Friday, October 3, 2014

Pashtun Personality of the Week: Bushra Gohar, A Remarkable Leading Politician

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Pashtun Personality of the Week: Bushra Gohar, A Remarkable Leading Politician


  1. Very intresting personality indeed. i heard her the first time speaking when some American Foundation was having a Pakistan week and she spoke there. It was a type of Indian Name Foundation. She was very mature,calm and impressive in the way she interacted with the audience. From than on I had high respect for her.
    But something else is also very interesting about her. I am a South African of Yousufzai descent who also has something to do with swabi and later Gujerat In British India. I noted that she looks exacty like a cousin of mine. there the interest for me. I swear by God ,she must be of the same genes as my family. This I just know. She has the same ways as we have.When I watched her giving her speach in US,I just knew that and I am not exaggerating. I hope you inform her that.

    1. Thanks for reading and responding, Reza!
      I've just informed her :)

  2. I've seen on her tv a few times, not really a fan of her views but I do respect educated women that have been able to become successful in politics without relying on their family's name.

    "What I like about the way that the top source has said about her is something I appreciate only because it dispels the myth of Pashtun women as weak, oppressed, limited in all aspects, incapable of advancing, unaccomplished, and so on. This is exactly the image that much of Pakistan and most of Pakistanis have of us, and this needs to change asap."
    I don't know what makes you think that most non-Pashtun Pakistanis think that way of Pashtun women; if you ask anybody in Pakistan, they would tell you that women all over Pakistan are oppressed in the rural areas, in Sindh,Punjab,Balochistan,AJK etc it's not exclusive to Pashtuns, I don't know if you've even been to Sindh or Punjab to even make those generalizations.

    When a Pakistani travels abroad, people feel the same way about Pakistanis, they believe Pakistani women(Muslim women in general) regardless of ethnicity are oppressed and weak.

    "Women like Bushra Gohar, Samar Minallah, Gulalai Ismail (I'll write about her next) are helping change that image, and I expect that my daughter's generation won't be getting questions from Pakistanis like, "Oh my God, you go to school?!" or "Oh my God, you want a PhD?! But aren't you Pashtun?!" Yeah"
    What do you mean when you say Pakistani?You're differentiating Pashtuns from other Pakistanis and otherizing yourself.

    Honestly, I live in Karachi -a city home to some 5 million Pashtuns, I've got many Pashtun friends, and in a multi-ethnic city like Karachi, which is a mircocosm of Pakistan with over 36 languages spoken in the city alone, I can assure you most non-Pashtuns in Pakistan wouldn't ask those questions or if they were, they would ask that to any woman regardless of ethnicity.

    But then you've probably never been to other parts of Pakistan yet make sweeping generalizations. of what the rest of us think...........

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Anonnie!

      See, there's something about us that makes us get all defensive when we make a point. Just because you or the non-Pashtun Pakistanis you know personally or interact with don't have this stereotypical idea of Pashtuns as backward, oppressive, wife-beaters, women-controllers, and so on doesn't mean that's not the reality. Yet, almost every single time I run into Pakistanis, they have two main things to say to me: 1) "Arey, beta, Urdu mein baatein karna. Apni zuban bhoolni nahi chahiyen." And I'm like, "Aunty, I totes agree: maintain our language is very important - I'm Pashtun; Urdu isn't my language." I'll write about this another time because this is seriously getting frustrating hearing it all the time. And thing number 2 is: "Haay?? Tum PATHAN ho?" And then this disgusting look on their faces as they ask about what I do and hear that I'm a graduate student and go, still in Urdu, "Pathan people usually don't let their daughters go to school, though, right? Your parents must be very liberal." And others are just disappointed that I'm not becoming a medical doctor and ask, "What'll you do with a PhD?" Others go, "PhDs aren't for women."

      So, no, please don't tell me otherwise. The assumptions are intense, and I do believe that they are mutual (we Pashtuns have many about non-Pashtuns as well), and let's face it - it's Pakistan we're talking about, and much of our racism is literally racist, not just classist. There's a reason that most Pashtuns (over 90%) don't know how to read and write in their own language but are fluent in Urdu (written, oral); there's a reason so many Pashtuns shy away from speaking their own language even at home. A lot of Pashtuns are finally speaking about this problem, and I would highly encourage you (and anyone else who denies that racism against Pashtuns exists in Pakistan because of their ethnicity) to look into this and try to understand instead of saying, "That's not true." Listening to such complaints coming from minorities is really, really important.

      Thanks again for reading!

  3. Hi Orbala,
    I was just wondering if it was you who wrote a blog about the difference between Urdu wali "Fay" and "Pay?" I can`t seem to locate that blog entry on your blog. I am now assuming you deleted that entry, if so, could you please republish it? If not, I`d appreciate it if you could direct me to it. Manana!

    1. Hi, Anonymous,
      I don't think I've ever written on "Pey" and "Fey" on the blog, but I've had countless discussions on Twitter and Facebook on how there's no Fey/F in spoken Pashto; we use P for every time an F is needed.

      But while looking for something on the topic, I found this: "English Probelmatic Consonants for Pashto Speakers"

      Would that help?

    2. Yes, that helps. Thanks so much!


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