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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

The Fair and Lovely Prototype (part 2)

“Don’t play outside in the sun, you’ll get dark.”

“She’s so pretty, so fair and slim.”

We’ve all heard the familiar phrases. The idea of being fair and lovely is ingrained in our heads before we can even formulate complete sentences. Divanee Magazine published an article titled, “The Fair and Lovely Prototype” in 2004. An excerpt is below.

“Although South Asian women in the United States have now become more highly educated and career-oriented than ever, they are still entrapped by society’s unrealistic expectations and silent but deadly physical norms. We have assimilated ourselves into Western society, yet still retained the portion of Eastern mentality which can be so damaging to a woman’s self worth and self-esteem.”

We love the new Dove campaign. Check out the video below. If the link does not work then click here.

December 1, 2006 Posted by | Beauty | 5 Comments

Things that make you go wow…

1) This affects your non-citizen aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents/friends.

“It means any non-citizen, and there are millions of them, can be whisked off at night and be put in detention.”

The new law says that enemy combatants will be tried before military commissions, not a civilian judge or jury, and establishes different rules of evidence in the cases. It also prohibits detainees from challenging their detention in civilian court.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061114/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/detainees_lawsuits

More on Guantanamo Detainees

2) This video of a UCLA student(Mostafa Tabatabainejad) being shot with Taser by UCDP officers

http://www.dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38958

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/16021566.htm

-Miral

November 14, 2006 Posted by | perspectives | 6 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…

*************************************************************************

DID YOU KNOW?

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

karate hijab

karate hijab

Yesterday’s breaking news on cnn.com: ‘Britney files for divorce’
Breaking news on cnn.com today: ‘Rumsfield resigns’

But the most interesting point for the week is…
How can you karate without your hijab falling off?
First Women’s Olympics of Afghanistan

-Miral

November 8, 2006 Posted by | perspectives, RandomDesi | 5 Comments

EAR HAIR – WHO’S GOT JOKES?

(There are always jokes floating around about Desi girl stereotypes… so I decided to make some up about Desi guys. So who’s got jokes? Only ORIGINAL rebuttals will be accepted.)
THEY MIGHT LOOK THE SAME BUT HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GORILLA AND A DESI GUY?
~ Gorilla’s don’t have butt hair.

WHAT DID THE BEAR CUB SAY TO THE DESI GUY?
~ You still live with your mommy?!

WHAT’S THE MOST ATTRACTIVE FEATURE ON A DESI GUY?
~ His wallet.

WHY ARE SO MANY DESI MEN DOCTORS?
~ Overcompensation.

WHAT DID THE DESI GUY SAY TO THE DESI GIRL HE LIKED AT THE PARTY?
~ (trick question) Nothing. But his mom got her number.

WHY DO SO MANY DESI GIRLS PREFER WHITE GUYS OVER DESI GUYS?
~ They’re just not into dating other women (like his mother and his sister and his grandmother’s cousin’s best friend’s sister…. and his other girlfriend…).

BUT THEN HOW CAN YOU NOT ABSOLUTELY ADORE DESI MEN – MIDGETS ARE LIKE SOOOOO CUTE!

TRYING TO LOSE A WHITE GUY – TAKE OUT YOUR MACE. TRYING TO LOSE A DESI GUY – TAKE OUT YOUR CHAPPAL.

AND GIRLS, IF BY ANY CHANCE YOU FORGET HIS NAME – JUST CALL HIM OMAR/OMER/UMAR/UMER. MOHAMMAD OR ALI WILL USUALLY GET HIS ATTENTION TOO.

October 30, 2006 Posted by | RandomDesi | 5 Comments

FREE Clinique Foundation

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I knew that would get your attention.

So, granted I’m a procrastinator and this post should have been up long ago, but you still have..um..a couple days left to get perfect foundation match at Clinique counters for free. Go to your nearest Bloomingdale’s and get a 10-day supply of your pefect match foundation. The nice Clinique ladies will help you figure out the best foundation for your skin type, with the best coverage, shade, and finish option for the most natural effect. Offer lasts only as long as the month of October does, so HURRY.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I still have yet to get off my butt and get my own…now that’s some full-fledged procrastination right there.

October 29, 2006 Posted by | Beauty | 4 Comments

Happy Diwali and Eid to all our readers!

Divanee Magazine wishes all our readers a very happy diwali and very happy eid.

What are all our readers doing this season?

October 21, 2006 Posted by | RandomDesi | 3 Comments

“A First Class Man” = A First Class Broadway

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In the mood for a smart indie Broadway? A small time play with anything BUT small time talent, David Freeman’s “A First Class Man” is a fascinating true story set in the early 1900s of Indian mathematical genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan.

The seemingly aloof, but intensely spiritual, Ramanujan comes to astounding and complicated mathematical conclusions based on what he believes is God-sent intuition alone. He is brought over from India to study at Trinity College in Cambridge with the backing of English mathematician, G.H. Hardy. The play is a captivating exploration of the relationship between Hardy, an atheist and rationalist, and Ramanujan, a spiritual math prodigy. The faith vs. rationality concept in the play is especially interesting, considering today’s political climate.

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The talent of the small cast blew me away. Steve French, who took the role of Hardy, plays the conflicted character with great subtlety and keeps us guessing. Amir Arison convincingly plays Ramanujan, whose complicated character of a humble but almost freakishly possessed genius reminded me of John Nash’s character from A Beautiful Mind. Vikram Somaya, who plays multiple supporting roles including Ramanujan’s teacher in India, is absolutely brilliant as he easily shifts gears between his characters and moods. Treat yourself to this refreshing Off-Off Broadway, but it’s playing for only for a few more days, so do it quick!

Oh, and a noteworthy perk: the play actually starts on time.

-SA

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Presented by AlterEgo Productions, your $18 ticket helps give minority actors an opportunity to showcase their talents. (Look for the upcoming Divanee article on AlterEgo, a not-for-profit organization of different professionals with a common passion for theatre).

Go to www.smarttix.com and type in Ramanujan. The show runs through Oct. 21st, Wed.-Sat. at 8 pm and Sat. and Sun. at 2 pm at the 45th Street Theatre, 345 W. 45th St. (btw 8th and 9th).

*Pictures courtesy of AlterEgo Productions

October 19, 2006 Posted by | Reviews | 5 Comments

to veil or not to veil?

From the NYTimes: Blair Criticizes Full Islamic Veils as “Mark of Separation’

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/18/world/europe/18britain.html?_r=2&

-Miral

October 18, 2006 Posted by | Make Chai Not War | 7 Comments