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Progression in Pakistan Parental Rights?

I found this to be an interesting piece of news considering an article I wrote last year on international parental child abduction. Beyond the details, what’s interesting is the Pakistani courts ruling – is it a sign of progression or conformation?

What’s progressive is that Pakistan is realizing there is a problem and taking steps to rectify the situation (even if it’s only with the UK at this time). However, I’m not sure this case was the best to be made an example of.

BBC article last week: Court victory for Misbah’s mother

My article in MuslimWakeUp! last year: Escaping Pakistan


December 4, 2006 Posted by | perspectives, Social Justice, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Dum Dum Dee Dee

Nazia Hassan

All was quiet. I peeked down the hall. All clear. I peeked in the kitchen. No one there. Quietly I tiptoed over to my father’s massive stereo. Forbidden for my little hands to touch, I had to stretch to reach the tape player. I took a quick look around, hit play and took my position. It was my very own Desi Star Search in my living room:

Aankhen milaanae waalay
Dil ko churaanae waalay
Mujhko bhulaana nahin…

Me jawaan, me haseen
Mere paas kiya nahein…

Girl Power before I even knew the term. Eat your heart out Geri Halliwell.

I was five years old when I found it. Somewhere in the midst of my father’s vast collection of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd. Rafi there it was – the magenta EMI cassette tape. Her face on the cover was simply stunning, her voice equally as beautiful, AND her name was NaZia – that couldn’t be a coincidence, right? I Dum-Dum-Dee-Deed all over the house with my little purple tape player, and thus, began my desification by Nazia Hassan.

I played that tape over and over for at least two years. I played it at home. I played it in the car. On the weekends I would watch her perform when the local networks showed the *Desi Channel*. High up on my father’s shoulders I saw her when we went to Pakistan’s Independence Day parade in the city. *Aap Jaisa Koi* was the staple background track to every Desi party. I think it’s safe to say that the little Urdu I know today was because of the Queen of Paki Pop.

Years past, my life changed; I grew up. I lost the magenta EMI tape and with that most of the memories of my carefree days of Nazia impersonations. I was sixteen when I learned of her battle with cancer and death. That moment officially ended my childhood. One day, soon after I graduated college, I was wandering around the Desi bazaars of Iselin, NJ contemplating what had become of my life, when I saw it – Nazia Hassan: The Best of Collection!

Sitting in my car playing the CD (digitally remastered so she sounds even better!) those days of blissful innocence came rushing back – the cheesy tunes, the nonsensical lyrics (*Ahha Ohho*, *Ooooee Oooee*, *Dum Dum Dee Dee*). I laughed at *Telephone Pyar* and wondered if Nazia were alive today would the song have become *Naseeb.com Pyar* (doesn’t quite have the same ring). Her sweet voice took me back to when I was young, to when my parents were still together and not fighting, to when going to a Desi function was a grand affair, to when Eid was an occasion to dress up for and celebrate.

I have played that CD over and over for the last two years. I still play it at home. I play it in the car. I don’t dance in the living room as much, but perhaps one day I’ll meet The-e One who I can turn to and coyly say:

Aankhen milaanae waalay
Dil ko churaanae waalay
Mujhko bhulaana nahin…

Me jawaan, me haseen
Mere paas kiya nahein…



Nazia Hassan was a qualified lawyer with a law degree from the University of London.

Nazia Hassan worked with UNICEF on various child welfare projects in Pakistan.

Nazia Hassan was only 15 when she sang *Aap Jaisa Koi*, 16 when she sang *Disco Deewane* and 18 when she recorded *Boom Boom*.

*Disco Deewane* was a number 1 on the Brazilian Charts.

Nazia Hassan Foundation: http://www.naziahassan.co.uk/

November 10, 2006 Posted by | perspectives, RandomDesi, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Who Noo?

Rock on Indra Nooyi.

She rocks the 28th position on Forbe’s top 100 most powerful women.



September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Make Chai, Not War

make chai, not war
Dear divanees and divanas,

The Divanee ‘Make Chai, Not War’ shirts are unavailable temporarily.  More soon!

Thank you,

Miral Sattar

Editor, Divanee Magazine


August 3, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Separate blog for stop israeli war

Hi Folks,

A separate blog has been set up here.

There is another vigil tonight.


July 27, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

*It’s not you, it’s your ammi*

Tis’ the season to get married in the Desi world. So I thought it fitting to post the *100 Premarital Questions* as recommended by SunniPath.com: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=588&CATE=10

While I’m really very amused by the thought of a fobby-accented-salaan-smelling-Santa-Claus-looking Maulana acting as a marriage counselor I do see a need for such pointers considering the fast paced style of Desi weddings.

(Typical Desi style is: boy sees girl, boy’s mom calls girl’s mom, boy and girl get married – sometimes the first step is replaced with boy IMs/texts girl, or it is neglected completely.)

I would like to suggest some more practical questions for women, though, that if settled and agreed upon beforehand might deter later problems:

1) Is your mother alive?

2) Do you have/ have you ever had a veneral disease? Would you be opposed to being tested?

3) How often does your mother visit the motherland?

4) If I don’t feel like shaving/waxing my legs every now and then will you still love me?

5) If you mother is still alive, do you plan on having her live with us? If not, how far away will we be living from her? (in exact miles please)

6) Exactly how fat can I get before you would start getting repulsed? (in exact pounds please)

7) What’s the longest length of time you have spent away from your mother?

8 ) How much of your paycheck can I spend at Neiman Marcus? (in exact dollars please)

9) Do you believe Rukhsiti is really neccessary or can the marriage be consumated right after Nikkah?

10) Really, is your mother alive AND healthy?

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Relationships, Uncategorized | 12 Comments