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Showing posts from April, 2011

VIEW: Faisal Shahzad — the (un) true back story

By Afrah Jamal

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, April 30, 2011

The visiting media (excavation) team who rifled through Faisal Shahzad’s past had hit a brick wall last year. Because he is a naturalised American citizen and the son of a senior Pakistani air force officer, the foreign press must have been just as baffled as their Pakistani counterparts. And since they found little of value in these archaeological expeditions, they gave their terrorist a back story to go with the popular narrative. Putting up the failed Times Square bomber’s upbringing on trial alongside his present probably made it easier to explain this anomaly. If the world they fabricated out of fantasy and myth appeared alien to Pakistanis back home, it is probably because it was.

Faisal, who went through the system without triggering red flags, was depicted as a zombie being drilled in violent Islam and fed anti-western lies as a child, getting in and out of fancy cars followed by a trail of nannies, raised wit…

BOOK REVIEW: Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reviewed By Afrah Jamal
By Daniel Domscheit-Berg with Tina Klopp

A leaked video, allegedly of ‘the most dangerous man in the world’ on the dance floor is doing rounds on the internet these days.

As Assange himself will tell you,“Nothing is sacred anymore.”

Those who picture WikiLeaks — the whistle-blowing website — as an impregnable fortress with Julian Assange its modern day warrior casually brandishing incendiary matter will also find Julian’s accomplice busily stripping away its veneer of invincibility and with that, its founder’s credibility.

The duo is known for upsetting the global applecart of secrets and lies and if the truth is ‘out there’, it is because of one Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg who put it there. From secret US military intelligence documents and diplomatic cables to contents of Sarah Palin’s private emails and handbooks from Guantanamo Bay, first American fraternity and Scientology, Assange & co are…

MAGAZINE REVIEW: Introducing ‘Aye Karachi’ - Karachi’s first quarterly bilingual city guide and features magazine

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, April 09, 2011

By Afrah Jamal

T2F may be a popular hunt but it was not easy to find; not without a GPS enabled phone, a knowledgeable Karachiwala or both to lead the way, which is ironic, since that day, it was to be the venue for the launch of a “city guide and features magazine”.

‘Aye Karachi,’ a brainchild of Rumana Husain, has been five years in the making. ‘Aye’ is not a nautical term (as in ‘Aye Aye Capn’) but an Urdu word formed by combining the letter Alif with a Yay (‘O’ in English); this means that the region’s first quarterly, bilingual city guide and features magazine has nothing to do with pirates and everything to do with Karachi.

Described as a quarterly portrait of the city, ‘Aye Karachi’ is more than a city guide – and serves to fill a void that few realised even existed. This need was first identified by Rumana when she noticed that while major cities of the world boasted of their own magazines, the commercial hub of Pakistan was…