Episodes

#51 – Desibility

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.

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PSA – Coronavirus

There is no shortage of information on the internet about COVID-19; in fact, it’s tough to avoid. Let’s talk about the Coronavirus from our angle, as a Pakistani community, and let’s talk mostly in Urdu. No guests in this episode, just Habib and you.

  • Status update from Habib and his life dealing with the Coronavirus situation in the U.S.
  • Should you be worried about this virus, and how much?
  • Are the measures being taken by the government effective?
  • Is this virus a ‘punishment’ from God to Chinese people – and other racist sentiments.
  • Is it safe to eat wild animals? Where did the virus come from?
  • What about the Pakistani students stuck in China at this time.

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#50 – I was a Coconut

“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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#49 – Do Takkay ki Guftgoo (Part 2)

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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.

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#48 – Do Takkay ki Baatein (Part 1)

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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.

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#47 – UN Development 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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#46 – Ex-Muslim (Part 2, Ali Rizvi series)

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.

#45 – Lost Muslim Identity (Part 1, Ali Rizvi series)

This episode is Part 1 of a 2-part series discussion with Ali I. Rizvi, 37 year old from Washington DC, U.S, but born in Pakistan. Ali is a documentary filmmaker and video journalist – he also was one of the few journalists who worked on the Panama Papers story. Ali is also an open Ex-muslim and Atheist, originally born as a Shia Muslim.

In this first part of the series, we talk to Ali about his life story, and how he became the person he is today. He especially discusses how 9/11 impacted everyday Muslims and Pakistanis like him, especially those living in America and the west, and how the years after 9/11 instigated a search for identity afterwards.

See more of Ali’s work on his website: https://www.airizvi.com/

To see the Library of Congress report regarding the apostasy laws by country, click here.

#44 – Online Dating Horror

Iqra, 26 year old from Brampton, Canada, speaks with us today about her various weird and unfortunate encounters on Muzmatch, a popular Muslim dating app used by Pakistanis. Apps like Muzmatch and Minder are quite powerful and often useful, having helped many people find their significant other and get married. However, a lot of ‘bad’ folks are on these apps too. Married people (usually men), trying to hide their first marriage. People looking for hookups. People looking for time pass.

The other podcast mentioned in this episode is ‘Serial’ – a true-crime podcast that covers an entire nonfiction story over one season. The first season of Serial covers the case of Adnan Syed, a Pakistani American convincted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999.

#43 – Barcelona

Nosherwan Abbasi is 20 years old currently living around Barcelona, Spain. He moved to Spain earlier in 2019 for his studies. About 5 months before this episode, Nosherwan reached out to us on Instagram and shared a voice note about how his homesickness for Pakistan brought him to this podcast, and he wanted to discuss and share his life with us on Pakcord.

We discuss our individual stories living life away from home and getting on our feet, and of course we spend some time discussing Spain and the lifestyle there.

References: https://www.inc.com/business-insider/study-reveals-commute-time-impacts-job-satisfaction.html

Song Credit: Spanish Summer by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/