Stories about youtube

Rescuing the dying reading culture of Pakistan

Pakistani classrooms usually do not encourage questioning amongst students, but can we really blame the classroom for a trait we are socialised into from the beginning? Thus, when I became a teacher, I made sure to always encourage questioning by responding in a positive manner, turning whatever was being formally discussed into a casual conversation. Recently, however, I was asked a question that left me astonished. An undergraduate student in one of my classes, a rather intelligent kid, asked me why reading books was so important. In his words: “We live in a visual world, then why do you keep emphasising reading ...

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Dear PEMRA, it is our society that is ‘indecent’; our dramas are merely a portrayal of it

The performing arts are considered a tool for providing entertainment, relaxation and catharsis to society. Before the invention of the television, stage dramas, dancing and poetry were all important mediums in people’s lives, showing just how necessary entertainment is for us. Pakistan’s first official TV channel was launched in 1964, and we soon saw the rise of our drama industry with classic plays like Ankahi, Waris and Tanhaiyaan. However, after General Ziaul Haq’s martial law and the subsequent Islamisation of society, the entertainment industry was not spared either. As a result, the film industry gradually vanished and dramas became more ...

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Up close and personal with Parchi’s Ahmed Ali Akbar: “You cannot pull people down if they are more talented than you; you have to push them up”

It was an absolute pleasure to join Ahmed Ali Akbar, from the cast of Parchi, in Islamabad. Akbar is known for his roles in films such as Karachi Se Lahore and Siyaah, and his experimentation with diverse genres is a testament to his versatility as an actor. A one-on-one conversation with Akbar, however, is enough to determine that not only is he a good actor, but an amazing human being inside out as well! I sat down with Akbar to talk about his upcoming film Parchi, his latest projects and more in an exclusive conversation that will definitely keep you thoroughly entertained! How did you start off as ...

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Did Ahsan Iqbal and Imran Khan not get the memo about not using Twitter? Or was the ban only for the general public?

A bunch of religious hardliners taking over a country may seem like something a government may be able to control, but this being Pakistan, of course this wasn’t the case. After weeks of inaction, when the government finally decided to do something about the Faizabad protesters, it was to deploy the police, and unless one slept through Saturday, everyone is by now aware of the chaos that ensued following the government’s failed attempt at an operation. What undoubtedly added to the panic on Saturday was the fact that both social and electronic media were shut down by the Pakistan Electronic ...

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American Vandal is an absolutely sophisticated crime mystery constructed out of a spoof

We have all been guilty of indulging in sober conversations, where somehow grave arguments give way to dirty jokes. They might not be appropriate but we nevertheless find them funny. Now imagine a TV show, working with a genre as solemnly serious as true crime and then lacing it with a premise that satirically documents the investigation of a phallus-themed vandalism act. On the face of it, this might seem like a recipe for an extremely absurd concoction of two diametrically opposing cinematic themes, but handled correctly, you get to experience a completely fresh take on a TV show category ...

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2017 bids farewell to another legend – RIP Chris Cornell

It was a normal Thursday afternoon, I was scrolling through my news feed when I came across an article about the sad demise of Chris Cornell. For those of you who don’t know (I’m sure you do by now), he was the lead singer of Temple of Dog, Soundgarden and Audioslave. The year 2017 isn’t new to losing great musicians and Cornell wasn’t an exception; the man was a legend. The minute I read the news, Black Hole Sun started playing in my head. I remember that song the most because it was one of the first few songs I ...

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Roads and religion: How CPEC will pit Pakistan against itself

‘Exclusive: CPEC Master Plan Revealed’, read a headline this week in Pakistan’s daily newspaper, Dawn. Instantly, news outlets from across the world scrambled to analyse the text of the now-viral article and provided their own respective analyses of this said master plan. The two words themselves seem especially ominous, harkening to the devious plots hatched by cunning antagonists in the spy movies of old. The words, however, in many ways do justice to what was revealed. The plan includes details of leasing large tracts of land to Chinese companies for ‘demonstration projects’ in agriculture with similar concessions in land granted for the construction of ...

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In Pakistan, men make decisions and women make dinner

Inequality between men and women is not something exclusive to the subcontinent or the Middle East. For instance, while allowed to participate in the army, women are still not permitted to serve in frontline combat in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Slovakia. In the United States, and other developed nations, women are consistently overlooked for promotions and paid less for doing the same work their male counterparts do. In this part of the world, however, we make a clear distinction. Gender inequality is far from over in the developed world but at least mainstream statements that promote equality and denounce ...

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Will Raees live up to the standards of its record breaking trailer?

With less than ten days on the calendar, get ready to lap up a potboiler in the name of the SRK brand once again. Following a delay of almost a year, Shahrukh Khan is back from taking a break from his romantic image with Raees. Shahrukh Khan and Mahira Khan in Raees (2017).Photo: IMDb Set in 1980s Gujarat, Raees tells the story of Liquor Baron Raees Alam (Shahrukh Khan), whose business is challenged by a police officer ACP Majmudar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). How the two go head-to-head forms the crux of the narrative. First things first, the movie is ...

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Remembering the ones we lost too soon

It seems like the year 2016 just started a while back, but here we are, just a few days shy from welcoming 2017. A lot happened last year which took us by surprise and shocked us. But even amidst such unpredictability, we were not prepared to see some of the deaths that came our way. Some were lost to old age, some to disease and some to murder. But regardless, they were all taken too soon. Here are some of those names, in no particular order. Peter Vaughan Photo: IMDb Even though he had a career spanning 75 years, ...

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