Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ghani Baba's "Mula Jaan Wayi Azal Ke" - Lyrics & English Translation

One of my most favoritest songs of all time is called "Mula Jaan Wayi Azal Ke" (The Mullah [preacher] tells me that from the very beginning ...), written by the ever-incredible Ghani Baba and sung by the ever-amazing Sardar Ali Takkar!

So I'm pasting the lyrics and translations to this song, both are credited to other sources (the lyrics to Pashtolyrics and the Translation to Ghani Khan Poetry; I've made minor changes to the lyrics, though they don't change the meaning).

I'll post the song (Pashto) first, the lyrics next, and the translation last. Enjoy them all ... and you wonder why I so deeply love Ghani Baba's miracles!!

Lyrics (Translation at the end) (Credit for the lyrics goes entirely to the Pashto Lyrics Blog)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Killing Us Softly - Women's Images in the Media

This kind of information never gets old. I won't stop writing about and/or posting such documentaries, lectures, videos, etc. on my blog and elsewhere until I feel like enough women and men and others have received the message properly enough.

And, per the video below, Kate Winslet officially has won ALL the respect I can give to a woman. Bless your heart, Kate! I think more female celebrities should learn from her to speak out against their images' being distorted digitally to fit the company's interests, dehumanizing and sexualizing her in the process.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Interesting Blog Statistics

So, I think some of y'all might find this of interest. It's 3:16am and, clearly, I'd rather be doing nothing better with my time than blogging this late -- or early, depending on how you see it, lawlz.

Now... as of June 3, 2012:

~ The 10 most-visited countries to the blog are:
  •  The U.S. with 24,166 visitors
  •  The UK, 8,254
  •  Pakistan, 6,256
  •  Canada, 2,980
  •  India, 2,710
  • Germany, 1,282
  • Russia, 832
  • United Arab Emirates, 777
  • Denmark, 673
  • Australia, 567

~ The 5 most common words/phrases googled that direct people to my blog are:
  • Hijab, 334 times
  • Petra, 296
  • What I'm actually doing, 231
  • Qrratugai, 179 times
  • Pashtunistan, 154
~ The 10 most widely-read/viewed posts on my blog are:
 ~ The "Pages" (tabs at the top of the blog's homepage) have been viewed/read as shown below:
I guess no one cares about gender issues. #BIGsadface

Oh, and a little interesting fact: 70% of the people who "like" "Da Qrratugai Qrrate" on Facebook are females! And 26% are males. This is according to Facebook's Demographic and Location on my page. Interesting, eh?! What's wrong, boyz! :@

If an interesting term pops up on my Stats page on Blogger, I'll share it here. Some of the phrases typed in are really disgusting - not even worth mentioning (they've to do with vulgarity and Pashtun women! Like, what the hell!). I've no clue how anyone's able to get to my blog through such vulgarity, since I don't talk about such things here... do I? Toba!

Here are some of those phrases:
- Misry Saddar's wife's picture
- Muslim girls exposing their inner hidden beauty pictures
- Pashtun girls photos (lol @ this obsession with women's photos, wth!!! Sometimes, they'll come looking for "naked" photos of Pashtun girls, too! Disgusting)
- Girl pictures online (:S)
- Meeting Pashtun girls on the Internet
- Beautiful Pashtun girls (sometimes the word 'beatiful' is replaced with ... well, some dirty terms)
- Arab girl smoking


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Roshni Centre for Women

Dear everyone!
If you're on Twitter, I strongly urge you to start "following" the Roshni Centre (@RoshniCentre) account because apparently, an anonymous supporter has promised to donate $1 for every 5 people who follow @RoshniCentre. Of course, I'm sure the idea is that people won't just follow but also try to look into it to see what exactly Roshni Centre is about. In that case, let me give you a brief idea.

Roshni Centre's Homepage: http://roshnicentre.org/

What the Roshni Centre is:

The specific purpose of The Roshni Centre for Women is to encourage economic and educational opportunities to women living in the rural Northern part of Pakistan. The Roshni Centre was the dream of Nadia, a local woman, who wished for life to be better for the women of her village. She wanted it to be both educational and supportive. The women in the village wanted to have a place where they could meet with other women, both young and old, to learn self-improvement skills such as sewing and basic health education and eventually entrepreneurial skills. With the help of friends abroad Nadia’s dream became a reality on May 10, 2006.

The reason I, qrratugai, am supporting the organization so strongly is that I know the woman who heads it. She's actually an Americana woman, but her love and work for Pashtuns puts me to shame. I mean, she's always doing all these fund-raising events all by herself to try to raise money for the center to whose benefit other than our own women? (Our own women means Pashtun women.) I wasn't involved in the forming of this organization, and I still haven't contributed to it other than in an extremely small and insignificant way, but I am equally willing to support all other organizations, especially if they have to do with women and children, that exist especially to Pashtuns' benefit. So if you've got something in mind, let me know, and I won't hesitate to support it on my blog.

Thank you!

P.S. Don't forget to follow @RoshniCentre!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Dabkeh (Arabic Dance) Performance

So, remember when I was in Jordan in the summer and I'd sometimes talk about the Culture Clubs we had as a study-abroad group? Yeah, well, here's the final result of the Dabka/Dabkeh practice we'd have for 2 hours every Monday for 5 weeks. We messed up biiiig time, but oh well. It was the most funnest night I had at CLS, and everyone else enjoyed it as well. Oh, and in the beginning, few people were willing to sign up for this Club, but when they saw our performance, they aaaalll wished they'd done it :D The Culture Clubs were: Drama, Dabkeh, Cooking, and Calligraphy. The Calligraphy one proved to be the most useless one, it turned out, from what everyone was telling me. Because the instructor would be talking in Arabic the entire time in a different dialect and apparently didn't seem interested in whether the students were actually learning calligraphy or not. The Drama Club did a really awesome performance (I'll share their video later).  The Cooking Club seemed to be getting something out of their instructor, but most I knew weren't satisfied. And then there was the Dabkeh Club :D Mine! Ayyyyy-mmmmaaayy-zing! :) We had a really strict teacher who'd go, "What was that?" whenever you messed up a step. lol. So, since that was always humiliating, we tried never to mess up.

I joined Dabkeh for two reasons. One was that few were signing up for it, and I didn't want the instructor to feel like she was wasting her time. But the more important reason was that I knew I could learn cooking any time; I could take Calligraphy classes on campus - and I'm personally not a fan of calligraphy anyway, but if I ever had to learn it, I could; I could join a drama club/performance anywhere at any point in my life. But Dabkeh? I love dancing (not that I can dance!! I spend hours watching Attanr (traditional Afghan/Pashtun dance) dance videos and still can't get the moves right!), and I knew I could use the exercise :D Yes, there's a lotta Arabs where I live right now, and we even have a Dabkeh club here! Buuuuut it's not easy to find an excellent instructor for any dance, and the Instructor we had in Jordan is the best that the CLS Program knew about. She was/is truly excellent. 

Anyway, I'm gonna show you two videos here. The first one is a recording of the Clubs in action -- all of them. I was in Group A, and there were only 3 of us doing Dabkeh from Group A, so CLS didn't record that (Thank God! That would've been humiliaaaaaaaaaating - and you'd have been able to see Qrratugai in action, which ain't cool.) So the Dabkeh practice you see doesn't have me in it.

And the other video is of the actual performance on the Talent Show night. As we're all saying now as we watch this video and laugh our heads off, thank Goddd for the darkness so that we remain anonymous! LOL. Heck, that's the only reason I'm showing it here - you can't tell where I am and who I am or what I'm doing :p

k, so ... enjoooooooooooooyyzz!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grad School Blues

All right, so I am happy to know that I'm not the only undisciplined graduate student in the whole wide world. Apparently, ALL other graduate students are like this :D (Oh, will you look at that - I'm relishing in the delight that others, too, aren't being the best they can be! Tsk, tsk.)

Yesterday, a Gender Studies teacher of ours treated us (classmates and me) to dinner at this really cool restaurant. We all went. I rode with three friends, and the entire way, we were talking about what unproductive days we'd had, not getting anything done when all of us have at least two papers due by next Wednesday or Thursday. I had one due yesterday, but the teacher sort of extended the deadline for us, and so look at me - I'd rather blog :S So, at one point after we're all done eating, some of them start making plans for the rest of the night. Me, I knew I was gonna come straight home and be ambitious and all and pretend like I can get some important things done. Well, needless to say, that didn't happen :S I don't deserve to live, I swear. Anyway, so this one friend of ours says, "Okay, so who's in?" Another one says, "Not me. I have two assignments due tomorrow." The first one says, "What time are they due?" LOL. He knew these assignments wouldn't get done before their due time :p And we cracked up.

My Life!!!!
That reminds me, this one teacher of ours, herself a grand procrastinator (I think mostly everyone is! It's good to know, really!) -- and we know because she had to have something submitted to a conference, and two weeks later, she still hadn't done it :D -- had assigned us something that was due on, say, October 8th. On October 7th, she sends us an email to make an announcement, and at the end of the email, she writes something like: "And, just to remind you all, your papers are due tomorrow, the 8th. But no rush - you have more than twelve hours to work on them!" LOL!!

Me, I'll wake up, fresh and relaxed and happy, and say to myself, "Ahhh, what a beeeautiful day! No classes! [Note: This semester, I had classes only three days a week.] But I am going to get X amount of Assignment Y done before I go to sleep. BUT I'll just watch one episode of Full House. Just one. Okay, maybe two. They're only 22 minutes long anyway." And that one episode turns into 3, 4, 5!!! Next thing I know, alll my motivation to get some work done is gone! Other times, I'll take my tiiiime cooking, thinking, "Finally, I can cook myself a nice meal!" And since it sometimes takes time, depending on what I'm making, I'd muuuuuuuuuuch rather check my Facebook notifications or go to Twitter or check out some Youtube videos or do something equally useless than actually read for a paper or do some assignment while waiting for my meal to be ready!

Yesterday, while we were sitting there sharing our frustrations about our being such horrible grad students, one of us said, "I had papers to write, so to avoid actually working on them, I decided to clean the bathroom. And it's not like it needed to be cleaned! I just wanted to do it because it gave me an excuse not to work on important stuff." And me, I cleaned my room yesterday for the exact same reason! Sometimes, I'll go to sleep earlier than I need to -- and just lie there, lolling in bed (is this "lolling" a word? Does it mean what I think and hope it means? Well, I'm keeping it), waiting to fall asleep -- and think to myself that I'll wake up early the next morning and do my assignment then. Nope. Never happens! Well, it does happen, like when I have an assignment due that same day! Otherwise, I'll just keep pressing the Snooze button till the 5 minutes of snoozing turns into 3 hours or so.

Today, I wrote an important section of one of my papers, and I felt soooo good, SO proud of myself that guess what :) I decided I "deserved" a break! It's some 8 hours later, and, guess what  - that break isn't over yet!!! Somebody, shoot me!!! See what I meant that I don't deserve to be in grad school? Seriously, why am I such a time-waster!!

SO! That's my life these days! God, I hope to God no professor of mine reads this, hahaha!

No, but like many other grad students, "I need  help!!!" And I need it desperately. I'm going to improve. And I know how to. It might be that I procrastinate mainly because I work much, much better under pressure. I know this is an excuse for many students, but for me, really, I do work better under pressure. Otherwise, I don't work hard on the assignments. The best thing is this, though: my adviser has requested that I email her all the papers I write for each semester, and so that means that since she's going to be reading/reviewing them and then letting me know also whether they're conference-presentation-worthy or not, I have to work EXTRA hard on them. So that's great motivation. This semester, also, two of the papers I'm writing (both of which I've discussed on my blog a lot), I know what my arguments and theories are, I know what my sources are, I know what I'm doing and everything -- so I guess that's why I procrastinate with them so much. They're really exciting, and when I talk about them, I glow. Oh how I glow when I talk about my papers to someone! But I just need to sit down and focus on them, and I know that they won't take me more than 6-8 hours total if I gave them the attention they deserve. I've pretty much written all my thoughts and notes out - I just have to organize them into paper format and organize my footnote and bibliography. That's really all with both of them. Oh, God - that makes me feel sooo much better now! I guess I'm not as terrible as I thought I was. Writing your thoughts really does help :D

k, bye.

P.S. Work hard if you're serious about your education. (Note to self before anyone else.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Reaching Out

Hello, all,

A good friend of mine is desperately in need of prayers, and I'd appreciate all your support, especially through prayers (if you believe in them). Her mother's really ill, and ... well, you can imagine how painful that must be, so.

Thank you in advance :)

Here's her post.

A proper prayer right from the heart with full-on faith and trust in Allah, is powerful.

I am therefore requesting everyone and anyone who is reading this to say a little prayer for my Mum. I know most of you don't know her, or me for that matter, but the more dua's the better. There must be someone's dua that Allah might just answer and make her better.

The Women of Swat Finally Speak!

This makes me too,  TOO happy! I hope they inspire other women to speak up as well.

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