And Just Maybe, It’s Eid

Writing this as Eid approaches, I'm reminded of all the different ways people might experience this occasion.  This post is my way of showcasing such varying experiences.  Each short story below is told from the point of view of a member of a household.  I hope you enjoy them. Eid Mubarak!Heels.  For Tanzi, Eid is all about a pair of strappy, silver heels.  They sit nestled in the corner of Baji's almari, covered in a layer of forgotten dust.  There's a tear to one of the straps and the heel … [Read more...]

A Tale of Two Ramadans

Badshadi mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. Source: National Geographic.

My grandmother set down a plate of six or seven parathas with determination in her eyes, as though warning us we had no choice but to finish all of them. From the kitchen, pots and pans clacked as our cook constructed omelet after omelet at a pace that could, conceivably, break the sound barrier. My cousins yawned loudly between scavenging mouthfuls. From the couch, my grandfather disapprovingly surveyed the scene. “Ruby,” he said, peeking out from behind yesterday’s copy of The Express-Tribune, … [Read more...]

The Colourful Drones of Mahwish Chishty

Chishty's painting "X-47B." [Source].

In the past few years, drones have emerged from virtually been unknown to becoming a symbol of modern warfare. Almost simultaneously, artists have subverted drones by turning them into art in a rising subculture: from the drone cinema that features films shot from hexacopters, and the Drones of New York and quadrocopters fly-dancing in Austria, to David Shook's “Poetry Drone” project, which aims at raising $10,000 to buy a flying drone that will cruise over cities, raining down antiwar poems on t … [Read more...]

In conversation with Pakistani Actress Saeeda Imtiaz


Movie stars have always fascinated me. We follow their dressing sense, emulate them, secretly envy them and even the most polite among us feel obliged to pass snide remarks on them as if they belong to each one of us.In this email interview, Pakistani actress Saeeda Imtiaz, who portrays the role of Jemima Khan in the upcoming movie Kaptaan, gets candid about her career aspirations and what it’s like for a newcomer in the Pakistan film industry.1. What attracted you to acting, other t … [Read more...]

Women and Democracy in Pakistan: How Dreams are Stronger than Fear

Women gather to support Imran Khan at an election rally. Source.

This post was written by guest contributor Maria Salman.Defiance. In light of a recent landmark election, this is the one word dominating the media’s rhetoric on the civic engagement of Pakistani women. On May 11, scores of Pakistanis came out to exercise their right to vote – many for the first time in their lives. As the world apprehensively eyes a crucial geopolitical region against the backdrop of what was once called the War on Terror, it was inevitable perhaps that when the focus was on … [Read more...]

Malala and the Media: Not Black and White

Malala Yousafzai. [Source].

This post was written by guest contributor Ossob.Looking back at recent media attention on Muslim women, the story of Malala Yousafzai stands out because it simultaneously inspired and frustrated me. A young Muslim woman had captured the attention of the global media for, it would appear, all the right reasons. Malala Yousafzai, the bright 14-year-old activist brutally attacked by the Taliban, has not fit neatly into the dominant narrative of Muslim women as oppressed, feeble, and silent. … [Read more...]

Zero Dark Thirty: A Tale of Bias and Burqas

Zero Dark Thirty - Maya

This post was written by guest contributor Emaan Majed.The scene opens on a bustling Peshawar market. The street vendors peddle ripe oranges and bananas. Decorated rickshaws bustle through busy streets as Maya, the determined female protagonist of Zero Dark Thirty, makes her way to her destination. But in contrast to actual Peshawar markets, the only Muslim women on the movie screen are two briefly seen, unnamed extras wearing sky blue Afghan chadris.The central narrative of Zero Dark … [Read more...]