Stories about turkey

Aao Parhao – Why I chose teaching over a ‘dream job’

Teaching students at the college and high school levels has been a constant in my life since I graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2011. Apart from working as a sub-editor at The Express Tribune in the year 2011-12, I was also teaching Sociology as a part-time faculty member. I have chosen to continue with the latter occupation for a variety of reasons. I went into teaching because I was inspired by John Dewey and his work on the education system in Turkey, whereby he completely reformulated the country’s education system according to the demands of the modern world. Not only ...

Read Full Post

Why US is leading the war against ISIS

One of the ironies of geopolitics today is that, after spending the last decades complaining about US interference or the various interventions in the Middle East, everyone is now waiting for the US to lead in the conflict against ISIS. In ISIS we have a phenomenon that, for once, is uniting in a common cause every other state in the region, whether Sunni, Shia or secular. We also have regional players that, in principle, should be able to lead from the front on this issue, like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, even Iran – if it comes to it. A coalition of ...

Read Full Post

Dear Advertisers, no, we do not start dancing in the streets when we sip on tea!

A few days back, while I was on my way to college, I came across the road near Expo Centre, where the traffic was choked. Naturally, I flipped my hair and smiled at the people in the neighbouring cars; and what do you know, they smiled back! After that we got out of our respective cars, started dancing in the middle of the street with cups of tea that magically appeared in our hands. We danced and swirled while others clapped and hooted. Then, all of a sudden, the traffic opened up, everyone got back into their cars and drove on ...

Read Full Post

How Islamic is the ISIS?

A recent news story left me utterly shocked and angry. Yesterday, the Islamic State (formerly known as the ISIS), a militant outfit, blew up and levelled one of the most well known and revered shrines in Mosul, Iraq – the resting place of Prophet Younus (AS). The militants blew up the shrine in front of a large number of people. The Islamic State (IS) has razed 15 mosques so far, belonging to both Sunni and Shia sects and, interestingly, this recent destruction of Prophet Younus’s (AS) shrine was done under the supervision of a proclaimed ‘caliph’. In the middle of all this chaos, my questions are ...

Read Full Post

Glorifying Hitler will not help Gaza!

The death toll of the latest Israeli military operation in Palestinian Gaza has soared to 121 Palestinians. These Palestinians aren’t the ‘terrorists’ Israel is aiming to target; one of Israel’s airstrikes hit an NGO working for handicapped Palestinians, killing three handicapped patients and a nurse. While, of course, Israel will justify this latest crime by claiming it only ‘retaliates’ for the 680 rockets it says have been fired from Gaza. In fact, in a new level of incredibly twisted politics, the British prime minister, David Cameron, and US president, Barack Obama, have made statements of irrevocable support of the Israeli operation, with Venezuela and ...

Read Full Post

Has China really put a ban on fasting?

Over the last few days, my Facebook timeline (that has incidentally become a conduit of current affairs knowledge for a lot of people these days) has been filled with people posting news about the ban on fasting in China. Consequently, a lot of my friends are asking me if this is really true, and if I am barred from fasting as well. These questions need to be appropriately answered. What is the ban really about? To set the record straight, this ban on fasting is not a blanket ban for all Muslims across China. In fact, there hasn’t been any official ...

Read Full Post

I found God in Turkey

“Whatever is meant for you, […], is bound to come to you. It may have to come all the way from Istanbul to San Francisco, or even by a more roundabout route, but it will come to you.” – Sheikh Mozaffar Ozak And that is how I found myself at the Dubai airport, waiting to board my next flight to Istanbul, wondering how on earth I ended up there. Wasn’t travel one of those things that other people did, but never me? Wasn’t it for carefree people? Surely not for me, for I have too many responsibilities. I am not a mom who leaves ...

Read Full Post

An entrepreneurial Pakistan is not a dream: Thatta Khedona shows you how it’s done

Imagine a village in Pakistan that has garnered international acclaim but still remains unknown to 99.9% of the Pakistani population. This village is called Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka (TGD), which I am sure many of you have never even heard of.  TGD is located 30 kilometres outside Okara and is situated on the Okara-Faisalabad road. Before 1992, this was like any other poor village in Punjab, lacking resources and infrastructure. However, a couple of events completely changed the fate of this desolate settlement. Amjad Ali, a local resident of TGD, whilst studying in Germany, invited his German teacher Dr Senta Siller to visit the ...

Read Full Post

Protests in Egypt, Turkey and Brazil for the people, protests in Pakistan for the politician?

Since the past few months, the protests in Cairo and the recent ones in Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro, really made me ponder upon what the real problem in these countries was and why their people were on the streets – all the time. Are these countries worse than Pakistan? Of course not. The economic indicators paint a completely different picture and tell us that countries, like Egypt and in particular Turkey and Brazil, are doing great in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Human Development Index (HDI) and the food index. In terms of peace and national violence, these countries are ...

Read Full Post

Six of my favourite experiences while getting lost in the magical world of Turkey!

In my earlier blog, I wrote about the influx of Turkish dramas on Pakistani television channels. Ever since Urdu 1’s Ishq-e-Mamnoon shot to fame there has been no looking back. In fact, the Pakistani audience has been literally swept off their feet. For me, this was followed by a desire to appreciate the wonderful Turkish culture in person. While making travel plans with four of my friends we unanimously agreed on Turkey as our vacation destination. Our plan was to have an adventurous backpacking sort of trip for nine days and we set out with our ambitious itinerary. I am glad to say that our trip ...

Read Full Post