Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

The theme of Pakistan pavilion at expo 2010 is "Harmony in Diversity". The pavilion area is around 2000 meter square. The design inspiration of the pavilion comes from  'the Lahore Fort, Pakistan'.
In the pavilion visitors will have a real Pakistani experience with Pakistani cuisine with genuine strong ethnic flavors and performances by national dancers.The pavilion will present a perfect blend of true Pakistani culture and the life of a typical Pakistani citizen through detailed multimedia presentations.
We wish Pakistan...All the very best.

Shanghai unveils World Expo


Since 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking to the future.

China owes its successful bid for the World Exposition in 2010 to the international community's support for and confidence in its reform and opening-up. The Exposition will be the first registered World Exposition in a developing country, which gives expression to the expectations the world's people place on ChinaShanghai "has full confidence that the 184-day Expo will run smoothly," Han told Vicente Loscertales, secretary general of the Bureau of International Expositions, who oversees the work of organizers of each World Expo.

So what will Expo 2010 Shanghai China deliver to the world? There is no doubt the Chinese people will present to the world a successful, splendid and unforgettable exposition.

Moulin Rouge comes to Karachi.

After Smash hits, Phantom of the Opera, You only Marry Twice, Tom Dick and Harry & Bombay Dreams; Warid Telecom, Shah Sharahbeel and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Present a stage musical "MOULIN ROUGE" - NOW IN KARACHI! 
Moulin Rouge is a romantic musical based on a story of a young English poet named Christian who falls in love with the star of Moulin Rouge cabaret actress and courtesan Satine.

With a total of 35 actors and a crew of 15 back stage artists Centre Stage Productions put up a phenomenal show.
Performances include matinée shows on 25th April, 2nd and 9th May. The play is on at arts council, Karachi from 22nd April-9th May. Now this is a must watch.

Subtitle Distraction!

Ever saw a movie in English language with English subtitles? Or even a movie in some other language you do understand but it has English subtitles sliding on the bottom?? Now of course I am not doubting my  ability to understand english. Its just that I dont need english subtitles but not all movies have an option of tuning them  OFF. Especially the ones you illegally download free from the internet, you dont often get a choice!

Yah so ever noticed that you keep your eye balls on the subtitles and in that course you actually start to miss whats going on? I get so annoyed with myself and try hard not to look at the subtitles again. While watching 'Finding Nemo' and its stupendous work of animation and excellent dialogues, I admit I could never fully concentrate on them. I even tried promising and disciplining myself over this issue but to no gain. In the end, i had to buy a DVD!

I guess I have just given a new advertisement idea for 'STOPPING VIDEO PIRACY'? maybe ...

Who to Compensate?


With the recent events of the volcanic ash cloud over the European Union which grounded more than 95000 flights as result of 6 six days ban imposed by the FAA, millions of passengers were stranded abroad. It is reported that while the flights were being cancelled, some airlines took it upon themselves as a moral obligation to provide their passengers/customers, some were least bothered.

So it all happened. Passengers were left with two choices. Wait where ever they are (extend their stay) until the airspace opens or ditch the flight and arrange other means to get home. One not so mobile BAE employee, travelling with his wife and two young daughters said:

' On the first day i waited. I camped at the Madrid Airport (Spain). Next morning i rented a car, then taxi, then ferry and then a taxi again to finally reach home after 5 days (Bristol, UK). The extended travel plans took about 1200 quids out of his savings account' 

Now in the aftermath of the volcanic event, angry passengers are demanding compensation from the airlines for the all extra expenses they incurred due to extended stay (accommodation/food for those who stayed and travel costs fro those brave ones who set out to find their own way). Passengers personal travel insurance is a 'no-blamer' since it conveniently ignores any compensations in the events of 'ACTS BY GOD'.

Now the European union aviation laws state that if a flight gets cancelled, the airline is responsible for all the 'reasonable' expenses, the definition of 'reasonable' is unclear. Many airlines argue that they have done their part when they provided free coffee/dinner and bedding to the stranded passengers at the airports. 

Ryan Air (the worlds most economical airline) CEO was reported as saying:

"A passenger payed 30 euros for his flight, i can refund him but i dont see Ryan Air paying thousand of Euros of compensation"

If we think from the business perspective, the aviation industry also took a billions of dollars of hit. Most national carriers are at the mercy of their governments to bail them out to be still operational. Ever their insurance policies ignores the 'ACTS OF GOD'. So is it fair to ask them for compensation? Think about the following cycle:

Airlines pay you the compensations --> Airlines Go Bankrupt --> Airlines Require government Bailout money --> Government uses the tax payers money (What else) --> Government raises taxes. 

So in the end, whose paying? The general people. So my advice to the passengers is, take the hit for now !

iPad- Not quite what we were expecting.

With Apple unveiling the iPad I so knew this would be the next hip thing with youth everywhere after apple notebook, iPod and the very chic Blackberry but surprisingly  in Pakistan it didn't become as popular as in US.  It was thought to be a perfect portable substitute for a PC and a phone in one.Perhaps it failed to meet the expectations. Its inability to multi task and the fact that its lacking an in built camera is one of the major drawbacks that has affected its popularity amongst locals. 

The iPad does not support Adobe Flash either which might make the browsing experience  troublesome.The fad for the gadget is seem to be fading before it even became the apple of the eye of many.

Greme Smith. Arrogance or Confidence?


Under the ‘quote unquote’ section at the I came across something said by Greme Smith (Captian, South Africa)

“I read their opener (Karim Sadiq) said he was not scared of facing Dale Steyn and I wouldn't be either if I grew up in a war zone”

The comments were referred to the debutant Afghanistan cricket team due to play South Africa in the T20 World cup next month in Caribbean.

It seems easy for Greme to mix sports with politics and make this rather insensitive statement. Nobody chooses to grow up in a war zone (Afghanistan). He should be rather applauding that yung Afghanistan cricketers are trying to work on the image of their homeland through sports. I think Greme Smith doesn’t remember the days prolly when he was growing up. In the midst of the ethnic riots between the white and the black population of South Africa, he should feel lucky that a sport such as cricket is even survived!

Moreover I was shocked to hear such comments from Greme Smith (I admit I had high regards for him before I read this). Maybe he’s doing a lot of biased newspaper reading, now that he is playing not much international cricket due to his fragile thumb which keeps getting broken (5th reported injury in just over a year during the IPL in March 2010). I truly respect the talent in Dale Steyn but he is not unplayable. He is still relatively inexperienced himself so Greme should just hold on his horses.

Or maybe this arrogance could be a product of Greme spending a lot of time with Australian crickets during their IPL campaign. My advice to Greme: Don’t let your big mouth bite you in the ass when you step into the ground to play Afghanistan. 

Islamic scarf controversy in France


It was reported that Belgium was set on Thursday to slap a ban on wearing the Islamic burqa in public, the first such clampdown in Europe, just a day after the French government promised a similar law.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered parliament to debate a law banning women from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public, officials say.

Last year he went onto the extent of saying that such veils oppressed women and were not welcome in France.
Mr Sarkozy said the full veils "do not pose a problem in a religious sense, but threaten the dignity of women", Mr Chatel was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. This proposal has provoked intense debate about religious freedom in a secular society, as well as the position of Muslims in France.

However, the country's highest administrative body has suggested such a law might be unconstitutional. 
"Bans like this lead to a lose-lose situation," said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch."At a time when Muslims in Europe feel more vulnerable than ever, the last thing needed is a ban like this, treating pious Muslim women like criminals won't help integrate them", she added.

There are several types of headscarves and veils for Muslim women - those that cover the face being the niqab and the burka. In France, the niqab is the version most commonly worn.

The interior ministry reports that only 1,900 women wear full veils in France, home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority.

These kinds of bans is an attempt to violate the rights of those who choose to wear the veil and do nothing to help those who are compelled to do so.

There is no evidence that wearing the full veil in public threatened public safety, public order, health, morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

The Express Tribune launches in Pakistan


KarachiThe Express Tribune by the Express Media Group was launched in Pakistan on Monday, April 12 2010

The Express Tribune is the first internationally affiliated newspaper in Pakistan. It is a new English language daily newspaper covers a variety of topics ranging from politics to the economy, foreign policy to investment and sports to culture. According to its motto the paper’s mission is to deliver news that is both informative and insightful.
The Express Tribune is part of the Express Media Group’s other flagship media brands which include, the Daily Express Express News, and Express 24/7, Pakistan’s only 24-hour English language news channel.
The paper kicks of its first print with op-eds from Ayesha SiddiqaSami ShahQuatrina Hosain and Osman Samiuddin with news that Zahoor’s cratoon-imagery is too be featured amongst its pages. I happened to give its very first edition a read in my journalism class the very same day of its launch. Reader's came with all kind of views ranging from the critical analysis of the paper to enjoying the fact that international newspaper can now be in print and in their hands. One thing we all reached consensus on that the targeted audiences was definitely the upper class considering the cost of the single edition. However, I must admit that at first glance the online version of the paper is quite pleasing to the eye.

I don't care less


The simple answer is: "Don't give it legs . . ." In other words, don't give it any energy, don't pass along comments, don't repeat gossip, don't participate in conversations where any of this negative behavior exists. This works best in small offices with a single offender; without air to fuel the fire, it soon burns out.
Larger offices take a bit more tenacity to put out the flames. So many people today have become addicted to this kind of destructive behavior.
Before taking public action I would start with genuine self evaluation. I would examine any circumstances where I may have inadvertently lead the offending-party to believe I was in some way being bitchy, backstabbing and/or gossiping myself; they might have taken this as consensus or permission.
I would also review any times when I may have been an involuntary and silent witness to bitchiness, backstabbing and/or gossiping, etc. Without verbally setting the record straight at that moment, silence is often taken for complicity.
I would look at my own motivations. Have there been times when being an "insider" felt good, had merit or benefited me in some way? Do I have personal feelings for the people involved that may cloud my judgment?? If the attack is against me, am I taking it personally?? I would look at my own intentions.
There is a big difference between bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. and the exchange of valid information. Someone who has not fully developed independent thinking will find it hard to discern one from the other. The disparity is often found in the intention behind the actions/comments.
Once I became clear with myself, I would openly and actively oppose bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc.
I would choose my own words carefully. And consistently.
If the problem behavior continues, I would respond with something like the following:
Humorous: "Sounds like someone could use a nap!!"
Compassionate: "I'm sorry, it sounds like you are having a bad day; is there anything I can do to help??"
Mediator: "Can we put all the cards on the table and come up with a win-win solution to end this antagonism??"
Team Player: "I'm sorry you don't seem to be getting along with ______, I have always found them to be hard working and accommodating."
Mentor: "I only want the best for you. Participating in bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. will not get it for you."
Confidante: "I know you must not realize how small-minded that action/comment makes you seem or you wouldn‘t continue to do it."
Interrogation: "Is that fact or opinion?? What is it based upon?? Are you helping solve the problem??"
Direct: "Bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. has no place in this work environment. Participation is grounds for termination.

Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence-The most controversial book of its time.


Mr. Jaswant Singh in his book “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence” has opened up the wounds of partition that was haunting people of India for so long. He mentions his eagerness to write this book as to fill in a gap, i.e. there did not exist a biography of Jinnah written by an Indian political figure. In present day India, where the general perception about the events of 1947 is tragic, may or may not only with regards to loss in land and Muhammad Ali Jinnah is hated for causing this bifurcation, Jaswant Singh presented a totally different view of the leader, in which he has glorified Jinnah.
 This book discusses the transition of Mohammed Ali Jinnah from being an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity to becoming a sole spokesman for Muslim independence. The uniqueness of the book was that it sought to correct certain misconception of history of partition, perhaps not palatable to many. Jaswant Singh posed a challenging question to Indian political leadership to have a re-look on the personality of Jinnah. He said one should examine the real reasons for transformation of Jinnah from ‘Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’ (As titled by Dadabai Gokhale) to Pakistan’s ‘Qaid-e-Azam’. Gandhi called him the greatest leader, Arnold Toyanbee, a doyen among the historians, called Jinnah, the greatest politician of the century world had produced. Jaswant Singh said, "we need to correct it' meaning the views that Jinnah was not the principal villain of the partition of the country. 
His views on Islam’s role in India are particularly interesting. He describes that Islam in India has evolved and resulted in diverse human experience. In sub continent it has been a journey from first accepting it as homeland and finally abandoning it. He describes how the demand for the separate homeland for Muslims was made on grounds of Islam. Very subjectively he illustrates this entire journey highlighting that how initially Islam became Indian and then later became a struggle of separation of India.
According to Jaswant Singh in his book, Gandhi’s acceptance of hindu muslim unity slogan has varied significantly and has mainly been driven by Politics. Gandhi openly supported the Khilafat Movement by the Ali Brothers in their attempt to save the abolishment of caliphate in Turkey after the first world war. Jinnah, though being a muslim, not only remained aloof from this, but also warned Gandhi to not encourage Muslim fanaticism in the eyes of the British Raj. Jinnah believed that this would only harm the muslims on their mere political front. Jaswant Singh however, is of the view that Gandhi only supported the Khilafat Movement in order to earn popularity among the masses in his early years in Indian politics. 

Stanleys Facebook Experience

Stanley hates facebook. He doesnt have a facebook page. Stanley's friends all love facebook. Stanley misses the times when he used to play Xbox and Playstation with his friends rather than talking about how many friends they have at facebook.
Day 1: 
Kyle (Stanley's friend): Dude, check it out, i made you a facebook page. Now we can be best friends, we can chat, play poker. And would you please come to my 'Farm' and harvest some crops? Oh yea , and please also stop by my 'Cafe'.

Stanley: Dude i dont need it. I dont want to be sucked into it. 
Day 2: Stanley his doing his homework at home
Stanley's Dad: Stanley? I was checking my email and i saw you have a facebook page. Why wont you be friends with me?

Stanley: Dad, i am not paying much attention to it. I dont wanna be sucked into it. 

Dad: ohh okay..... so it means i am not your friend Stanley?

Stanley: you are my friend dad. dont judge it by my click of a button at facebook. i dont have time.

Dad: Oh so you dont have time to click a button for me?

Stanley: ok dad i'll do it. I will add you as a friend. Now let me do my homework!
Day 3: Stanley with his Girlfriend 'Kara' at school.
Kara: Am i a joke to you Stanley?

Stanley: Umm .... ??? Nooo

Kara: No is it all that i am to you? A joke?

Stanley: would you tell me what happened? What did i do?

Kara: You lier! you do have a facebook page! and your relationship status says 'single'

Stanley: Ohh wait. I didnt make that page. I dont even know it has a relationship status. What do i do.

Kara: It under your personal profile settings you fool. Call me only when you feel 'In a Relationship'
Day 4: Stanley at home updating his Facebook relationship Status
Dad: Stan? Grandma just called and said you wont be friends with her !

Stanley: Dad, i told you before that it doesnt mean anything to me. I love Grandma anyway.

Dad: Grandma is in a hospital and you wont even be friends with her?

Stanley: Alright Alright JEEZ, i'll add her as a friend.

Dad: Good ..... and i posted a funny picture hours ago and you still havent commented on it. Dont you wanna 'like it'

Stanley: Oh man. F*** FACEBOOK!