Freedom from the Forbidden

All things gender and Islam. No bigotry is allowed in this feminist territory. #DeathToPatriarchy

Pakistan

a song for Afghan refugees in Pakistan: Pekhawara Afghanan che khapa na krre by Naghma

With Pakistan evicting some 600,000 Afghan refugees by the end of this year alone, this song, sung by Naghma in 2011 (I think?), is so real and relevant it’s heartbreaking. Song is at the bottom of the lyrics. The Pashto is in Green (one of my favorite colors, yay!). Immense thanks to T. A. S. for helping with translation of a couple of lines/words I was struggling with.

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The Babarra Massacre of August 12, 1948: Translation and Background of Pashto Song “Margiya Ma Raza Darzama”

The short version of what follows On August 12, 1948, two days before Pakistan was to celebrate the first anniversary of its creation (August 14, 1947), the Pakistani government  attacked and killed over 600 Pashtuns during a peaceful demonstration against the unjust imprisonment of several Pashtun leaders demanding justice for Pashtuns. This took place in a town called Babarra in Charasadda, Pakhtunkhwa. Hardly anyone knows about this massacre and Pakistan […]

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What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 5: inappropriate messages from “respected” figures

Continuing our series on Pashtun women’s experiences with social media / what it’s like being a Pashtun woman on good ol’ internet. (The other stories are linked at the bottom of this post. Please be sure to read the Introduction to the series! I’m afraid someone brilliant is going to rise up and say, “But it’s not just Pashtun women who face these problems! Why are you targeting Pashtun men […]

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Punjabi-Pashtun and Pashtun-Punjabi Racism and Hatred in Pakistan

Pre-pre-script: The comments on this article were quite phenomenal, many of them reiterating my point. To read them, please click here (scroll a little down on the page to view them). Pre-script: I realize I’m using “Pukhtun” and “Pashtun” interchangeably – because they are the same thing. I don’t use “Pathan” because many Pashtuns mind that name and see it as a distortion of the original “Pashtun/Pukhtun.” This is going […]

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One Month After the Peshawar Attack – a song celebrating Pakistani children

It was exactly one month ago (December 16, 2014 – #NeverForget!) that well over 170 children were killed in the attack in a Peshawar school called Army Public School. (I know the media, including Pakistani media, is claiming that 130 kids were killed in it, but sources I trust say the number is way, way higher than that. So I’m sticking to at least 170. May they all rest in […]

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On Pakistan’s Sick Choice to Expel Afghan Refugees from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

I almost feel bad for writing this because I think Pakistan’s choice to expel Afghan refugees out of the area is merely a clever tactic to divert people’s attention from the real problem facing Pakistan – militancy and what just happened in Peshawar. It thinks (and it looks like it’s right) that we are a stupid, mindless breed of people and will fall for their lie that our problems exist […]

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Khuga Pekhawara (Pashto poem – with English translation)

Pashto poetry, when done well, is moving and inspiring and leaves the reader/listener speechless. That’s why I’ve always avoided it – ’cause I can’t do that much justice to a language every other word of which is so poetic and beautiful it makes you want to wrap the whole language around you with pride, even though you played no role in its development and growth. STILL! Here’s my second (technically […]

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How Not to Respond to the Peshawar School Attack – and some facts about it

While Pakistan and far too many Pakistanis continue to fight over the country’s stupid blasphemy law and waste their time and energies talking about other useless things–and while the Pakistani government continues to ban Youtube (this will always be a relevant remark, okay!)–the Taliban continue to destroy humanity. (No, America and colonialist-minded Americans and Westerners; this isn’t an invitation to America to come save poor Pakistanis from the Taliban! Up […]

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