Tag Archives: phenomenon

Hindu-Muslim union is a marvellous phenomenon of Sindh.

Hindu-Muslim union is a marvellous phenomenon of Sindh. The mystic thought of two great civilisations, the Indian and the Arabic-Iranian, is seen in so beautiful a union as in Sindh

By: Professor Jethmal Parsram Gulrajani

” “In fact there is hardly a country in the whole of Asia, including India, in which the mystic thought of two great civilisations, the Indian and the Arabic-Iranian, is seen in so beautiful a union as in Sindh… Sindh being singularly free from religious orthodoxy has absorbed more of Sufism than Punjab where, on account of different political conditions, social and religious restrictions are more manifest than in Sindh. In Sindh at the moment, there are numerous Hindus and amongst them some of the best brains of Sindh, old and new, who are Sufis by religion. In fact, throughout Sindh, the Hindu Amils are attached to the chief centres of the Sufis, and are the main supporters and advisers of the holders of the Gadi [keeper of the shrine].

“This Hindu-Muslim union is a marvellous phenomenon in Sindh. This does not mean that there are no political dissensions in Sindh between Hindu and Muslim, and that religious bigotry is altogether absent in Hindus and Muslims. As a matter of fact there has been enough of it, and it still exists in many forms and is bound to exist in some form or another while the present [British] political policy, that divides race from race, religion from religion, caste from caste, Hindu from Hindu, Muslim from Muslim, exists. Of course, these conditions are not due ONLY to the present political policy; it is in a good measure due to other, deeper, causes that exist in human nature; and also to the the very fact of the variety of religions and sects. But in Sind, owing to its history and other causes, there is less of religious bigotry; and the experiment of the union of religions is to some degree successful and can be witnessed with the physical eye, not merely with the imagination. If one goes around to the various important centres of the Sufis, especially on the chief days of celebrations, he will be agreeably be surprised to see the marriage of Islam with the older Religion.

It is a fundamental basis of Sufism that the Truth is one… Sufism found a congenial soil in Sindh, and seems to have spread into every nook and corner.”

Courtesy:– Saein Professor Jethmal Parsram Gulrajani, “Sindh and Its Sufis”, 1924

Via – Facebook

Religious fundamentalism could soon be treated as mental illness

By JohnThomas Didymus

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.
She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals. She told The Times of London: “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance.” Taylor admits that the scope of what could end up being labelled “fundamentalist” is expansive. She continued: “I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness. In many ways that could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage, that really do a lot of harm.

PAKISTAN – The burden of radicalisation

By Raoof Hasan

The radicalisation of society in Pakistan is an undeniable phenomenon which has gathered in pace and intensity in the recent past. Its gruesome symptoms are a daily occurrence which symbolise the regression shaping the way people have started reacting to events and situations. It is violent and wicked. It is abominable and depressing. Even worse is the extensively pervasive nonchalance with which it is greeted at every appearance.

The fragmentation of society on religious, ethnic, sectarian, social and economic basis has become a norm. For the rulers, it is a convenient means of securing and perpetuating their hold on power and for the ruled, it is a method for manifesting their allegiance to accrue benefits. It works to the mutual advancement of both. Should it, therefore, follow that this is the best that we have and this is the way it is always going to be? A scary thought of what one may actually have to live with! ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Past present: Why Sufism? By Mubarak Ali

To counter the emergence of fundamentalism in Pakistan, the ruling classes as well as intellectuals are advocating the revival of sufism. However, it is evident that ideas and the system cannot be revived because fundamentalism is a product of a certain time and space and fulfills the needs of that age.

Secondly, the very idea of revivalism indicates intellectual bankruptcy and lethargy of our intellectuals who are either not ready or do not have the capacity to understand the very phenomenon of religious extremism and its advent as a result of social, economic and political changes in society. A number of myths are associated with sufis. One of the arguments being that they converted non-Muslims and are responsible for the spread of Islam through the subcontinent. To portray them as missionaries discredits them as an impartial community. To convert someone means that they initially did not believe in the truthfulness of other religions. If this view is correct, it does not explain how they could create goodwill among people belonging to different religions.

Continue reading Past present: Why Sufism? By Mubarak Ali

Sindhi Katchis and Sindhi-Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten

Katchis and Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten

By GN Mughal

KARACHI: It was almost as if GM Syed – the symbol of Sindhi nationalism – was reborn in Old Karachi, undoubtedly a new phenomenon for a decidedly cosmopolitan city.

Many in the audience felt that what they had seen and heard at the event was a foretaste of a new wave of nationalism, a blend of new and old Sindhis, which would overwhelm the provincial metropolis in the coming days.

The occasion was a seminar on ‘Census and old communities of Karachi’, held at Lohar-wadha Jamaatkhana, Lyari earlier this month.

This event had two unique features. Firstly, a large number of Katchis, Gujrati Memons and people belonging to other local communities of Karachi had gathered on one platform. Secondly, for the first time ever, the entire first-ranking leadership of Sindhi nationalists along with the Pakistan Peoples Party leaders of the area were there as well.

It all started a month ago when the Katchi Rabita Committee (KRC) invited some journalists of Sindhi dailies for a cup of tea at the Jamaatkhana to bitterly express being disowned not only by the Sindhi nationalists but by Sindhis at large, despite the fact that “they were Sindhis and old Karachi’ites.

They called themselves the “forgotten Sindhis”. The Katchi community also complained that they had been voting for PPP candidates in every election, but after coming to power the PPP government never lifted a finger to pull them out of the bottomless pit into which they had fallen because of the continuous neglect by successive governments.

Continue reading Sindhi Katchis and Sindhi-Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten

Religious fascism – a threat within

by Shafqat Aziz

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views… which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering.” –Dr Who

How true is the above quote in regard to prevailing fascist mindset deep rooted in Pakistani society. Yes, fascist tendencies could be found in any society. These are however fringed and alienated from mainstream. Besides, the state, law of land and society itself always remains vigilant about the activities of such fringed elements and never allow them to impose their views on others by use of any coercive tool. It is so because civilized societies are fully aware of the potential of this threat. They have observed and experienced the devastation done by fascist approaches for entire humanity and especially, for the societies that perpetuate such tendencies.

However, the case of Pakistan society vis-à-vis fascism is all together different. Here, fascism is not an isolated phenomenon. Instead, a significant chunk of the entire population including the majority of the urban middle class is now fully inflicted with this disease. The rests are also drifting towards this trend with an unchecked and alarming pace. The urban youth, belonging to upper and lower middle class has developed themselves as brainless zombies, devoid of any reasoning and logic. Their thought patrons are amazingly indistinguishable from each other. Yes, their looks and life style could be different. But they are all equipped with same set of absurd conspiracy theories with an extremely narrow and dangerous worldview. …

Read more → ViewPoint

Pakistan’s ‘secret’ war

Author: Karlos Zurutuza, Balochistan
Editor: Rob Mudge

Excerpt:

Armed groups of Balochs in southwest Pakistan are gaining momentum at a critical point for the country’s future. Deutsche Welle looks at the phenomenon which presents yet another problem in the troubled region.

A province marked by floods and images of burned-out NATO tankers, Balochistan is the land of the Baloch, who today see their country in southwest Asia divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Balochistan is the size of France and boasts enormous reserves of gas, gold and copper, as well as untapped sources of oil and uranium. The exploitation of these natural resources in combination with repressive and discriminatory state-run policies have led to armed uprisings in the region.

In his book “Descent into Chaos,” best-selling writer and renowned Afghanistan commentator, Ahmed Rashid, says that the Baloch have instigated five insurgent uprisings to date. These insurgents take shelter in the rugged mountains of southern Pakistan and across the border, in Afghanistan.

The Baloch insurgents in Pakistan are fragmented into several groups: the BLA (Baloch Liberation Army), the BRA (Baloch Republican Army), the BLF (Baloch Liberation Front) and Lashkar-e Balochistan (Balochistan’s army). Several analysts say this fragmentation reflects the tribal element among the Baloch. Accordingly, the BLA, BRA and Lashkar-e Balochistan are led by the local main clans of the Marris, the Bugtis and the Mengals respectively, while the BLF is a more heterogeneous movement.

Despite the apparent fracture, all these groups are markedly secular movements – at odds with the Taliban – who share a common agenda focusing on the independence of Balochistan. They organize their actions around guerrilla attacks, primarily against military targets and government infrastructures like gas pipelines.

Growing discontent

“Given that parliamentary politics is a fake option for us, we are forced to make politics with weapons. Since the partition of India in 1947, we have had to chose between slavery and death,” Khair Bux Marri told Deutsche Welle from his residence in Karachi. The 90-year old Marri is the leader of the biggest Baloch tribe. His life-long struggle against Pakistan has taken him from years of exile in Afghanistan to terms in Pakistani prisons.

His son, Balaach Marri, led the BLA and was killed in 2007 by the Pakistani army. The portrait of this guerrilla leader, wearing a Baloch cap and holding an assault rifle, is almost ubiquitous in Pakistani-controlled Balochistan and can often be spotted alongside Hayrbyar’s, his younger brother, also considered to be a “national hero” by many Baloch.

From his London exile, Hayrbyar Marri calls for the independence of Balochistan and defends the right of “self defence” by his people. When asked about a possible dialogue with Islamabad, he is categorical. “There’s only one thing to negotiate with Islamabad and that’s the immediate pull-out of their occupation troops,” he told Deutsche Welle from his house in London. ….

Harrison also said that the Baloch insurgency in Pakistan enjoys sympathies in the neighboring Sindh province which, according to the journalist, “has brought back the ancient dream of a state or a Sindhi-Balochistan federation extending along the Arabian Sea, from Iran to India.”

Read more: Deutsche Welle

Pakistan is suffering from a disease known as Gangrene and AIDS

Reasons for disastrous situation of Pakistan

By Altaf Hussain

The factual reasons for the present disastrous situation or the root cause of the present weak scenario of Pakistan

Unfortunately, Pakistan is suffering from a disease known as gangrene. The common cause of either wet or dry gangrene is loss of an effective local blood supply to any tissue. Loss of blood supply means tissues are deprived of oxygen thus causing the cells in the tissue to die. The most common causes of tissue/blood supply loss are infections, trauma and diseases that affect blood vessels (usually arteries). Gangrene is a potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of the body tissue dies (necrosis). As a result of reduced blood supply, the organisms (the saprogenic microorganisms) causes wet gangrene which produces toxins. They spread throughout the body and as a result more parts of the body develop gangrene. And finally a time comes when the total blood flow of the body or blood supply system of the body collapses resulting in the collapse of the body as well. In early stages of gangrene, if diagnosed, could be treated through medicines keeping the fact in mind that you may not expect 100% success results. If any part or area of the body has suffered a lot from gangrene, it is advisable to cut that part of the body or that area of the body completely just to save and protect the remaining parts of the body for survival. This phenomenon of cutting a part is like a bitter pill to swallow. If you want the body to survive and remaining parts of the body which are not affected to be safe then it is better to cut that part or parts whether one or more hands, one or two legs or any other affected part or parts. This occurs within the body.

AIDS: The AIDS virus after entering inside the body through any means multiplies and multiplies. The body has three natural self defence mechanism. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) produces AIDS. HIV is not a disease but it is a virus that causes AIDS. The three natural defence mechanisms are (1) Skin, (2) Under the skin (hypodermis/subcutaneous) which is second line of defence and (3) when the organism enters into the blood, meaning inside the body, as it enters inside the body simultaneously body starts producing immune army. If the immunity is not present then human being cannot survive. Viruses are around us always and because of our immune system we don’t get affected.

In AIDS, HIV overcomes immune system that is the defensive system and destroys it and as a result it weakens the immune system. And that is why it is called AIDS and so the reason that a person having AIDS is not safe from any other disease because the auto system of the body collapses.

Without the immune system nobody can survive because cascade of organism are present everywhere around you in abundant and you intake continuously but you don’t get sick. The immune system saves us from bacteria, fungi and viral diseases. Unfortunately, our institutions are also suffering from gangrene and AIDS. When one has gangrene then it is advisable to save the rest of the body. One has to cut of the effected part of the body as there is no other treatment. If one has the finger, legs, hands or any other part of the body and thinks that as this is his or her part of the body and it can be cured then the entire body will get affected with gangrene. Our institutions, say that those that are affected, are our part and have been misguided and can be convinced to return are not aware of the fact that there is no treatment for gangrene. One can only save the institutions by cutting off the affected gangrene parts to save the rest of the body. Now if you cut off the leg then you can still walk with a limp but will certainly remain alive and if not then you will not even be able to walk and also will not survive. If you want to save the institution then drastic and ruthless actions are needed and one has to take the bitter pill. For example, if the gangrene-affected part touches a piece of cloth then it has to be burnt and cannot and must not be washed. Again the affected part has to be cut off and no other solution. Similarly, in case of other such diseases, like chicken pox, it is also advisable to burn the piece of cloth that has come into contact with the affected person.

It is your duty to decide whether you want to cut gangrene part and save the body or keeping the gangrene part and destroying the whole body. This is not my decision – it is your decision.

Continue reading Pakistan is suffering from a disease known as Gangrene and AIDS

Like army, like nation – by Nadeem F. Paracha

Excerpt:

The basic socio-political mindset of the Pakistani society is the outcome of various faith-based experiments conducted by the state and the armed forces.

The party

In 1995, sometime in May, an uncle of mine (an ex-army man), was invited to a party of sorts.

The invitation came from a former top-ranking military officer who had also worked for the Pakistan intelligence agency, the ISI. He was in the army with my uncle (who now resides abroad) during the 1960s.

My uncle, who was visiting Pakistan, asked if I was interested in going with him. I agreed.

The event was at a military officer’s posh bungalow in Karachi’s Clifton area. Most of the guests (if not all) were former military men. All were articulate, spoke fluent English and wore modern, western clothes.

I was not surprised by this but what did surprise me was a rather schizophrenic aura about the surroundings. Though modern-looking and modern-sounding, the gathering turned out to be a segregated affair.

The men’s wives were placed in a separate room, while the men gathered in a wider sitting area.

By now it become clear to me that I wouldn’t be getting served anything stronger than Pepsi on the rocks!

I scratched my head, thinking that even though I was at a ‘party’ in a posh, stylish bungalow in the posh, stylish Clifton area with all these posh stylish military men and their wives and yet, somehow I felt there very little that was ‘modern’ about the situation.

By modern, I also mean the thinking that was reflected by the male guests on politics, society and religion. Most of the men were also clean-shaven and reeking of expensive cologne, but even while talking about cars, horses and their vacations in Europe, they kept using Arabic expressions such as mashallah, alhamdullila, inshallah, etc.

I tried to strike up some political conversations with a few gentlemen but they expected me to agree with them about how civilian politicians were corrupt, how democracy can be a threat to Pakistan, how civilian leaders do not understand India’s nefarious designs, et al. …

The experiment

The Pakistan Army was once a staunchly secular beast. All across the 1950s and 1960s it was steeped in secular (albeit conservative) traditions and so were its sociological aspects.

In fact, until the late 1960s, Pakistani military men were asked to keep religion a private matter and religious exhibitionism was scorned at as well as reprimanded – mostly during Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s dictatorship (1959-69).

Continue reading Like army, like nation – by Nadeem F. Paracha

“Just so you do not have thoughts…” – by Shazia Nawaz

We all know that burqa does not have its roots in religion. Religion only asks women to dress modestly. Where did the burqa or veil come from then? Why do so many women in the world cover their faces?

Burqa is a mobile jail invented by men to hide the women they love. If love was involved, I would accept it. That makes the jail a little more acceptable in a twisted kind of way.

But then what kind of man will keep a person he loves in a jail?

So then, Burqa is more a jail to keep in the women they “own”.

Brain washing starts very early. At a very young age, you are told that you have to hide yourself from men. It is ‘piety’ to hide your face. You are also taught to fear men. From a very young age, you are told that men are dangerous and should not be trusted. Only your father and brother are the ones you can trust. As someone put it very eloquently the other day, ‘In Pakistan, women are told that men are wolves and women are sheep.’ and due to this teaching , most men do indeed start acting like wolves and women as sheep.

Our men say that women should cover up, so we would not have ‘thoughts’ about them. Thoughts of harming women and thoughts of raping them. So, they want to put me in a mobile jail just so their mind would stay clean?! What a twisted logic!

But then does it really stop their ‘thoughts’? In the real world, they do not care if you are in a burqa, they will harass you. Covering my face never protected me from street harassment.

In a smaller city in Pakistan, always either my father or brother had to accompany us on the streets, or in spite of all the layers of clothes on us, men would yell taunts, follow, and even try to rub against us when were passing by. Due to this very reason, women can not leave houses alone, and always have to have a male of the house with them. Men have to protect their women from each other in Pakistan and in all muslim countries.

When we moved to a bigger city, Lahore, and got rid of the big chador, sexual harassment, believe it or not, was less. Men around us there were used to women who walked around with out covering their heads and faces. Men were more educated and their own sisters and mothers had more freedom too.

Coming to USA and experiencing the behavior of their men on the streets was an amazing experience. I can walk around wearing whatever I want. No one dares to harass me. That told me that it is not the burqa that keeps the dangerous men away, it is the mindset of a society and it is the implementation of the laws that keep women safe in any country.

My first experience of the cool breeze touching my skin on a beautiful beach in Hawaii was wonderful . Men rob women of their basic right of enjoying the nice weather by putting them in a tent called burqa. It is dark in there and it is hot in there. Just because you do not have ‘thoughts’ about me, I should be suffocated?!

Doctors consider ‘thoughts’ a God made healthy phenomenon. Acting on your thoughts without other person’s consent would put you in a jail for 10-20 years in any civilized country.

It is difficult to understand for a man of an oppressed society that in a free world men indeed learn to control their ‘thoughts’ and do not blame women for it. …

Read more : Let Us Build Pakistan

PUNJAB, Punjabi and URDU, The Question of Displaced Identity

PUNJAB, Punjabi and URDU, The Question of Displaced Identity…A Historical Appraisal

by Tahir Kamran

Colonialism was an all-pervasive phenomenon, subjugating 87 percent of the globe by 1914 and the Sub-Continent off course was no exception. It signified colossal change in the realms of economy and polity as well as administration, which attracted sufficient attention of the historians markedly from nationalist persuasion. …

Read more : Wichaar

Some interesting anecdotes from Mr. Suleyman Schwartz

From San Francisco to Sarajevo – by Michael J. Totten

Stephen Schwartz was raised a communist in the San Francisco Bay Area and once worked for the Cubans. Then he became a Republican and converted to Islam in the Balkans. When he’s not busy with his duties as the director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, he writes books and articles for magazines like The Weekly Standard.

His analysis of the Middle East and the Muslim world generally is more fresh and interesting than that of most. He is the first Westerner to use the word “Islamofascism” to describe the “use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology,” and he did so not as an “Islamophobe” but as a Muslim believer. Those who yearn to hear from moderate Muslims, and those who have somehow convinced themselves that the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood are the moderates, really need to hear what he has to say.

MJT: So, what are your thoughts on Egypt?

Stephen Schwartz: Well, during the first two weeks most of the usual chatterers had no chattering to do. Everybody was stunned. Nobody had an answer. A lot of what should have been said was considered politically incorrect. Nobody for the first two weeks wanted to say there weren’t just two alternatives in Egypt, Mubarak or the Brotherhood. There were three alternatives—Mubarak, the Brotherhood, and the army which really rules Egypt.

Egypt has been controlled by the army since 1952. In certain kinds of countries the military takes over because it’s the only stable force. But in other countries the army is more ideological. Some of the armies in these latter countries develop a political ideology that I and a few other people have called the concept of the “army-party,” meaning the army acts as though it were a political party. It’s not simply a matter of a military dictatorship or a regime based on a militaristic or fascist party, and it’s not always necessarily an ideological phenomenon, but the army acts as a political party. It acts as a political force, and it acts as a political arbiter.

MJT: Like in Turkey, for instance.

Stephen Schwartz: Turkey is an example. There are lots of examples in Latin America. Argentina was an example. Algeria and Egypt are examples.

MJT: And Pakistan.

Stephen Schwartz: Yes, and Pakistan. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Egypt has an army-party.

MJT: It does.

Stephen Schwartz: So it’s not a question of Mubarak or the Brotherhood. The army will not, I think, permit the Brotherhood to take power, but the army will shuffle things in some ways. There may not be much of a change at all. When Mubarak said he wouldn’t run in the next election, well, the election is seven months away. How do we know there will be an election?

I’m for democracy throughout the world. I want bourgeois democracy everywhere. I’m an activist for it, but I’m also cautious about euphoria. I think a lot of people have been swept away by hope in the Egyptian case. They think this is the beginning of the great Arab transformation, but they don’t notice that there are few political alternatives in Egypt. There’s no labor-based party. There’s no bourgeois party. There are no parties representing particular social and economic interests.

The most important point, in my view, is that Iran and Saudi Arabia are two countries where democratization, or, at least, popular sovereignty, means leaving Islamist ideology behind. The problem with Egypt is that democratization, to a certain extent, represents a leap into the void. The Egyptians haven’t yet learned about Islamist ideology, through experience, what the Saudis and especially the Iranians have learned. We don’t want them to have to learn it.

MJT: But how are they going to learn it without learning it?

Stephen Schwartz: They can learn it by looking at the experiences of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. They don’t have to suffer it in their flesh. People in the West rejected Communism without having to live under it, thank God.

The other problem is that the weight of corruption and despotism in Egypt is so heavy and has persisted for so long. I often compare Egypt with China in this sense.

Democracy in Iran could lead to social reform in Saudi Arabia and a stiffening of the resistance to radicalism in Pakistan. It could conceivably change the whole Muslim world.

MJT: The Arab world doesn’t look up to Iran or Pakistan.

Stephen Schwartz: No.

MJT: Arabs do look up to Egypt, though, and in different ways to Saudi Arabia.

Stephen Schwartz: If Iran becomes democratic, if the Iranians overthrow the clerical state as we should all hope and pray for every day, there will be a tremendous impact in Saudi Arabia.

MJT: You think?

Stephen Schwartz: Absolutely.

MJT: What kind of impact would you expect?

Stephen Schwartz: If Iranians overthrow the clerical state and put Islamist ideology behind them, they can move quickly along the path of democracy and stability. Iranians are very well educated, very sophisticated.

MJT: The Saudis don’t seem to be so educated and sophisticated about democracy. ….

Read more : http://pajamasmedia.com/michaeltotten/2011/02/14/from-san-francisco-to-sarajevo/

Wikileaks reveal parties behind Jeddah’s closed doors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia might be an ultra-strict Islamic society, but princes’ mansions in Jeddah hide a buzzing party scene replete with alcohol, drugs and sex, according to a leaked US diplomatic memo.

“Behind the facade of Wahabi conservatism in the streets, the underground nightlife for Jeddah’s elite youth is thriving and throbbing,” said the November 2009 cable, released by the WikiLeaks website.

“The full range of worldly temptations and vices are available – alcohol, drugs, sex – but strictly behind closed doors,” it said.

“This freedom to indulge carnal pursuits is possible merely because the religious police keep their distance when parties include the presence or patronage of a Saudi royal and his circle of loyal attendants.”

The cable, from the US consulate in the Red Sea city, described a Halloween party attended by 150 people mostly in their 20s and 30s, including consulate personnel.

“The scene resembled a nightclub anywhere outside the kingdom: plentiful alcohol, young couples dancing, a DJ at the turntables, and everyone in costume.”

Big Jeddah parties – also often attended by prostitutes – are a recent phenomenon, according to the consulate.

One Saudi told the consulate that wealthy locals try to throw parties at princes’ homes or with princes in attendance so that the religious police can be kept away.

It also said that the high price of smuggled alcohol – a bottle of Smirnoff vodka can cost 1,500 riyals, or 400 dollars – sometimes forces party hosts to refill original bottles with the harsh, locally bootlegged spirit sadiqi. …

Read more : DAWN

Resisting resistance

By: Satya Sivaraman

Courtesy: Himal Southasian, August 2009

The rampant, often-frivolous use of antibiotics over the past half-century has made us dramatically more vulnerable today. A looming catastrophe … one our planet faces due to long-term human intervention in the natural world … the impacts of which are already being felt … though the real damage lies ahead, the issue could be ameliorated through urgent action to bring about policy and behavioural changes. Surely we are talking about global warming, the hot issue on everyone’s minds these days? No, in fact we are referring to an equally significant though vastly under-discussed threat confronting the world today: antibiotic resistance, the phenomenon of bacteria becoming immune to antibiotic medication.

Continue reading Resisting resistance