Jewish Journal

Weird and happy news from Pakistan

by Mahim Maher

October 6, 2013 | 6:30 am

It is never a dull day in Pakistan. Here are just some of the highlights from this week.

Space Cadet

The top story is of Ziaur Rahman, a 30-year-old business graduate, who has become one of the six Pakistanis who want to be a Martian. After Dutch venture, Mars One Applicants Community, started mobilising enthusiasts to sign up for the 54 million-kilometre space travel, Rahman signed up. His application was accepted. The Mars One project will cost around $6 billion and will take four persons to the red planet in 2023, my newspaper, The Express Tribune reported. What is not clear, however, is whether he’ll get the visa.
Photo: www.mars-one.com

Malala, prizes and a film

Photo: TimePakistanis are also talking about Malala, who has been in the news for a while since she was shot in the head by the Taliban. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has apparently invited the young Yousafzai to Buckingham Palace. We have also been talking about Malala amid the speculation that she will be named the youngest winner of the Nobel peace prize this week. Our newspaper also reported that the first documentary film on the life of Malala Yousafzai is going to be released in Canada this week. The film, titled ‘A Girl From Paradise’, will then journey from Canada to China, to Europe and then to USA. The documentary has been directed and produced by award-winning Pakistani-Canadian Journalist Mohsin Abbas who, along with his crew, spent nine months in Pakistan, United Kingdom and Czech Republic, interviewing a wide range of people during its shooting.

Human chain

Photo: Express News

This story, though, was a real winner with me. As you may have heard, All Saints’ Church in Peshawar was attacked by a two suicide bombers two weeks ago. One hundred people were killed. This Sunday, however, 200 Muslims and Christians in the city of Lahore formed a human chain outside St Anthony’s Church in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack.

Louboutin & anti-Islam campaign

I was surprised to read our news desk pick up on this item: Shoe designer Christian Louboutin has forcefully been associated with an extreme anti-immigrant Belgian party Vlaams Belang’s campaign. Flemish senator Anke Van Dermeersch, who is also a former Miss Belgium, has used the designer’s iconic red-soled shoes in the party’s campaign leaflets. Louboutin is not happy with this act and has sought an injection. He is concerned that the outspoken politician, by insisting on wearing the shoes with his trademark red soles, has linked him with her political agenda. The campaign condemns Islam. The poster, titled Women against Islamisation, shows the bare legs of Dermeersch, who is wearing a pair of red-soled Louboutins while lifting up a black dress. The Vlaams Belang’s poster also carries the slogan ‘Liberty or Islam’, as well as the party’s email address.

BK Lounge and Starbucks Paki stylee

Photo: Arif Soomro for The Express Tribune

Oh, and I was personally interested in this: Burger King has come to Pakistan by opening three outlets in Karachi. And while I haven’t been there because I think the lines will be terrible, I may report on how good the satisfries are. And while I’m on the topic, I should mention Sattar Baksh, a café that has opened in Karachi to pun on the name Starbucks. Sattar Baksh is actually a proper Pakistan man’s name. It has a quirky menu with items like the ‘Topless Besharam Burger’ – the word besharam means shameless in Urdu.

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I am a 33-year-old journalist in Karachi, Pakistan where I work as the city or metropolitan editor for The Express Tribune, a daily national newspaper in English affiliated...

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