US Justice Department considers the Espionage Act of 1917 to charge Assange with, I wonder if speaking out the truth is unpatriotic or if it’s just the only right thing to do? According to the Espionage Act, “unauthorised possession and dissemination of information related to national defence is illegal”. But then what about the First Amendment to the US Constitution? It guarantees freedom of press. Robert Wright ...

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Before we turn into WikiFreaks…

Excuse me, while I jump on the bandwagon and hail the unprecedented revelation of global espionage. The revelation of a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables of the United States is no mean feat. Ordinarily, a quarter of a million journalists would have made their careers if they were fortunate enough to gain access to each of those documents individually. But must we be blinded by the incredulity of such an event to the point that we forget to question what the revelations really are? For all their juicy and gripping disclosures, the leaked ...

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