Friday, January 30, 2009

Looked at yourself in the mirror lately?

Following story has been taken from Paulo's short stories collection - previously posted on an old blog of mine here:

The Window and the Mirror

A very rich young man went to see a Rabbi in order to ask his advice about what he should do with his life. The Rabbi led him over to the window and asked him:

'What can you see through the glass?'

'I can see men coming and going and a blind man begging for alms in the street.'
Then the Rabbi showed him a large mirror and said to him:

'Look in this mirror and tell me what you see.'

'I can see myself.'

'And you can't see the others. Notice that the window and the mirror are both made of the same basic material, glass; but in the mirror, because the glass is coated with a fine layer of silver, all you can see is yourself. You should compare yourself to these two kinds of glass. Poor, you saw other people and felt compassion for them. Rich - covered in silver - you see yourself. You will only be worth anything when you have the courage to tear away the coating of silver covering your eyes in order to be able to see again and love your fellow man.'

Friday, January 16, 2009


It's freaking cold here today. I like winter ... snow I mean. But not Quetta-like winds at sub-zero temperatures, they freak me the hell out. I believe today's high is -4. Imagine that! Good thing it's not here to stay, the temperature goes above zero soon.

I cannot imagine how people in Canada survive, it's not natural, honestly.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Blogs from Gaza

Read the horrific accounts of residents of Gaza of unending Israeli terrorism going on there every day. Israel is trying to paint a very different picture of the conflict lying about bombing tunnels, human shields, and militant targets when the evidence points to the contrary. Get the real picture from these blogs:

Gaza Strip - The Untold Story


Diary of a Palestinian Mother

Is there no nation in this world that will stand up to this oppression?!

Why the blind support of Israel?

I, for one, am shocked and aghast at the blind support given to Israel by the United States of America. No matter how heinous Israel's crimes are, there is NEVER a condemnation of it's actions by the US. Even if the countries share a lot of their national interests, you would think given the humanitarian crisis that has resulted there as a result and the number of innocent casualties that have occurred in the wake of the attacks, there would be *some* criticism for such action and calls for a ceasefire and to this day, there are none. More than 600 Palestinians are dead as a result of the Israeli offensive and thousands are injured. How can the world simply let Israel continue this massacre without raising a voice?!

It is this blind support of Israel that is the prime factor in America's unpopularity in Asia and the rest of the world. There is a feeling that no matter what Israel does, America will ALWAYS support it effectively giving Israel the green light to do whatever it wants to do. Israel claims it's bombings are highly precise and accurate, but the images out of Gaza tell a different story altogether. Besides, where is the sense in claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians as a result of a couple of deaths by Hamas rockets in Israel? Can it not get it through their heads that such indiscriminate killing will only ensure that such hatred and animosity for Israel continues, and a new generation will grow up with the sole aim of killing Israelis. I do not know what Hamas were thinking firing rockets at Israeli cities. Killing of civilians is wrong, no matter who does it but the Israeli response, as usual, has been inhumane and brutal and the US support for it is equally pathetic. It is a circle with no beginning and no end. Violence breeds violence. Period.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


The Tenth of Muharram - better known as the Day of Ashura - is a source of deep mourning and grief for the Prophet's (P.B.U.H) followers. The day marks the brave sacrifice given by Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S) and his brave companions. To this day, there are some morons who think all this was a political war between two "Princes". If that were the case, why would have the Imam brought along his family and children? Did he not have the foresight to see the eventual outcome of the situation that was developing? This post is primarily aimed at my foreign readers (Yes, I have a few I'm told) so I'll avoid the inane questions and doubts devoid of common sense shown by some of our Muslim brethren.

Every year, the arrival of Muharram is marked with majalis (lectures) aimed at making people realize the greatness of this sacrifice in the context of history and the far-reaching repercussions it has to this day. Had it not been for this sacrifice, the Islam we'd have had today would've been anything but the one that was brought by our Prophet (P.B.U.H). As a poet has famously said:

Qatl-e-Hussain Asal Mein Marg-e-Yazid Hay
Islam Zinda Hota Hay Har Karbala Kay Baad
(Killing of Hussain is actually the death of Yazeed
Islam is revived after every Karbala - implying every year in the month of Muharram)

While it is extremely important to remember this sacrifice year-on-year, what is also equally important is to understand the message of Karbala and try to apply it to our daily lives. As Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) said:
Kullu Youm-e-Ashura, Kullu Arz-e-Karbala
(Every day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala).

Indeed, the message of Karbala is much much more profound than we believe it to be. What the Imam means by saying that is the fact that the message of Karbala is not limited to a certain period in history. In fact, it is so profound that every living being can take something from this great sacrifice and apply it to their lives no matter where they are and what time period they live in. Quoting another poet:

Insaan ko baidaar to ho lainay do
Har Qaum pukaaray gi hamaray hain Hussain

(Let humanity wake up from its slumber
Every nation will cry out: Hussain is ours!)

The poet wants to convey the fact the message of Karbala is truly universal and is valid for all humanity regardless of race, cast, creed and other differences. It is a slap to the face of oppression, tyranny and falsehood that continues in one form or another to this day. Imam Hussain (A.S.) by his remarkable actions has created an eternal distinction between good and evil, and that good is worth every sacrifice, no matter how big.

Shah Ast Hussain, Baadshah Ast Hussain
Deen Ast Hussain, Deen-Panah Ast Hussain
Sar Daad Na Daad, Dast dar Dast-e-Yazeed
Haqqa kay binaey La Ilah Ast Hussain
(Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain
Faith is Hussain, Guardian of Faith is Hussain
He gave his head, but refused to give his hand (in allegiance)
Indeed, Hussain is the foundation of La-Ilah (religion of truth) )

Alla humma La'an Qatla-tal Hussain-e-wa Ashaabehi
(May Allah curse the murderes of Hussain and his companions) Amen!

Image courtesy: Saeed-Art

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gaza bleeds again

Another massacre in Gaza continues as the world watches on silently. How long will this oppression last? A once "invincible" army which couldn't even defeat a determined militia is now picking on innocent women and children to get its point across.

Image courtesy: Carlos Latuff