Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ghani Khan, God, and the Mullah: The Mullah as an Ideology in Ghani Khan’s Poetry

Ghani Khan (1914-1996) was a Pashto poet, philosopher, politician, thinker, and artist. He is best known, however, for his poetry, which, with its immense power and wisdom, leaves us much to contemplate and discuss. While his poetry extends beyond his criticism of the mullah, a term that refers to a religious teacher often from the clergy, those familiar with Ghani’s poetry are much acquainted with the poet’s relationship with the mullah. In fact, one of the marks of Ghani’s poetry is his criticism of the mullah, his reference to the mullah’s hypocrisy, ignorance, and shallowness. What tends to be overlooked in the discussion on Ghani and the mullah, however, is a focus on the socio-religious milieu in which Ghani’s poetry emerges as a critical engagement with the mullah.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pakistani Lesbian Couple Marries in the UK

I'm very happy to share this news as widely as possible! I wish the couple a lifetime of much peace, security, and love! They need it no less or more than anyone else does. As one of my most favorite quotes of all times reads, "Life is difficult as it is, and so when a person can find someone who can help them live this life as comfortably as possible for them, I'm all for it, regardless of their religion, gender, race, color, background, etc."

Indeed, a life companion need not be someone the society approves of so long as you can imagine yourself happily spending as much of your life with as possible.

Peace be upon us all!

P.S. As usual, I'd caution against reading the comments under the link of the article (provided below); they might have the power to disturb you and ruin your day if you let them.

Now ... the article is as pasted below.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My American Cousins - Part I

The short story below is intended to address some of the misconceptions that Pashtuns specifically (and Muslims/South Asians generally) have about Pashtuns/Muslims living in the West or about Westerners in general. It'll be based primarily on my own experiences, especially during my visit to Swat, Pakistan, in 2011, and the way that everyone received me and my family and imagined us all to be before they met us again.

“Hurry up, everyone, get ready! My son and daughter-in-law finally fulfilled my wish and agreed to bring their children from America to visit us. God knows how much they must have changed,” Grandma said with teary eyes, her head shaking in pity for having lost her favorite son and his children to the infidel West. Sitting on the char-pai, a bed of sorts, designed just for her, with built-in foam and cushions and everything, she was motioning to everyone, assigning tasks to each idle person her sixty-five-year-old eyes could spot in the house. She often cried for my uncle’s being in America, saying that Zubaida, a teacher whom she visits weekly for women-only sermons in the neighborhood, had told her that God said He will not forgive any believer who goes to America. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ghani Khan and Women - Part I

Pre-post: This was originally published on Qissa Khwani. I'm posting it here because Part Two is coming up in a couple of days, and I want to acquaint my readers with the discussion here as I write the second part.
Disclaimer: The following isn't intended as a serious analysis of Ghani's poetry overall. It's merely a humble interpretation of one line from one of Ghani's best poems.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gender Differences in Health Issues

This semester, I took a class on gender and health, mostly to examine the role that gender plays in health policies and administration. So we had to write an essay in which we had to sort of discuss this. The essay is to (try to, ha!) answer these questions: What role does gender play in health policies, how policymakers address gender differences in health, are the health differences between women and men due to their biological make-up and/or are natural or are they more social--or both?
The book I'm citing (authors: Bird and Reiker) is Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies by Chloe Bird and Patricia Reiker, published 2008. It's one of the most important books I've ever read in my life, so I definitely recommend it to everyone.

You know how people like to attribute all our differences to our biology? Yeah, well, they're not quite right. Women are more likely to seek help than men are not because men are just naturally supposed to be independent, for example; social upbringing has everything to do with it. Men get certain diseases more than women do, also more so due to social standards than to their biologies, although we really can't know for sure all the time. But both nature and nurture are equally important, something we need to keep in mind when talking about gender and health.

If something's unclear, lemme knoooow.

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