The Western Union and Walmart Adventure: Worker’s Refusal to Send Money

For quite some time, Western Union Money Transfer service has worked well for me as a writer and editor based in Peshawar, Pakistan, and working freelance for American publishers. So it was a bit upsetting when I needed some money from home via Western Union and my cousin, who was to send it via my American friend, was told at a Western Union office in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Friday that they wouldn’t send money to a non-Muslim in America.… [Read more]

America Gets a Star for Christmas!

Flying to the US through a long route was an experience of its own kind. My first-time air travel and I had to change four planes on three international airports. Now that was just a little more than I would accommodate in for a happy travel. Yet, it was exciting – except for Emirates’ Dubai to London (UK) flight as I caught a glimpse of a worker at the Dubai airport – of dark complexion probably like an Arab-African guy – making a gesture of contempt (was it my Pakistani passport?) and pointing to his co-worker.… [Read more]

Isreali Offensive on Gaza – Failure of Leadership

War – this red sign of human madness – is raging once again in the conflict-laden Gaza area as Israeli military offensive allegedly targets anti-Israel militants hiding there. But reports from international media reveal that innocent blood is being spilled too as collateral damage. No doubt Israel’s offensive is condemnable and the excuse of targeting militants is lame because no innocent lives must be lost – whether they are Israelis, Palestinian, or of any other nationality.… [Read more]

Saudi preacher murders his child with torture

It is hard to look at the picture with this story published yesterday on Al Arabiya News: a five-year-old Saudi Arabian girl struggling to get her last breaths in a hospital in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. She was reportedly tortured to the extreme by no one else than her own father. Laama died of the wounds, with broken arms and a fractured skull; her father murdered her.… [Read more]

YouTube Ban Shows Lack of True Democracy in Pakistan

Pakistan’s government was trying to prove its commitment to Islamic ideals and sacredness of Islamic faith when it ordered a ban on YouTube in September following the release of the video Innocence of Muslims, which proved blasphemous to Islamic beliefs. The little religious storm in the political cup was soon over and today, hardly anyone seems to be bothered by the memory of that film.… [Read more]

New Joke from Saudi Arabia – Vaccination of Pilgrims for Polio

Nonsensical, draconian laws of Saudi Arabia make news more often than not in world media. But what just occurred seems to be setting new records in ignorance. Each year millions of Muslims from all over the world visit the kingdom to perform pilgrim in Makkah, as part of their faith, for earning spiritual rewards. This time, the Saudi authorities decided to vaccinate pilgrims coming from certain countries where polio is still considered endemic.… [Read more]

Malala Yousafzai – The Child Whose Faith Defeated Death

Malala Yousafzai – a teenage girl from the militant-infested district of Swat, Khyber Pakhtukhaw, Pakistan – is not just another victim of Taliban aggression; she is an icon, a symbol of courage that has shown the world what true power really means.

Shot at point-blank range by armed gunmen in her native town in Swat while she was returning from school on October 8, 2012, Malala’s survival was no less than a miracle.… [Read more]

Communicating with the Animals – Interview with Bernie Siegel

Editing the coming issue of my journal Recovering the Self, which is themed “animals and healing”, I read the interesting and thought-provoking article by Bernie Siegel, M.D.  In his article, called “Communicating with the Animals”, Bernie Siegel tells about the verbal as well as non-verbal communication between him and his pets and relates it to the process of healing.… [Read more]

Doing Less, Wanting Bigger Pay — Protesting Teachers in Peshawar

Today, for the third day, the teachers at the University of Peshawar continued to protest against the government’s failure to fulfill its promise of increasing teachers’ pay by 20 percent. There were no classes on campus as teachers boycotted classes and offices at various departments also remained closed. This was not only the case at the University of Peshawar but the universities of the entire province are reportedly observing the same strike.… [Read more]

Bangladeshi media, clergy conspiring against Pakistani government?

The past week and weekend in particular have been important in the context of relation between media and politics in the Indo-Pak region as clerics in Bangladesh have all of a sudden jumped on a campaign against two prominent Pakistani political figures.

A week ago, the news of an alleged love affair between Pakistan’s ruling President’s only son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan’s Hina Rabbani Khar rocked the political grounds as well the general public in the region.… [Read more]