Tagged with " International"
Mar 27, 2008 - religion    No Comments

Saving face

Saudis take the cake for being the weirdest of people in a planet full of weirdos. Take this new item for example. A 50-year-old Saudi woman asked for divorce after her husband lifted her face veil while she was sleeping. For 30 years, the wife said she never showed her face to her husband in conformity with the tradition of her native village near the south western Saudi city of Khamis Mushayt.

“After all these years, he tries to commit such a big mistake,” the wife told Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh, after she left the house in total disbelief.

She said the husband apologized and promised never to do it again.

This is not the first case of husbands who have not seen their wives’ faces in decades.

In the past Ali al-Qahtani’s wife had been wearing the face veil for the entire ten years of their marrage. When he tried to take it off, she threatened to leave and only decided to stay after he swore never to try again.

Hassan Al-Atibi threatened to marry another woman if his wife didn’t show him her face. The woman nominated one of her friends who doesn’t observe this tradition as a possible new wife for him, saying this would be better than her showing her face.

And neither the husband or children of Om Rabea al-Gahdaray, 70, have ever seen her face. Al-Gahdaray says it is a family tradition, also followed by mother and sisters, which her husband accepted and never tried to change.

When asked how she could have kids without her husband ever seeing her face, she replied: “Marriage is about love, not faces.”

Now, is that convoluted or is that convoluted?

Mar 20, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Five years on …

Five years on, Iraq is nothing but debris, death and devastation, no infrastructure, child soldiers fighting the sectarian fight and crippling poverty.

Photo courtesy: Guardian Unlimited

Jan 28, 2008 - Society    8 Comments

The Myth of Pakistani Stud

So along with a million and one Indians, Shobha De (yes, the one who write ultra trashy novels that get published and I cant find editors for my 1000 word articles) also jumped in to discuss the myth about Pakistani studs (for full story, see ). Ever since Britney Spears started hanging around that shady character (can’t dignify it by calling it dating) Indian newspapers went in a tizzy about Pakistani stud muffins and how they woo the fair ladies from the far far away lands. The earlier examples cited were Princess Diana and a very irritating Jemima Khan (cant make up my mind, who I find more irritating, Jemima or her ex).

First of all, I want to know what is wrong with Indians? What fascination they have about romance with Pakistanis, be it men or women (we have seen enough of Veer Zara type films to know that the fascination just does not end with any specific gender).

If you ask me, I would say that Pakistani men are NOT wonderful at all, perhaps with exception of a very tiny minority, the rest are worst than their counterparts in other parts if the world, India included. Jemima and Lady Di fell for them because they did not know any better. Diana (God rest her soul in peace), did not live to regret her decision – thank heaven for small mercies – and Jemima has wizened up after 9 long years and left our pathan bhai ji for an equally unimpressive Hugh Grant (some people just never learn).

Like other Britney affairs, including her two marriages, this too shall not last. Waisay bhi, we have enough problems of our own, we sure as hell, do not need another train wreck.

Ms. De goes a little further and says that the mem sahibs in question sought salvation of some kind, when they hooked up with Pakistani men. I beg to differ and think that they just were looking for something different; like an evening out to eat curry after eating Yorkshire pudding and fish and chips for sooo long.

She further went on and said that the next stud (!?!?!?!?!) to attract a foreigner is Asif Zardari. Even the most ardent admirers of Mr Z would find it unpalatable that he be called stud. STUD!!!!!! Some people have started using the words soooo liberally. I don’t think Mr. Z is in the market for a wife, mem sahib or otherwise, for the time being. Unless, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari comes back after finishing his degree and Mr. Z hands over the party reigns to his son, he will watch his steps very carefully and play the dutiful widower who will be sitting beside the picture of his more dynamic deceased wife.

In any case, you only get lucky once.

As for Pakistani studs, I am yet to see a genuine true blue one.

Nov 30, 2007 - religion, Society, women    4 Comments

If it is polygamy for New York, what about polyandry for San Jose?

Being single and not 19 anymore, everyone assumes that I am desperately seeking matrimony. One of my very good friends who believe that it is impossible to find decent men in Pakistan and has been urging me for soooo long to pack my bags and move to North America (She alternates her time between Vancouver and Seattle and has been trying to sell to me the virtues of living in a city where it rains 360 days a year). She just sent me this article that actually has top 5 cities in US where women can find young, healthy and straight men. She actually believed that a lazy being like me, who has so far not budged, despite wanting to live in a more civilized, more tolerant and women friendly society would actually consider moving across the world to look for men!!!!!

They actually crunched some numbers on seven categories that have a bearing on how great a city might be for finding guys. They are: ratios of single men to single women and of gay to straight; divorce rates; fitness; philanthropy; education; and the thrill factor places where guys and girls do the kind of fun stuff that makes hearts race and bonds form.

The city that came on top was … San Jose, California. Apparently, the city has the greatest concentration of single, intelligent, physically fit men who love high-adrenaline activities. The article said that “San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley, and technology is notoriously male-dominated. There are literally throngs of guys in striped shirts and khakis on every street corner.” So all the women who want khakis clad me with well paid jobs, head to San Jose. On the contrary, my only friend who has lived in San Jose for two and half years think the city is full of weird people and has recently moved to San Francisco. The other top five cities are Salt Lake City, Arlington (Texas), Raleigh (North Carolina), and last but not the San Francisco, which according to the article has surprising number of straight single men.

Dr Zakir Naik (of QTV) was the first person I thought of after reading this. Remember, he said that there are 300,000 more women in New York than man and there is a sizeable gay population, hence those men who can afford it should all take another wife to save the 300,000 New York girls from impending spinsterhood. Would he recommend polyandry for San Jose or Alaska or North Scotland and our own Malakand Division where men outnumber women by great numbers?

I for one am too lazy to move out of my extremely polluted comfort zone (Karachi) but those of you who are brave and active enough to relocate, San Jose is waiting for you.

Sep 26, 2007 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

We are neither happy, nor gay!!!

Suffering from the ‘foot in mouth’ disease, President Ahmadinejad has done it again, this time in front of some of the most intelligent young people. He was greeted with laughter and cries of disbelief, and rightly so, when he told students and staff at Columbia University: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals. In Iran we don’t have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you we have it.”

Since the Islamic revolution in Iran, there have been strenuous but not always successful efforts to bury this past. Of all the Muslim countries, Iran at the moment is probably the most active in persecuting gay people. This probably has less to do with religion than local political and cultural factors. Rumour has it that House of Raza Shah Pahlavi was overwhelmingly gay. His Prime minister was a homosexual man and even Shah was bi-sexual. (For complete story, see http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/brian_whitaker/2007/09/no_homosexuality_he re.html)

I have been to Iran and traveled all over the country by road (a total of 16 major cities). The number of metro sexual men in most Iranian cities is far higher than, let’s say, either Manchester or San Francisco (cities famous for their sizeable gay population). If the law of averages is to be applied and half of those hyper metro sexual men are gay, then that’s a huge number. The Arab and Persian literature is filled with homo erotic themes for centuries; calling it un natural or western is not only stupid but ignorant as well.

It also leads one to wonder if this historic prevalence of homosexuality and homoeroticism in the Middle East responsible for historic exclusion of women from full participation in society, or vice versa? He is taking the leaf out of Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels ( German politician and Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda under Adolf Hitler) who said that if you lie convincingly and repeatedly, you eventually believe it and it goes away.

Sep 9, 2007 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Atomic Attraction

China has recently opened up the base where it researched and produced its first nuclear weapons as a tourist attraction. The question is, do you really want to go?

China’s so-called “Atomic Town”, a base built in 1958 to research and build the country’s first generation of nuclear weapons, is now officially open and being promoted as a tourist attraction (what were Chinese thinking, or may be they were just not thinking).

The supposed main attraction is an underground, reinforced concrete bunker which originally contained the main research laboratory. Along with the rest of the base, it was closed in 1987 and handed over to the provincial government six years later.

The underground headquarters of the nuclear weapons research and production base are a curiosity to many people. They can see the nuclear city for themselves.

But would you really want to go? Apart from the remoteness and the lack of much to see of any interest, you would also have to trust officials when they say the site has been thoroughly decontaminated? I think not, unless they start selling performances by Atomic Kittens as added attractions.