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Freedom is a State of Mind

By Sonya Rehman Two close friends of mine (a man and a woman) recently registered (separate) blogs and have begun writing anonymous blog posts about sex, homosexuality, weight loss, love, divorce, etc, in Pakistan. (You can follow their fantastic blogs here and here!) To be honest, I’ve been having an absolute ball reading their blogs.…

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Her Quirky Art World

By Sonya Rehman On the surface, Mahnoor Hussain’s contemporary miniature art depicts a world that is ridiculously amusing and tragically hilarious…veering off into a unique brand of nuttiness. However upon closer inspection, Hussain’s paintings point towards grim themes that explore human psychosis: self-delusion, mania, isolation and more. In an interview with Paperazzi, the immensely talented…

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Pakistani Director Tackles Child Abuse in Pakistan

By Sonya Rehman Pakistan’s Hidden Shame, a documentary that highlights pedophilia in Pakistan – particularly in the country’s northern areas – recently aired on Channel 4 U.K., revealing widespread child abuse in an indifferent society. The film was directed by Karachi-born Mohammed Ali Naqvi, an award-winning filmmaker who divides his time between Karachi and New…

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Qamar Naseem: The Pakistani Feminist

By Sonya Rehman I first heard of the Pakistani women’s rights activist, Qamar Naseem, via BBC’s Outlook program, which interviewed him in July this year. A recipient of the “No Peace Without Justice Human Rights Award” (this year) and part of a human rights (primarily women’s rights) non-profit, Blue Veins, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Naseem speaks…

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The Missed Connection

By Sonya Rehman Inspired by Craigslists’ Missed Connections, I decided to pen my own. A purely fictitious ‘missed connection’ set in Lahore, Pakistan. Here it is: The rickshaw ride is bumpy. And wonderful. And silly. I have my battered Canon pressed close to my belly, my dupatta partially hiding it. I’m in a brightly-coloured metal…

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Putting Karachi on the Map

By Sonya Rehman Her love for her city is set in stone. Through her project, “Humans of Karachi” (an immensely popular Facebook page inspired by Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” page), Karachi-based photographer Khaula Jamil provides her audience with a different, more humane side of Karachi. Featuring Pakistanis from all walks of life, Jamil has emulated…