We speak to a number of Pakistani youngsters from Islamabad, Karachi, U.K., and U.A.E. to ask them : can you count to 100, in Urdu? Turns out, it’s not so easy, and as we collectively become more efficient with English, it seems we are losing the edge on our native tongues (Urdu, Punjabi, etc.) overall.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns across the world, we wanted to catch up with our Pakistani community on Discord and ask them how they’re doing. As you might have heard from previous episodes, we run a discord server which is basically a modern online chatroom service, that allows both text and voice chats. We speak to several people from various places, including UK, Canada, Dubai, Pakistan, and combined their thoughts to create this episode. We ask them questions about their work/school/sleep schedules, how their communities are responding, and what they’re doing to pass the time.
Want to join our discord server? Get your invite links here !
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Guest: Aisha Khan, 19 year old from Toronto, Canada
Aisha is here to talk to us about poetry, among other things. Aisha is a published writer and last year she released a book called Zamana, under her pen name Anaa Gulzar. We talk to her about her inspiration, why poetry is important, what are the habits for creativity, is rap real music, and a dissection of one of her poems.
You can find her book Zamana via Amazon.
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Here’s the synopsis of the book , on the back cover:
“Zamana is a collection of poetry about time and the world. It is a realization of self told through the prism of time, revealing the multiple facets of existence, love, and culture. It embraces south aisan language and identity through its creative and clever use of Urdu and English.
The words await and nothing is more patient than the world’s clock always ticking forward in the same way.”
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Guests: Sarah Malik from U.S., Hamza Qureshi from U.K., Hassan Raza from U.K., and Hamza Farooq from U.S. All big Cricket fans!
This group discussion features 4 guests, with the topic being Cricket, especially with a focus on PSL 2020 which was suspended on March 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the progression of PSL, the T20 cricket format, the status of the Pakistani international cricket team and memorable moments of victory and disappointment from the eyes of hardcore Pakistani cricket fans.
At the time PSL was suspended, the order of teams by points looked like this:
Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, and Islamabad United.
The first semi final would be Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi, and the second semi final would be between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars. Let’s hope that the matches can be resumed sometime in 2020!
Our guest is 24 year old Adil Ghani from London, UK. Adil is the older brother of our previous guest, Aqil Ghani. He is also disabled, and in this episode he walks us through his life story – being diagnosed with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy at age 3, not being able to walk since age 9, and going through other very difficult transitions in his life.
“Coconut”: brown from the outside, white from the inside. Often used to describe desis living abroad who are not as near to or aware of desi culture, as they are to their local culture.
Today’s guest: Aqil Ghani, 18 years old British-Pakistani brought up in South-east London.
Many of you might be wondering what is life like for youngsters who are born and raised abroad, have Pakistani parents, but are not surrounded by a Pakistani community. Aqil gives us some insight into that. He was born in England, grew up in Beckenham, which as he describes is ‘the whitest town in the whitest borough of London’. He had no Pakistani peers in most of his school life. Naturally, that situation for Aqil and many others can bring about an identity crisis. Aqil described, “I used to dislike being Pakistani but as I’ve learnt more about our history and culture, I think I’ve finally begun to accept who I am”.
During the first 30 minutes of this podcast, Aqil shares his life with us, with several personal stories thrown in. After that, Aqil shares with us some information about his older brother, Adil, who is physically disabled.
In our next episode, in fact, we will speak to Adil directly himself, to get his first-hand account of his life and disability.
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Continuing our 2-part discussion with Hamza Farooq, Myrah Shafiq, and Manahill Shafiq. Episode #48 contains part 1. Previously we analyzed the highly successful and controversial Pakistani drama series – Mere Paas tum Ho. This episode continues that discussion, but not so much about Mere Paas Tum Ho. This time we dive into other topics starting from Pakistani media and culture, to various social issues and our thoughts around them.
For this episode you need 2 things – familiarity with Pakistani dramas, and a grasp of Urglish – that is Urdu + English. This one is a group discussion, all about Pakistani dramas and it is Part 1 of a 2-part discussion. We have 3 very enthusiastic drama-watching guests. Our main focus was to discuss Mere Paas Tum Ho, which was a major hit drama that recently finished in early 2020. We also dove into many other dramas and topics including the state of women in Pakistani society and other controversies in our media.
Our 3 guests for this episode are Myrah Shafiq, Manahill Shafiq, and Hamza Farooq.
Hamza is a returning guest – born and raised in Miami, U.S. but very close to his Pakistani side- and first appeared on Episode #41 – Sea View in Miami. Myrah and Manahill are both sisters and both new guests on the podcast. Myrah is living in Germany, and Manahill is living in the U.K., and both are born and raised in Pakistan.
Today’s guest is Ignacio Artaza – Resident Representative at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Pakistan.
Ignacio has more than 20 years of experience in development cooperation and humanitarian aid. He has served as the UNDP Country Director in Egypt, and has held various positions in UNDP since 1999 – including in New York, Moldova, Sudan, as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories. Before this, he worked with Doctors without Borders in emergency relief operations in Ecuador, Iran, and Mozambique. Based on all this, it’s safe to say he is extremely well-traveled and brings an incredible amount of experience to his post as Resident Representative at UNDP Pakistan.
Ignacio has been living in Pakistan for a number of years. We will be asking him questions about his experience during his time here, and Ignacio will also give us insight into what UNDP is contributing for the betterment of Pakistan.
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This episode is Part 2 of our 2-part series with Ali Rizvi, 37 year old from Washington D.C., U.S. (born in Pakistan) In the last episode (#45) Ali told us about how his search for identity lead him to atheism. In this episode, we ask him for specific questions to understand his mindset – questions like how did he explain this to his family and friends? What if Islam was the right religion? Where do you get your morality from, if you don’t have a religion?
Disclaimer – this episode may not be suitable for the easily offended, as some content may be sensitive for Muslim listeners. However, our goal with Ali was to keep the conversation as respectful as possible, but also allowing him to express himself and to share his thoughts of various Islamic concepts.