Saturday, April 28, 2018

Goodbye to Pakistan?


By Matt Vaughan

I can still remember the moment I fell in love with Pakistan. It was in 2011, shortly after we had arrived in Pakistan to work for a Christian charity, and I was going home one evening in a taxi. After chatting for a while we arrived at my home and the driver adamantly refused my money. I should keep my Rs200, he said politely, because I was a guest in his country. He simply would not take it.
The cognitive dissonance that I experienced at that moment — the confusion, the stark difference between what I was expecting to experience and what I was actually experiencing — has been ever present during the seven years my family and I have spent in Pakistan. Pakistan is renowned in the West as a place of violence, terrorism and intolerance. The Pakistan we have experienced, on the other hand, has been kind, hospitable and imbued with a generosity of spirit that defies belief. Something was wrong, rather wonderfully and surprisingly wrong, and I have been grateful for it for the last seven years.
We live in an era of deep and widening hostility between people from the worlds of Christianity and Islam. In the West, Muslims are all too often depicted as violent and backward, while in other nations Christians are held to be intolerant and arrogant. I, a Christian, have spent seven years in a country that is perhaps 97% Muslim, and my family and I have been treated with nothing but kindness. It was profoundly humbling. It still is.
Before we left the UK to come to Pakistan friends were concerned for us: is it really a good place to raise children? We brought one son here and had three more children in Pakistan. When my second daughter was born our landlord’s mother held her in her arms, stroking her tiny hands, tears of joy streaming down her wrinkled cheeks. When our second was born in 2015 a complete stranger rang our doorbell, congratulated us, wished my son a long and happy life, and walked away. I have no words to express how deeply I love this land. I have tried to convey my appreciation for the untold beauty of Pakistan in my book Notes From A Sacred Land and I can assure you that my appreciation is sincere.
And yet the love we feel for Pakistan and for its people has always been alloyed with pain. Pain, because of the poverty experienced by far too many of Pakistan’s citizens. Pain, because of the increasing level of paranoia within Pakistan, a paranoia that requires even bakeries and pharmacies to employ Kalashnikov-toting security guards. Pain, because of the terrorism which over the last seven years has turned public schools and places of worship into gore-spattered graveyards. There is so much beauty here, and with it so much pain, and so it is that Pakistan has taught us so much about the preciousness and the fragility of human life.
Yet nothing has caused us so much pain as the manner in which we are leaving Pakistan. In recent years the official attitude towards foreigners in Pakistan has changed. NGOs have been closed down. People running hospitals in remote parts of the country, providing vital health services to the poor, have been expelled from the country for no obvious reason. Even for the foreigners who are permitted to come here, vast swathes of the country are off limits: a friend was recently denied permission to have a holiday in Hunza, another faced harassment for visiting Sindh, and when my family visited Shogran for a holiday we were only grudgingly granted permission to go and were accompanied by an armed policeman wherever we went.
It is absolutely right that the authorities should carefully screen foreign visitors to Pakistan. Any sensible country would do the same. Yet the recent wave of paranoia about foreigners is blinding the authorities to a simple fact: that there are many foreigners who want Pakistan to prosper and who would gladly dedicate their lives to improving the lot of Pakistan’s citizens. To treat these people in this way is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. My wife volunteers at a school, importing books from the West at great expense in order to build up its library so that children can have access to quality reading material. I wrote a book about the positive side of life in Pakistan and have given talks all over the country, including at the US Embassy and the British High Commission, in an effort to promote a more realistic and hope-filled image of Pakistan.
And in spite of this we have been waiting for a renewed visa for more than a year. No visa, no news, no information, just a subtle implication that we ought to leave. We cannot remain in a limbo forever. Our children are starting to forget what their grandparents look like. And so it seems that the immense privilege of calling Pakistan our home, of being able to tell people in the West that we live in a beautiful place among profoundly kind people, is to be taken away. The mehman nawazi has come to an end. We leave at the end of April and we will do so with heavy hearts.
And so goodbye to all that: goodbye to the beauty of the Kaghan Valley, goodbye to the breathtaking sight of the Badshahi Mosque, goodbye to the spectacular monsoon rains, goodbye to the shopkeepers and taxi drivers who force me to have chai and refuse payment, goodbye to the daal chawal and the halwa puri I love so much, goodbye to the unending generosity of the people of Pakistan, goodbye to the countless Muslims who, in an era of suspicion and anger, have greeted this Christian gora with far more kindness than I deserve. You have taught my family so much, until recently you have welcomed us so warmly, and we will always be grateful.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Donald Trump: From Business Tycoon to President

Donald Trump Hair

Donald Trump divides opinion, that is something everyone agrees upon. A personality that is difficult to understand for many, even some of his close accomplices, he sure has shaken up the world with his bold and sometimes, controversial decisions. Donald Trump is in the news every day, sometimes for right and sometimes for wrong reasons. While the debate about what is right and wrong will continue between his supporters and critics, he sure knows how to attract attention.


Fact File

Full Name
Donald John Trump
Date of Birth
14th June, 1946
Place of Birth
Queens, New York
Parents
Frederick Christ Trump Sr. and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump
Siblings
Maryanne Trump Barry
Fred Trump Jr
Elizabeth Trump
Robert Trump
Spouses
Ivana Zelinckova Winklmayr (1977-1992)
Marla Maples (1993-1999)
Melania Knauss (2005-Current)
Children
Donald Trump Jr.
Ivanka Trump
Eric Trump
Tiffany Trump
Barron Trump
Education
Kew-Forest School
New York Military Academy
Fordham University
University of Pennsylvania (Warton School)
Company
The Trump Organization
Religion
Presbyterian and Maline Protestant
Net Worth
$3.1 Billion

Donald Trump Business

Who is Donald Trump?

Donald John Trump is the most recent President of the United States and was elected to the post in November 2016 when he defeated Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton by a considerable margin. After a successful career as a businessman where he transformed the real estate business, Trump also made a name for himself as the host of famous reality television program called The Apprentice. He also owned the Miss America, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA until he decided to turn his attention towards politics. In July 2016 he was officially presented as the Republican candidate and the next year won the elections in an unexpected but resounding victory.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Proposal for IELTS Teaching

IELTS Teaching Method


Proposal for IELTS Teaching Procedure.
The primary focus of teaching stays on the student to access their English skills by an individual assignment or interview and then planning their module based on that assessment.

Introduction to IELTS:
  • ·         What is IELTS?
  • ·         Why should you take IELTS?
  • ·         What are the types of IELTS?
  • ·         Which type of IELTS suits you?

Teaching Methodologies:
  • ·         Easy use of communication language for better understanding of students.
  • ·         Keeping track of progress and providing Individual feedback on all the activities.
  • ·         Practical and interactive lectures.
  • ·         Personalized speaking tasks along with group activities.
  • ·         Audio and visual usage.
  • ·         Keeping the student involved by asking and letting them ask questions.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Farewell Post

Farewell

This will be the 1000th post on the blog, something that otherwise would have been a happy post about achievements but sadly, not the case, it will be the last. 

Only I can tell how sad I feel while writing this post but in my heart, I know that this is the right time to move onto better, maybe bigger things. This blog has given me everything that I wanted, it presented me with all the opportunities that I wanted, and more or less, I availed them. 

There is so much that I could still write about, so much that come in my mind that can easily keep this blog going for years, but that's life, maybe it has run its course. 

At the very beginning, it was everything I had or perhaps, it was the only thing I had, but over time it became a place where not only me but others could share their views and use it as a platform for future.

I do not have the capacity to write a lot here so I will start by thanking everyone who joined the Finding Neverland family. It was an incredible ride, and from my heart's bottom, I thank you. I also want to thank everyone who read the posts, shared them over other networks. Lastly, I want to thank all the people who motivated me, suggested me, and in some cases, forced me to write about particular things. 

Sorry to everyone who was offended, let down or hurt in any way by me or any of the post.

It will be an understatement to say that I am leaving with a heavy heart when something is very close to you, it becomes your passion, then forcing yourself against it becomes really tough. 

The journey was worth it, it has taught me so much that perhaps it will be enough for this lifetime. 

Leaving with just one request, remember in kind words please, and implement it, if you learned something while reading anything here. 

Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart for all your love, kindness and support. 

This is a farewell to everyone, from Finding Neverland Blog and me, 

Goodbye, Forever. 😄

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Dream of Pakistan's Cap (Part 12)

Ahmedis in Pakistan

Initially, studies did get in the way. Though Faisal's first breakthrough came in 2004, when he played for Bahawalpur's U-19 team in an inter-district tournament, he soon went back to studying for a master's degree at Rabwah's School of Theology. It was there that Haye spotted him playing in a tournament. When Faisal returned to cricket again, in 2011, he played for Jhang in an inter-district tournament and propelled them to victory in the final against Faisalabad.

"That final [for Jhang]... I had confidence and talent, but I didn't have the practice, because I'd been out of cricket for five years." He made 113 in the first innings, and 67 in the chase in the second. A few months later he was making his first-class debut for Faisalabad, scoring 72 in his first innings against PIA in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. Four years later came the performances in the T20 Cup that did not bring him much attention.

"It's the kind of performance you only have in your dreams," he says. "God was so kind." He prefaces almost every other sentence with an earnest Alhamdulillah and mash'Allah.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dream of Pakistan's Cap (Part 11)

Ahmedis in Pakistan


But after the tournament, there was silence. Faisal is reluctant to go into further detail or assign blame for his not being picked. Perhaps, he says, it is because he is from Bahawalpur and not a major city like Karachi or Lahore. Haye and the others insist it is because Faisal is Ahmadi. He has not hidden his faith. His family are prominent members of the community in Bahawalpur, and many of his team-mates over the years have found out because he has had to bow out of praying with them.

"Some people do discriminate, but I don't feel it," Faisal says, demonstrating a sense of patience far beyond his years. "When there's a water break, if I drink water first, then I can tell that some people won't drink it then. So there are these small differences that keep cropping up. Anyway, you can guess what's going on. I try to drink water right at the end."

He is not sure whether anyone in the PCB is aware of his faith. When I asked Rasheed whether or not Faisal's faith had played a role in his non-selection, he said: "I can say for myself and for the selectors that we do not think of this. As national selectors we are not representing a particular place. Our thought process has to be 'national' for us to pick a national team."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dream of Pakistan's Cap (Part 10)

Ahmedis in Pakistan


In 2013, Faisal bin Mubashir's brother Rafay was waiting for his turn to play in a practice match in Lahore. He had been selected for the Pakistan U-19 side for a tri-series to be played in England that August. Rafay was excited about the future, about the possibility of playing in a game that would be broadcast and watched back in Pakistan by his parents and family. As Rafay waited - the burden of expectations, his own, his family's, weighing on his shoulders - the team physician turned to him. "Become a Muslim," he said.

Rafay had a ready retort, honed from years of being teased and mocked about his faith in school: "I'm going to play now. I'll become a Muslim after that."

Before this "invitation", Rafay had gone to apply for a visa for the tournament in England. The physician had spotted Rafay's religion on his passport. "So he started asking around [the others], 'Are you Ahl al-Hadith?' [people of the traditions of the Prophet]," Rafay recalls. "When he asked me, I said, 'Thank God, I am a Muslim.' He said, 'What kind of Muslim?' I said 'I'm an Ahmadi Muslim.'"

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dream of Pakistan's Cap (Part 9)

Ahmedis in Pakistan

The revelation hangs in the air. It is difficult to comprehend. Pakistan's first ball in a World Cup was bowled by an Ahmadi.Pakistan's first ball in a World Cup was bowled by an Ahmadi.

Malik bowled that ball nine months to the day after his country's parliament had passed a law constitutionally excommunicating him and his community. In the months that preceded that day and the ones that followed it, Ahmadis were dubbed traitors and heretics. Malik did well, taking 2 for 37 and ending the World Cup with five wickets. He was, in fact, Pakistan's joint-leading wicket-taker for the tournament, alongside Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz. He never played for Pakistan again. Haye believes Malik was selected for the World Cup because the impact of the 1974 decision was yet to set in, and because the team needed him.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Love Anniversary



Good poets like precision, real art is
an economy of words that define.
That is why the subject of love will mess
up even the wisest of poets that line
that sounds more like lust most of the time.
up to talk much of unrequited love,
True love may not be eternal or above
nevertheless because it endures in the coffee
ordinary humans but found to be divine
made each morning, resides in the same bed
sickness, health and death, life's distracting lures.
every night, lasts through mistakes and daffy
misunderstandings, diapers, children fed,
When loved ones work at it, love endures.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dream of Pakistan's Cap (Part 8)

Ahmedis in Pakistan

There is indeed little proof on paper that an anti-Ahmadi policy exists to disenfranchise cricketers, from the PCB down to local tiers, but religious bias is rarely articulated as public policy. The possibility that other factors play a role in Rabwah's players not being selected cannot be discounted. As Haye acknowledges, there is a culture of politicking and favouritism and lobbying at every level of Pakistani cricket, which mistakenly denies and rewards players all the time. But with Ahmadis, the "religious label", as Haye sees it, cannot help but add another layer.

Given that cricket is synonymous with a conflated sense of nationalism as well as Islamic identity, it doesn't seem possible in the current climate that an Ahmadi would be selected for the Pakistan side without causing some kind of furore. (By contrast, hockey is so ignored now that it seems to have largely escaped attention that an Ahmadi has captained the national side in the modern age.)