Gratifying Moments of a Proud Pakistani
Aug15

Gratifying Moments of a Proud Pakistani

On one of the most sophisticated aftaar parties this Ramzan, I got to hear this statement from one of my close family members, “Pakistan bana kar Quaid ney sirf Fasaad hi phailaya” Not new to my ears, not new for my mind to process! Yet as painful as it was, when I heard it for the first time. Words were different, but were said with the same antithetic, rude and selfish tone. “Pakistan Quaid ney sirf apney mafaad ki khaatir banaya tha” Too much for me to digest, too harsh for me to tolerate & too complicated for me to process. Ironic it is, for us to say this. My graceful, honorable and inspirational image of Quaid-e-Azam breaks, its left shattered. I think, re-think, re-re-think… I decided to read more about Quaid, about life in sub-continent, about two nation theory and about everything that can make me see the real picture. Even books like ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ wouldn’t do enough justice to the young generation who does not know of him or the idea behind his efforts. And I am left with one option alone, lets try gathering the first hand knowledge! Yes, talk to my grandparents, question about the theme of Independence, the basic idea of separation and two nation theory.. what it was like to live together with them, share everything with Hindus and Sikhs. They are those whose hearts beat for Pakistan, whose eyes have seen Pakistan come into being What difficulties they had to overcome during migration and what was the Jazba behind all this? and after having talked to them, I have to say this with teary eyes and a broken heart that we can’t even TRY to empathize what they have gone through… we can’t even try to THINK how they have suffered, we can’t even summon up all our courage and bring that Jazba in our dead hearts now! They are those whose hearts beat for Pakistan, whose eyes have seen Pakistan come into being, whose throats were soar after shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ for hours, days and months… It was not some selfish need that gathered all Muslims together, it was vision for a better tomorrow, love for a piece of land that they would own, honor for their mosques which they would fearlessly visit and above all, the feeling of not being ruled and be an independent, sovereign free nation! Freedom, that we can’t even sense now.. This led them go through all the countless sufferings of history… This gave them the courage to throw their loved ones’ dead bodies in Rivers and Wells, this made their women jump into wells,...

Read More
Hope Against Hope
Aug13

Hope Against Hope

It was a fine Sunday morning. I was in high spirits as I had just got done with my exams and had the whole Sunday entirely tomyself. I switched on the TV and was flipping through channels as I poured myself freshly brewed coffee. The channel search cameto a halt as I came across a famous news channel. My heart started pounding as my breath hitched. The TV screen filled with gruesome images of blood and dead bodies and high pitched screams emitted from the speakers. I did not have to read the tickers to associate this oh-so-very similar scene to the pandemonium of a bomb attack, my mind automatically did it for me. Horrified, I gazed at the screen, only to find out that a terrorist attack had taken place at the populated place of Qissa Khwani Bazar, Peshawar. Had it been only a week, when a similar attack took place at All Saints Church, a local church of Peshawar blasting off about 80 people? Has the vicious series of attacks started once again? A terrorist attack every Sunday, will that become a bloody ritual? My head swam with these questions as I switched off the TV and placed a hand around my now cold cup of coffee. The day was ruined anyway. One of my teachers once said that Pakistanis, as a nation, have become accustomed to violence . We have seen so much bloodshed around us that it has made us prone to it. Now any number of deaths fails to make an impact on us unless they come in the form of three digits. Other than that, our response to causalities has now become a mere ‘meh’. We have suffered so much as a nation. When I look at my country, I do not see a single part of it that has not been injured. Together we have suffered at the hands of terrorism, foreign encroachment, natural disasters, self-induced disasters. Together we have died and cried. They have killed us despite religion, caste, creed and color. No discrimination there. But, oh the irony of it! None of the tragedies have brought us together and merged us as one. We fight on the basis of color, caste, creed, religion and unbelievably petty things. None of the sufferings have brought us together. Instead we continue to fight and disagree. Albeit the times are bad and the crisis doesn’t seem to end, I hope against hope that there would be an end to it. I look forward to the times when we’ll emerge as one and will get over our futile issues for the sake of a greater...

Read More
Reveries of a Social Phobic
Aug12

Reveries of a Social Phobic

I’m Afraid of the People and Not the Disease As I lay awake in bed, I can see the sun glistening through the windows. It’s morning and another day has begun. “It’s time Johnny,” the voices in my head grow louder. I cringe at the thought of enduring the same misery over and over again. I want to stay in my room, I feel safe here. “There’s a whole world out there,” says one voice. “The world isn’t safe!” says the other. My whole life I’ve listened to these voices battling in my head. I’ve never fully understood what they say most of the time and I find it frustrating to decide which one to follow. Social phobia is a mess but it’s the people I’m afraid of and not the disease. Sighing once more, I leap out of bed to go to college, my assignment needs to be submitted on time. Walking briskly through the great halls of the college, I am overwhelmed by the same unwelcome feeling I get every day. I avoid looking at the students passing by me. “Good, don’t look them in the eye, they hate you,” the voice rambled. “Just a few more minutes,” I mumbled to myself. I hurry towards class and to my usual seat at the back of class. I can sit there all day, next to the window. That way I’m able to keep myself occupied, staring outside the window into the gardens, minding my own business. As I approach my seat, I realize it has been taken by another student. I freeze when I see him, staring. He turns to me asking if I needed anything. “My seat dammit!” I think to myself. I resist answering him, turn around and look for another one. The back benches had been occupied quickly. I kept looking until the only seat I could find was right in the middle. “No not this one, everyone can see you here!” “Calm down, relax” All my fears had come true The voices had started echoing again. Mr. Jackson had just stepped into the class, leaving me with no other option. I took the seat. He saw me. “Young man, are you new?” he asked me. I looked up from my notes. I was confused. Of course he did not know me, for him I was never here. I wanted to go back to my happy place. He asked once again, louder this time and I knew I had to get up. My heart raced as I rose from my place, reluctantly. Unable to speak, I shook my head. “Well introduce yourself then,” he demanded....

Read More
Campus Activity – Photo Messages Campaign
Apr27

Campus Activity – Photo Messages Campaign

Heal Pakistan, once again living up to its name and reputation, conducted a Photo Messages Campaign to ignite patriotism amongst the students of NUST H-12, Islamabad. This campaign was held on 14th April, 2014 at the strategically located Concordia-1. It was a collaborative effort of Heal Pakistan and TABA Youth Chapter while NUST Environment Club (NEC) played a vital role in making it a success. With all the negativity that surrounds us, every now and then we need a boost to revive the feeling of patriotism. During this photo messages campaign, individuals were given separate charts and markers and they were requested to jot down their messages for Pakistan and show their patriotism by displaying every little thing they loved about their country. Each participant was photographed along with his/her message. The second phase of this campaign comprises of making a short yet gripping video with the photos of all the participants along with their messages. King Abz Productions, Heal Pakistan’s official creativity partner, will work on the video. From the pool of many participants, top ten participants, who wrote the most powerful messages, will be awarded with prizes.  The photo message campaign was a massive success. Students from all over NUST poured in to pour their hearts out on a piece of paper and to get themselves photographed along with their lovely messages. Heal Pakistan and TABA Youth Chapter aim to bring similar fun activities among the students of NUST.                         View the entire photo album here View the Dedication Video here Written by : Hamna Amir (Editor NUST H12 Chapter Blogging...

Read More

Campus Activity – Book Donation

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King NUST Book Club (NBC), a relatively new society of NUST, in collaboration with TABA Youth Chapter & Heal Pakistan, took the wonderful initiative of arranging an overdue and much awaited book fair at Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS)Auditorium, NUST H-12 on 4th March, 2014. The two days event was inaugurated by the Pro Rector NUST, Dr. Asif  Raza. CIPS Auditorium bustled with activity as  book lovers from different schools and campuses of NUST visited the stalls all day. A multitude of book sellers from Islamabad and Rawalpindi set their stalls. The books displayed at the book fair covered all genres of literature; fiction, non-fiction, novel, poem, drama, comedy. A registration booth was set for all those interested in getting membership of NUST Book Club. General members of NBC were given the additional incentive of 40% discount on the books for sale. Not only did people buy books, they were also given the opportunity to donate their spare books for welfare. Over 250 books were donated which comprised of pre-school books, coloring books, matriculation/inter & university course books, guides, local & international magazines. The donors of these books took pride in the fact that they were doing something for the underprivileged class of the society. Refreshments were also served. NBC, hands down, nailed the event and introduced the positive tradition of disseminating knowledge on a much larger scale.   Written by: Hamna   Amir Photographs courtesy of NUST Book Club The entire album can be viewed on Heal Pakistan’s Facebook Page.          ...

Read More
I am an American and I am not a terrorist
Aug14

I am an American and I am not a terrorist

­20th July 2012 Colorado, USA when the Dark Knight ‘Rose’   Before making my point, let’s just have a look at how major news channels are covering this story:   CNN: “A heavily armed gunman attacked audience at Aurora, Colorado, Movie Theater early Friday”     BLOOMBERG: “A man opened fire with a shotgun at an Aurora, Colorado theater showing the new Batman movie and then switched to other weapons, killing 12 people and wounding 58, police said.”     BBC: “Twelve people were killed and 58 injured when a gunman opened fire at a Batman film screening in Aurora, Colorado last week. James Holmes, 24, has appeared in court accused of carrying out the attack.”   GUARDIAN.CO.UK “Twelve people are dead and up to 50 injured in a Denver suburb after a masked  gunman opened fire at a late-night screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.”   You must have noticed that no news channel used the word ‘Terrorist’ or ‘Terrorism’. It is indeed a very sad story but I was expecting such terms to be used by the international media but I didn’t see them using those terms. So I was just wondering, what is the meaning of ‘terrorist’ then. I thought it meant someone who creates terror in people by committing an act of terrorism physically or by threatening to do such an act so what did that person do? Killed 12 innocent people and injured at least 58 with the youngest fatality being a 6 year old girl making it one of the worst killing in US history.   I don’t see any reason why this inhumane act shouldn’t be called “an act of Terrorism” What was it then? I ask all the major news agencies who forgot to mention this.   Ah! I think we all know the answer, the person didn’t have beard, right? He didn’t have a muslim name! right? He is an American white male! Right? He wasn’t born in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran! Right?   So that’s why you can’t call him a terrorist? He just killed 12 people with a gun that he had bought legally from the store.   Is the world so blind or just so stupid or the audience are just so unaware and childish! In all major news they used the words like ‘Gunman’ ‘Suspect’ and even just ‘Man’.   I thought Americans knew English well. ‘Suspect’ is the word they used and according to most dictionaries or I would say all English dictionaries it means: ‘believe to be guilty’ ‘to doubt or mistrust’ ‘to have suspicion’ etc. Now that the whole...

Read More