Welcome home, Founder Islamabad Metblog Asma Mirza
Let’s have a reunion someday :)
Welcome home, Founder Islamabad Metblog Asma Mirza
Let’s have a reunion someday :)
The clock is ticking and TedxNUST is happening in around 17.5 hours.
Pleaces to remember are :-
#TEDxNUST on twitter
Also, do keep on coming back to Islamabad metblogs for our take on this..
Here I am again in that waiting area I posted a guess post some time back. For those who are still guessing, this is the Daewoo Rawalpindi bus terminal’s new waiting area, which is usually empty except for a couple of eunuchs lying on those comfy metal chairs here and there. No I’m just kidding, eunuchs don’t hang-out in bus terminal waiting areas, they have a more visible presence in crowded areas like the Jinnah Super, where they walk around in a small group, scaring off all the shurafaa with their suggestive advances towards the innocent citizens’ nether regions. The sleeping people in the terminal are the ones who probably have a long wait before they board the bus, or who have no where else to go, and for the latter there is always a couple of hi-fi security cameras scanning the entire breadth of the room, alerting the local security personnel about suspicious sleeping people, who are probably dreaming about a better Pakistan or their latest electricity bill.
The new addition in this lovely waiting room is that lovely red partition on the other side. Behind this partition are a few people who are not fasting for some reason… which could be health related, spiritual reasons, or for no reason at all. Before this underground waiting area was made, the partition was created in the main waiting area above. I have never actually seen anyone walk into our out of this partition… or maybe they crawl under it to avoid the disgrace of being considered a khoja.
For some reason I find this a bit disturbing. We continue to create divisions amongst ourselves, repeatedly ignoring the essential element of tolerance for others spiritual inclinations. If you’re foolish enough to go to the public toilet here, or in any other public area, you’ll see food garbage lying around the filthy eastern toilets… a half eaten banana, a cup of tea with a wet teabag inside, slice of pizza… and all this lying around the usual artifacts like syringes and other unmentionables. Just imagine for a while; an old man with some physical problem quietly walks into the public toilet, locks the door, pulls out a sandwich from his pocket, and takes a quick few bites while standing over the welcoming hole below. How do you feel? (By the way, I suggest you keep a hand sanitizer in your bag if you’re a wuss like me).
Before I took this picture, I was at the counter waiting to buy my ticket, when a person much older than me sporting a beard and a skull cap rushes ahead, buys his ticket from the counter and walks away. Then another red cheeked zombie from the north comes up, points at the lady at the counter and exclaims in pushto that she should be covering her head in the holy month of Ramadan. I thought that he should be covering his mouth in the holy month of Ramadan! You see, it is that easy to be immoral in this country. If someone complains, just give a little smirk and walk away! Besides, the place is too crowded for a brawl since you’d be pulled out of it for assaulting a bearded man with a skull cap, plus who really has the time (or patience) nowadays to take these matters in their own hands. All we can do is… well… whine and complain.
So where do we get this time and patience from? The more we wait, the more the partitions, separations, divisions solidify themselves, and their supporters get bolder and bolder, eventually crossing the lines of morality and human respect in order to establish their own system of social governance based on a mutilated religious or religio-political concept. What we need is something more powerful than the current system, something that would be in the control of the people, yet it would not let the people control each other in a manner which violates human rights and freedom of expression.
What we need is a nice little place which serves the best halwa poori, alu bhujya and siri paey in town. Oh YES baby. We need to fill our tummies in this holy month and make sure we absorb all the lovely cholestrol. Because that is the only way out of this mess… affordable, legal, nutritious, delicious intoxication.
Ramadan Mubarik everyone!
Created using www.wordle.net. I’m not entirely sure how this is generated, but it does look like a typical Pakistani blog wordle with the words ‘amreeka’ and ‘molvi’ so prominent (and close!).
It all started with my interest in trying out different breads from various places.
The breads led to trying out cupcakes, donuts and other pastries. Who can resist cupcakes?
And soon, it turned into my favorite bakery. With a nice little lawn to one side to sit and eat (pizzas, tikkas and cheese naans!), MJs in Tariq Market, F-10/2, is not a “hi-fi” (i.e. fancy crowd) bakery like Masoom’s or KC, but a great general-purpose bakery. I’d subtract some points for consistency (it’s Pakistan, hey!), but other than that, most of their items are really really good. Clean and tasty!
Oh and did I mention ice-cream?
A couple of days ago, I went to check out the ‘new’ Lakeview park (again). A gentleman approached the lady behind the counter and inquired about the piece of cloth waving above the gates. She did not understand, so he asked if that is the Pakistani flag. He seemed truly saddened as he went off mumbling something about the state of the cloth the flag was made of. So I backed up a bit and raised my vision to find that the flag was indeed all worn out. Blasphemy!!! Then I looked around and there were shopping bags, diapers, empty packets of eatables and what not. It reminded me of the recent ban on websites in Pakistan and how emotional that subject made all the people. Yet very few of those very people actually follow the prophetic advice. They’re ready to spill blood, but not ready for ‘safai nisf iman hae’…
Across the world politicians use popular social networking sites such as facebook and twitter not only to mobilize people (particularly younger generation) but also to win their hearts and minds. It is very much normal considering the information and communication revolution and the advent of technology. Nevertheless, why is it such a surprise if Pakistani politicians, following footprints of their western counterparts, also join such social networking sites? Recently, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has joined twitter after the facebook ban in the country. Surprisingly, ‘Rehman Malik Joining the Twitter bandwagon” is big news in Pakistan and both print and electronic media reporters are consuming their energies in reporting this unprecedented event. It is pertinent to note that all the news reports, highlighting Rehman Malik’s joining the twitter, points out the same thing such as : Why Rehman Malik joined twitter, how many people are following him at present, what sort of questions followers are asking from him and what replies our Interior Minister has furnished so far.
This news, first reported by Chris Allbritton of Reuter, was also filed by Pakistani journalists with the same vigor (and a little bit of editing as the contents remains more or less same as that of Chris Allbritton’s report). But this raises few questions:
• Firstly, Rehman Malik Joining Twitter is really some news worth publishing particularly when there are hundreds of stories (worth publishing) being ignored by Pakistani media. For instance, there was no coverage of PC hotel workers strike in Karachi though it was actively covered by Pakistani bloggers like Dr. Awab Alvi. Similarly, there was no media coverage of Mai Jori Jamali’s election campaign, a peasant woman who contested bi-elections in Balochistan. Likewise, press conference of Dr Awab Alvi and other activists on facebook ban and consequent manhandling of Dr. Awab Alvi by angry mobsters (including some journalists) was also not covered by the media?? Why? Only because all (the cases which I mentioned above) were raising their voice against status quo?
• Secondly, why media exert their energies on reporting on non-issues when there is a plethora of real issues? We have always been hearing by our politicians and development workers that media could play a role of a change agent because of its level of influence and reach to common people. In that regard, why women issues are given less coverage? Why corruption in society is not highlighted the way it should be?? Why gross human rights violations are never surfaced??
• Thirdly, why media has such an ambiguous stand on certain issues, for instance facebook ban?? Is not this ban anti ‘freedom of speech’ and if yes then why media is not very vocal and express what is rational???
I don’t have any answer to these questions but I would request my readers to shed some light on questions, I underlined above, and enlighten me with their responses. Besides, if you guys would like to read the news of Rehman Malik joining twitter and want to get amused then you can find it here, here and here….