Barbarism in the midst of Modernity

In our pursuit of civilization and modernity, traditional and cultural practices have been put aside by many. Several nations have adopted the ‘modern’ way of living in terms of their values and policies. During this era of modernism, many traditional and illogical practices are frowned upon. It is outraging for me when I come across stories on honor killing, acid attacks, burning alive, among others. It does not make sense how the same countries who proclaim to be ‘modern’, are still tolerating such absurd practices!

Two weeks ago, a 19-year old Afghani girl got her nose and ears chopped off for ‘shaming her in-laws’. She was sold by her father to an Afghani man when she was 10, based on a practice called ‘Baad’ among the Pashtuns in a way to settle a family dispute. Her so-called husband was fighting in Pakistan and she never met him. She was tortured and abused by her in-laws for several years before she decided to run away. And this is when another nightmare began.


The Holocaust Card... Again!

It all started when Dr Norman Finkelstein decided to give a lecture at the University of Waterloo. During the Q&A session, a Jewish American woman confronted the famous Jewish professor to highlight the offensive remarks about Jewish people in his speech.

Dr Finkelstein has been against the acts of Israel from the beginning and he constantly criticizes the crimes and violence of the Israelis against the Palestinians. It was both a shocking and an outstanding reaction on the part of the professor when he frowned and vigorously defended the cause of the Palestinians while the woman and several members of his audience were in tears.  


Attitude Issues

ATTENTION: Open mindedness is advised.
What I am about to write will displease many. So to make things clear, I am not targeting any specific race or country. Arrogant fools can be found everywhere.

It is a pity that some people feel they have an ascribed status linked to their country or race. What is more pathetic is that some of them are so-called university students. They can be found all over the campus these days. What called my attention to this is a recent incident that happened with me. I was buying food when an arrogant Arab girl came, got the attention of the lady at the counter, made the lady serve her and take her money first while everybody else was waiting in a queue ( a civilized way to buy food). When I told her that she was supposed to queue, she was surprised, made a face and was angry that I dared asking HER to queue.


When the purpose is lost somewhere along the way.....

The past few days saw the celebration of cultures and diversity in my university. What we call the Ummatic Week, these past four days was introduced to the international students with a noble objective. The philosoply behind Ummatic Week is no more understood and acted upon. All what it represents now is mere fun. You ask any student what is UW, and you will see a glow on his face and he will tell you how fun it is and how it is his favorite week of the year. UW has always been a time where we have fun accepting and respecting other cultures while celebrating our own.

Along with the fun part however, I would have loved to see some of the other important issues that need to be addressed. The power that UW has in gathering people all around the globe under one roof should be exploited to the maximum. In UW, awareness can be created and motivation can be set as well as further action can be guaranteed. The theme of UW should be the basis of all its sub events. Cultural exhibition should make it point that booths are not filled with frames of politicians or bollywood stars but with more significant information. Let me take the example of the Iraqi booth this year: what they did was distributing food and dancing next to their booth every night. As much as I appreciate their participation in this event, at the same time I dont see the point. Same goes to the Palestinians: their booth was filled with pictures of food!