Friday, 5 September 2014

The Weekly Round Up

I don't update "The Weekly Round Up" as frequently as I should (hint: weekly) but here is a long over due one on what I've been reading and sharing on Facebook.

These posts take about an hour or more to do, depending on the gaps between the posts. It also takes time to read the articles again, click/paste the link locations, and go through what I liked about the articles or memes in the first place.

Pakistan's Hidden Shame

The documentary "Hidden Shame" alleges that 9 out of 10 children in Peshawar have been victims of pedophilia. The trailer contains partial interviews with truck drivers who have committed such crimes.  See "Pakistan’s Hidden Shame: Documentary reveals horrors of pedophilia in K-P."

Celebrity Passing Away: "Actor Maqsood Hassan passes away"

The Azadi March
This is a hilarious and very informative piece "In crisis-hit Pakistan, a new lexicon of politics emerges on Twitter"

Great news (not!): "Two captains: Miandad backs Imran's protest"

A very embarrassing piece on Imran Khan's Azadi March: "The Pretender to Pakistan's Throne." See excerpt:
Khan may be the world's oldest teenager, with a captive national audience. He thumbs his nose at political niceties and employs an invective that dumbs down the discourse. Like Justin Bieber, Khan focuses on electrifying the urban youth who genuinely believe him to be a messianic solution to the disenchantment they feel about their country. And Khan's understanding of Pakistan's problems is probably only slightly more sophisticated than Bieber's. Khan does not have the policy chops to fix what ails Pakistan: The crux of his efforts during these few weeks has been that he, not Sharif, should be prime minister.
The Ice Bucket Challenge Backlash

Innovative cities according to The Times of India: "The 18 most innovative cities on earth"

Blast from the past: Grammar and English Lit

This article "A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences" brought back memories of English class. I hated doing these diagrams mainly because of a 9th grade experience. When I barely passed a test that involved doing these diagrams and complained to our English teacher, Mr. Agnor, at DA, he said his heart was crying tears of blood for me.

And speaking of English classes check out "If White Characters Were Described Like People Of Color In Literature."

John Stewart's Amazing Rant about Fox's Coverage of Ferguson: "“Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people?”

Chris Rock and Bullet Control


Junaid Jamshed Says Women Can't Drive?!

I got this meme from Laal's page:

Ebola Crisis in West Africa

An excellent article "The Cure for Ebola Is Accountability"
Despite millions of dollars of investment in the decade before the Ebola outbreak, there were only 150 trained doctors in the entire country of 3.5 million people. As a result, access to services is inevitably exclusionary, lending itself to networks of corruption as patients do anything they can to receive care.
Why does Liberia not seem to be able to get a grip on the epidemic as compared to Guinea or Sierra Leone? "As Ebola Grips Liberia’s Capital, a Quarantine Sows Social Chaos"
No one knows yet why Ebola has succeeded in spreading at such an alarming rate here in the capital. Ebola has reached the capital cities of Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Conakry, Guinea — the two other West African nations most affected by the current outbreak — but the disease has been more effectively contained in those cities.

Our company's blog post about how ebola is affecting business: "How does a business cope with an ebola-struck economy?" Excerpt: 
It is doubtful guidebooks written by business gurus appearing on the prestigious New York Times bestseller list or a graduate of the Harvard Business School could advise a company on how to handle the deteriorating situation as the likes of which we are now facing in ebola-struck Liberia.
"Ebola: Can we learn from SARS?" made an excellent point about quarantine:
Quarantine was abandoned a century ago.

There is an essential difference between quarantine and case isolation. Quarantine targets well people potentially incubating an infection; it’s impractical, ineffective and economically disruptive. Case isolation, on the other hand, targets individuals showing symptoms of disease and is the cornerstone of effective infection control.

Quarantine didn’t help control SARS and it won’t help control Ebola. Because of fear of Ebola, whole areas of West Africa are being cordoned off and airlines are cancelling services. These are forms of quarantine. They will hinder the flow of aid without stopping the disease’s spread.

"If God saved an American doctor with Ebola, why did he let 1,200 Africans die?" is a sarcastic look at Dr Kent Brantly's gratitude to God. It's worth reading.

One of the best articles on how the ebola crisis unfolded in Liberia: "Ebola has caused Liberia’s cauldron of dissatisfaction to boil over." See an excerpt:
When looters invaded a treatment centre on 17 August, declaring that Ebola was not real and that the government was using it as a ruse to shore up donor funding, this revealed a crisis of citizenship.

When Liberians decide to hide suspected Ebola patients in their homes because they do not trust the healthcare system, this reveals a crisis of citizenship.

When healthcare workers avoid going to work because their colleagues have died without the proper protective gear or training to safeguard them from infection, this reveals a crisis of citizenship.

Those with money have the wherewithal to leave Liberia while others remain barricaded in their homes, shielding themselves from a silent killer with no cure. This also reveals a crisis of citizenship.

These actions are not those of illiterate, unreasonable people, but indicative of the desperation of poor people who have seen the state fail them repeatedly.

Ebola outbreak: fight against disease hampered by belief in witchcraft, warns British doctor 

This meme is directed to the public in the developed world:

Feminism, Gender Oppression and Equality

"The Fate of Feminism in Pakistan" is a fantastic article and, really helped to me further understand the issue in Pakistan.
But many Pakistanis cling to the idea that feminism is not relevant to Pakistan — that it’s the preserve of the rich and idle or, worse, that it’s a Western imposition meant to wreak havoc on Pakistani society. Many Pakistani men and women believe that women’s rights need go no further than improvements Islam brought to the status of women in tribal Arabia in the seventh century. Men in Pakistan are not yet ready to give up their male privilege, and many Pakistani women, not wanting to rock the boat, agree with them. The Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal calls it the “convenience of subservience” when elite and upper-class women marginalize women’s movements in order to maintain their own privilege.

The clinical psychologist Rubeena Kidwai said this about the status of women in Pakistan today: “Pakistani women are like bonsai trees, clipped and pruned and weighed down by the expectations of Pakistani society.”
 5 things women couldn't do in the 1960s was an eye-opener. I had no idea that American women were treated like second-class citizens well into the 60s and 70s. It only goes to show that even in the more open and free societies of the West, the attainment of equality was hard fought and, still has a long way to go.

I wonder how long it will take until patriarchy is completely removed and wonder what kind of society will overtake it. 

Meanwhile, get a dose of what American women couldn't do in the 60s:

1. Get a credit card 
2. Serve on a jury
3. Go on the birth control pill
4. Get an Ivy League education
5. Experience equality in the workplace

I follow Dr Taimur Rahman on Facebook. He is the founder of Laal, an Marxist activist and a Professor at LUMS. I was really moved and inspired by the note he shared on becoming a father and the realisation he made about women. It struck me because that is exactly the epiphany I had when I became a mother. Taimur's note is a perfect balance of poignant sentiment and intellect. I wonder how many Pakistani men understand this when they become fathers?

The entire experience of bringing a life in this world has left me completely in awe of women and in particular of my woman.

We men are genetically designed for violence. We have greater upper body strength designed to throw or hit things.

In a word, we are designed to bring death. Women to bring life.

It seems even more grossly unjust then that those built to bring death should dominate over those built to bring life.

Engels wrote that women were the first oppressed class. The rise of property deprived women of their free status. Patriarchy therefore is the oldest and most entrenched form of class oppression. Even Marxists fail to grasp the significance of this view. The first form of class oppression will arguably be the last form of class oppression eliminated with the elimination of classes from history.

For my part I do what I can to love and respect the woman who has brought a new life in our lives: my wife Mahvash Waqar. And as for our daughter, Zara Rahman, she probably won't see the end of patriarchy in her life but I hope we can give her the strength to stand up to it.


This is Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon who traveled to Gaza to help the injured and has been treating hundreds of victims wounded in Israel’s ongoing assault, including young children.
Dr. Gilbert says hospitals are operating without electricity, water and proper medical supplies, but
adds: “As a medical doctor, my appeal is don’t send bandages, don’t send syringes, don’t send medical teams. The most important medical thing you can do now is to force Israel to stop the bombing and lift the siege of Gaza.”Gilbert recently recently submitted a report to the United Nations on the state of the Gaza health sector in 2014. “Where is the decency in the U.S. government allowing Israel this impunity to punish the whole
civilian population in Gaza?”
Image s
hared by Current News Service.

Marriage and Love

"How we end up marrying the wrong people" is a masterful piece on how we end up marrying the wrong person. See an excerpt below:

1. One: We don’t understand ourselves

The problem is that knowledge of our own neuroses is not at all easy to come by. It can take years and situations we have had no experience of. Prior to marriage, we’re rarely involved in dynamics that properly hold up a mirror to our disturbances. Whenever more casual relationships threaten to reveal the ‘difficult’ side of our natures, we tend to blame the partner – and call it a day. As for our friends, they predictably don’t care enough about us to have any motive to probe our real selves. They only want a nice evening out. Therefore, we end up blind to the awkward sides of our natures. On our own, when we’re furious, we don’t shout, as there’s no one there to listen – and therefore we overlook the true, worrying strength of our capacity for fury. Or we work all the time without grasping, because there’s no one calling us to come for dinner, how we manically use work to gain a sense of control over life – and how we might cause hell if anyone tried to stop us. At night, all we’re aware of is how sweet it would be to cuddle with someone, but we have no opportunity to face up to the intimacy-avoiding side of us that would start to make us cold and strange if ever it felt we were too deeply committed to someone. One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.

2. Two: We don’t understand other people
3. Three: We aren’t used to being happy
4.  Four: Being single is so awful
5.  Five: Instinct has too much prestige
6.  Six: We don’t go to Schools of Love
7. Seven: We want to freeze happiness
8. Eight: We believe we are special
9. Nine: We want to stop thinking about Love

Little Tibet

An article on the beautiful Shigar Valley in Dawn: "Pakistan's most well-kept secret."



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