Happy Pakistan Day!

#PakistanDay

Happy Pakistan Day!

Pakistani girl Zara Naeem beats over 50,000 students, tops global accountancy exams

Reported by Jabeen Adil, Gulf Today 2/16/21

Pakistani student Zara Naeem Dar has earned an honour for Pakistan by scoring the highest marks in the world in the global professional accountancy exams conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

The ACCA qualification is considered the gold standard in accountancy; 527,000 students from 179 countries took part in the exam. With the achievement in this exam, conducted in December 2020, Zara won an important award for Pakistan. 

Zara Naeem, a resident of Lahore, thanked the nation for this encouragement and appreciation. She especially thanked her father for her success, the education, training, and encouragement she provided.

The ACCA Pakistan congratulated her on her achievement in an official tweet and said, “Pakistani students continue to make proud by impressing the world with their excellent exam performance in the global professional accountancy exams conducted by ACCA.”

The Government of Pakistan official also commended her in an official tweet and said, “A very proud moment for Pakistan as Zara Naeem has been declared the global prizewinner for scoring the highest marks in ACCA.”

Zara credits this success to her father who’s always encouraged all the girls in the family to pursue their dreams and smash all artificial barriers.

Zara has said that her father is a military officer and he is her real hero. Zara said on her Instagram account that she has seen her father rise to the heights of his career and that is why he is an important beacon for her.

Follow @pakistanisforpeace on #Facebook, #Twitter, #TikTok and #Instagram for more positive news from #Pakistan 🇵🇰🙏🏽

Home

By Tabzy.Wordpress.com

My heart has been aching for the last 7 days.

As I unpack my suitcases on day 1. As I put the laundry away on day 3. As I pack lunch for my kids on day 5.It’s always there, that hollow throbbing ache, in the exact spot where I think my heart is supposed to be.

My 7 yr old daughter has asked me at least two dozen times in the last seven days, as she often does at least once a month since she started talking, “Why don’t we live in Pakistan?” Today my three-year old son told me; “Your house is boring Mama, I want to go to Pakistan.”

The questions don’t help, they only make me realize their little hearts ache too, for the country they were not born in but I guess the love for which runs through their veins.

The silence in my house reminds me of the constant sounds that my home in Lahore is abuzz with. The silence only makes the ache grow stronger. I decide to go to the mall to get away from the silence after sending the kids off to school. I turn on the CD player as I settle behind the steering wheel in my car. The song that starts blaring reminds me of my sister’s wedding, the endless dance practices, the clothes, the colors….I turn it off and force myself to concentrate on my driving. The ache is still there. I look around and try to be grateful for the big clean roads, the stop signs, and the fact that no one is driving towards me on a one way road. But I miss the frenzied state of panic that all the drivers seem to be consumed by on all the roads in Lahore. I miss blaring horns. I miss the elated feeling of having defied death simply by changing a lane without being hit by a car.

At the mall I just walk around purposelessly.Nothing catches my eye. I miss the obsessive trips to the mall in the weeks before leaving for Pakistan, in the quest to hunt good deals on gifts. I walk into an expensive store, deciding I will treat myself to a statement necklace that I had my eyes on before my trip,it surely must be on sale by now. I inquire with the sales lady about the necklace and she brings it to me, I got lucky she informs me in a chirpy voice, it is 30 percent off bringing the price down to around $150. I look at it and suddenly I feel a tug at my heart, the ache is there again, only stronger. I tell the lady I changed my mind and walk out of the store feeling miserable. I miss the 20 minute haggling session with the “choorion wala” in Liberty over Rs 300 bangles. I miss the random aunties who would strike up a conversation in bazaars and doctor’s offices and beauty salons, making you reveal your entire family history in a matter of 4 minutes. I miss the beggars praying for my happy married life in return for a few coins. I miss the fact that most “bazaars” don’t open till noon and everything is closed on Fridays for prayer.

I miss I miss I miss…

I miss the all night chat sessions with my sisters, I miss the halwa poori breakfasts, I miss the tea time which occurred every two hours, I miss the constant chaos and craziness at home which would sometimes make me fantasize about checking into a hotel for a few days just so I could hear myself think. I miss the non-stop parenting advice from everyone who has ever had a child; I miss never EVER being alone. I miss the phone ringing after every three minutes and the door bell ringing at least 60 times a day. I miss the un-announced family visits and hugging my aunts and uncles tight, as if I had not seen them in years even though they had been over the night before and left well after midnight.

I miss squeezing into one car with all the siblings and their kids and making the long drive to Upper Mall just for a “cup” of Chaman ice cream. I miss acting unbelievably silly, the way you can only be around your family, totally and completely free. I miss constantly bickering with my siblings. I miss screaming at all our kids for making so much noise but only adding to the noise by screaming so loud.I miss the uncontrollable fits of laughter even at the most serious of moments. I miss lugging my camera around everywhere. I miss the stray cats at my husband’s home who would not even blink as my son pulled their tails. I miss having to clean my kids’ hands 15 times a day. I miss driving through half of Lahore when I had to get from my kids’ “dadu’s” house to “nano’s”house, joyfully inhaling the sights and sounds of Lahore with my eyes every single time. I miss the sound of Azaan. I miss the joy rain brought to everyone. I miss wearing my sisters’ clothes every day. I miss having so many opinionated people to ask how I look or what I should wear. I miss complaining about the load shedding. I miss being annoyed there is not enough hot water to take a shower. I miss speaking Urdu with everyone.

I miss the aura of hope in the air, sometimes so palpable I could taste it.

I miss the impossible amount of love and attention my kids receive until they are spoilt rotten by the time I come back, how everyone believes they care for them the “mostest”, even more than I do, how the whole household will gather around like a flock of hens, three people will volunteer to go to the hospital with you at 5 in the morning if you or your child is sick. I miss the utter lack of privacy and independence. I miss the cheekiness of family listening in to your phone calls and then discussing your entire conversation over tea afterwards as if they were invited to listen in to an important conference call! I miss everyone that I managed to meet and those I could not…

I miss the things that drive me up the wall and I miss the things that I have never stopped missing in 10 years. My heart keeps on aching…

The thing about leaving home is; you never get over it. You make a new life, you make new friends, you live happily ever after… until you go back home again. And every time you say your goodbyes and turn your back as you walk through those glass doors at the airport, the ache starts all over again. And then from time to time, you feel it, at the most unexpected of moments. It’s almost like how an amputee must feel; as if your hand was torn off your arm and even though it is no longer on your body and you have embraced life without it, you still feel your phantom fingers press into your phantom palm every once in a while and the reality of what’s been torn away hits you all over again. And the heart aches, all over again.

I don’t know why exactly we leave our homes. To find a better life I guess. A life where our kids are safer, our roads are cleaner, our bank balances; higher. I can’t quite remember just this second. Because right now, still in the throes of nostalgia seven days after walking away from my family through those glass doors, all I know is, there is no place like home. And in my heart of hearts, “home” will always mean Pakistan.

Pakistan Mourns Ali Sadpara

#AliSadpara #Pakistan’s best #Mountaineer feared dead from the #K2WinterExpedition that cost his and 2 other climbers life. #RestInPeace. 🇵🇰🙏🏽

Why Most Pakistanis Can’t See The Film Pakistan Is Submitting For An Oscar Nod

By Zuha Siddiqui and Diaa Hadid for NPR

With Oscar nominations just a day away, Pakistan is hoping its picture gets one of the slots for best foreign film. But it’s a film that most Pakistanis aren’t able to see.

The 2-hour, 15-minute long movie is called Zindagi Tamasha, or “Circus of Life.” Set in the hazy old quarter of the Pakistani city of Lahore, prostitutes, devout families, drug dealers and men hustling a living live side-by-side. It is the fictional story of a devout, middle-aged real estate agent and performer, Rahat Khwaja, whose life capsizes after a guest at a wedding films him sensually swaying to an old Pakistani song, “Zindagi Tamasha” (the film is named after the song) as he sings it for the audience.

The video goes viral and Khwaja, who is respected in his crowded quarter for his singing of devotional Islamic poems, is suddenly viewed by his community as vulgar.

Religious events where he once starred as an esteemed singer are now off limits – he is literally pushed out of one event by other performers who are enraged by his wedding performance. He finds his face plastered across tawdry memes on the internet. Children who once loved him for the sweets he handed out in their crowded alley call him a pig and a pimp. A cleric threatens to accuse him of blasphemy – which can be a deadly accusation in Pakistan. Worse, his beloved daughter turns against him.

The film was banned in Pakistan after an extremist religious group watched the trailer and became enraged at its portrayal of the cleric in the movie. Not only does he loosely hurl accusations of blasphemy against the protagonist, the cleric is painted as a sneering, arrogant man who turns a blind eye to child sex abuse in his seminary, even as he leads the charge to shame the protagonist. And the group rallied against the director.

“Who are you to talk against scholars?” demanded Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the then-leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan at a rally last February against the movie, which gathered thousands of angry, chanting protesters.

“The prophet did not delegate the faith to you!” he said, referring to the film’s director, Sarmad Khoosat.

So just like the protagonist of Zindagi Tamasha, Khoosat faced a whirlwind of hatred.

“I would be added to these WhatsApp groups where mysterious people would just send me messages with gross, horrifying images of beheaded people,” he tells NPR. “On social media, Twitter was on fire with ‘ban Zindagi Tamasha‘ and ‘kill this bastard.’ “

He says other users accused of him of blasphemy, which can trigger vigilante attacks and even lynchings in Pakistan.

Following the outcry by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, the Pakistani government postponed Zindagi Tamasha‘s release. They also asked the country’s Islamic advisory body to conduct a “critical review” — effectively shelving the film.

The shelving of the film reflects a decades-long trend of Pakistani authorities appeasing the religious right, says Raza Rumithe director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, and the editor of a liberal outlet called Naya Daur.

“This is a trend that has been there for a long time, and it’s been growing over the decades, with more and more pressure from the religious lobbies,” Rumi says. “Every government attempts to appease them, because it’s a risk to anger the mullahs.”

“The mullahs have street power in Pakistan,” he adds.

But critics argue that the current ruling coalition of the prime minister Imran Khan appears even more obsequious than previous governments. That’s because of a perception among some Pakistanis that it is indebted to the country’s powerful military establishment for being propelled to power.

“This government has the unique distinction that it is probably the weakest civilian government in a long time,” says Murtaza Solangi, a colleague of Rumi at Naya Daur. “It’s easier to blackmail them and put them under pressure.”

In response to a request from NPR for an interview about the shelving of Zindagi Tamasha, and the banning of other media products, the information minister Shibli Faraz denied the government was in the business of censorship. In a statement, he wrote: “The government neither believes nor practices any kind of censorship or press advice. What it does believe in is encouragement of self-regulation by all forms of media. Further, it strongly believes in the preservation of our cultural and moral values.” Faraz declined to answer specific questions.

In any case, the government is sensitive to the criticisms of turbaned preachers, conservative viewers – and even an influential newspaper editor, Ansar Abbasi. He successfully demanded a jaunty biscuit advertisement be banned for showing an actress performing folk dances.

“Wasn’t Pakistan built in the name of Islam?” demanded Abbasi, as he complained in October about a Gala Biscuit advertisement to his 1.7 million Twitter followers. “Will biscuits be sold through mujra dancing now?” he demanded, a pejorative that refers to sexualized dancing.

Within hours, Abbasi’s tweet was shared thousands of times, and the ad was taken down for review by Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority. “We received tons of complaints,” Muhammad Tahir, a regulatory authority official, tells NPR. “A certain segment of our society definitely thinks dances are vulgar.”

Zindagi Tamasha and the biscuit ad are among the flurry of items that were banned or prevented from circulation over the past year. They include books, social media apps, television shows and even video games.

As the triggers of offense appear to broaden, content makers have been left uncertain of how to work. The Gala Biscuit advertisement was a case in point: the director Asad ul Haq said it was meant to be family-friendly, celebrating local folk traditions. The actress who danced in the ad, “was fully layered up, there was no skin showing.”

The fear is that the country is creeping back to a repeat of its darkest days, under dictator General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who tried to reshape Pakistan in his stern image after he seized power in the late 70s.

He stopped movies from being screened and effectively choked the local film industry. Actors stopped finding work. Movie houses shut down. Musicians who provided their scores packed away their instruments.

The military dictator Zia-ul-Haq died in 1988 in a plane crash, and it has taken years for the industry to recover. It was only in 2013 that Pakistan submitted a film for Oscar consideration: Zinda Bhaag, which followed the path of three young men who try smuggle themselves to Europe to start a new life. The committee responsible for picking the entry has submitted a film for consideration every year since.

One committee member, Hamza Bangash, told NPR that Zindagi Tamasha was selected in November because it “really kind of upends a lot of hypocrisy within our society,” he says. “It does so with humor and it’s so gentle.”

But Bangash says he doesn’t expect the nomination to change anything — in fact he calls Zindagi Tamasha “a cautionary tale, because it tells you you can pour your heart and soul into a film,” he says, “and you might face death threats at the end of that.”

Happy MLK Day 2021!

vm.tiktok.com/ZMJTbbm1v/

Pakistani Punjab supports Indian Farmers struggle for justice under Modi’s Farm Bill

Punjab and Pakistan are with the Indian Farmers protesting for their rights

William Dalrymple on Sicily’s Islamic past

From his base in an ancient villa built for an emir, the historian seeks out the legacy of the island’s Arab rulers William Dalrymple JANUARY 9 2021 …

William Dalrymple on Sicily’s Islamic past

Khan’s Jaguars lure Urban Meyer to NFL

The billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the richest Pakistani origin person in the world, Shahid Khan.

By Manzer Munir for Pakistanis for Peace

Shahid Khan, the owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, has hired Urban Meyer, one of the best coaches in college football history, as the next coach of his team.

Urban Meyer has won multiple national championships at Florida and Ohio State and has one of the best winning records of any coach in college football history.

The Jaguars are also expected to draft the projected number one pick in the upcoming NFL draft,Trevor Lawrence of Clemson University, to be their starting quarterback.

With the addition of coach Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence as quarterback, the Jacksonville Jaguars should be a contender once again in the AFC south division.

The Jaguars are coming off of a 1-15 season and can only expect to improve from that record. Although Gardner Minshew had flashes of brilliance at quarterback, he did not ultimately turn out to be the long-term starter for this team.

It will be interesting to see if Minshew will be kept as a back-up to Lawrence who is presumed to be the starter right away.

Urban Meyer is replacing Doug Marrone who the Jaguars fired after he went 1-15 last season.

“This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere,” Shahid Khan proclaimed in a statement. “Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results.

Indeed Urban Meyer has been a winner everywhere he went in college football. Meyer has a coaching record of 187-32 with an unbelievable winning percentage of 85.3% in as a head coach at Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04), Florida (2005-10) and Ohio State (2012-18). He won two national championships at Florida and one at Ohio State before health concerns saw him leave coaching in 2018.

Meyer is one of three coaches along with Pop Warner and Nick Sanan to win a major college football national championship at two different universities.

Pakistani American billionaire owner Shahid Khan bought the team from Wayne Weaver in 2012, and since then the Jaguars have gone 39-105 with only the unexpected run to the AFC championship game in 1996 being the one bright spot during this tenure.

Khan and Meyer have been friends for years and Shahid has been working behind the scenes for a few months to lure him back to football and for the first time to the NFL along with his coaching talents.

The addition of 2020 Heisman trophy runner-up Trevor Lawrence and with Urban Meyer now as head coach, the small market NFL team of the Jacksonville Jaguars are primed for the national spotlight in 2021 NFL season and their fans couldn’t be more excited.

#Trump is #impeached for a second time!!!

twitter.com/repdianadegette/status/1347586907564367872

Happy New Year 2021! Year of the Ox

By Manzer Munir for #PakistanisForPeace

Happy #NewYear to all of my friends and family around the world! As we welcome the #YearoftheOx, #Covid19 notwithstanding, we should ponder how our 2020 ended and how the next one can be even better, both for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Do you sincerely want 2021 to be better than the years of the past? In that case, forgive someone who you believe has betrayed you, let you down or wronged you in some way. Move on in your life from past events. Make new but REAL friends. Reach out and touch someone, emotionally, mentally or in another non-physical but more deeply memorable way as these memories end up being more priceless than our worldly possessions.

Remember that material things and or accomplishments will come and go but it is the “quality of your human relations that determine the overall quality of your life.” Happy New Year to you all and best wishes from the Munir family to you and yours!

God: Just Trust in HIM

Everything‘s going to happen according to #HIS Will. I am just no longer going to question ANY OF IT since he #hasaplan for me as HE does for all of us! 🙏🏽👍🏽❤️🙌🏽🖖🏽. #ManzerMunir, #PeaceActivist at #PakistanisforPeace 🇵🇰☮️☪️♥️🇺🇸✝️✡️🕉🇮🇳👍🏽🙏🏽🖖🏽

#GodsPlan 🙏🏽

-MM

This week in science 12/7-12/13/20

www.instagram.com/p/CIvH7FQoi4H/

My Planet Is In A Crisis

#SaveOurPlanet and all #Life!

My planet is in a crisis It’s slowly burning down We are all feeling the effects In every city and town Temperatures are rising Icebergs are falling …

My Planet Is In A Crisis
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