Sunday, February 07, 2016

Nabila Kiani in the SF Bay Area








On Sunday, February 7, in a meeting hosted by the Urdu Academy of North America at the Chandni Restaurant in Newark, educationist, and Urdu writer and critic Nabila Kiani read her review of Majeed Amjad’s feminist poetry.  Nabila Kiani's presentation was followed by a poetry reading session featuring Arshad Rashid, Ahmar Shahwar, and Tashie Zaheer.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Dead people cannot defend themselves








Dead people cannot defend themselves.
We are being told Tashfeen Malik (shown here killed on the street) pledged loyalty to ISIS.  But there got to be a deeper bond between Tashfeen and the terrorist state.  Wasn't she Al-Baghdadi's concubine?
[Joke aside, is that a handcuff I am seeing in this photo? And where is her gun that she allegedly used to return fire at the police?]
Photo courtesy of TMZ/New York Daily News

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The Secret Life of Syed Farook (Farooq) and Tashfeen Malik









You sit calmly in a meeting.  Later, people see you leaving the room; some think you looked upset when you left.  Only half-an-hour later you show up with your wife.  The two of you are armed--you start shooting people and then run away.

Does all of this make sense?

Where was your wife when you first came to the meeting?  In the car, with guns?  Or, did you quickly go home from the meeting, packed wife and guns and re-appeared at the scene to kill people?



So many questions, very few answers.



Here is what we really really know (if you believe the western media).

1. On Tuesday, December 2, there was a meeting going on at the Inland Regional Center. Syed Farook was an employee of the Center.

2. Two people, in ski masks, appear at the Inland Regional Center and start shooting people, including those present in the large meeting room.

3. A woman who attended the meeting, but left for the bathroom shortly before the shooting started said Syed Farook was an attendee of the meeting and angrily left the room earlier.

4. Police quickly finds out Farook's home address, reaches there; a shootout ensues leaving Farook and his partner/wife dead.



You are welcome to make your story based on these facts.





Photo courtesy of the Washington Times


Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Haj in Pakistan





Haj in Pakistan

Most people on being told about two Haj places in Pakistan appear genuinely shocked.  How dare you think of giving your hard-earned foreign exchange to anyone but the Saudis!  Jokes aside, sociologists love the idea of religious services that benefit local economies. Your God, your religion, your holy places, your money—they should all stay together.

Haj at Shah Aqeeq
Back in 1992 when I heard of devotees from Jati, Sujawal, and other surrounding areas performing their Haj at Shah Aqeeq I got very interested in that spiritual center.  I was in Badin at that time; curious to learn about the religious beliefs of that group I made a visit to Shah Aqeeq.  When I reached the shrine I found it to be barricaded by the police; apparently there was a crackdown on ‘illegal’ activities being performed at the dargah.





Haj at Koh-e-Murad
Growing extremism in Pakistan has resulted in attacks on the Zikris, a Sunni-Muslim offshoot living in and around the town of Turbat in Balochistan.  The Zikris perform a haj-like pilgrimage at Koh-e-Murad.

And there is a good logic to keeping pilgrimage sites local: Haj, or any other pilgrimage for that matter, is about undertaking a long journey through which you go through physical exercise, you get to see new places, you act according to your religious beliefs, and you do all this with a large group of like-minded people.  If you have limited financial resources and you can achieve all these goals locally, why pay money to the airlines and to despots controlling religious sites in other countries?









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Shah Aqeeq photo courtesy of http://wikimapia.org/
Koh-e-Murad photo courtesy of http://real-politique.blogspot.com/.

Tags:
Hajj locations in Pakistan, Hajis, Hajjis, Kaaba, Kaba

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

San Francisco Bay Area Urdu writer (K. Ashraf) Khawaja Ashraf's Journey




An interview with prolific Urdu writer K Ashraf.
K Ashraf has written ten books so far.

Novels
Matti ka beta
Nasl e Sukhta
Shab Gazeeda Sahar

Collections of Short Stories
Mukalmay ka qatl
Tareekee mein chaltay loag
Aina Kahani

Travelogues
Israel mein chand roz
Moscow Moscow
Soqrat kay shahr mein
Kinaray Neel

Friday, October 02, 2015

Is 75 a good age to die at?










August 31, 2015
Another snow storm.  It was very cold.  The only thing warm that Iowa winter was Anita Baker’s new single ‘Sweet Love.’  Warm?  No, It was HOT.  I had listened to it at least ten times in a row a night before.  Stop, rewind, play, stop, rewind, play…and keep doing it.
It was now morning.  Subdued light had broken outside but I did not want to leave the bed.  Someone on the door was knocking.  I lifted the curtain a bit to see who it was.  It was Theresa—I had met her through the Cosmopolitan Club.  She had a book in her hand.
‘I am leaving for home.  Want to give you this book before I leave,’ she yelled and waved a book she had in her hand.  I went to the door and got the book from her.  She gave me a hug, her icy cold cheek pressing against mine—and then left.
I looked at the book after she was gone.  It was ‘Pulling Your Own Strings’ by Wayne Dyer.  I started reading it and found it absorbing.  Before I knew it I was quarter of the way through.  It was as if Dyer was right in front of me, talking to me about how to live a life of freedom.  I finished that book and then read others Dyer had written.  Dyer’s books had a profound impact on me.  About to end college, it was the best career counseling I could get.  I decided to never ever work for anyone but myself.  I also learned to question authority…any authority, all authorities.
Wayne Dyer has died.  I hope he died in peace knowing that countless people around the world have benefitted tremendously from his writings.

Wayne Dyer's photo courtesy of touching1mhearts.com