The following content is from a result of self-based experience and may or may not relate to your professional levels.
I always adored the way the scrumptious cupcakes and fondant cakes looked in the shelves of bakeries. Besides the extreme will to eat them up, I had a different nature. I always wanted to make them myself. As I grew up and realized that cakes can be prepared and designed adequately at home as well. That’s when I started following some leading baking bloggers on the social media. They made things look so easy that it motivated me to give it a shot.
This lead to a series of events until I realized that baking is not a child’s play.
In a happy to go lucky tone, I prepared my very first batter. The instructions asked me to preheat the oven for some time. So I had done. But when I went to place the mixture into the oven, I figured out that the flame had been off with the gas on for long! Cursing myself for wasting all the time, I hastily grabbed a matchstick and tossed it towards the burners. The oven burst with a loud BOOM leaving me with a burnt face and eye brows!
My first experience lead me to real set back and shock. But I recovered after another 50 videos of remarkable bakings, I decided to try once again. This time, I let my mother deal with the oven. And my cake was successfully baking inside, I could see it rise through the glass and to fulfill my satisfaction, I kept on opening the oven door every five minutes. But I still don’t understand why the cake took over two hours while it said only 45 min in the recipe. Anyways I took it out of my curiosity. It looked so puffy and the aroma was marvelous. I left it to cool down before I could frost my heart out but when I got back, the sight moved me to tears. The cake had sort of deflated.
After loads of advices and researches I found out that this could have been due to excessive beating of the eggs. So determined once again, I got up to my feet and decided to make a perfect one and make it to the décor, the reason why I started baking in the first place. I added colors to several layers and overlooking all the imperfections, I added cream and sandwiched the layers and tossed it into the refrigerator and cried oceans. Later, I blackmailed my father emotionally to eat it all up!
Well, getting up after every time you fall is what life is all about right? I’m heading to the kitchen to bake another one. Wish me luck !
Written By: Azmaira Sodagar
Is standing up against crime a way to gain fame? Another youth fighting against life and death for standing against crime, resulting in a injury of yet another Pakistani star, Muhammad Kashif.
Muhammad Kashif, an International Karate player aged 28 faced a hard time after standing against drug-dealers in his neighborhood. He tried to do good and was rewarded with evil. The young karate star stepped into the world of International sports by winning a Double Gold medal in the South Asian Karate Championship
2012. His passion for karate and his country took him to India, China and Uzbekistan and was supposed to go to SriLanka on August 25th, but he is claimed UNFIT for now to participate. He plans to win more medals for Pakistan for the love of his country but his passion gave him a hard time when he stood against drug dealers having the support as told by him of “Shah Faisal” who also happens to be work for the police and was in touch with drug dealers.
Kashif was stabbed thrice in his head and stomach by Shah Faisal, his neighbor. As said by Kashif that Faisal attacked him with a knife in front of their mosque and suffered the agony on June 19th.
That’s the price he paid when he stood against a gang of drug dealers who were trying to sell drugs to the youngsters in his neighborhood and faced the painful torment. For now he is unable to participate in any upcoming or future championships for various reasons. Whereas, the attackers are released even after he filed an FIR against them and on the other hand, Muhammad Kashif is undergoing treatment.
Even after being afflicted by such pain his love for his country remains the same as he tells that the police are still working upon the matter with evidences and as soon as there are leads they will take controlling actions. Yet, he fears that the police might arrest him by seeing the constant checkins by them in the hospital and getting reports about Kashif’s health.
This young star sets another example by fighting against the wrong but faced harsh consequences instead showing what comes up when you fight evil. The police investigates further while Muhammad Kashif recovers from his wounds.
Written by Aafia Rehman.
Exclusive Interview of Well known Stand up Comedian Junaid Akram with Pakistan Speaks.
interviewed by: Syed Ameer Hasan Jaffrey
1)How do you define yourself?
I think I am someone who is constantly looking to evolve as a person and that’s only possible when I take opinions on board. I believe that we all lack the ability to bear criticism and humour directed towards us. As a person I feel that I am capable of taking all criticism with my chin up and there have been incidents where I have taken suggestions onboard and succeeded.
2)When and how did you realize that you have a hilarious sense of humor and can be a standup comedian?
I was always, what you call, a class clown and that one funny friend who always cracks jokes. Right about when I was 25, a lot of friends suggested that I ventured into standup comedy. Since I was in Karachi at the time, there was barely any standup comedy scene and I didn’t realise such a platform would be welcomed especially as I wanted to perform in English. I heard about one Open Mic at T2f, I spoke to Sabeen Mahmud who offered me stage time and I’ve not looked back since.
3)What was the biggest hurdle in the path you chose?
Acceptability. You see, in our culture, art is never really considered worthy of respect. A musician is called a Mirasee, and a comedian is termed as a Bhaand. But I overcame those fears and kept doing what I loved.
4) Who or what inspired you to be a comedian?
I was always a Jerry Seinfeld fan. His observational humor forced me to look around and search for humor around my environment, and trust me there’s loads of comedy going around in Karachi if you just watch from a certain distance. I would say I was really bored and wanted to make new friends, since most of my friends had moved abroad to study.
5)Who are your favourite social media artists/content creators?
I love Jus Reign. I think he’s very funny. I used to follow KassemG back in the day but he’s moved on from YouTube to Hollywood. So there’s that.
6) Do you have any plans for the further development of your career as a comedian?
I would really like to turn this into a full time job and that’s the eventual plan. You should work what you love doing, not something that drags you out of bed at 6 am in the morning.
7) How much ‘anand’ do you get when people appreciate you for your work? How do your parents feel about your comedy and fame?
The best part about doing comedy is that you get your feedback right at the end of your joke. It’s not like you write a movie, then produce it and release it and after a year or two you get feedback. When I’m on stage, I get feedback every 7 seconds and I think that’s the best feeling. My parents had been very supportive and they think it’s pretty cool the kind of attention it gets me. I hid it from them for like 3 years until one day I went viral on YouTube and all my aunts started calling my mom. Their reaction surprised me. I thought I was going to be homeless but they enjoyed it.
8) Do you have any memorable or favourite incident to share on social media?
I once tweeted a joke out of boredom saying “Oh girl, you’re so fine you’re waajib ul cuddle”, which went viral and before I knew it, Bilawal Bhutto retweets it. Since he was also staying in Dubai at the time, I just sent him a message and invited him to attend my stand up show. He not only agreed, but came along with Bakhtawar and tweeted my photo while I was on stage. That was the most random thing that ever happened to me.
9) How do you see the future of comedy in Pakistan and on social media?
We have a lot of talent no doubt about that. But some of us are looking for short cut to fame and using other people’s material to get high numbers, which isn’t cool. We need to focus on individuality and work hard for it. I’m confident in no time we could have a thriving comedy scene on Pakistani social media.
10) What are your views about our platform, “Pakistan Speaks”?
I think Pakistan speaks is doing a wonderful job in promoting what our society lacks, empathy. I hope you guys continue growing at the rate you are and I’m sure that you will make a difference to our society.Stay blessed.
I came from Sukhana Bajwa village in Gujranwala District, Punjab. My area is far from big city or town. There’s no good school that can provide excellent quality of education. Well off families transfer their kids in towns and cities to enroll in good school. I saw a lot of childhood friends who could not continue their studies, many of them could not pass the SSC exam. Most of their families belong to marginalize sector, who cannot afford educational expenses in cities like Lahore and Gujranwala.
Since then, it was my goal and passion to build institute that provide high quality education to my village and nearby villages. In 2013, i founded a school named Idara-e-Taleem Sukhana Bajwa. It’s not easy to build this; I failed many times asking support from NGO’s. I save a lot, most of my earnings goes to the school. Free books, uniforms are provided and I hired best Teachers. Nothing is asked from the students, only a small donation from those who can afford. Every week I travel from Lahore to village to check the performance of the school.
Currently we have 150 students and aiming for more. I believe education is one of the key to change their lives. My school will continue to hone them to be someone someday. These kids are the hope of our country. They will be our future Leaders, Scientists, Teachers, Engineers and others.
– Muhammad Usman
Minocher Bhandara, popularly known as Minoo, was a Pakistani businessman and former minority representative and member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He was the architect and owner of one of the most successful and durable business conglomerates in Pakistan. Amongst his companies was the Murree Brewery, which his father had bought a control share in during the 1940s. He leaves behind a legacy of enlightened political activism. Bhandara, was active as a minority representative and served as MNA from 2002 to 2007. Minoo also wrote articles in the country’s English language newspapers.
Today Pakistan won Asian team squash championships. But only because it’s not cricket people will never get to know this. Pakistan has held this and has well defended this tittle for 4 years consecutive. It’s really funny how the media only focuses on a single sport and gives it all the air time. But what the people don’t understand is that squash was the sport that made Pakistan’s name known on the world map. Pakistan was a world champion of squash in 1950. Only 3 years after the birth of the nation. After that we had held this title for nearly 4 decades.
Anyway, Pakistan won the Asian team championship. And the boys trashed team Hong Kong in the final.
Boys you played well. And you totally deserve this victory. Many congratulations for bringing this title to the nation.
DPO Bahawalnagar being given farewell by the locals after he was Sacked by IG Punjab for not apologizing to the local MNA. Indeed integrity and being loyal to your Profession is what counts most!
According to initial media reports from Bahawalnagar, young DPO, Shariq Kamal, known for his integrity took action against the close aides of a local strong man – MNA Lalika – who were intercepted in a drunken state at a police check post and who getting berserk then thrashed the policemen on duty. It is important to remember that Bahawalnagar is a border town with India and check posts are routine.
MNA complained to the Prime Minister. There are some reports, though not confirmed, that he initially complained to the Chief Minister, Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, who refused taking action against the District Police Officer for doing what a good police officer should have done. But then MNA reached up to the Prime Minister. According to the media reports reaching Islamabad, IGP Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera called the DPO and told him that he should go to the local MNA’s house and apologize to him and his aides otherwise he will loose his coveted position as head of district police and will be thrown out of the province.
DPO Shariq Kamal Siddique chose the second option. He refused apologizing to the MNA for doing what he considered the right thing to do as the head of district police. On his refusal he was immediately sacked and a notification has been issued surrendering him to the establishment division in Islamabad
Salute to this brave son of Soil for standing against injustice and setting an example for other officers.
Jehan Ara, the current head of Pakistan software houses association for IT and ITES (P@sha) has been invited to The White House by President Obama to be a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 to speak the position of entrepreneurs in regions like, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. She will also be representing the initiative ‘Bolo Bhi’, an organization built to protect privacy. She will also be discussing cyber crimes and their hazards. In addition, she is also working on the ‘Women’s Virtual Network’s, which will provide better job opportunities for educated women, a truly remarkable step in the name of progress. Pakistan Speaks would like congratulate Miss Ara on these massive achievements.
Pakistani women’s rights activist from Swat, Tabassum Adnan, has won the prestigious Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Award 2016.
The award was publicly announced at a ceremony held in Bogotá, Colombia as part of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) hosted by CIVICUS in collaboration with the Confederación Colombiana de ONG.
Tabassum Adnan received the award in the Individual activist category.
The Swat native is the founder of Khwendo Jirga, the first ever women-only jirga in Pakistan.
Married at the young age of 13, Tabassum suffered 20 years of physical and mental abuse before she divorced her husband, causing her to lose her children, her home, and money.
Abandoned and impoverished, she started her own NGO, the Khwendo Jirga or Sister’s Council, which meets weekly to address issues of women’s right, including honour-killings, and acid attacks. The jirga also campaigns for causes of local women in Swat, including issues related to women’s security and their voting rights.
In March 2015, she was recognized for her efforts in seeking justice for Pakistani women and was awarded the International Women of Courage award in the US.
I belong to a village where people consider daughters as burden to their family and not having son as sign of bad luck. We are 4 sisters, ever since my childhood I have seen villagers to feel sorry for my parents for having 4 daughters and no son. But unlike others at my village, my parents have always replied them by saying we are proud of our daughters. This sentence have always enriched me with endless confidence. Alhamdulillah my parents have sent us to the best possible institutes. I still remember the day when i got admission into a school at nearby city and one day a teacher of mine asked our class about our aims and I said sir, I wish to get admission into the best institute of this county and help others at my village to get education. He laughed along with my classmates and said you can’t do it, you know why? I asked the reason, he said because you belong to a village. People from your area can’t compete with the master minds out there. I felt really hurt. That day I came home, locked myself in a room and kept crying but after a few hours I offered prayers and prayed to God to give me courage to work and Alhamdulillah
>I got 6th position in board in Matric exams.
>1st position in board in Fsc
>Got admission into best medical institute of the country.
>Was awarded with car from my college.
>Was selected in a group of 25 Pakistani students who were sent as educational ambassadors to Europe by govt. of Punjab.
>Was selected in a research program at Harvard university, USA.
>Volunteered as motivational speaker at a few institutes.
>Worked with an NGO who is serving poor kids to get education by providing free schoolbags, stationary and uniforms.
>voluntarily serving a school at my village and teach some students free of cost.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a girl or a boy, you live in a big city or a small village, the only thing that matters is your thoughts and your trust into yourself. God has created you the only one of your kind in the whole universe. Never let words of anyone destroy you. Pray to God and trust the powers he has gifted you with. One thing more, I strongly believe in the saying “the real secret of happiness is to help others.” Once you achieve something in life, help others achieving great… the little acts of kindness will add a great sense of achievement and pleasure in your life.
Two weeks ago, I visited a school for special children( Markaz E Umeed ) along with my friends. Of the other activities we did there, we also a conducted an awareness session for mothers of children who studied there. While conducting the session, I came across two mother who broke down into tears when expressing their concerns and questions. It turned out that it wasn’t mere the strain of raising a special child that burdened them, but rather the taunts and words of people around them, One of the mother said : LOG HME KEHTE HEN K ZAROOR TM DONO NE (she and her husband) KOI GUNAAH KIA HOGA JISKI WAJAH SE TMHE AISI OLAAD MILI. SB AA K MAAON KO TASALIAN DETE HEN, KOI UNHE KCH Q NAHI KEHTA JO AISI BAATEIN KR K MAAON KI BAD DUA LETE HEN?!
I was at loss of words, knowing that my words and pats alone can’t heal them, knowing that I live in the society, which unfortunately loves to sermon the victim but not apprehend the culprit.
The children I met there literally have the hearts of gold and their mothers, the bravest of all. Respect people even if they are different. Don’t make life difficult for them than it already is. The next time you see someone with special needs, remember that they are AS HUMAN AS YOU ARE! I am not asking you to shower them with love, but at least don’t give them that pitiful look we are so fond of giving someone who doesn’t comply to our so-called-self-set standards. Can you even imagine the AGONY, the HORROR of a mother when the doctor announces that she has given birth to a child different from everyone’s expectations? Can you imagine the COUNTLESS PRAYERS that mother makes , the intensity of which reaching the point when she implores Allah to exchange her life with the well being of her child? Can you imagine the STRUGGLES with which she bring him up, sacrificing her comforts, her pleasures, her sleeps, only to hear those AWFUL WORDS?! Or can you imagine that child walking down the road, feeling eyes fall upon him, heads turning in his direction & hushed whispers behind his back? Can you imagine feeling tortured cz everyone around you seems so better than you? Can you imagine feeling helpless for your basic needs? If not, THEN STOP BEING SO GOD DAMNED JUDGEMENTAL AND ACCEPT THEM FOR WHO THEY ARE! They don’t need our pity, they don’t need our money either. They just want to be treated like every other human being. If our few words of kindness and a look of appreciation can give someone the spark to live, what else is better than that?
I hope people change the way they perceive others.. If this post manages to affect even a single being, I’d be honored.
LIVE AND LET OTHERS LIVE!
A story associated with the people of special children school karsaz.
“The time when I used to laugh with friends, the time I used to cry,the time I used to sing , the time I used to listen and the time I used to hear everything but now I am not able to speak nor listen but though I can speak a lot more then a person and listen only what I want to listen.I was 19 year old and it was the day when i was going to give my second year exams but i never knew it was the worst day of my life . I had an accident after which I was not able to speak nor able to listen. I left over my college and was admitted in the special children school Karsaz where I was given the training to speak through actions and to listen (Here listening refers to catch the actions of others to figure out what the person is saying) . I thought that this is the end of my life even I tried to commit suicide but as only Allah knows what is in our fate so every time I was saved by my family or my teachers . My parents and friends supported me a lot and now after 4 years of my struggle I was able to survive and then I gave the exams in 2014 and got a really good grade and now I am working at special children school at Karsaz and I am satisfied with Allah to give me such supporting friends and family . People say dumb and deaf cannot say or listen anything I believe that only our actions are enough to say a lot. We as the normal people can speak and listen but its useless,we use our tongues to abuse or criticize someone,we listen to what we should not be listening and don’t listen the voices which our society needs to hear. I have seen these people they have there own world, they speak a lot but with no sound in it they listen to each other , they understand each other, I believe they are not special they are one of us only the difference is they don’t make noise as we do they believe in actions .”
After completing LLB and Bar at Law from London, and LLM from Washington DC, I was aware of the highly paid job opportunities available to me, but I wanted to work at grass root level, where I could actually make a difference. So I came to Pakistan, Taxila, and became the very first barrister of the area, even though it was hard for me settle here. I do not take any fee from people who are deserving but cannot afford a lawyer. We, the aware and educated people, can socially motivate others to make a difference in society. And I’ve been trying to do just that. For e.g there was a case from Attock where a girl was divorced and thrown out of her house after torture. The husband did not give the ‘Haq-Mehar’ (Benefaction in case of separation) and denied to give the monthly expenditure obligatory by Pakistani law. The girl didn’t have this knowledge and came to me with empty hands and asked me for help. I not only fought her case but got orders from court to give the ‘haq mehar’ and start the monthly expenditure.
There was this another case where the husband, after separation, came to meet his child (toddler) who was under custody of the mother. He took the baby away. She came to me with tears in her eyes and asked for help, not knowing about the laws. I fought for her and got her baby back. There have been many similar cases and all I got from them were prayers and respect because it is all they had, and all I needed!
Capt. Ayesha Rabia as Boeing 737-300 jetliner commander. On October 21, 2005, Capt. Ayesha became first Pakistani woman to command a scheduled passenger flight of a PIA airliner which was a Fokker F27 turboprop. On January 25, 2006, Ayesha made civil aviation history yet again when she captained Pakistan’s first scheduled passenger flight PK-623 operated by an all-woman crew. On February 10, 2008, Capt. Ayesha, after completing her under supervision hours, achieved another milestone and historic first in Pakistan’s civil aviation history when she became first Pakistani woman to command scheduled passenger flight PK-340 & PK-341 of a PIA jetliner – a Boeing 737-300 – on Karachi-Faisalabad-Karachi route now she is a captain on Airbus 310 aircraft and go on both international and domestic routes.
‘My mother was two months pregnant when my father passed away in 2003 due to a heart attack. After his death, the paternal side of my family started to pressurize my mother into handing over all of his property to them and even made her leave the house. After she shifted to a friend’s house, they brought cans of petrol and attempted to burn her alive in their greed for our inheritance. Thankfully, my mother’s colleagues were able to save her life. This was the point where we cut off all ties with them. Perhaps much of the hatred they had for her was the fact that she belonged to a different sect. Soon after, my mother had my little brother which was also followed by discouragement from society. Throughout her pregnancy everyone would suggest that she abort her child because they believed it was not possible to bring up yet another child alone. She would revoke their suggestions saying,
‘Jo insaan ko zindagi deta hai, wo paalta bhi hai’
(The One who brought us into the world is the One who will provide for us).
That was probably the most difficult period of her life, but she stayed steadfast and I can confidently say I have never seen such a strong lady. She managed to bring us up on her own despite the adversities and now we’re standing in a good place. My elder sister now holds a degree in media sciences, I’m in my first year here at Ziauddin University studying M.B.B.S and my little brother is currently studying in 7th grade, all thanks to her undying efforts and resilience.
By sharing my story, I want to send out the message that women are equally capable, if not more, of handling life on their own and don’t necessarily need a male support to survive. If we come across women living on their own, the least we can do, as responsible members of society, is to encourage them instead of trying to bring them down.
She proved society wrong and served as both my father and mother. She is my hero.’
My parents got divorced when I was 10 years old. I still remember the day when my mom packed our bags up to leave the house I called my own. My father tortured my mother , he didn’t pay for our education because he believed spending to educate a daughter is useless as she ends up cooking for his husband anyways. My mother on the other hand wanted us to get the best education . Leaving his house turned out to be really hard for us , my mother worked 12 hours a day and tried her best to clear all our dues. Currently I’m doing MBBS and my sisters our doing Alevels , and just by the way they are one of the high achievers of their college . Whenever we achieve something the ‘hard work paid off smile’ on my mother’s face is something that makes me wanna do even more for her . I just wish i can do more for her and prove that it’s not just a son who can a girl can too.
“You inquire why I sell parched corn?
If you swap places with me, only then will you understand the value of every single grain of mine which carries the prayers of my dear mother. This is what I like the most.
When I was 16 years old, I was forced to leave my studies. My mother had passed away. She was suffering from cancer and she always used to say “You are working for me today but soon you will get to see that you will be working for your Lord.”
My sister and my father used to be in the conversations of my mother. My father never saw any special potential in me and considered me a failure. He abandoned me and my sister.
So eventually, I was entrusted with the sole responsibility of taking care of my sister. I took up many jobs and was ultimately employed on a daily wage in a factory.
After gathering tidbits, I managed to wed my sister off but who really owns a labourer’s sister? Her wedding broke off. When I used to go for work, my sister would be all alone so she started coming to work with me which I disliked.
In the outskirts of our colony, a kid and his mother used to live. I always used to give them some money. With the passage of time, we all became so close that we started living together. The young boy was 8 years of age.
Today when I go home after earning even as much as Rs.500, I am jubiliant. I recall the words of my mother, “You will be working for God one day.”
I am now bearing the expenses of those who were abandoned by this world and left to God’s mercy. I am now employed by Allah. He has written their ‘rizq/provisions and I am the resource.
From the moment I could understand things as a child, I sensed people reacting differently to me. I have a disease called achondroplastic, also known as dwarfism. But my parents always said that I’m not different. They made sure that my brother and I participated in whatever activities we wanted. My family cared for me and at the same time they never shielded me from the world. That is how I was raised. However, living as a little person is like being the main attraction at the circus every day of my life. When I was a child, I used to walk into public places and scan the room to figure out who would be the first to say something and there was always someone who did. Most of the time it was “Isn’t she cute?” But sometimes it was more cruel. Darker.They would hold their hands over their mouths and laugh, trying to look away but then also alert their friends around. They would whisper to each other. When I made eye contact, they would look away and try to hold their laughter. This still happens.There are times when they don’t even pretend to hide their ridicule. Walking in a mall, I pass a store. Someone spots me and then brings their whole family to stand in the store window to laugh. When I was a child, I used to internalize the torment. I use to pretend it wasn’t happening. Inside, I was crying and wishing I was someone else. It shaped how I felt about myself. The good thing was that I was never often the target of bullies in school. I also had some wonderful teachers who cheered me on. But I am a human after all. When someone interrupts my morning routine by pointing, laughing or taking a picture then I am no longer a girl. I am the little person who deserves ridicule.
In past 10 years, I have stopped internalizing my anger and started directing it outward, where it belongs. Why should I put up with the taunting, the picture taking? Sometimes I just ignore it but when I feel that it’s out of limit then I have different levels of response to people’s reactions. If someone laughs, I ask, “What’s so funny?” Most of the time people say, “Nothing, nothing,” and then run off in embarrassment. I am normal. I have the same thoughts, feelings and desires. The world treats me as if there is something wrong with me. It took me a while not to trust the world’s opinion. What I believe is, if someone doesn’t respect you or don’t want to be your friend because of the way you look then they’re not worth the friendship. If you don’t get the job because of how you look then that job isn’t worth it.
In the end, I just want to say that I’m lucky to be healthy and educated. I want to tell everyone to not laugh at someone who isn’t like you. Maybe they are even better than you! Don’t be so quick to judge.
“…Main dil se chahti hun ki ye kalakar rickshaw na chalaaye, mic ke saamne khada ho.”
It takes rare talent to win praise from India’s most famous female singer! Over the weekend, a video of a Karachi-based rickshaw driver Master Aslam Khan singing Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s thumri ‘Yaad piya ki aaey’ went viral. A few hours after the clip was uploaded, the iconic Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar shared it on her Facebook page and praised the talented singer.
We wish Aslam all the best and hope he gets the recognition he deserves! You can watch the video at http://bit.ly/20xBlAK
She got late at office that day and she
had to go home alone.
She started walking towards the auto
But it was too late, she had to
wait for an auto.
She felt like someone was
she turned back and ‘Bhoo’ he said.
She got scared and he laughed out loud.
Her office colleague it was.
“I’m here because
I can’t let you walk alone
towards the auto stand and don’t worry
I’ll be with you till you get an auto.
You are my responsibility” he said.
After ten minutes of wait,
An auto came but no passenger was in
She knew that this
could probably be the last auto to pass by.
She looked in an uncomfortable manner at
the auto driver.
“Don’t worry sister, I’ll drop you at your
You are my responsibility” the auto
She sat in.
Her home was in a dark lane,
she had to walk almost five minutes in the
lane to reach her
She entered the lane and a mid-aged man
was smoking and looking at her.
It was a neighbor.
He threw the cigarette and said
“Come I’ll walk with you till you
Don’t worry beti you are like my
You are my responsibility”
The girl finally reached home safely.
Every time I gave a pause in the write up,
you must have felt that something wrong
This fear is what our society has given us.
It will no longer have an existence if
every man be like that office colleague or
the auto driver or the neighbor.
Dear friends, like your sister, mother and
wife are your responsibilities,
‘She’ is your responsibility too.
Understand if you can.
Share the message
If it’s worth it.
“My dream of becoming a doctor dates back to the 90’s, when I was a seven year old. Every time I got sick my brilliant doctor uncle would attend to me. Fascinated by his skills, I bought a doctor play set and I would spend all day trying to heal my doll. One day while analyzing my little Barbie with my plastic stethoscope. I felt I had healed her of her wounds and sensing something divine, I flashed a smile at her….Yes, this did make me smile and I said to myself, “I’ll evolve into my superb “doctor uncle” one day!”
“From the school uniforms to high school glowing life, from hefty school bags to college manuals, from trimmed nails to nail art, from ponytail to scarf, everything was amusing.One thing was common at all stages, filling out the forms; forms degenerating to cliché, asking the same old questions, “your name?”, “father’s name?” ;not a single form dared ask, “who are You” ?
“Surviving all the qualifying exams, I somehow managed to enter my dream destination, King Edward Medical University. I was compelled to believe that after five years this “Hogwarts School” would transform me from a mudblood to a pureblood . Finally came the graduation day and for me, holding a university degree was hypnotic .The grandeur ended with the housejob and we were told about the mesmerizing path of FCPS II training for which the entrance hallway was FCPS I exam.The result came and I passed it.”
“But what came after was a whole new ball game. We were told that after two years of “cramming” in FSC, five months of MCAT , five years of medical school, one year of backbreaking house job and six months of insistent hard work for Fcps-1 exam, we still have to “work hard” to get even an honorary induction in our own institution. It hurts me when I see that after all these years of hard work . the idea of an honor of a Doctor in our society is persistently lacking! 24 hours continuous duties , 48 hours duties, facing all mind-sets of patients , cramming and applying all that huge knowledge and still we are tagged that once we are over with all the training , we become commercial . But No one knows the real struggle we do.”
“Outside of this blow by blow, the family “article of faith” remains the same with my parents taking me as their dear daughter who has finally actualized their dreams .While I am about to start my next rat race,all of a sudden, I am taken out of this double-talk by the heartfelt concern of a seven year old girl sitting in front of me, putting an all-out effort to save her “wounded” little Barbie with her medical play set and flashing a smile at her doll when she says I am fine. I go to the visionary girl, who has got the same little eyes as me, hold her hand and say, “Sometimes delusion is better than the truth..I didn’t know myself than, but I know myself now; I was a better doctor when I was YOU!!”
It started back when I got into KE, being schooled in Canada and later in BDC, I was a haughty teenager with my head in the clouds. I used to be the center of attention of the class, unruly and arrogant, always joking around with the professors and sometimes even getting sent out for my attitude. I used to fantasize that one day I would meet this girl who would appreciate my good looks, laugh at my jokes and always be influenced by the charismatic Kemcolian doctor that I was going to be. (See what I meant when I said haughty)
But then,life happened. There was a girl in our batch who got the lowest marks in spotting in the first anatomy stage, and unlike everyone else she wasn’t disappointed at all! I still remember how she laughed it off and called it a day. She was obviously the coolest girl in the class, without a care in the world and she was the prettiest too. I knew that she was the one.
We became friends and it wasn’t long before I began falling for her. Later, it turned out that she was way more hardworking and intelligent than I had expected (which was a disappointment :P) as she scored about a 100 marks more than me in every professional. Gradually, she started influencing every aspect of my life, groomed me and built me as a person, taught me how to be humble and kind while being graceful and brilliant. I was a new man, her man.
Then came the time when I proposed to her, and it was a yes! I swear I was the luckiest man in the world. And now that I come to think of it, my life would’ve been so dull if I had gotten the type of girl that I once dreamed of. Although I had been severely hit by karma and got the exact opposite,but the way she challenges me, inclines me to get better each day and I am grateful to God for every moment that I get to spend with her. Whoever I am today, I owe it to this incredible girl standing next to me. We got engaged after final year without any hitch, thanks to our amazing families and plan to get married next year, InshaAllah.
I know it sounds perfect, marrying your best friend, but it’s never easy. Most people take it for granted that’s why they don’t last long. My advice to all the guys out there, if you think that she’s the one, never, I repeat never give up on her. I promise, it’s going to be worth it.
Tears do not come when you miss a person but when you don’t want to miss that person. Try to feel the difference. I felt this difference the first time in my life after having my entrance test. While everyone was with their father, I could only imagine him being there with me. For the first time in my life I realized that my life wasn’t complete.
I was only 2 years old when my father died in a car accident. Our relatives behaved very badly with us. One of our aunts pulled rings out of my father’s fingers while his body was still stuck in the car. My uncles were busy in distributing what my father had left, while his dead body was still in the house. Even his books and pens were distributed among the four brothers. They gave us nothing except that bill which stated all the expenses of funeral. Three days after his death we were thrown out of our house being deprived of all the property and belongings of my father. All that my mother had was her two daughters and the memories of my father, they would have taken away even that if they could. My mother was only 23 years old at that time. She worked for us, earned for us and took up the role of our father as well.
My grandmother (Nanu) and my Nana Abbu supported us. Due to their prayers I secured seat in KEMU. For the first time in sixteen years, the merit fell and I was able to get a seat at KEMU.
I am telling this story to all of those people who have gone through a similar life. Not everyone is aware of what the orphans feel. Whenever you walk out of your school watching your friends going with their dads, you just can’t take it. You can’t bear watching a dad love his kids. Being an orphan, you die thousand times a day, suffer every minute, every second of the day. You miss that one person who would have loved you, held you every time you’re feeling low. But don’t worry, if Allah has selected you for this trial, you are the chosen one. Not everyone is fit to face this challenge, this hardship. Even our beloved prophet Hazrat Mohammad(P.B.U.H) was an orphan. If you lack shelter in your life, believe me Allah would become that shelter. He would take you to your home safely. He would love you. He would provide you with all those things a father would give you. He would love you more than anyone could have. If you are walking down a tough path and you are afraid of falling and not being able to cross that, don’t worry. Just believe in Allah; your ultimate protector. He would save you from falling and will always support you. He would stand by your side. He would take your ship to its destination no matter how many holes are in it or how strong the tide is.
“My life’s biggest goal is to pass the CSS exam. People often get surprised – maybe because they don’t expect it from someone who is blind. I want to do it because I want to be independent. It makes me sad that students these days don’t take education seriously and have a careless behaviour even though they are perfectly capable of studying without any physiological hindrances.Education is the biggest weapon that can be used to conquer the world. Please don’t take it for granted. Use it to win yourself this war against the world!”
While most of the world is running towards materialization, we still find hope because of the insignificantly amazing acts of charity happening around in Pakistan.
No doubt Pakistan is one of the most charitable countries of the world which donates 1% GNI (Gross National Income) to the poor. One of such charity sources is the “Wall of Kindness”.
Inspired by the same movement in Iran, two teachers from Bahria College in Karachi after a series of meetings and hard work initiated Pakistan’s first Wall Of Kindness on 15th of January’16. It’s purpose was to provide the poor and needy with clothes, eatables and basic necessities of life. People of the city actually do their best to work for this cause.
Ahsan Khan, a very talented Pakistani actor, played an important role by inaugurating another wall of Kindness in Karachi and in a very short time; a chain of these walls was seen around the city. People were actually witnessed leaving things like clothes and other necessities at the spot.
The very next month, the warmth of this cause came to Lahore and a number of Non-governmental Organizations and charity groups of students independently added to the act at different points in the city by the name of “Diwaar-e-Meherbani” and “Wall of Help”. The motto of this cause is “Leave what you do not need” and “Take what you need”.
The Wall of Kindness did not just stop there. It went viral around the country. Large number of people took part in the campaign and it reached the other cities like Islamabad, Sahiwal, Peshawar, Abbotabad and where else not. While talking to a news reporter, Asad Ali Lodhi (who started the campaign in Peshawar), told him that people responded to it very positively. Even today we witnessed a group of people who came to collect clothes from a place far away from Peshawar. That’s how rapidly it’s spreading.
No doubt Pakistan is a country of the most generous and kind-hearted people which again gives us a reason to love our country even more. We should not just read what other people are doing for the love of this country but also try our best to make this country a better place to live because our one drop of water can serve as an ocean for someone. We’re the future of this country so it’s high time we do something for it.
And remember, we cannot change and emit the negativities out of the system of our country if we do not emit the evil inside us. So the first step towards charity is the correction of our own selves.
“A few months back, everyone had a watch in my class and I felt very sad because I didn’t. I know my parents cannot afford it, but I still told my mother how I would ask God for it everyday. Just yesterday, my mother said that the person whose house she works at gave her this big pink watch…for me! Now when I got to school and someone asks me the time, I can tell them without feeling bad — this is the best gift I could have ever asked for!”
My name is Noor Ghani and I am a student of Intermediate. I have achieved many things in my life so far. I have worked in a documentary film on the youth of Lyari. I am a member of Youth Café. I was also a part of Junior Leadership Conference which played an important role in shaping my personality. I also worked to spread peace among the people of my community. I have been awarded the National Peace Award for my efforts. Apart from this, I also love photography and I am proficient at it. I have also won an award in “Lyari Got Talent.”
From his dressing you might think he is yet another Punjabi farmer. But, allow me to break your perception, and meet Arif Zaman, a Ph.D. He is a Pakistani mathematician, an academic scientist and a professor of Statistics and Mathematics. Before joining LUMS in 1994, he served Statistics Department at Purdue University and Florida State University.
Zaman attended the Harvey Mudd College where he completed his B.S. in Mathematics in 1976. He completed his M.A. Applied Mathematics in 1977, and PhD Statistics from Stanford University in 1981. In his doctoral thesis he studied de Finetti’s theorem and its possible turn out in Markov chain. His dissertation was supervised by Persi Diaconis.
Zaman’s recent research has been in the field of pseudo-random number generation which is now widely used in modern computing needs. He has also published papers on generalisations of Markov chains, and on using computers to solve various theoretical problems in mathematics and statistics. His publications have been in various journals including: The Annals of Probability, Mathematics of Computation, Journal of Applied Probability, and Journal of Statistical Computation.
But hey, the message behind this story is, never generalize people for their dressing or outlook, everyone carries bits and bytes of greatness.
Kausar Amir, is an educationist and a politician. She was not encouraged by her parents to approach higher education.However she did not give up her studies and worked hard to pursue her dream of doing something for the youth of the country. She completed her intermediate from a Govt. College of commerce and soon after her marriage she went abroad with her husband for higher studies. She did her masters in English from USA. Kausar Amir later returned to Pakistan and studied political science. At present she is the director of the Karachi American School, and an active member of the Pakistan People’s Party. Kausar Amir, sets an example for the importance of education. Indeed, education is an essential asset to a person’s life.
“I was diagnosed with Polio at the age of two. My father, a government worker, passed away in 1998, after which the financial position at my place grew tight. I had to bid farewell to my mother at the hands of Hepatitis C in 2003 too. It was not possible for me to work like any able person so I worked as a telephone operator at a States agency until I moved in the University of Karachi to live with my aunt.
By 2006, I was still just matric so I invested Rs.600 in internet cards which I tried to convince the students to buy off me by moving from department to department. Eventually, I had enough cash pinched to appear in my Intermediate exam in 2011. Following that, I got enrolled in the same university in the department of International Relations but since I had always wanted to pursue a career in print media, I bagged 80% in Mass Communications as a subsidiary subject in my 1st semester and switched to the place of my dreams where I attended my farewell party only recently.
I have siblings but I earn my own money and like to re-unite with them as an equal; I have never sought their financial assistance.
Today I am 34 and have learned that people need not have functioning limbs to acquire their dreams; if you have your heart set on your aim and have the determination to get there, then solely hard work would suffice.”
Ali Hassan, Mass Communication Department, University Of Karachi
I’ve had an ideal life for as long as I can remember, sweet and simple.Everything was perfect and fairytale-like. Too good to be true.My father did have hepatitis once when I was young but he recovered just fine. Life moved on streamlined and I got admitted to medical school. Never did I know that everything would change so suddenly.
At the beginning of last year, my father got really sick. Within a month or so his health deteriorated rapidly. He was diagnosed of liver cirrhosis but the most painful fact was that 80% of his liver had already been damaged.It was the darkest day of my life.The doctor had told us that a person can only survive with 25% of liver but not with 20%. I have always been an emotionally strong person but that night I broke. When I came back home from the hospital and I cried my heart out to Allah. Someone had told me once that if you pray for something with the depths and purity of your heart that moment becomes the moment of ‘qabooliat’.So I prayed, I bowed and I submitted my case to Allah and somehow I knew that my supplications had been accepted, I was at peace.
Within a few days my family left for India for my father’s liver transplant. My siblings and I went through the HLA test for cross matching. I swear that it was the most critical moment of my life. When the test reports finally came, it was I who was perfectly compatible as a donor.I knew that this was the answer to my prayers and not for a moment was I afraid of the transplant because I knew that I was doing it solely for my father. We both went through an 18 hour long surgery and Alhmadulilah the operation was a success. Within a month both my father and I recovered completely which itself was a miracle.
Everytime I mention my story to anyone, their reactions include phrases like “great sacrifice” “grand gesture” etc. However, I completely disagree with their judgement for we can never repay for the million sacrifices our parents have made for us since the day they brought us into this world. Maybe, just maybe I got lucky enough to give him back a little part of me, something that already belonged to him. For he is my dearest asset, my greatest blessing, my safe haven and the center of my universe. My dad is my superhero and whenever I look at him healthy and fine, my heart lightens up.
It’s been almost been a year now, and everytime I look back to this incident my heart speaks out “KUN FAYAKUN (كُنْ فَيَكُونُ)”
My Lord says “Be! and it is”
Pop sensation Zoe Viccaji has been playing guitar and writing her own music since the age of fifteen. Music has always been a part of her life and she grew up with a mother who also plays the guitar and sings and a brother who was in a band. Zoe joined her first band, ironically named ‘Ganda Bandas’ when she was seventeen, and did a show with them. Since then she has remained associated with various bands for one time gigs, but is now pursuing the life of a solo artist. She has written mostly English songs during her career, but is now shifting her attention to Eastern and Urdu material. Zoe spent the early part of her career as a painter, but soon realized that music was her true calling. She also acted in a few musicals abroad and two musicals ‘Mama Mia’ and ‘Chicago’ in Pakistan, soon after which she was asked to come on board COKEStudio (House band) as a supporting vocalist. She has been part of season 3 and 4 so far. She has set up her own home studio where she continues to record her own music, and collaborate with various producers
Nowadays it has become really very difficult to judge a person correctly. Even the most innocent faces are decieving sometimes. We should not trust any person without knowing their background and proper details.
My brother did the same mistake. He saw a boy of around 10 or 11 years near Dhaka Sweets at Gulshan. He was dumb and deaf, and had told my brother that he was an orphan and there was no one with him. My brother hired him to work in his restaurant at Nipa. The boy worked hard and did whatever he was told. He impressed my brother. Unfortunately, the restaurant had to be closed down due to some problems.
My brother did not want the boy to be unemployed as he was alone and had nowhere else to go. He kind of adopted him and brought him to our home. He even arranged a job for him in a friend’s garment factory so that he could learn tailoring there and then later, he could open up a shop for that boy where he could earn an honest living on his own. He was treated like a family member at our home. He ate with us, went to family gatherings with us. He was more like a child to my parents.
Two days before, my father had some work and he took the boy along with him. He recieved a payment from his business partner which the boy saw.My father had to deposit that in the bank the next day. But the next day as we woke up, all the money was gone. The boy had stolen the money as well as our other valuable things like cell phones and wallets while everyone was sleeping at night. He must have planned to steal from us since a long time.
I request you all to be very careful of such people. Do not trust or hire a person until you have investigated about them properly.
If anyone has any clue regarding this child they may contact :
As this child can be a security threat to my family.
-Spread the word so that others can be saved.
Sirat-Ul-Jannah is an Orphanage in Karachi which houses 140 children. The brilliant initiative was taken by Mrs. Ghufran Qureshi; a UK born who left her country for the greater good. This unheard hero is now facing trouble as she has gotten an official notice to vacate the building by 15th April, 2016. This has led her to face a major logistical issue, which she can’t handle alone.
Hence, my plea is to do either of the 3 things:
– Help in finding a building/house in defence that would be able to accommodate these children, which they can rent out.
– Help in getting funds so that they may be able to buy a house/building in order to avoid the same situation in the future.
– Help in promoting this cause and get others involved.
You may visit the house, the address is Badar Commercial Phase 5 Ext., Street 9, Plot 5-C, Defence Karachi
Contact Number: 03005127768
Julius Salik is a Pakistani Christian and activist for minority rights based in Islamabad. In 1996, he founded the World Minorities Alliance to advocate for the social status of minorities, initially religious minorities in Pakistan – including Buddhism, Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs. That same year, he was nominated by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was here with her husband retained in emegency for heart failure. She was left with 50 rupees,after paying for the taxi, 25 of which she had spent for a cup of tea, which she thought, was too small for 25 rupees.
Her husband did get better and was stable enough to be sent home when she started: Dr Sahab you know my son was taller than you , but he died, his grave was this long(spreading her arms) , now we are left with nothing. Just me and him.
I come from far away and pay a lot of money to the taxi, please give me the best medication. I changed her medicines and searched my drawer for some samples, which i gave her writing in detail about dosage. Asked her to get other drugs which i didn’t have, from some medical store.
She produced a yellow shopping bag and told me she had some medicines already.She knew exactly how she used to give each medicine to her husband and for what purpose they are given, she kept telling me ,this med is for blood thinning this is for stomach etc, I checked the packs she had and told her which medication can be used and which i have stopped.
Before Leaving She said Dr sahab I just have 25 rupees plz give me some money to buy meds. I didn’t have change, so asked my junior to give that POOR lady some money , which he gave.
An expression of utter relief came to her face and a smile. And she said..Dr sahab may Allah bless you, please take these medicines (ones which i stopped-the yellow bag)and keep them in your drawer so that some POOR needy person can be helped.
I was shocked. How could I even think she was poor, she wasn’t, yes she didn’t have a purse full of money but she wasn’t poor, she was actually willing to give for the poor.
I don’t know what to take out of this whole thing, but it did tell me how big a heart she had, it told me she never thought she was poor, it told me the definition I had in
my mind, for some one to be poor, needed some reconsideration. She was giving away 4-5 hundred worth of medicines which many of us, so called, well to do people would like to keep at home in case we need them again, specially if we weren’t sure if we will have money to buy them again or not.
Life is nothing but how you think it is, she was living a life, she had a tea with 50% of total money she had, she was helping her husband, she wasn’t crying over her son’s death and she wasnt begging,she wasn’t complaining and she had the most beautiful smile you would ever happen to come across, she asked for money and she wanted to give back more than she had just got from us. Some people are just beautiful and they are around us.Un-noticed.forgotten…!!
Yesterday, my mom told me that the maid that comes to our house has a child who studies at school instead of working at homes as child labour and the maid and her husband pays the monthly fess.
The maid said:
“baji hum Nai chathey key Humarey bachey b wohe Kam Karie Ho hum Kartey ha, chota sa school he sahe lekin Parahi achi ha or hum apne bacho ko parha Likha kar apkey betey ki tarha Doctor banie gey”
My mom told me that they can’t buy books for the upcoming year and she handed me the slip to buy books or help a little. I took the slip and bought and handed over the books to her today. Trust me it costed less then a shesha in a expensive cafe and the smiles after this were priceless.
It’s better to donate to educate children then to donate to street beggars.
No matter how much you don’t like me for being blunt but atleast try to help others around you just as I do at times. Trust me you will feel better 🙂
I am a 2014 Fellow for Teach For Pakistan working with primary grade kids at Ibrahim Hyderi, Korangi Karachi.
Coming directly to the point. So basically for the last three months I have been trying to transition my students to better performing schools in the area because the prevalent condition in this govt school is beyond pathetic.
Masha Allah by the grace of Allah, 20 of my students have cleared the test for PAF school and we are aiming to transfer all of them to this school. This calls out for massive funds and technically IT CAN BE YOUR ZAKAT MONEY. A calculated amount of 75,000 (including admission fees, uniform, course) is required for the first year per child. Please help change one life n reach out to all your networks to be a part of something huge in a child’s development.
I am here for more details. Please feel free to talk. The deadline is the second week of April so please show urgency. Jazak Allah. Hope you can pitch in smile emoticon
Q1. Account Details?
Here are the Account Details
Title: Hammad Khalid – Bank: Standard Chartered
IBAN: PK27 SCBL 0000 0012 8770 9001
Account # 012 8770 9001
Q2. Can it be Zakat money?
Yes. Absolutely. Referred to Mufti Taqi Usmani’s disciple – Mufti Ashraf.
Q3. How is it sustainable?
After their admissions and the first year payments, we will connect them with mentors who will be responsible for their complete education till at-least matriculation. For now, we have 4 mentors who have taken ownership of a child for the current grade and next grade levels. (Students will be moving in the 5th or 6th Grade)
Please reach out at email@example.com or 0345-3133759
-Spread the word.
I cannot speak or listen. I came to Pakistan to visit some holy places but I got lost. I was very small at that time. People who found me brought me here to Edhi Homes. When they found out that I am Hindu, they built a temple for me. Bilquis Edhi was like a mother to me. She and Edhi sahab gave me so much love. I found my parents through the internet. They sent Edhi sahab their pictures. After scrutinization of documents and other proof, we applied for visa. I’m leaving for India in two days. I’m very happy that I found them. But people gave me so much love here. I will miss this family of mine a lot and will never forget the home they made for me. I think Pakistani are very kind and loving people and anyone who lives with them long enough will discover this themselves.
They say adults need to learn from children. From their radiant smiles to their apathetic attitude to anything and everything life throws at them. Children are more confident, more courageous and enjoy life far more intensely than adults. Sometimes it feels that we spend our entire lives trying to return to who we were as children. They have the beautiful ability to find joy all around them. Just watch the humor a child can find at the park. They see silliness everywhere. So sing out loud. Dance when you feel like it. A child’s life feels limitless because they are not confined by fears of failure or humiliation. Something simple that we take for granted brings them immense joy and profound inspiration. When did we stop noticing the tiny miracles that surround us daily? How much more beautiful would life be if we could see these miracles again?
Rabia Zuberi, Pakistan’s premiere sculptor, pioneering art educationist and recipient of numerous national awards, has dedicated her life to art and art education in Pakistan. Founder-Principal of Karachi School of Art which she established in 1964 with her celebrated sister Hajra Mansoor, an internationally acclaimed artist in her own right, Rabia Zuberi devoted herself to promoting art education and single-handedly achieved what seems unattainable to many. Initially named Mina Art School after her poet father, Karachi School of Art has the distinction of being the first private academic centre of art in the country. Herself a graduate of Lucknow School of Art, Rabia Zuberi’s art reflects her deep interest in gender issues and quest for peace and love. 52 years on, she continues to serve the society with the same passion. To her, teaching art is a mission, a noble cause. Truly a woman of substance and a pride of Pakistan
I have always been a below average student. My final Matric papers came up during the 1992 cricket worldcup. Being a huge cricket lover, I decided that I will watch all the matches whatever happens. After all, I could give papers again next year but worldcup only happens once in 4 years.This amazing plan led to me getting less than 50% marks in Matric papers. *laughs* Suffice to say, my parents were not pleased. When I was in college, my father brought a command 64 bit game for me from USA. It was a whole new world for me but I wanted to understand the process of copying the game into the console. My elder brother bought me a book where I could learn programming and I started learning from it. In 6 to 8 months, I learned so much that I made myself a copier. This did really well in the market; I had found where my interest lay. I still wasn’t any good at studies but my parents insisted I complete my education so on their demand, I did MBA and then joined a job related to management as per the expectations. However, I quit it just after a year because I wasn’t satisfied. At the time, internet was becoming popular in Pakistan. I focused fully on the internet and started writing my opinions as a blog. The traffic on the blog was quite good so I started researching different ways to utilize it for profit. My parents were not happy about this at all because when I left the job, my marriage was just around the corner and I didn’t have any means of income. I requested my parents not to tell my in-laws about it and give me two months to prove myself. My hard work paid off and at the end of four months, I earned $2000. It was a life changing moment for me and enough motivation to carry on with my passion. I started doing freelancing jobs and 10 years later, I have worked hard enough to be ranked in top 10 of one of the world’s largest freelance marketplace as the most successful freelancer. Today, I am featured in many magazines, invited as an expert on main stream media and am a seasoned freelancer. There was time in my life when I was working without earning anything and it is now my turn to give back to the community. I have over a dozen employees working for me and am training freelancers for free on my video learning platform. The message is simple. If you are a below average student, don’t think you are a failure. There are a million other ways to be successful than being top in class. Do what you love and you will find the passion for working hard naturally. Never give up on yourself.
Farrokh K. Captain is a Pakistan-based philanthropist, businessman and social worker. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. After completing his Masters in Management and Chemical Engineering he worked as a Management Consultant with Arthur D. Little and established their practice in Pakistan. He has also led a major chemical manufacturing company in Pakistan and been a director of Shell Pakistan Ltd and the American Business Council of Pakistan. He retired from active business at the age of 50 and has spent the years since exclusively in the field of social work. Mr. Captain is also Chairman of the Pakistan Human Development Fund, the poverty alleviation implementing arm of the National Commission for Human Development. He is a Trustee of Layton Rehmatulla Benevolent Trust (leading eye-care charity in Pakistan), and Chairman of the Friends of LRBT, as well as being associated in various capacities with the Doon School of Society of Pakistan, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, The Central Institute of Arts and Crafts, and The Sandal School.
Batool Asadi first female position holder in CSS 2012 in Balochistan.
She is now the first Hazara female assistant commissioner in Balochistan.
Zubeida Mustafa became the first woman to work in the country’s mainstream media, when she joined Dawn in 1975. Mustafa completed her BA and then her MA in International Relations from University of Karachi. She also earned her Masters in Philosophy and PhD at the London School of Economics under a Commonwealth Scholarship.
Mustafa joined Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language daily in 1975 as assistant editor. She was the only woman in the Dawn newsroom during that time, so she used her gender to her advantage and covered the stories that the men could not cover, such as women’s issues concerning health and human rights.
As a female journalist, Mustafa has stated that the injustices Pakistani women suffer “touches her deeply.” In 1986, Mustafa was awarded the Global Media Award for Excellence by The Population Institute in Washington for her research and writings on population control in Pakistan.
In 2012, Mustafa was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Women Media Foundation for her coverage on women’s issues, politics, educations, health and culture.
Bilquis Bano Edhi Hilal-e-Imtiaz, wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi, is a professional nurse and one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan. She has been nicknamed, The Mother of Pakistan.She was born in 1947 in Karachi. She heads the Bilquis Edhi Foundation, and with her husband received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.Her charity runs many services in Pakistan including a hospital and emergency service in Karachi. Together with her husband their charity has saved over 16,000 unwanted babies.
Edhi took over the management of the jhoolas project, the first of which had been built by her husband in 1952. These 300 cradles are available throughout Pakistan where parents can abandon unwanted children, or those that cannot be raised. They carry the message in English and Urdu “Do not kill, leave the baby to live in the cradle.” A small minority of abandoned children are disabled but over 90% are female. This alternative is thought to have reduced the number of dead babies who are killed by their own parents given the alternative provided by the Edhi Foundation to leave the unwanted babies in the cradles. The Edhi project is also responsible for burying dead babies found by the police
“I had a brain tumor when I was only 4 years old which severely affected my brain and vision. My parents did their best to get me treated but due to lack of resources they couldn’t. The delay made my condition serious and doctors claimed that it will now be difficult to survive but Allah saved me. However, I did lose my right eye completely, and partial vision of left eye as well. My firm belief in God made me strong and I didn’t let this become my weakness. I continued strengthening myself, and now I am doing MBA from well reputed university in Islamabad and topped my last semester.
Never let your weaknesses become the barrier in your road towards success! After All besides faith, all you need is (Shukar Alhamdulilah) to thank Almighty for what you already have.”
One of the recent photos to go completely viral after the Lahore terror attack. In one of the most gruesome and barbaric acts where these terrorists tried to divide the country; severely backfired. There is no power in the world that can break the bonds between countrymen. Regardless of race, culture or creed, hundreds of Lahoris donated blood to help the survive. God bless these souls and may the country never go through such tumultuous times again. Aameen. Pakistan Zindabad.
This boy came up to me while I was having my mid brunch, he is my maid’s son saying”appa mujhe kinno bht pasand hai”his accent and innocence makes me look at his features more closely he is a nice looking lad with perfect Arabic accent. His. manners makes him different from other street roaming boys. We talked for like an hour and he told he want to be just like Imran khan and want to build big hospital for his mother who was a hard working woman raising her 5 children alone and providing them with education, but unfortunately she is suffering from tuberculosis. This six year old Abdul Wajid works in a tyre factory and helped his mother just to ensure she won’t loose her health quickly. vision are always ,No matter from where you belong your inner self determiner your future. Always respect and love kids, because they will be your reason of admiration and motivation. Love and appreciate kids even if they are not yours. May Abdul Wajid get the bestest of his dreams.
On my way home, I saw a something that actually left me awestruck. It happened at a nehari house near my place. I saw a group of children just having lunch and enjoying themselves. They asked me to take a picture. At first I was a bit confused, but then I saw there smiles. Their smiles were absolutely stunning. It was one of the purest displays of joy I had ever seen. They asked me to take more pictures and I did. In fact, their smile, their energy was so mesmerizing that I didn’t ask them anything like why they were there or what they were doing. My mind just went numb. It’s one of those things that’ll remain etched in my soul.
A girl who died in Lahore blast, her mother was calling her.This is devastating. Utterly devastation… “incoming CALL – Ammi Jaan”
R.I.P Lahore Victims.
Since the moment we are born we start to observe life shift and morph around us , with each passing moment we feel and experience acts of sorrow , happiness, joy ,anger , regret and many others. And with time as we grow we struggle to become an icon or a useful vessel in order for the society to adore or accept us , but among us there are those who do not function like the rest , those who’s mental capabilities are on a whole other dimension . These are those subjects who we often find to be rejected by the society and have to live their lives as social outcasts.Osama Ather put out his view in his very first short movie,AKS.
AKS” too portrays the life of such an outcast, a boy who has known nothing in his life but, neglect, hate, disappointment, shame and sorrow. AKS” too portrays the life of such an outcast, a boy who has known nothing in his life but, neglect, hate, disappointment, shame and sorrow. on track.
Like all stories I too will tell mine from the moment I actually conceived the idea of “AKHS”. As a student of the arts one might think that every day I might get to do or witness something new or exciting but when being a Bahrian gets added to that equation well you can cross all the excitement out. My teacher proved out to be my only mentor ,who shaped me this way
Today I am proud to tell the world that the project that I and my team had given birth to has seen the limelight and has been crowned as the production with the best cinematography, I am thankful to IOBM that they saw my film fit for this title and I hope that life will provide me with ample opportunities to create such pieces of art in the future.
Until the moment, the red carpet unrolls again.
I was coming from a Holi celebration and I decided to take a public bus despite the arguments of friends that I should just take a rikshaw cuz people might react to it as I was all in colors. I wanted to see people’s reaction and more than that I wanted to use a public space to celebrate diversity and to let people think about it. I came across many people, and everyone perceived that I am a Hinduand told me how they know “people of my community”. This was my favorite conversation on a bus.
I sit next to an uncle.
Uncle: (with a great sympathy) Why are you working in such a young age?
Me: Sorry, what do you mean?
Uncle: You are a color worker right?
Me: (laughed) No uncle, actually I am coming from a Holi celebration.
Uncle: Oh, Hindu brotheri?
Me: No, I am from a Muslim family.
Uncle: what? So you celebrated Holi? And rest of them were Muslims as well?
Me: Yes, and some of our friends were Hindus and we celebrated Holi in a church.
Uncle: Beta, you are a Muslim, and…
(There was another uncle sitting in the seat behind us, he interrupted): Oh bhai, if colors bring these kids together and they can celebrate it together with the minority, why do you have to bring in religion? That’s a great thing.
Uncle: Well, we were raised by telling us that Hindu and Muslims can not be together.
(The other uncle shakes his head)
Me: That is where everything went wrong. Happy Holi!
It was a great day and glad to see Pakistan accepting other cultures and religions!
He is selling ice cream from 14 years , no matter what the weather conditions are , he will always be there selling ice cream in front of schools and houses. He said there was a time when he used to sell one ice cream for 3 rupee (Jet sport) and now he is selling the same one for 20.
– Your children must have started earning by now?
“Yes they have”
– So why don’t you live with them?
He replied with a smile saying
“ka bachu la sa warkolay nashay, nu ghuwaray um
(if you can’t give anything to children, you
shouldn’t be asking for anything either)
“My boss drove a luxury car everyday and it was my duty to greet him and to open the gates for him, as I worked as a watchman in his villa. But he never responded back to my greetings.
One day he saw me opening the garbage bags outside the villa in search for any leftover food. But, as usual he never even looked at me, it was like as if he never saw anything!
The very next day I saw a paper bag at the same place, but it was clean and the food inside was covered well. It was fresh and good food like someone had just brought it from the supermarket. I didn’t bother as to where it came from, I just took the paper bag and I was so happy about it.
Every day I found this paper bag at the same place with fresh vegetables and all that we needed for home. This became my daily routine. I was eating and sharing this food with my wife and kids. I was wondering who this fool could be?! To forget his paper bag full of fresh food everyday.
One day there was a big problem in the villa and I was told that my boss has died. There were too many guests coming to the villa that day and I didn’t get any food that day, so I thought that one of the guests must have taken it. But the same thing happened the 2nd day, the 3rd day and the 4th day.
It went on like this for a few weeks and I found it difficult to provide food for my family, so I decided to ask the wife of my boss for a raise in my salary or else I would quit my job as a watchman.
After I told her, she was shocked, and asked me, how come you never complained about your salary for the last 2 years? And why is this salary not enough for you now? I gave her so many excuses but she was never convinced!
Finally in the end, I decided to tell her the truth, I told her the entire story of the bag of groceries, and as to how it was my daily provision. She then asked me as to when this stopped? I told her after the death of her husband. And then I realized that I stopped seeing the paper bag immediately after the death of my boss. Why didn’t I ever think of this before? That it was my boss who was providing this for me? I guess it was because I never thought that a person who never replied to my greetings could ever be this generous!
His wife started to cry and I told her to please stop crying and that I’m really sorry that I asked for a raise, I didn’t know that it was your husband who was providing me with the meals, I’ll remain as a watchman and be happy to provide my service.
His wife told me, I’m crying because I’ve finally found the 7th person my husband was giving this bag full of food. I knew my husband was giving 7 people everyday, I had already found the 6 people, and all these days I was searching for the 7th person. And today I found out.
From that day onwards, I started to receive the bag full of food again, but this time his son was bringing it to my house and giving it to my hand. But whenever I thanked him, he never replied! Just like his dad!
One day, I told him THANK YOU in a very loud voice! He replied back to me to please not be offended when he doesn’t reply, because he has a hearing problem, just like his dad!”
Oh! We have been wrong so many times judging others without knowing the true story behind their actions. Be kind and courteous in dealing with others, for everyone is fighting a hard battle. Be careful, not everything is about you. Before you assume, there is this thing called ASKING.
Don’t just jump to conclusion, because that is truly not an exercise, it may cause you more harm at the end of the day. Many of our problems are caused by how we process what happens around us. Don’t judge a situation you have never been in. Be humble enough to learn. You do not know it all. Lets change the way we feel about ourselves and others.
There are two sides to a story. Don’t believe everything you hear.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Share this powerful story with friends and family.
I found out my daughter had an affair with a boy for five years. She never spoke about it as she is always afraid of me. Apart of it I assumed my children always hate me for the job I am doing since my childhood. I asked her to bring the boy and his family in our house. I decorated the house like a new bride and brought the best food for them. I have been saving for my daughter’s marriage for twenty years. That day my daughter was happiest than ever. When they started conversation they brought out a note of demand. They wanted all material things a family needs, I was calculating and nodded in agreement with every word they said. After all it’s about happiness of my daughter. The last point was they do not want me to introduce in front of their relatives and I should never go to visit my daughter. The moment they said it my daughter screamed in anger and by surprising all she slapped the boy. She angrily said, ‘My father can do the thing that no one can do. Not everyone can clean others mess. I am proud of what he does and if you do not leave my house in a minute I will beat you all.’ She broke the marriage proposal and ended her five years relationship in a second. From that day I know how fortunate and happy person I am.’ – Sweeper Monu lal
Deepak Perwani is an internationally acclaimed Pakistani fashion designer. Recepient of several awards, Deepak is recognized as one of the top designers. He recently created the world’s largest kurta. The Guinness World Records later certified the entry based on a rigorous documentation process. The kurta weighs 800kg, is 101 feet tall and 59 feet 3inches wide. Each sleeve is almost 57 feet long. It took a team of 50 hardworking professional tailors a period of 30 days to make the kurta. The huge kurta is made of 800 yards of cotton blend fabric. According to Perwani, “the kurta is an intrinsic symbol of Pakistani attire, and (this garment) has successfully put it on the global map. A kurta represents the essence of what we are and defines our individuality in today’s world.” The world’s largest designer kurta will later be used to create smaller kurtas that will be donated to children’s homes run by the Edhi Foundation, a Pakistani NGO.The fashion designer Deepak runs his own boutique in Pakistan
“I never loose hope. No one should loose hope. Why should we loose hope from Allah after all who’s there for us besides him.” ?
“I work and do not beg I do not like to beg, why should we beg when Allah has given us intellect.” ?
These were the words of a women I saw the second time near the numaish chowrangi sitting on the road side on a small cloth with her little kid, she was selling toy stuff on the road to earn money.
I wish I could have taken a picture of this scene, but she did not allow me because she was afraid of her relatives finding this out. She says “In our family background women are not supposed to work outside.”
When I tried to inquire as to why she’s sitting like this on the road. She told me “I am literate and I can make a full time job but my problem is that I cannot leave my son at home, we are a small family with 2 children, me and my husband. I cannot leave my children behind and go for a job, who is going to take care of them.”?
We had an operation for our child, he broke his arm and we are in dept of 2 lakhs. We need to repay this debt. It’s just because of this reason that I am working like this to make some money.
My husband is not literate he does not earn much and I cannot leave my children anywhere. I do sewing throughout the day But It’s not enough. I have to come here and sell these items to make more money. I don’t like it though. But I have to. There is no choice.”
Despite of her bad conditions she chose to work hard to make money and not beg for it. She is not that poor but she desperately needs our help.
There is much more than I have shared but I cannot share the whole story here. Those who are really willing to help the lady can contact me. She sits almost everyday in night from around 7-10 so you can verify the whole stuff.
To contact for her support reach here : +92 333 2490387
Team Pakistan Speaks interviews Mr. Zafar Moti, the Chief Executive of Zafar Moti Capital Securities (Pvt) Ltd, holds an MBA degree from Institute of Business Administration (IBA)
He also has over 20 years of capital market experience.
* How did you established, Zafar Moti capital securities ?
Ans) Basically we are here in Karachi stock exchange from 3 generations, and my grandfather was one of the founding member of KSE, 1953. In the same year he established his own brokerage house . After that my father worked there on commission and with the time he bought his own membership in KSE, 1967. The same trend i followed and established my own brokerage house in 1989, now these 3 brokerage house are under my supervision at different times. If you see our riches to rags and rags to riches, are all linked with the economic condition of Pakistan. I was born here in Karach , did my schooling from St. Pats after my school college I completed my intermediated from Government Commerce College.
* What thing influenced you to come here, to Karachi Stock Exchange ?
Ans) Nothing was like that, it was all about money.
When we use to travel abroad with father, we realized in that period what your wealth can do , if you don’t have wealth your mind is idle . I came here with the persuation of wealth otherwise I was a leftist type of person , the things and music I was following at that time was a socialist school of thought even my father. Although our business was a totally opposite thing , if you see a stock exchange it fully represent capitalism , again it was all about money .
*) Have you ever experienced anyting which gave you fear or a type of major failure ?
Ans) Almost 3 times I have been to the edge of bankruptcy , from direct Mercedes to Charade. I have seeneverything in my life, even my father.
* How do you see the other Stock giants ?
Ans) It is a survival of the fittest. they still consider us as competitors ,they know if they will slow down we will capture their market , basically it is a Doggy dog market.
* How do you see the current economic situation ?
Ans) Nothing has changed , its all same . There was a bit expectations of turn around but because of huge external depth it didn’t work. And the second thing is population bomb , we are growing too fast but we don’t have that much resources to tackle these situation .
Tanveer Ahmed is a Pakistani footballer, who is the former captain of WAPDA FC. He is also the former captain of Pakistan national football team. A mainstay in the national team, the experienced defender has played in many tournaments since his first call up. Ahmed is a central defender who has been playing for WAPDA FC since he transferred there in 2002 season. He is also a useful right back. Ahmed started his career at Pak Punjab football club Faislabad. And then Ahamed selected for CMF FC where his defensive ability was brought to attention and soon was called up to the national team. When Ahmed moved to WAPDA FC, he was given the captaincy and won the National Championship in 2003. In the new Pakistan Premier League in 2004, WAPDA were one of the favourites to win the title, but it took until the final day of the season before they were crowned champions. They lost the PPL the following year. He also captained Lahore Lajpaals F.C. in the inaugural Geo Super Football League 2007 in defence where he was a semi-finalist with the team. After retiring from international football after the 2010 World Cup qualifiers in 2007, Ahmed became WAPDA’s Assistant Manager as well as retaining his squad player status, and helped them with the 2007/8 PPL. However, as a result of these displays on and off the pitch, Tanveer Ahmed was once again called back to the national squad for the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 qualifiers by head coach Akhtar Mohiuddin. After failing to reach the AFC Challenge Cup he retired again.
“How Hindus Are Treated In Pakistan”
I love interacting with people on Facebook, specially foreigners. After little formal introduction they always come up with questions like: “How is Pakistan for Hindus?”, “How Hindus in Pakistan are treated?”, “Is Pakistan safe for Hindus” etc. I don’t understand why they always think of Pakistan as perilous place to live, as if Hindus here can be bombed anytime of the day.
I agree that there are cases of Hindus being tortured but I believe that it will be unwise to make up an entire sketch of Hindus living in Pakistan based on them. You may say that there are very few Pakistanis who hate Hindus but you can never say that all Pakistanis hate Hindus. Trust me, many of them love Hindus. I hope everyone is aware of the fact that every coin has two sides.
Many people believe that TTP, LeJ, Al-Quaida, ISIS and others can never represent Islam then how can they believe a handful of bigots torturing hindus can represent entire Pakistani nation and the tortured Hindus show image of entire Hindu community of Pakistan. People need to know that there are many Hindus here in Pakistan, who are happy being Pakistani.
I’m born and raised in Sindh. Particularly known as land of Sufism, peace and harmony. And it is known so for a reason. I personally have rarely faced any religious prejudice from the people around me. It is not that I never talk to Muslims therefore i don’t face any extremism, it is because people around me don’t believe in extremism. They have never thought of us as different from them. Even majority of the people in my social circle are Muslims and I love them. We study together, we eat in same plate, we drink in same glass and we have good time together; and to do that, you just don’t need to be a bigot. Let me share an incident that took place few days ago. I has hanging out with my friends at university’s canteen and one of them said, “Hindus are never trustworthy”. I ignored because it was just a joke but all others there literally abused him for saying so. Trust me, I was the only Hindu there and I was never that proud of my circle. Not only Sindh, I have seen Punjab and KPK also. I was failed to find any prejudice there even.
One more interesting question people ask me, “do you support India in cricket match”. I m born in Pakistan, raised in Pakistan, still live in Pakistan, have never thought of leaving Pakistan, my family and friends are here in Pakistan then why on earth will I support India? I have always failed to find out the logic behind that. Or may be people asking me such question are very much poor at general knowledge. They need to know that there are 200 million Muslims in India and none of them supports Pakistan then why am i suppose to India.
Being a Hindu and Pakistani, I may have many problems with Pakistani Govt but I can never have problem with Pakistani people. There can be many reasons of not being happy with Govt but I can not find single reason of not being happy with Pakistani people. Talking on general, we may conclude that if there are ninety out of hundred persons against you, then there is a problem but if there is only one person against you, better ignore him. In nutshell, “Pakistani people are awesome. It is just the perspective which has made them bad.”
Kundan Jai Shankar from Mithi Sindh.
Rosheen Khan is a first young Pakistani girl who has traveled the journey of success in distinguished manner.She started travelling the depths of the sea and reached the heights of success .After years of struggle Rosheen Khan has made a name for herself nationally and internationally ,today she is recognized as PAKISTAN’S first scuba driver,moreover she managed to keep a spot in ‘DIVING BOOK OF RECORDS” for the last two years and has earned many awards,certificates and other honors.
This lady proves to be an inspiration to all those women who consider themselves being bound by the cultural society.
Jamsheed Kaikobad Ardeshir Marker, Hilal-e-Imtiaz is a veteran Pakistani diplomat. He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been ambassador to more countries than any other person. He speaks English, Urdu, Gujarati, French,German, and Russian and was Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States and more than a dozen other countries for more than three decades and earned the distinction as the world’s longest-serving ambassador. He was a radio cricket commentator. His first broadcast was from the Karachi stadium. he originally worked in his family’s “shipping and pharmaceutical” businesses, and moved into diplomacy in 1965 when he was appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to Ghana.
Dr Alexander John Malik, is the longest-serving Bishop in the history of the Anglican Church of the Subcontinent. After serving for 32 years as Bishop of Lahore, he retired in Sept 2014. Dr Malik got his Master’s degree from McGill University, Canada, and his Doctorate of Divinity from Wheaton College, USA. While studying at the Islamic Research Center in McGill University, he worked on his PhD thesis based on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He is a strong advocate of interfaith harmony and has devoted his life to the cause.
My name is Moiz Rehan. I’m 19 and I was born and raised in Islamabad, Pakistan. This is the story of how it took me 19 years to accept where I come from and what my background is.
My family did not have a lot of money when I was growing up. For the first ten years of my life, I lived in a single room with my family. My mother and father used to sleep on the bed while my sister and I slept on the floor on a mattress. We didn’t have much but we had more than enough. My father is a driver and works for Federal Directorate of Education and my mother is a high school teacher at a public school in Islamabad. Growing up in a culture where social class was considered your identity was quite hard for me. Despite the fact that my parents never let me or my sister feel inferior to anyone, I was still scared of telling anyone at school that my dad was a driver. I did not want to be called the “driver’s kid”. I wanted to make a name for myself. I wanted to work hard and prove to the world that it does not matter where you came from as long as you believe in yourself.
Throughout my public education experience in elementary, middle, and high school, I did very well academically. I got scholarships that allowed me to visit Japan when I was 10 and the US when I was 15. I lived in Chicago as an exchange student for a year and went to a fantastic private school called Francis W. Parker. During that year, I discovered my passion for theater, cooking, and community service. That year totally changed my life and how I looked at the world. I learned how to respect people not on the basis of their background but on the basis of their hard work, character, and their treatment of those around them.
While in the US, it no longer mattered what my dad did for a living because I had the chance to reinvent myself, discover my interests, and create my own identity. This shift in perspective was one of the biggest reasons why I believe it was the best year of my life so far. It allowed me to become the person I wanted to be and to stop caring about what anyone else thought. I was beginning to break out of the mentality which had been imbued within me since I was a kid: that my identity was restricted to my background.
However, after returning to Pakistan in 2013 and joining a private school, I was once again too scared to say anything about my background. The kids I went to school with were much more affluent than me and while that didn’t directly matter to me anymore, I was still too self-conscious to share my background with anyone. I knew by now what my strengths were (academics, public speaking, project management, community service) and I knew how to create opportunities for myself, but I was still unsure of how exactly to come out of my fear of other people’s judgements of my background.
My opportunity to break out of my self-conscious shell emerged when I became the first Pakistani to win Horlicks Wizkids 2014 – a talent competition that takes places in Bangalore, India. Being one of the five winners out of 40 fantastic semi-finalists was not only extremely humbling but it also made me realize that the only thing holding me back from breaking out of my shell was myself. Winning such a prestigious competition allowed me to fully believe in my capabilities – the confidence boost made me become less self-conscious. My shell had been broken but my metamorphosis had just begun.
I returned back to Pakistan and busied myself with more community service projects, especially ones about teaching the English language to underprivileged students. To my dismay, I still found myself avoiding questions about what my father did and what my “story” was. While applying for colleges during my senior year, I was tempted to share my story on the CommonApp essay, but I didn’t want to play that card. I was determined to get into a college based on my accomplishments alone. I was not looking for sympathy. I wanted proof that my hard work was enough to get me into a good college. Quite unexpectedly, most colleges that I applied to didn’t think my accomplishments were good enough. I got rejected from all the Ivy league colleges I applied to and got waitlisted from some of the better colleges on my wish list. I was somewhat disheartened but I did not give up. I knew that my parents had put in too much effort in my education for me to not get into a place I would be happy at. The last college admissions email I got was from Williams College. Turned out I had gotten into the then number one liberal arts college in the US with a very generous financial aid package.
Getting into Williams was the cherry on the cake. The sense of accomplishment finally made me confident enough me to share my story with those around me. My opportunity to do so came during July, 2015 when I had the chance to speak at a school event where the graduating seniors shared their personal stories with prospective freshmen.
With my heart beating like a drum, I got on stage and the words came out slowly but steadily: My paternal grandfather was in the army and left my grandmother for another woman after having 11 children with her. My grandmother raised all the kids on her own but without any major financial support from relatives – my father sacrificed his own education to care of his siblings. He had a tough upbringing, to say the least (at this point in my speech, I was sobbing like a baby). His marriage with my mother was arranged yet they became partners in bringing up their kids. My mom completed her Master’s degree in Education with two little kids to take care of but never uttered a word of complaint. My father supported her every step of the way. Both of them are truly the most amazing people I know and I am kind of ashamed that I felt self-conscious for most of my life about telling people about my father’s profession.
The moment I finished my speech, there was a stunned silence. And then suddenly, every single person in the hall stood up and applauded. I felt relief like I had never felt before in my life.
Arriving at Williams, I was totally ready and self-confident to share with anyone who wanted to know where I came from and who I was. But the stress of the first semester stopped me from really being open about myself. Now in my much more relaxed second semester, I am finally at a time and place where I am proud of my background and totally okay with sharing it with everyone. Everything that I have been able to accomplish is due to my parents, my sister and the unwavering support from my teachers, mentors, and friends along the way. I have never told anyone about my background and I think it’s the right time to do so.
My story is not an extremely unique one – thousands of kids from middle class backgrounds in Pakistan are making names for themselves through their hard work and devotion. My intention by sharing my story is to not only to thank every single person who has helped me get where I am in my life but also to help other people who might read this to get inspired to share their life stories. We should be proud of our backgrounds. Without my background, people can’t put me in context or truly understand me as a person. Without my background, my accomplishments are at a danger of becoming meaningless. Without embracing where I come from, I cannot go where I want to go.
So that’s why I believe that no matter where you are, your dreams are valid. My goal in life is to bring the opportunities that I have been blessed with to those who deserve them and to help people wherever I go. I realize that I have been extremely blessed in a lot of ways and I believe that giving back is my responsibility. I intend to return to Pakistan after completing my education in the US and to help people in Pakistan in every way I can. Till then and for the rest of my life, I will continue to grow, learn, to believe in myself and to be proud of my parents.
So, after having lots of second thoughts about it, I finally decided to make it public. Because this needs to be said out loud, and people need to know this. Harassment is real, any girl who’s born and raised in Pakistan experiences it everyday, so much that it starts feeling normal, something that you’re conditioned to live with, and accept it as it is. But yesterday I experienced the worst form of it.
It was just a regular Sunday morning, that has been starting with an early morning bike ride for me the since the past 4 years or so now. I hopped on my bike as usual around 6 am and started cycling to reach the meeting point where the other members of my cycling group Critical Mass Lahore meetup on every weekend to explore different parts of the city.
The thing that I love most about these early morning rides is the fresh air and traffic-less roads, free from all the pollutants and noise. So, I was just enjoying the chilly morning breeze and empty roads of DHA, when some guys on a white Cultus started following me. I did not take it very seriously initially, because it is a common practice, people tend to get very excited when they see women cycling here. But it started bothering me when it kept going on for 5-10 minutes. Eventually I decided to turn in the service lane, hoping that this might stop them, but they followed me there too. I was trying to look for a guard or some other help, where I could stop and get rid of these jerks, but sadly the roads were completely empty at that hour. So when they could not get successful in getting my attention after screaming at the top of their lungs and honking at me non-stop, they eventually decided to hit my bike from the back and run away. I fell on the road on my face, the helmet saved my head thankfully.
I am still extremely disgusted and grossed out because of this incident. I’m not posting it here to discourage females from cycling. We have a right on this city, and these roads. If anything, this is another reason to fight even more fiercely to claim that right. So girls! keep fighting, but try to be a bit cautious, and try not to get hurt!
A writer and a doctor from Islamabad, I believe in women empowerment and wants to create a better place for those less fortunate. I’ve worked with many NGOs before launching the idea of ‘Wall of Kindness ‘ in the Capital City. Launching the idea, I’ve created a huge wave of awareness that led to the sprouting up of many such walls in the entire twin cities. This idea had originated from Iran and traveled to Lahore, and Peshawar from where it has spread tonnes of kindness in the city of Islamabad. On the 23rd of March, Pakistan Day, with the Green Volunteers on board, we plan to execute the plan by white washing an entire wall, after which we plan to hire graffiti artists to display their skills in a aura of patriotism. With her chant of “let the kindness be contagious”,I want to see Pakistan rise from the skirmishes of poverty and soar towards a better tomorrow. Like a ripple in the water, the kindness shall spread.
One day InshaAllah
Residents of Sea View Apartments, Shireen and Hasan Zafar teach more than 25 street children, who sell flowers and tissue papers or beg at traffic signals on the streets of Defence Housing Authority. The siblings set up tables and chairs near Café Clifton on Khayaban-e-Shamsheer and spend nearly two hours every day teaching the children basics, such as alphabets and counting. The street school runs six days a week from 4:30pm to 6pm.
Education for all: Govt to set up school for street children
“A few months ago, I was passing by a [traffic] signal when a girl begging there came up to me and asked me how I was feeling, instead of asking for money,” recalled 12-year-old Shireen, who is a student of class seven. Touched by the girl’s query, Shireen decided to help out little beggars who cannot afford to go to school.
“I discussed the idea with my elder brother to teach some of these kids and motivate them to study hard,” she said, adding that the idea for a small session turned into a whole classroom for street children.
Her elder brother, 15-year-old Hasan, agreed immediately with his sister but Shireen had a hard time convincing her classmates to help out. Hasan said he always wanted to spread awareness and work for education and Shireen’s idea was perfect to change his thoughts into reality.
Hasan, who is a student of class nine, thought there was no better way to utilise what they have studied at their schools. “To manage time after school is not that difficult,” he shared. “I do not use my phone for two hours and come here instead to do something I like.”
One of the students at the school is Pashmina, a 16-year-old girl from Neelum Colony, who is suffering from polio, but comes to these classes regularly to study basics of English, Mathematics and Urdu. “If I am lucky enough to get educated, then why not these children,” said Hasan.
Increase in school fees forces parents onto the streets
Pashmina, who attends classes regularly, said she wanted to study but her family could not afford it. “My mother works as a maid in a bungalow,” she said. Pashmina is proud of what she has managed to learn in the last two months. “I have learned [multiplication] tables of two and three and learn all the alphabets of English and Urdu,” she shared.
Salman Khan, who comes to the classes from his house in Shireen Jinnah Colony, said that he sells tissue paper near Sea View before and after the class and manages to make Rs300 every day. “Earning is my need but studying is my want,” he said, adding that he wants to study enough to be able to work at an office one day.
“I sell these crackers the whole day,” said Albela, who was unable to tell his age. He brings his bag of crackers with him so he can go back to selling them once he is done with class.
To make sure the children stay committed, Shireen and Hasan saved their pocket money and paid each student Rs20 after every class. “They tried to conduct the classes for the children at our house but the children were hesitant,” shared Sarwat Ali Shah, the siblings’ mother.
Minister suggests separate dept for street children
The duo found its current spot near Café Clifton and was able to maintain attendance at the classes for several weeks. Now some people have started helping them by providing juice boxes to the children along with providing a daily stipend of Rs50 to keep these children motivated.
Rana Yasmeen, a government school teacher of basic pay scale grade 15, also spares time from her busy schedule and helps Shireen and Hasan conduct classes. She said this is her attempt to help make the city more educated.
This remarkable picture showing Kashmiri cricketer Amir Hussain, 26, is all over international media today.the brilliant picture by Younis Zargar, tells the story of Amir who lost both his arms at age 8 in a tragic accident at his father’s sawmill, which made cricket bats, according to the guardian his father had to sell the business to pay for his son’s treatment and his son still loved playing the sport. Amir who is captain of Kashmiri para-cricket team is able to bat, bowl and field using his feet. His unusual technique for batting involves holding the bat between his neck and shoulder and he bowls with the toes using sweeping leg movement to launch the ball.
A dream wedding doesn’t always have to be big, or lavish, or even extravagant for that matter; but seldom do weddings come cheap.
This is a story to inspire you to your core.
Like many of us, 24-year-old couple Shehzaan and Zainab Chunara were in the midst of planning a lavish affair for the big day they had always dreamed of… But something felt off.
“We began tallying up expenses and started to think it wasn’t worth putting that much money toward something that would only last a few days,” Shehzaan told! Something didn’t quite feel right. “We wanted to use the money for something that will have a lasting impact.”
What happened next is pretty amazing — the couple decided they would donate the money they saved for their wedding fund to the Aga Khan Foundation, an NGO that’s mission is to eradicate poverty by investing in education, infrastructure and self-sustaining communities around the world.
Both were particularly fond of AKF because it equips people with the resources they need to pursue their dreams rather than just offering handouts.
“I’ve seen poverty up close and it’s extremely heart-wrenching,” Shehzaan said. “We felt like it was the right thing to do to give someone an opportunity to have clean water, an education and a roof over their head.”
On top of the money the couple donated themselves, they also encouraged their guests to donate the money they would’ve spent on a gift to the AKF.
Q) What’s your name?
A) Prince Mohammad Zaeem Quddussi.
Q) Prince? Ye naam kisne rakha?
A) Ye naam mere abbu ne mera aur mere bhaion ka rakha hai.
Q) Ye kaisa naam hai?
A) People ask me this question a lot. My father named me out of fun.
Q) Prince hi kyun?
A) He didn’t find a fancy name to yehi rakhdia tafree me.
“I recently participated in a tennis tournament in Karachi. I have found a surprising amount of Pakistanis who want to play this sport. I thought I would do fine in the tournament because Pakistan is more of a cricketers’ country….but I got crushed!”
I came to Germany from Pakistan to pursue higher studies 3 years ago. I distinctly remember that I had German Language class on the second day of my arrival. When I entered the class, I saw that the girls to boys ratio was 20:5 respectively. So no matter where I sat, I had to share a bench with a girl. I didn’t mind it in the least, but what I found weird was that if a girl sat with me once, she would change her seat the very next day and didn’t sit with me again. This kept happening for a few days and I found it very odd. Then one day, my curiosity got the better of me and I confronted a Bulgarian class fellow about it. To my surprise, she started laughing! Then she informed me that its because of the smell that keeps wafting up from my hair. Realization dawned: when I was leaving for Germany, my mother had packed a lot of items for me lovingly. Among those was mustard oil in triple plastic wrapped bags. She bid me farewell with the special instruction that I have to apply this oil in my hair regularly for their continued growth. What time of the day? That, I was not told. Apparently, I had chosen the wrong time of the day to do this. Later, I just drained the oil without second thought and told myself: ‘Welcome to Germany, Mr. Paindu.’
I was diagnosed with ESRD, Chronic Kidney failure at the age of 21. I was preparing for CSS at the time. My life changed completely; I had to move to another city with family for proper treatment. I was immediately put on dialysis by placing a tube near my neck. That was my first surgery. In two years that I stayed on dialysis I underwent 7 minor and major surgeries that included the removal of both of my kidneys. Finally I was lucky enough to get a successful transplant. After spending 6 months in isolation, I joined university with a swollen face because of high dosage of steroids. Those who didn’t know of my illness gave me a hard time by judging me but I responded by getting first position in my class. Then I did another MA in English Linguistics. After getting a job as a teacher, I did M-Phil and secured 2nd position in my coursework, returning successfully to my job with a degree. I always wanted to do PhD from abroad, but I stopped trying when I was rejected from Fulbright on the pretext that the scholarship could not cover my expensive medication and the regular tests that were needed to be done after every few months.I finally decided to pursue my PhD in English Linguistics from Pakistan. I topped PhD coursework among faculty members from 7 different universities of Pakistan. Right now I am working on thesis with zeal and hope to complete it soon, though I have aches when I overwork. My academic endeavors continued with the medication, side effects and treatments that became a part of my life but I didn’t let them slow me down. So if life kicks you down, get up and try again!
Angelina Jolie dressed in hijab while she visited refugees in Pakistan. Not only did she look good in it but she showed respect and appreciation for Islamic culture and religion.
Ajay Jadeja, former Indian star is on his visit to Pakistan in accordance to the Asia cup transmisson. While in Islamabad, he left his hotel for a walk on streets of Islamabad.He was soon introduced by a young beggar who asked a piece of bread.He took that boy back to his hotel,have the dinner with him and also sent some food for the boys mother.
Later when asked why he did that,he replied “It was my son’s birthday that day and I celebrated it at its best”
Namira Salim is the first Pakistani to have reached the North Pole in April 2007 and the South Pole in January 2008. She also holds the distinction of being the first Asian and first Pakistani to skydive over Mount Everest during the historic First Everest Skydives 2008.Namira, being the only Pakistani member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space liner, is widely known as the first Pakistani to travel into space. She was short-listed among 100 space tourists in 2005 out of 44,000 candidates and launched personally to the world press by Sir Richard Branson himself in March 2006.Subsequently, in August 2006, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of Pakistan officially launched Namira as the “First Pakistani Astronaut” who has said she hopes her achievements are an inspiration for Pakistani Women