The Tragedy that is You and I
Nov03

The Tragedy that is You and I

Often when we meet people for the very first time, especially in school, we tend to inquire about a person’s background. Name, occupation, father’s occupation and in some cases, one’s relationship status (cheesy right?). One trend in Pakistan or perhaps the entire Muslim world is asking about someone’s faith. Actually if I rephrase that, we blatantly ask about the particular sect the person belongs to. In most cases even that is fine except when the person in question belongs to a sect different than that of the “interviewer.” Both parties maintain their cool for a while, exchange a few glances and then slowly move away and that was their last civilized conversation ever. Sectarian differences lie in almost every religion. Since it is the month of Muharram, I’d like to bring your attention towards two particular Muslim sects. You guessed that right-Shias and Sunnis. Both of them are in such deep conflict that it is a US and THEM situation between both parties. Both remain adamant on THEIR beliefs and practices. Both believe in one God and the last Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Both pray five times a day. Both observe a fast in Ramadan. Both perform Hajj (the holy pilgrimage). Both pay Zakat (charity). Both grieve on 9th and 10th Muharram. Then why? Why are they not at peace with each other? Why are they so different? Why are these differences irreconcilable? The US and Them situation is that US Shias/Sunnis are right and THEM Sunnis/Shias are not. Both parties have forgotten that there is a WE as well. WE MUSLIMS. WE the people of the faith, which was brought to us by Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.), are united under one banner, under the word of ALLAH, the Quran. WE are all part of the Ummah. WE are one unit, one faith, one brotherhood. Then why is there so much disunity amongst us? Yes the way we practice our religion is different but why can’t we learn to accept those differences and cooperate as a brotherhood should. Why are we so discontented with each other? Why is it that every year at the time of Muharram, reports of Sunni-Shia conflicts flood the news channels? Why is their bloodshed on the days we mourn bloodshed? “A perfect Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands his fellow brothers and sisters are safe.” -Sahih Muslim “Believers are like the different parts of a building, each one supporting the other.” -Agreed Upon The conflict between Sunnis and Shias goes way back and every generation has suffered from it. Sectarian intolerance is so dangerous that no one is safe from it. People have failed...

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The Malala Conundrum

It was two years ago, on the 9th of this month that Malala Yousafzai was shot by a gunman from the Taliban. Malala survived the ordeal and since then her rise to global prominence and fame has been nothing short of meteoric and has culminated into her being awarded half of a Nobel Peace Prize on 10th October, 2014. The Nobel Peace Prize is just one of the many feathers that Malala has added to her cap since 2012. She has been the recipient of the Sakharov Prize and honorary degrees from Universities such as the University of Edinburgh and University of King’s College. She is perhaps the youngest person to address a UN assembly. The list of her accomplishments is long and diverse. It shows that Malala has been accepted by a large part of the world as an icon of peace and the struggle for the right of humans, particularly women and children, to education. Pakistan hasn’t readily or wholly accepted Malala as such because there are mixed views among the Pakistanis about her story and her struggle.   How many can say that they have rubbed shoulders with UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon or addressed a UN youth assembly. Malala’s confidence and accomplishments are indeed undeniable. Pakistan has been on the verge of economic, social and political instability for quite some time now. The conditions of Pakistan are such that a large section of its citizens suffer from trust issues. They think about the negative aspects of people and situations before the positive ones. The negatives are usually enough to deter them from even thinking about the positives. Malala’s story has been questioned by many people with this mindset. Some say that Malala’s story is fabricated and unverifiable (at least accurately) and it seems that her fame has been manufactured to serve a dark purpose. Multiple conspiracy theories with regard to the attack on Malala exist. The names of intelligence agencies such as CIA along with terrorist organizations as well as enemies of Pakistan have been added to the mix. Malala’s family is accused of being fame and money hungry and the activities of Malala’s father in promoting her daughter or her cause have not helped in dispelling such a notion. The western world is accused of using Malala to justify their war crimes (drone strikes and what not) in Muslim countries and promoting a bad image of the religion of Islam, a religion that Malala herself follows. Some people question how a 12 year old was able to write about issues which kids of similar ages and coming from similar conditions, don’t have a...

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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...

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