Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Aafia Trial Should be Dismissed As a Mistrial

By Yvonne Ridley

Throughout her trial in New York Dr. Aafia Siddiqui tried in vain to sack her legal team as is the right of any defendant in any court in the world today.

Her suspicions they were not working in her best interests were almost certainly confirmed when she was found guilty of attempted murder and given an 86-year-sentence.

Had she represented herself it is hard to imagine she could have received a more severe conviction and sentencing.

But I can reveal she is still not free of those who represented her -- despite sending a handwritten letter to the court earlier this month to fire her lawyers her request has again been refused.

And even though she has nominated a new lawyer she trusts to represent her, this request has also been turned down and that lawyer is now barred from even attempting to make contact with her until the old team is fired.

It's a frustrating Catch 22 in which yet again the U.S. judicial system ignores the rights of this Pakistani mother of three and the injustices against her continue.

Having being convicted of charges for an alleged crime carried out in Afghanistan she became the first person and only woman in the now discredited War on Terror who was renditioned and forced to stand trial in the U.S.

The lead section of the legal team was appointed by the U.S. government and their credentials simply did not qualify them to deal with the international complexities of her case. They were family and white collar corporate lawyers.

With the exception of Boston lawyer Elaine Whitefield Sharp who was personally recommended by the family, the others were appointed after being handpicked and paid for by the Pakistan Government for the handsome sum of two million dollars. (Was this a generous gift from the government or a way of controlling a case in which the Pakistan government was complicit?)

Ms. Sharp, who originally cleared Dr. Siddiqui’s name from of all the FBI terror allegations, certainly did not endear herself to the legal team when she wrote to the Pakistan Government’s representatives making it clear her duty of loyalty was towards her client, Dr Aafia Siddiqui. This could be why the rest of the legal team has now airbrushed her from case.

The entire legal case focused on a three minute incident in which Dr. Siddiqui was shot at point blank range several times by a group of U.S. soldiers. Despite what happened to her, she was the one who ended up being charged with attempted murder of the soldiers in a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan.

That the case was deemed to be in the jurisdiction of the New York Court is still open to debate by some of the finest legal minds across the world who believe a mistrial should be called on several counts -- not least of all that the defendant had spent five years in secret U.S. detention including Bagram Prison in Afghanistan.

One member of the defense team, Charles Swift, was told that ex-Guantanamo and ex-Bagram detainee Binyam Mohammed was prepared to testify how he saw Dr. Siddiqui being brutalized and abused in Bagram. His critical eye witness account would unequivocally place the defendant in the hands of the U.S. military during her missing years. I know this for sure because I told Charles Swift myself and personally handed him a video tape of an interview with Binyam confirming this, when we met in 2009.

One would have thought this sensational information would be crucial to Dr. Siddiqui's defense and would certainly explain several untold elements in the case. However this pearl of information was ignored by the legal team.

No wonder then, that she felt the team did not have her best interests at heart. And so she demanded her rights as a defendant to sack her legal representatives. She made this call before and during her trial.

And now she has made it again, but her plea -- her right -- has astonishingly, yet again fallen on deaf ears.

And once again, the person denying her justice is non other than Judge Richard M. Berman. He decided a long time ago that she was not mentally capable of making such a decision to dismiss her lawyers. This is the same judge, by the way, who originally decided that she was, however, mentally fit to stand trial even though several eminently qualified psychiatrists said she was not.

Judge Berman, clearly under intense political pressure to deliver a showcase trial, would not be swayed and eventually two psychiatrists, who were paid $300,000 dollars for their work, announced Dr. Siddiqui was indeed fit to stand trial and might even be malingering.

It was a medical verdict which is now receiving intense scrutiny from a team of doctors from around the world who have come together to question the ethics of those psychiatrists and medics who sat in judgment of the Pakistani mother-of-three. And it is a medical pronouncement, accepted so readily in court by everyone, which I predict will soon collapse under the pressure of this international body of medical experts being led by a British consultant.

So isn't it strange then, that Judge Berman has now personally intervened to ensure that Dr. Siddiqui is dispatched to America's one and only Federal psychiatric prison for women to serve the 86 year sentence he delivered? A few days ago she was moved to Carswell Psychiatric centre in Texas -- its name is known in the U.S. prison system as The Hospital of Horror.

Surely it follows that if Dr. Siddiqui is being sent to this mental institution then it follows that she was not mentally fit to stand trial in the first place.

Once again, Judge Berman has made a decision which exposes his long distance relationship with justice. Not only should the trial be now dismissed as a mistrial but Judge Berman should stand down for bringing his own court into disrepute.

The message is clear to all who believe in justice -- DISMISS the trial, DISMISS the lawyers and DISMISS the judge.

Repatriate the Daughter of Pakistan now.

British journalist Yvonne Ridley is also a patron of Cageprisoners, a London-based NGO concerned with the treatment and welfare of those swept up and imprisoned in the War on Terror 

Article Source

Amazing Tips for Concentration in Salah!

Less than five minutes' talk, and how effective it is for ensuring we do justice to 'establishing the prayer' (Aqaam-as-Salaah). May Allah Guide us towards amazing salahs Ameen.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth converts to Islam after a 'holy experience' in Iran

Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth converts to Islam after a 'holy experience' in Iran
Tony Blair’s sister-in-law has converted to Islam after having a ‘holy experience’ in Iran.
Broadcaster and journalist Lauren Booth, 43 - Cherie Blair’s half-sister - said she now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves her home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque ‘when I can’.

She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom.

‘It was a Tuesday evening and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy,’ she told The Mail on Sunday. 

When she returned to Britain, she decided to convert immediately.

‘Now I don’t eat pork and I read the Koran every day. I’m on page 60. I also haven’t had a drink in 45 days, the longest period in 25 years,' she said.

'The strange thing is that since I decided to convert I haven’t wanted to touch alcohol, and I was someone who craved a glass of wine or two at the end of a day.’ 

Refusing to discount the possibility that she might wear a burka, she said: ‘Who knows where my spiritual journey will take me?’ 

Before her awakening in Iran, she had been ‘sympathetic’ to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine. ‘I was always impressed with the strength and comfort it gave,’ she said of the religion. 

Miss Booth, who works for Press TV, the English-language Iranian news channel, has been a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq. 

In August 2008 she travelled to Gaza by ship from Cyprus, along with 46 other activists, to highlight Israel’s blockade of the territory.

She was subsequently refused entry into both Israel and Egypt. 

In 2006 she was a contestant on the ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity .  .  . Get Me Out Of Here!, donating her fee to the Palestinian relief charity Interpal. 

She said she hoped her conversion would help Mr Blair change his presumptions about Islam. 


---------------------
:) It's an absolute pleasure to read the above piece of news :)

Worldwide Convention of Demons

From a forward email : Very true ..

------------
Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.

In his opening address he said,

"We can't keep Muslims from going to Mosque."

"We can't keep them from reading their Quran and knowing the truth.."

"We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Allah and His messenger Muhammad."

"Once they gain that connection with Allah, our power over them is broken."

"So let them go to their Mosques; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Allah and His messenger Muhammad."

"This is what I want you to do," said the devil:

"Distract them from gaining hold of their Allah and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"
 
"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted.  

"Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. Make it fancy so that they don’t’ deviate from our plan.

· "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow."

· "Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles."

· "As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"

· "Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice."
"Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive."

· "To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly."

· "This will jam their minds and break that union with Allah and his messenger Muhammad."

· "Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers."

· "Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day."

· "Invade their driving moments with billboards."

· "Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes."

· "Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. "

· "Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night." Give them headaches too!

· "If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere."

· "That will fragment their families quickly!"

· "Give them story books to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Salat.."

· "Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on Allah's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.

· "Keep them busy, busy, and busy!"

· "And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences."

· "Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Allah."

· "Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause."
"It will work!" "It will work!" his demons shouted.

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Muslims everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there……………….

Having little time for their Allah or their families.
Having no time to tell others about the power of Allah and his messenger Muhammad to change lives.

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Sequel to the Pain

Aoa

The day was a complete roller coaster. In terms of house work and then class from 6 to 9pm :(. Life seems tough(er) now. The teacher is insistent on taking the term paper before the final exam, which means I don't have much time now. And this also means that my thesis work (which is in shambles since that stupid code just wont COMPILE), and my article writing work (which is in shambles because this stupid net just won't WORK), I'm in a rut these days. And forget about GRE prep. God.

But I digress. I was supposed to talk about what happened yesterday evening.

So TB (my bro in law but actually a dada!) brought with him (along with sis the priss and the lil dude), some spray thing called ''Deep Heat'' (frightful! :P).

That spray he claimed ''is used on tennis players, and they get up and start playing immediately, no matter how bad the sprain'' ... The spray bottle was deep red... and I gingerely placed my foot where he could apply the spray. TB made us turn off the fan, and then... pressed the lever thing to start spraying. He didnt stop!! On and on... it went.

''What are you doing? Are you going to empty the bottle?" -  me and sis exclaimed.

Khair, with 1/2 the bottle empty, he now stood back, very satisfied.... as a nasty smell of iodex type filled the room. Trying not to choke, I let my foot dry - and then put the bandage on. My foot was smarting now. Apparently, there was menthol in it. Then TB left.

And THEN the burning began. I felt a stinging like sensation on my arm and looked down, and to my complete horror, my arm had a long reddish gash - all the way up the elbow.

"What's this!??" I exclaimed. Everybody turned to look. Dad was the first one to jump to conclusions (no surprise :D). ''This is a rash! You got an allergic reaction! You'll have to be given a steroid... an anihistamine... a...'' - my alarm grew. A steroid???!?!?!?


Man, in the mayhem that followed ... as some rash started developing on my second hand... Chotpo was the only one who restored some order. Her suggestion was ''Don't even look at it now and get more panicked. Just help me with dinner and all.. After dinner, if the rash persists, then do something about it'' ...

Lol. So we all trudged towards the dining table. (me now imagining itchy feeling everywhere and what not)

Sure enough, after dinner, the rash had mostly disappeared. And a few hours later it was completely gone.

In that chaos, I had forgotten that that ''Deep Heat'' had been really effective, and now I was walking with only a slight limp :D.

And namaaz wasn't that torturous too. I could do it without grimaces of agony. Shukkar Allah ka.

So today, I was able to attend class (just that my walk was slower than usual), and was pretty much okay with the bandage too. :). The foot doesn't look like a giant's swollen foot too! :D.

Lesson of the day: Never apply any spray without testing on your skin first to see if there is a reaction. [not even if a 'damaad' says otherwise]

:D

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pain... and lots of it!

Assalamualaikum

Everywhere we look around, everywhere we see - there is nothing but bloodshed, nothing but misery... (this should have been a poem waisay). The day was a little more promising, in terms of peace, but if you see people on the roads, everybody has this wary look on their faces. They are afraid of staying out too long. The only thing that keeps them out is worry for their livelihood, and school of course. Otherwise, if given a choice, nobody would live here... in this city of utter darkness.

Not that I blame the city/country anyway. I blame the people. Normal people who run a red light - to pocket-filling government officials who have gone to the US for the strategic talks when only 'strategic personnel' should have gone anyway. Why have these ministers gone on the trip? At state expense!? So this underlying corruption is the basic root of our problems, hence the blame.

Today's newspaper reported details about the Sher Shah market shooting, and one of the scenes described is that this man and his two sons were killed... so the father begged the brutal animals to shoot only him, and spare his two sons. But the inhumane species (I refuse to acknowledge they are humans) shot them ALL in cold blood. And they were showing these son's mom on TV. She was like, we don't belong to any political party, what had we done? What was our fault..? Now, it's her... and her six daughters! Because the only two brothers and dad are gone!... It's beyond belief how barbaric these acts are, and how helpless humans have become in the face of such rot.!

Speaking of er, pain. Today I got up late. Bad! Then, since I had gotten up when loadshedding starts - so 1.5 hours were there w/o electricity. Double bad! Since didn't have to cook today except rice, and city situation seemed better, thought of going to university in afternoon, and thus, had to finish work here at home quickly. Maasi (domestic servant) has gone to Punjab, so had to sweep and stuff too. Triple Bad! [and this is the good part!].

Finally when it was really late, and I was in a hurry to get out of the house, I came out of the kitchen, and aaargh! Twisted my foot. Same foot which twisted two years ago, exact same place how it twisted then. The pain blinded me for a full five minutes... as I sat down on a chair and just tried to make the pain bearable...

It became bearable...

I hurried to this herbal medicine we have called ''Suranjaan'' - and applied it liberally, hoping against hope that it works some magic, and the pain is gone. The pain receded to a dull throb, and I was able to hurriedly get out of the house. I had no idea what agony awaited me. [usoolan, I shouldn't have driven to univ, knowing I had sprained my foot].

The driving wasn't too tough. The work at university was okay too. I mean, sitting with a dull pain isn't a biggie. But when I got up after 2 hours of working in a nice airconditioned room, my foot!!!! It just wouldn't ... move! Man! I was limping... :'(. Somehow, hobbled out of the building, to the car. Sat down with great difficulty. Then went to pick Chotpo. Went back home. Agony increased.

And now, as I try to breath through the pain... it dawns on me, how much torture our fellow brothers and sisters go through ... when they are put behind bars, in foreign countries...without a trial...without much evidence.

Just reading Cageprisoners.com, makes me want to cry.

So even though my pain is nothing compared to theirs, I still feel like....


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Karachi Violence: Khoon kay Aansoo [Tears of Blood]

Assalamualaikum

The past few days have been something straight out of a horror-action flick, only that this is totally real, and real people are dying (and are dead), and real families are suffering. It doesn't even feel new any longer. I wonder how hard our hearts can get.

How it all started?

1. Raza Haider, MQM's MPA was shot dead on Aug 2, 2010 and his seat became empty.
2. Elections for that seat were held in Orangi Town on 17th Oct, 2010 - Sunday.
3. Starting from Saturday, news came in that different firing incidents have left many people dead, injured.
4. People concluded that it has to be ANP which had boycotted the elections and were now on a killing spree to target muhajirs.

Change of Perception
1. MQM for the first day (Sat/Sun) complained about ANP. But their stance changed.
2. Even after the results were announced, and the MQM guy won without a doubt, the incidents continued.
3. Firing/deaths continued on Monday with no let up.
3. On Tuesday (yesterday), we heard the shocking news of gunmen, entering Sher Shah Kabari Market, and shot dead 12 people, critically injuring several others. [amazing law and order situation eh? Considering the carnage had been going on since Saturday!]
4. The firing/random killing didn't stop. We heard huge rounds of gunshots very near our place, and in complete horror called up our Dad whose clinic happens to be in a VERY volatile place of Karachi. Asked him to come back ASAP, and he promised to do so, but there were still patients at his clinic!
5. Now nobody knows who the killers are... except the Lyari gang warriors are blamed and now the contention has shifted from MQM vs ANP to MQM vs PPP..

Situation now?
Around 81 people are dead from Saturday to Wednesday (in 4 days). The average person is scared to move out of his house... afraid that the next stray bullet that flies will hit him/her. There is no law, no order, no accountability, and even though we see throngs of police and rangers, no ''target killer'' has been stopped uptil now. Arrests have been made, but so what. We all know that arrests usually lead to nothing.

Main parties in Sindh government -  PPP, MQM, ANP. What are they doing?
Nothing. 

Main parties in Sindh government -  PPP, MQM, ANP. What are they saying? 
KARACHI: People arrested in connection with targeted killings are of various ethnicities and it will take time for a clear picture to emerge, said Dr Zulfiqar Ali Mirza, Sindh Home Minister at a news briefing on Sunday. ......Mirza said no one can control the target killing incidents. “Even if contract is given to America it will also be unable to bring peace,” he said.
Source: Daily Times
[Oh really? So how come we don't see such insane acts of killing happening in... America?!?!?! FYI, there IS a law there, and it's implemented. There is accountability there, and is respected. You can't justify your own incompetance by mentioning America and get away with it!]

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered authorities to take strict action against those who are involved in target killings, adding that men involved in killings and drug dealings should be arrested.....He ordered authorities to arrest men involved in land grabbing. President Zardari also said that all political forces should work together so peace in the city is maintained.
Source: SAMAA
[Empty words, Mr. President. Empty words. You can say them again, and again... and again... and as long as you keep on just SAYING stuff, nothing is going to happen. Btw, what's so upsetting about calling in the army?]

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said no decision had been made to deploy the army to Karachi, and that civilian authorities were capable of controlling the situation.
Source: Voice of America

[Sure. Fat lot of good they've done uptil now. REALLY proven their worth and effectiveness haven't they. Same question to you too Mr PM: what's so upsetting about calling in the army?]

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) threatened to pull out of the coalition government of President Zardari after at least 33 people were killed in weekend attacks coinciding with a by-election to replace a MQM lawmaker murdered in August. That could lead to the government losing its National Assembly majority, or its downfall if the MQM sides with the opposition.

Source: Reuters
[Empty threats. They haven't ''pulled out'' of any governments. Haan, the governments have definitely ''pulled themselves out'' ... ].

The provincial government has finally decided to conduct operations against criminal elements in different violence-hit areas of Karachi, report said. The decision emerged after a meeting chaired by Secretary Interior here Wednesday. Search operation to be conducted after imposing curfew in sensitive areas. However a final decision in this regard would be made upon Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s arrival in the city, sources said.
Source: The Nation

[How come this decision came so late? This is today's news. The bloodshed has been happening since Saturday! And another thing. Where is Syed Qaim Ali Shah??? It's been 4 days... and he isn't in the place where he is Chief Minister!!? Is this some kind of a joke???]

*wearily*

That's all for now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the way to university...

It was a perfectly normal day. I was on my way to the university. Had thought of spending a few constructive hours on a non-stop internet connection and figure out what was it with MATLAB and Visual C++ 2008 which was SO hard, that the code wouldn't compile! Anyway, so on my way, a very weird thing happened.

A CNG station which is near our place (and we sort of regularly fill the gas there) - I went there since the CNG indicator was showing RED. I reached the station, pulled up the car and fished around for the money. This guy who does the ''filling up of CNG'' work there - he came up to my window.. and as I was rummaging about, he says with a like, smile on his face.. "Aap aaj boht dino baad aayee hain" ...[You've come here after a long time!]

!!


I looked up to stare totally incredulously at his tone, his face and the contents of what he said... and the words that sputtered instantaneously from my mouth were .. ''To CNG khaali hee abhi hui hay" - - ... [My gas tank is empty NOW]. I think I was scowling rather fiercely. His grin disappeared. And erm, I didn't see myself, but surely there was a very very strict expression (which is kinda normal) on my face.... :$.

This incident is actually very surprising, because I'm the type who doesn't ''chit-chaat'' normally with anybody unknown outside, and the normal expression on my face always says ''keep your distance, bub'' ... :D. This was weird, and predictably, I won't ever venture into that place (alone) again IA!!

-----
Also on long journeys (when I'm alone and driving), I usually get bored. Big time. Since the radio is out of question, I usually start er, humming something or reciting something. This time.. :(.. I tried the Surah Baqarah rukus, but at one place, got stuck. Had no Holy Quran to correct myself, so gave up, and tried a nasheed instead ...

And I only had to concentrate on the wordings of this nasheed, and the day somehow, became better than it was :) .. why? Because if you really read the lines, there is a huge lesson here - whatever, teensy meensy things, to big huge major stuff that happens to us, is ALL Known by Allah - so the lesson here is to never ever forget that, and feel all alone and all miserable etc... Because at the loneliest and most forsaken of all times, it's Allah (SWT) who is always there with us.

Enjoy the nasheed.



Allah Knows - by Zain Bhika

When you feel all alone in this world
And there's nobody to count your tears
Just remember, no matter where you are
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you carrying a monster load
And you wonder how far you can go
With every step on that road that you take
Allah knows
Allah knows

CHORUS
No matter what, inside or out
There's one thing of which there's no doubt
Allah knows
Allah knows
And whatever lies in the heavens and the earth
Every star in this whole universe
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you find that special someone
Feel your whole life has barely begun
You can walk on the moon, shout it to everyone
Allah knows
Allah knows

When you gaze with love in your eyes
Catch a glimpse of paradise
And you see your child take the first breath of life
Allah knows
Allah knows

CHORUS

When you lose someone close to your heart
See your whole world fall apart
And you try to go on but it seems so hard
Allah knows
Allah knows

You see we all have a path to choose
Through the valleys and hills we go
With the ups and the downs, never fret never frown
Allah knows
Allah knows

CHORUS (x2)

BRIDGE:
Every grain of sand,
In every desert land, He knows.
Every shade of palm,
Every closed hand, He knows.
Every sparkling tear,
On every eyelash, He knows.
Every thought I have,
And every word I share, He knows.
Allah knows
-----------
Lyrics taken from here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bhanja turned 1 today :D

Assalamualaikum

Normally, I would have wanted to just fall into bed, because of the sheer exhaustion of today, but this day has to have a blogpost, marking it - as it is one full year (Masha Allah multiplied by 100000 to the power infinity) since my bhanju wanju was born!!


I still remember the time he was so amazingly TINY, and he couldn't do anything except stare and stare :).. I wrote a blogpost when he was just two days old :D.. and I now read it with great amusement! I remember the sleepless nights, and that the only one who knew how to do diaper changing on such a weak lil baby, out of the whole lot present in the room :D:D.. was moi!

And how the lil bundle of bones would cry and want only his index finger to suck, and would quieten immediately when given THAT finger only, and not when any other finger was given :)...

And how when the nurse gave him his very first bath, she remarked at how utterly weak he was, and pointed out his foot, which was nearly stuck to his ankle! And how we worried and worried, whether it would straighten or not, and whether he would walk properly or not.

And how the days went by when Sis the Priss was oh-so-emotional, and not used a lil child (who resided externally:D), and who demanded constant, undivided attention 24 hours a day! Saara internet hawa hogya :D.


How some nights went by when he would just not be able to sleep, and how I used to pace the room, holding him in various different positions, till he finally dropped off! Man, I cant describe the feeling it is to have a lil baby drop off to sleep in your arms.


How cute it was, when he learned to smile for the first time. How he smiled and smiled. And all we wanted to do whenever he visited, was to see that smile. How Dad would prance around the room, making clowny faces, how I'd do funny stuff, JUST to see that one rare toothless smile... :D.

How that smile turned into gurgles and giggles, and he could finally sit up, and crawl a bit. How he used to move around on the bed, but unable to lift his head up :D... so he was actually moving around in sajdah position (prostration). !

How he finally learned to lift up his head and crawl, and support himself, and stand up - at long last.


The day he said ''Maa-Maa-Maa-Ammaa" ...his very first words, and how utterly overjoyed Sis the Priss was :). How I vainly (to this day) tried to make him say ''Yooooni - Khala'' :S.

And then the day came when TB messaged and told us that the baby is now taking his very first steps.. :D... he was walking!! In a very unsteady manner, yeah. But still. Walking! At less than 9 months :):). Alhamdulillah.

Lol. It was FUN to see him trotting here and there on unsteady legs. But the excitement was a er, shortlived. Now we had to take care of all the things that could potentially be touched (read ruined) by his inquisitive hands!


Now..? He just doesn't wanna sit still. At alll! Just wants to touch things that he knows will raise a rukus - then turns to us, and smiles angelically (all the while holding a dirty slipper to his mouth!)... :S Ugh.


And how can I forget, the amazing greeting I still get from him. It started from when he could cackle with laughter - how he laughed whenever he saw me after some days. And even now, his whole entire face lights up, and Im always glad that there is somebody out there, actually GLAD to see me :D. It's remarkable, I tell you.

Lol. It's so cool to teach him new things now. He imitates nearly everything :D. After the first words of ''mama'' - there came ''paapa'' and then ''abbaa'' and then, ''dada'' and then ''annaa'' (even now, the milk = anna) - and lol, the sounds are cool. For months, I set up the routine of ''Billi kaisay bolti hay?" '-- Ans = Meaaoowww
Billi ka bacha kaisay bolta hay? Kitten? Ans - meeeeeew
Doggy kaisay bolta hay - Bhaoo waooo (or... Ruff ruff)
Horse kaisay bolta hay - Neeaiiiighhhhh
Shair kaisay bolta hay...LION...(making a hugely scared face) :D... = Whaaaaooooooo [in a roaring voice]
Bakri kaisay bolti hay? - Baaaa baaaa

Etc :D

And then he learned the bakri noise. Man! It was so cute getting that exact perfect Baa out of him :D.... eh eh eh eh... but the fact is, that when I now said ''shair kaisay bolta hay?'' - he would let out the perfect ''baaaa baaa'' ... (And my chotpo would remark that Pakistani shairs (lions) are like this only, so the kid is right :D.

His mukka sign (showing his fist) whenever Sis the Priss and TB said ''Power to the people'' was another landmark :D.. Power to the people being democracy's slogan, it was cool to have him show the fist and say stuff like ''I pledge to be Bobo!'' :D... [Bobo is a fond nickname kept by his dad, since the days he used to bob his head a lot!]

The latest in this episode is the series of actions under the category of ''Motorbike kaisay chalaatay hain [how do we drive a motorbike]'' replete with the dhumm dhummm, and the honking horn :D [man, I look weird when teaching him this, but its fun!].. Sis the Priss informed me that the lil dude has been ''driving a motorbike'' for quite some time now on his own.

So this is the story so far, one year on. It's 18th now, so I'm late :). But better late than never ! Today they came over to our place, and brougth a ''Java chocolate cake'' (Question: Why wasn't it a C++ chocolate cake :D.. it has  C :P)

May he have a long, happy, healthy, iman-filled life, Ameen and may he be a source of joy and laughter (and few frustration peaks :P) for his parents in the years to come. Ameen!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jee-Pee-Yoo :S

Today was pretty interesting, even though the thoughts of an 'extra class' on a Saturday are far from interesting! The teacher started off by giving this whole background of how processors are general-purpose, and how there are some operations that need specific processors. Like the SIMD instructions (Single Instruction Multiple Data) - which are basically used for image/graphics processing. So this needs a GPU. Graphics Processing Unit.

My eyes opened wide. Only the previous night, I had been FULL of questions regarding GPUs, and how well can they be used where SIMD instructions are concerned. Turns out, GPUs are suited FOR SIMD only!

I mean, cool :D

Now I at least know, that SIMD instructions need a GPU for optimal performance. Next thing, how would a GPU be used in a er, CPU :P. The answer lies with what NVIDIA came up with. You must be aware of NVIDIA because of their strong market hold in graphics cards! So they have come up with special GENERAL purpose GPUs ... (lol)... called GPGPUs (General Purpose Graphics Processing Units).

How do they work?

They are basically co-processors, meant to reside in the PCI slot of the PC. They also handle SIMD instructions, BUT, they go well beyond only graphic/image processing applications. They work for say, astrophysics simulations, or ... um, fluid dynamics modeling - basically anyplace where a load of data is involved. And places where a load of simulations are needed. They have a load of cores in them (in the order of 1000s) so they are supposed to perform super fast! If you have a loop running from 1 to 1000, the normal processor (even with hyperthreading, multi cores etc) will only be able to run it sequentially (or run chunks of it, sequentially). And recursion WILL be needed. But in a GPGPU, this computation will be handled easily via the cores - each core will take up one instance of the loop. Run it. Viola. 1000 loops done, in just ONE unit of time. Amazing.

Khair, so that done. The next question. How to program in a GPGPU..? The way that's being done at NVIDIA is through the CUDA architecture [pronounced coodaa] :). CUDA stands for Compute Unified Device Architecture. This enables programmers to use CUDA C (if they're programming in C) etc..to use their languages for this specific architecutre, and get their things done.

Sir showed us a 'simple' example. Man, I can't tell you how confusing that 'simple' example was.. :'(. I mean, one has to have a GPGPU in the brain, in order to understand how parallel architecture works. I remember it had been too hard to just keep track of loops when three-dimensional matrix algebra was being done and i was trying to write the code for it. Today, we actually saw, (or tried to see :P).. how this multiplication:

[2 3 5 6]             [5 6 3 2]
[3 5 6 3]     X     [4 5 2 2]
[5 6 7 3]             [8 2 9 3]
[4 6 8 8]             [3 5 2 1]

is done.. in parallel. Now this example above seems easy. But it actually isn't.. especially when you have to divide the whole darn thing into blocks of lil 2x2 matrix babies and then multiply the babies, add the babies and then put them in their respective places .. ahem... and when you consider an N by N matrix. N being... say, a simple...100 or so ...**casually**.... just think about THAT.

Life sure is challenging.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No ''free'' time

There is nothing in life
For free

Time, in particular
Is costly!

If you can grasp this fact
You're free!

From boredom and loneliness
Can't you see?

This life is short, time is limited
It's fruitless to be

Wasting it away, in things
Aimlessly

To go on and let days pass by
Lazily...

It's time to wake up, time to look ahead
High time to see

These seconds won't ever come again
However things may be

Make the best of now, and don't think how
You'll end up to be

I should be the first, to listen to these words
Quite keenly {:o(}

And start preparing, like
Seriously...

For the ever-dreaded...


And remember life won't end, if you cannot tend
To your dreams of a ...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pakistan: Politics of a Humiliated Nation

Written by Fahad Ansari
Has the Pakistani tiger grown some teeth? Has it remembered its proud history of sacrifice and bloodshed? Has it recalled that it was created with a vision of it becoming a haven for Muslims? Has it finally awoken from its slumber and discovered the meaning of the word ‘sovereignty’?
So it would seem this week with across-the-board condemnations led by President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani against the increasing number of unmanned US drone attacks on Pakistani soil. For September saw the highest number of drone attacks in Pakistan in any single month, a total of 21, killing at least 90 people.  An estimated 658 people have been killed by drones in Pakistan since the beginning of the year, almost one third of the total people terminated in this way in the country since 2004. However, this week, whatever shred of sovereignty Pakistan still enjoyed was completely obliterated when NATO and ISAF helicopters, emboldened by almost a decade of Pakistani silence and complicity, flew across the border with Afghanistan and carried out murderous strikes on Pakistani soil. The official government reaction to the strikes was predictable. Uproar. Outrage. Condemnation. President Zardari criticized this violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as counterproductive and unacceptable at a meeting with CIA Director Leon Panetta. Panetta responded that “Pakistan’s sovereignty will be fully respected by the US”. 
Within hours of these words being uttered by Panetta’s forked-tongue, NATO helicopters carried out another strike on Pakistani soil, this time executing three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers guarding a military checkpoint and wounding two others. A significant Mafioso-style strike to silence the government. A reminder to Zardari, Gilani and any other Pakistani official who dare open their mouth, about who calls the shots in this relationship. Quite literally. Such is the pitiful position of contempt with which Pakistan is viewed by its friends in high places today.
But are things now beginning to change? Following the killing of these soldiers, Pakistan blocked the main NATO supply route into Afghanistan, preventing dozens of NATO trucks from crossing the Torkham checkpost on the Khyber Pass. US military figures show that supplies pass though Pakistan at a rate of 580 truckloads per day. Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that “we will have to see whether we are allies or enemies.” Former Army Chief General Mirza Aslam Beg demanded that the Pakistan Air Force should be tasked to shoot down the helicopters and drones involved in attacks on Pakistan’s territories. Incidentally, both the blocking of the NATO supply route and the shooting down of drones were tactics publicly encouraged by Cageprisoners patron Yvonne Ridley on a recent tour of Pakistan calling for the repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
Unfortunately, we have seen all this posturing before. In June 2008 US gunships attacked a Pakistani border post in Mohmand tribal agency, killing 11 soldiers. It caused an outcry in Pakistan, but the furore subsided and later that summer the drone campaign started in earnest. By next week, if not much earlier, the NATO supply routes will be open again, the drones will continue to murder and those calling for helicopters to be shot down will probably be detained.
Much has been reported this week about a forthcoming book, ‘Obama’s Wars’ by veteran Washington Post correspondent Bob Woodward, in which the author reveals how the CIA maintains a 3000 strong Afghan paramilitary force that conducts cross-border operations into Pakistan. This is old news for those who have been following this ill-fated escapade. For three years ago, it emerged that as early as 2004, the US military had given elite units broad authority to pursue suspected terrorists into Pakistan, with no mention of telling the Pakistanis in advance. Indeed, striking within Pakistan was exactly what Obama promised he would do three years ago when he was running for office. It is probably the one promise he has kept since becoming President.
For all its passionate calls for its sovereignty to be respected, the fact of the matter is that sovereignty is a long-forgotten concept in Pakistan. The same could be said for self-respect, dignity and courage. Noble principles abandoned during a decade of a foreign policy established on the basis of slavish obedience to the US in what ex-President Musharraf ironically described as a ‘Pakistan First’ policy.
Pakistan has surrendered its sovereignty inch by inch, city by city, province by province. In reality, it has no say in what occurs on its territory. It is a toothless tiger which lets out the occasional roar to remind itself that it exists but all that the world hears is the whimpering of a weak and miserable pussycat.
----------------------------
For those who don't have the time to read the whole thing, just read the last paragraph. :-( .. so veryyy true. 
And this is the Pakistan, we find ourselves in today. Major courtesy of this state of affairs, goes out to the person roaring the loudest today...

Amina Masood Janjua needs your help today !!

Amina Masood Janjua has not only campaigned on behalf of her husband, but also for over 700 hundred families detained, she now needs your assistance. 
Alert
The years of working on the case of her husband Masood Janjua and the 750 families that have loved ones disappeared has had an incredible toll on Amina Masood Janjua and her family. The years of trying to work to raise her family and run an NGO for the missing persons has bankrupted Amina – but despite this, she continues to give everything she has including her home in order to help those in more need.
Cageprisoners is now requesting the public to help Amina at this desperate time, her suffering most not be compounded by a lack of funds to continue all the amazing work she has been involved in so far.
Please donate whatever you can to her today by sending money to her directly. We are aiming for £5,000 at least in order to help get the family back on track. The details of her bank are:
Account Name:    Amina Masood
Account No:          716-2
Swift Code :          BTUNPKKA
Branch Code :      0179
Bank Address :    The Bank Of Punjab, 
Bank Road,
Saddar,
Rawalpindi,
Pakistan
Please reference, CP appeal, when making any donations.
Jazakamullahkhayr and thank you.
Background
Friends Masood Ahmad Janjua and Faisal Faraz went missing on 30th July 2005 on their way to an Islamic retreat. The two men were detained on separate operations as it quickly emerged that both men never made it to their destination.
After weeks of using connections within the police, security services and military, Janjua’s family gathered enough information to realise that he was being detained beyond the law. Janjua’s father-in-law, a onetime senior officer to President Pervaiz Musharraf called in his connections to find information. It took until 31st May 2006 for the President’s office to contact the family to inform them that Janjua was well and had not been harmed but for the moment was still to be detained and would return to them soon. Due to the efforts of the Janjua family, the Faraz family also became aware of Faisal’s situation. Until that time, not a single official had visited them to inform them of his detention.
Searching for the loved ones has become as difficult as chasing ghosts for the families of the disappeared. Amina Masood Janjua through her organisation, Defence for Human Rights, has led a movement of hundreds of families who have had loved ones kidnapped and taken into the programme of enforced disappearances. Only rarely do they receive snippets of information which has led them to chase cell 20 in I-9 of Islamabad, to believing their relative is in Shaukat Killa or Amoor Camp in Kashmir, or many of the hundreds of prisons that are used to hide the detainees.
In July 2008, a senior official in Pakistan confirmed to Cageprisoners that Masood Ahmad Janjua and Faisal Faraz were still in detention in Pakistan and that they would continue to be detained due to involvement by the US. The official confirmed that the CIA had information on the men and it is their involvement that is hindering appearance before the courts or release.
Both Masood Ahmad Janjua and Faisal Faraz remain missing today.
----------------------
This article was taken from here.

Also, a very heart wrenching account of this story, written by Amina Janjua herself, can be found here. It literally makes me want to cry. 


And I cry about my own stupid pampered self - *disgusted with herself* !! I should be ashamed of myself, seeing this trial and how this lady is dealing with it along with her three kids... all alone, with only Allah SWT Helping her somehow find strength to face whatever comes her way.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 2007

Assalamualaikum

This is a rather sad poem, written at a very low moment, around 2 days ago. The time was around 3 am, and I had wanted to put it off till the midterm (second one) was over. The verses just wouldn't keep in! After staring at some paragraphs from dynamic execution of processors, and making up sad verses simultaneously, I had to give up the books, and sit down with a pen/paper.

Btw, my second midterm (as expected) wasn't great. Not that I will complain about this. The teacher is marvelous, and she had given a very standard paper, nothing ''out of this world'' - it was stupid me who had tried to cram the whole 8 lectures in the previous four days, having never picked up the book before. So nobody's fault except mine. The good thing is, that it's now OVER, and I can finally get back to other stuff.

So now, the poem....(disclaimer: it's long!)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
October 2007

I usually don't wish
''UNDO'' buttons in my life
Serves no useful wish
So why the unnecessary strife

Today ''practicality'' has fled
As I gaze into the past
Too many things... ''SAID''
Too many memories, I hold fast

It was October 2007
Life was way simpler
Kinda feels like heaven
More fulfilling, a lot happier!

Let's start with this
Days didn't seem SO hollow
I still had my Sis the Priss!
And I looked forward to ''tomorrow''

Not that I'm not happy
Not that I'd ever regret!
That she's so happy dappy!
But that ''thing'' is gone, I can bet

I still had huge goals
Nothing seemed impossible
Reality still hadn't burnt a hole
In my lofty, sky-high ideals

I had wanted so badly to achieve
So many things back then
Never had my brain concieved
That ''today'' would be completely different!

I was sure of a blossoming career
Staying home was a huge no-no
But this, being my greatest fear
Has now turned into a real ''foe''

It's been exactly three years since then...
I'm recalling all the ''friends'' I had
So much fun, horsing around with them
Only to watch it fade away, like an aged fad!

All ''groups'' ungrouped
Career and family is now in the way
Man, was I severely duped
When I thought it'd last - this way!

Now with all communication means
Wired, wireless, whatever!
Hardly a ''hello'', ''how you've been''
A phone call? Hardly ever!

As I become more ''updated''
I'm more alienated than ever
From "real'' people - how ill-fated
Has been the downslide, in these years!

October 2007 was also the start
A start of our FYP
A huge decision, taken from the heart...
And where did that lead me? 

You wouldn't want to know the tale
Behind that ''project'' of ours!
The downslide had begun, and I failed
To understand it, at that hour!

I regret the next year, loads!
And the next, even more
There were times when I SHOULD have showed
Sympathy... the back door!

What we have now, we cannot wish away
What we lost then, we cannot gain
But we can wish, and we can pray
To get SOME sense, and stay sane!

One thing, I nearly forgot
Too important, is this one
In Oct. 2007, we hadn't got
Suicide bombers, on THIS free a run!

People didn't die right and left
Citizens weren't this hounded
Things have become quite bereft
Of hope... as we see our courage grounded!

So things have turned out for the worse
In more ways, than one
I can sit and weep, I can sit and curse
But the ''UNDO'' button, cannot come!

Copyright Uni_Quite_Sadoony_2010 [Oct. 8th, 2010 - 3.00 am]

--------------------------------------------
After I had written this, and feeling all down etc, checked my mail, and there was ONE friend, who had written to me.. :):)... Schottkey... more than 8k miles away from Karachi, and has an 8 month old, AND she shifted places recently, even THEN, has the time to write to me... Aww. 

That was a low moment, and that email cheered me up immensely! Thanks soo much pal !!





Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Kitten :'(

AoA

Ideally, I should be saying .. ''My midterm!'' :'( :'(... but frankly, I don't have the strength to go through that melodrama again. Suffice it to say that my preparation had been solely to get those Snooping Protocols firmly fixed in my brain, so I don't have to snoop much while recalling them. That's all I had focussed on. But what happened was the teacher somehow got in his head that this is a rather lot to memorize..., and hence, he gave an open book exam part B. Part A was closed-book. It sucked at all levels! (levels makes me think of L1, L2, L3 ...ugh, I need to get a life). And khair, it was a stupid paper, with a very low hope for a good score.

One good thing came out of this kharoos (bad!) paper. I forgot about the terrible Saturday morning... I forgot about the even more terrible Sunday evening, and I totally forgot about the disaster that happened just before I left for the exam.

My kitten passed away! :'( :'( :'(

Basically, there is a background to this episode. One fine day, we heard a load of mewing coming from our garage. It turned out that somebody in the neighbourhood, had uprooted 5 kittens - who had been really really small, turned out their mum, and now they had just seen our door open and had scrambled in, mewing their heads off. Our land lady shrieked at me to ''turn them out'' :(...and I had to. Once out, they couldn't sense anything at all. Some went idher, some went udhar, one beychara got into an accident :( because a car driver couldn't see the tiny lil thing at all. *shakes her fist at the stupid neighbourhood cruel people*.

Anyway, night fell, and in the silence of the night, one could hear a lil mewling sound  not far from our gate. It got unbearable. We couldn't bear the thought of a poor lil kitten, not knowing how to eat/drink (only suck) lying there in the dark, scared to death. So me and Chotpo stealthily got out, and finally located a lonesome lil animal, curled up in a ball, trembling. I picked it up by the scruff of it's neck and brought it in the garage.

We wrapped the trembling soul into napkins, and laid him there.


We put milk in front of it, but obviously it wouldn't take it. It didn't even know enough to bend down and even smell the stuff. Poor poor kitten. Then the only thought that went through our brains was whether this kitten will survive the night or not. It really was in a pitiable condition.

Next morning, we saw that it was still alive, huddled onto the napkins and mewling away, calling out his mum and siblings most likely :(. That day, dad and TB brought a 0 (zero) cc feeder bottle, and it was my job to feed the kitten. Having never done this kind of a thing before, this was some experience !! I felt like a mother !! :'(






Oh well, it was some experience anyway. The kitten finally figured out how to work on the bottle, and drink up some sips. And when he did, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Even that day was uncertain, we weren't sure whether he'd make it. But the next day, he was a little better at feeding ..


. but then too, it looked pretty skinny and weak.

Days passed, and he survived. We were so elated. That day was a landmark, when he finally learned how to lap at milk in a bowl, and then learned how to attack bones :D. Whenever we went outside, it would play with our feet! (and that would make mum shriek, and me and chotpo laugh :D).


The memories are many. It was now getting a little fatter. And we said a prayer of thanks to see that! He would eat the cat food so eagerly! And all the nearby cats would watch jealously! (and when we weren't looking, creep over to the lil kitten and smack him and then steal his food). Sigh. Anyway, the latest is that this kitten (whom a cousin suggested to name Rhino btw :)..what an irony!), he became very weird 2 days back.

He wasn't eating anything, he wasn't running after our feet, he was totally withdrawn!


We had no clue, what was wrong. We thought it's the scorching heat that's making him lethargic. He would just sit in a corner, and not move. We tried to tempt it with a lot of stuff... :( He just wouldn't touch food. And last night, he just stayed in the bin where he used to sleep, he wouldn't even have the strength to come out of it... :(


And finally yesterday, it wouldn't touch anything and in the afternoon (or evening), passed away. Inna lillah he wa inna ilaihee Rajeoon :(... Our driver informed us that the kitten was lying motionless in the garage... the very place he had survived, about which we weren't even sure that he'd make it or not. It's so very true that everybody comes with a particular time period in this world attached to them... we should all take a lesson from this, limited life span and make the most of it in the best way possible.

May Rhino be playing happily with people's feet in Jannah, Ameen. And may he have loads of playmates too!


Monday, October 4, 2010

So What Is It?!

Assalamualaikum

No, not a political post. Am done with that, till the next Musharraf speech :D. This post is about the constant disappointments I have felt over the years, at different (actually, a LOT) of people that have come in my life - both indirectly (like, I have just heard about them), and directly (I know them directly).


The background is that we started reading Sweet Valley series pretty early in life (:$, what a confession). But I'm talking about Sweet Valley Kids :D. Later, when we moved into teens, then we started (among many other books) Sweet Valley Middle School... then came Sweet Valley High, and later on Sweet Valley University. After that, we gave them up as a bad job :D (and I think the series also finished with University :P)..

These books were our first forray into the concept of love, crushes (in the earlier books), dating, concepts of boyrfriends, girlfriends, etc. At that time, our classmates and peers weren't very much into this stuff (even at around 8th grade level)... it was only books. The religion background was kinda strong at home, that even if we sometimes read books, we always always knew that whatever they're depicting, as part of that culture, is wrong, utterly wrong in the Muslim culture. And it wasn't a hard thing to implement in our lives. There were boundaries, and they were adhered to, er, for lack of a better word, religiously!

Khair, I'm not indulging in self glorification (I'm no saint-ess), am just explaining that the concepts that deen teaches were always dominant than the books obtained and read from various shops and thelay walas (book vendors) around Karachi. Now, later on, the concepts of loyalty (specifically in marriage) and chastity (specifically with singles) was an important one too - and then things began to come into focus that we had not really looked into.

And that was: the concept of loyalty and chastity were slowly dying down. And when the media boom occured (satellite dishes, then cable television and the 100s of channels available for easy viewing), there weren't many households that took care of not watching adult-themed stuff in front of the kids. That was the late 90s and then the start of the millennium. Now, 10 years down the road, the situation has gotten far worse.

Incident 1:
This very studious person from our university - who never used to hang out with girls, obtained a scholarship to go abroad. Now, as his MS is going on, pictures on FB show a quite different side to this personality that we knew. There is he, sitting on amazingly green grass, the landscape behind him is breathtaking - and he sits with a huge fat book (Optical Fibres I think :P)... and back to back with, an ultra cool looking European young lady, who sits with an equally fat book (Optical Fibres again - what a ''connection'' :P:P).. and you can just imagine the comments on these photos from his friends/peers.



Now, why in the world would I feel bad at this? (when I don't even know the person... he's just a classmate of a very good friend)..! The only reason I feel bad at this pretty common behavior is that, the outward reality was quite different from the reality being faced now. Here, there was an aura of decency - and now..? That whole respect factor has evaporated. So this evaporation business is what sucks. And the general discussion that takes place among friends borders on something like..

"Yeah so if somebody is abroad, what do you expect??"
Me (naive idiot): But hello, one's own belief is still there isn't it? 20 plus years in the making (of imaan).. how come only a year ABROAD dissolved it?
''Well, it's pretty normal. You can close your eyes to it if you want''
Me: Well, it's still pretty disappointing.
-----------------------------------------------

Incident 2: 
Somebody narrated this to me:
There was a girl in our university and one fine day, some Pakistani students commented on her as she walked by... - in Urdu! They weren't very nice comments.
She turned around.. and said ''Main Urdu jaanti hoon! I'm a Pakistani"'  :D:D... (set hay!)
The guys were flabbergasted. Why? Because she didn't look an INCH like a Muslim (let alone desi)... and the narrator said that that girl had appeared in a hijab when she first came to the university! ..

Again, why was I so disappointed? I hadn't known her !
Simply because when the moral values that are supposed to be so deeply ingrained in a person, can shake loose, this easily.. then there has got to be some soul searching done!...

Incident 3:
This lady in our relatives, got widowed at a very young age. She was 19, and her son was 3 and a half years old.. :(. She spent a lot of money and effort on giving the right education to the young child, and then he was sent ''abroad'' for further studies. He did pretty well (no surprise, his dad was beyond brilliant too!).. and then.. that's it! Got married in the US, and now, doesn't wanna come back. The mom sometimes visits her son, but the ''bahu'' happens to be a foreigner (and not mum's choice, it was just a spur of the moment revelation to her, and that's it... the son got married). Not that he did WRONG... but a/c to the mum who is all alone here...(and keeps telling everybody she can ''never to send your sons abroad, because they'll never return!)... this life is pretty harsh.

And that's again, so very disappointing. Itni aqal, granted by God, and not enough sense to be with parent, when she needs him .. :'(. Saaad.

Incident 4: 
Not just another incident.. this is the story of a young man, who was thrown in a well by his step brothers, was rescued by a passing caravan people and then sold to an Egyptian aziz... and what happens when he turns into a young man, away from home and in a ''definitely foreign country'' -
aa
I'm talking about nobody else but Hazrat Yousuf (Prophet Joseph), who was the son of Prophet Yaáqub (Jacob), and his trial that occured when the Governor of Egypt's (Aziz's) wife made advances at him, and tried to lure him into getting into sin with her. And his reaction, and whatever that might have gone through his mind, is somehow (I feel) a huge huge lesson to ALL of us, especially the ones who are in more trial (by being in another country, not having the means to get married, or just simply stuck in the rut of parents saying ''Oh you're too young")....

The following commentary (part) on Muslim Matters is what I find so inspiring, and insightful:

The word used to describe Yusuf when he was found from the well, is غلام (“ghulaam“), which, according to the rules of the Arabic language, is used for ”a young boy whose moustache is growing forth” i.e. a boy ranging in age from 12 to 17. We can thus conclude that Aziz’s wife was, therefore, some years older than him at the time she and her husband purchased him.

He lived with his ‘owners’ or foster parents until he reached his adulthood, whence Allah blessed him with wisdom and knowledge. His physical beauty, too, reached its peak.

وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And then when he became a full-grown man, We gave him knowledge and right judgement too. That is how We reward all doers of good. [12:22]

It is difficult to ascertain the cause behind what happened next. But it so happened that the woman in whose house he spent his adolescent years, growing up and maturing, who undoubtedly held a more dominant, authoritative and stronger position than him in the housheold, tried to get him to commit adultery with her.



وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الأَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ  
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلا أَن رَّأَى بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ كَذَلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاء إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ
وَاسُتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُ مِن دُبُرٍ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَى الْبَابِ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَاء مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوَءًا إِلاَّ أَن يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
The woman whose house it was wanted to seduce him. She barred the doors and said, “Come over here!” He said, “Allah is my refuge! He is my Lord and has been good to me with where I live. Those who do wrong will surely not succeed.” She wanted him and he would have wanted her, had he not seen the clear proof of his Lord. That happened so We might avert from him all evil and lust. He was Our chosen servant.
They raced to the door. She tore his shirt at the back. They met her husband by the door. She said, “How should a man whose intention was to harm your family be punished for what he did except with prison or painful punishment?”
[12: 23-25]

Was it only lust that drove her to aggressively desire him? Was it her power and authority over him that made her so zealous in his pursuit that she tore his shirt even after he turned her down and tried to escape? Or was she just aggressive by nature, not accustomed to having her orders defied? Was it her being much older in age than him, and holding an influential status in Egyptian society?

Perhaps a little of all.

Yusuf lived in the house with her and the other domestic staff whilst her husband was away at work, and it is probable that his youth and handsomeness being at a pinnacle caught her gaze. We know that the gaze is the starting point of zina or adultery, if left unchecked. In addition, “khulwah” or being alone with a person of the opposite gender who is not a mahrum, also becomes an invitation for Satan to call the shots towards adultery.

Another point to consider is the polarization of their intrinsic nature that could have caused this. She was quite obviously lacking in piety – as not only did she try to seduce a man while being married to another (within the walls of the latter’s house), but also resorted to slander when caught red-handed. Yusuf, on the other hand, was pious and benign, obedient to Aziz and loyal to the house. Therefore, it is possible that his good character encouraged her to think that she could get away with anything as far as he was concerned. It is not uncommon for people to take advantage of someone’s piety, honesty, and good conduct; for example, the woman who threw trash over Prophet Muhammad [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم]; knowing that he’d never retaliate with an action at the same low level of evil probably gave her the guts to go on doing it.

Regardless of the motive behind her aggression, we should note the reason Yusuf gave for his refusal – he mentioned Allah and how well He had kept him in that house – and that committing this act would thus be a great wrong; a severe ingratitude of Allah’s blessings on Yusuf. Another interpretation of this statement made by Yusuf is that by saying, ”He is my Lord”, he meant Aziz (his “master”, who bought him as a slave), viz. that Aziz had given him shelter in his house and kept him there very well, and sleeping with his wife behind his back would thus be the greatest wrong Yusuf could do to him in return. Either way, Yusuf’s lofty morals, alert conscience towards sin, and inner strength in face of temptation is apparent here.
It was when he took this stand towards his oppressor that Allah turned away from him evil and adultery by making him see a “burhaan” – “clear proof”. Tafsir Ibn Kathir explains what this clear proof, or evidence, could have been:

As for the evidence that Yusuf saw at that moment, there are conflicting opinions to what it was. Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said, “The correct opinion is that we should say that he saw an ayah from among Allah’s ayaat that repelled the thought that crossed his mind. This ‘evidence’ might have been the image of Yaqoub, or the image of an angel, or a divine statement that forbade him from doing that evil sin, etc. There are no clear proofs to support any of these statements in specific, so it should be left vague, as Allah left it.”

The lesson for us in this event is that we cannot place the blame for being weak in the face of temptation on anyone except ourselves. We cannot say, “Allah knows how difficult it is for me not to give in, with such temptation around me. He will not call me to account for such a trial.” Yusuf was young and unmarried; trapped inside a locked room with a woman calling him to herself – a woman dominant to him in social standing. Yet, not only did he openly refuse her, but ran when she persisted. It was when he refused outright that Allah’s help came to him, and he saw a clear proof that prevented him from wanting her too. Allah’s help comes when we take the first step to remove the temptation and avert it from ourselves.


Also, this makes me wonder. What would I do, if I'm ever in such a situation (Allah na karay!) where it's one huge temptation factory on one side, and the teachings/morals/upbringing on the other side. All the religious libaada (facade) that is outward, doesn't really matter OR help when one is IN a situation like this... there is only one's own strength of imaan, and the taufeeq and Hidayah from Allah.

May we all get this Hidayah, Ameen. And we should all remember (me first, then you), that the very essential thing which should never get eliminated from our lives - not even a single day..is...