Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
The most important event that takes place during this holiday is the sacrifice of an animal. Each family will purchase a goat, sheep, cow, bull or camel for this purpose. After the animal is slaughtered, the meat is divided between family members and given out to the poor. In orthodox Islam, the sacrifice is not meant to have an atoning quality, such as in the Judaic sacrificial system, but is meant to serve as a reminder of the prophet Abraham's unwavering faith and obedience.
This year in Lahore, families can celebrate Eid al-Adha without transforming their garages into butcheries. Zenith, a store that specializes in fresh meat, is offering all inclusive qurbani (sacrifice) packages. How does Zenith make it easier?
Continue Reading Here
Thursday, October 23, 2008
For a foreigner, figuring out what to wear to a Pakistan wedding can either be a great delight or a big headache. The first time I went to a wedding in Lahore, I wore the wrong kind of clothes on each and every function! These tips should help you avoid making the same faux pas. Many of the same traditions take place in India, particularly in Muslim weddings. The way people dress in Bollywood films is a pretty good representation of what the upper class would wear to weddings in Pakistan.
Pakistani weddings generally take place over three to four days. You have three major functions: mehndi, barat, and walima. These may be preceded by a more intimate function called the mayun, to which only close friends and relatives are invited. You may also attend a mungni, engagement party, or a dolki, dance party, well in advance of the main functions.
Ladies in Pakistan match everything, so when shopping for wedding clothes you must make sure to match a purse, shoes, bangles and jewelry to your suit. Taking a swatch of the fabric with you while shopping can help with matching.
Read more and see photos here
Monday, October 20, 2008
This photo was taken when we were held up by a landslide blocking the road. It took 24 hours just to get from Rawalpindi to Gilgit, when it normally takes about 14 to 16 hours. Although the guys tried to blend in, we still looked pretty "ghora." (foreign)
A young boy selling newspapers on Walton Road seemed quite excited to get a toothbrush, soap and toothpaste. His stone faced expression turned into a huge smile when he accepted the bag.
After I gave the bag to the newspaper boy, a man started frantically blowing a whistle and staring at our car. My friend Ericka said, "I think he wants one too," so down went the window and I beckoned him over. He asked if there was food inside, and at this point I didn't have the wheat so there wasn't. Nevertheless, he seemed happy and continued blowing his whistle with a smile and salute as we drove off.
Turbaned Old Man
I spotted a crippled old man in a white turban in Defence market and called him over to my window. His eyes lit up when I gave him the bag, and as I smiled, I realized my folly in giving a toothless old man a toothbrush! Although he probably didn't have much use for the toothbrush, he hobbled off with a gleam in his eyes.
I offered a bag of wheat to a street salesman who had small cleaning cloths on offer. He wasn't interested and scowled at me as if I had wasted his precious stop light time. I decided not to offer things to men who were already holding a lot of stuff.
There is an old woman who sometimes sits outside of Pace in Y Block, DHA. She's always moaning and complaining about food, and she'll follow you to your car and press her face against the window until you drive off. She constanly invokes Allah and tries to look as pathetic as possible. I gave her some wheat, and she kept going on and on about food. I said, "Dekho, yih khana hai!" (Look this is food!) even though I'd already told her it was wheat and she had seen it. It seemed that she actually did not want food, but wanted money. A few others have actually refused to take wheat and have asked for money instead.
Usually I run and hide in my car before the little boys selling stickers can get to me. This time I happily gave him a hygiene kit and some wheat. I don't think he'd ever seen a toothbrush, so I had to explain how to use and how he shouldn't swallow the toothpaste. He grinned from ear to ear and asked me, "Sticker lena?" (Take a sticker?) I declined, say bye and was on my way with more wheat packs ready in the back seat.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Now today I watched her interact with Duarte. He said he thought she might have asked him about a raise, but he doesn't understand Urdu save a few words like tea, water, hot, cold, and things like that. He certainly can not discuss salaries and raises in Urdu. Well, what he tends to do when he doesn't understand is to say "thik hai," which means "ok." So here the maid was asking for a raise, and he was saying ok! No wonder she won't let me have any peace about it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Coty Coleman:The Photographer
Matt Dickey: The Driver
Heather Carreiro: The Visionary/Producer
One of the most amusing things to outsiders about the month of Ramadan is that it is a much, if not more, a month of feasting than it is of fasting. Shops and schools close early. People meet up with friends and family nightly to enjoy breaking the fast together. Many workers and drivers are grumpy during daylight hours because they've stayed up most of the night eating. Some people flip-flop their entire schedules around, eating during the night and sleeping during the day. The boldest proof of this lifestyle can be found on the "All You Can Eat" billboards for Lahore's most exclusive restaurants. Here is a sample of three photos, click on the album link to see the whole project.
|From Ramadan in Lahore: Fasting, Feasting or Both?|
|From Ramadan in Lahore: Fasting, Feasting or Both?|
|From Ramadan in Lahore: Fasting, Feasting or Both?|
I've decided to not let beggars come away from my house empty handed anymore, and so recently I've been devising a plan of what to give out when they knock on my door or car windows. I gave out a few 'personal hygiene' bags including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a bar of soap. People were very grateful, but always asked if there was food in the pack. Why bother with brushing teeth when they don't have anything to eat?
Now Pakistani readers will probably think this is funny, but I just did not know how to buy wheat flour. We don't use it for cooking and the only ones I've seen at the super market are big 10KG bags. I'd go broke if I started giving those out to everyone, or I'd made a huge mess in my living room trying to make smaller packs out of the one big one. Once my husband had gone with our friend's cook and just gotten 1/2 kg of wheat flour in a small plastic bag. That's what I wanted, but I wanted a lot of little bags. Where should I get it?
I had to go to the Ali Institute today to pick something up, and I knew there were some small markets over there near Gulab Devi Hospital. I drove over there and stopped my car. The first shop keeper I asked did not sell wheat, but he told me to go all the way to the end of the road and I'd find a bazaar. I went to the end of the road and parked again. There were tons of little shops and workshops, and chickens and goats were running free everywhere. I didn't think the people were used to seeing foreigners, so I covered my head and off I went. I stopped in a small shop and a chubby bubbly man told me that he did not sell wheat, but that I could find it further into the bazaar. He came out of his shop and gave me wonderful directions, possibly some of the most detailed and accurate directions I've ever gotten in Pakistan.
I folled his directions, and sure enough I found another smiling chubby shopkeeper who was selling wheat. He told me that wheat was going for 24 rupees/kg which is about 30 cents. At first he was a bit confused at why I wanted 10 kg, but in twenty seperate 1/2 kg packs. After I explained that I wanted to give it out to people, he understood and got very excited about the idea. He proudly showed me all the other things on offer in his store, lentils, corn flour, rice, soaps, and all sorts of chips and food items. It took a while to make the twenty packs, so we had a nice chat. We talked about the current economic crisis and how the poor people really only want food nowadays.
Sweating in the sun, surrounded by the smell of livestock and talking to the smiling shopkeeper, I felt at peace. Even though I was in a poor area where many foreigners do not go, I was greeted warmly and helped by everyone I met. I parted with the shopkeeper assuring him that when I ran out of wheat, I'd be back to buy some more.
Monday, October 13, 2008
7:22 - 8:00 POWER
8:00-9:00 NO POWER
9:00 - 10:00 POWER
10:00 - 11:00 NO POWER
12:00-1:00 NO POWER
1:00-3:00 POWER (Wow for two whole hours!)
3:00 - 4:00 NO POWER
5:00-6:00 NO POWER
Is it going go on and off every other hour? Has Pakistan just run out of money for energy? There was barely any loadshedding during Ramadan, so this seems like very poor planning.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Cast of Characters:
Sana Hussain: herself & women's rights activist Gugush Mazjoubi
Harlan Knipes: Bill O' Reilly
Aaron : The intellectual Arash Reza Nekshabani
Heather Carreiro: Senator Bobbie Joe Baker (D-Texas)
All characters, aside from Bill O'Reilly, are completely made up and bear absolutely no resemblance to anyone we've heard of!
Sana: Good Evening, this is Sana Hussain live in Tehran where we have some breaking news. There has been a radical shift in U.S. policy towards Iran. After 26 years of our relationship with Iran being in an official state of emergency, both the U.S. and Iran have taken steps to normalize relations. In the interest of increasing both regional and global security, as well as universal human rights and ensuring open trade between the two countries, the U.S. has agreed to attend a U.N. summit meeting in Geneva in order to address the issues that have for so long caused animosity between the two countries. The summit, which will focus on improving American-Iranian relations as well as regional security, will be attended by world leaders including the EU-3, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and King Fahad of Saudi Arabia. More about this breaking news on the no spin zone. Here's your host Bill O'Reilly and I'm Sana Hussain, live in Tehran.
Harlan: Tonight we have a serious show where we will be addressing the new policy put forth by the administration to normalize relations with Iran. Since 1979, U.S. policy towards Iran has been based on containment and isolation. In order to curb the spread of the Iranian revolution, stop state sponsorship of terrorism, and prevent the development of nuclear weapons, Washington has focused on keeping Iran isolated both economically and politically. The U.S. government has been hoping that the ILSA sanctions will lead to the downfall of the radical theocratic regime in Tehran. Aside from this, the Iran Democracy Act, drafted for the promotion of democratic change in Iran, has provided $57 million to opposition movements within the country. Iran has been considered a rogue state and a member of the "Axis of Evil," but this new policy seeks to eliminate such language in a move towards normal diplomatic relations and political engagement.
Personally, I am taken aback by the news of this new policy, but here with me tonight is Arash Reza Nekshabani president of the Iranian-American Alliance for Reform, Senator Bobbie Joe Baker of Texas who helped push the bill through Congress, and Gugush Mazjoubi of the Iranian Women's Rights Watch. Both the Iranian-American Alliance for Reform and Iranian Women's Rights Watch were involved in drafting the engagement policy.
So my first question for you, Senator Baker, is that after so many years of non-engagement, what are the issues that have played a role in determining this change in policy? Why is Iran important to us?
US Foreign Policy Recommendations for Iran
There are some of you out there, and you know who you are, who get more excited about the possibility of meeting a Taliban member or witnessing a historic coup, than spending a week at a five-star beachfront hotel. You probably swung from trees pretending you were Indiana Jones as a kid, and your favorite Halloween outfit was to dress up as James Bond. If that's you, you'll be sure that at least one of these top ten destinations will make their way onto your next travel itinerary.
Take a ride on the wild side in East Africa. Tourism has been Kenya's number one source of foreign exchange since 1997. Although internal security significantly deteriorated after the December 2007 election, most people would never guess that Kenya makes the US Travel Advisory List. Combine rugged mountains, colorful coral reefs, unrivalled wildlife parks, ancient ruins, and the majestic lakes of the Rift valley and you get the nature's playground that can only be this East African country. Camp overnight surrounded by zebras and graceful gazelles in Hell's Gate National Park for an unforgettable experience, or jump across the border into Tanzania for a quick jaunt up Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.
Read the rest of the Top 10 here:
The Top 10 Destinations on the US Travel Advisory List
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Those you adventurous travelers out there must be familiar with the US Travel Warning List. I was excited to see that my current locale has topped the list once again!
Following Text from:
Travel Warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff. The countries listed below meet those criteria.Pakistan 10/01/2008
Israel, the West Bank and Gaza 09/26/2008
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 07/23/2008
Saudi Arabia 07/09/2008
Sri Lanka 06/13/2008
Cote d'Ivoire 06/09/2008
Central African Republic 03/25/2008