Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome 2011!

New Year Myspace Comments

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Liz!

Birthday greetings to a  fellow blogger from Brunei.happy birthday!!!
imikimi - sharing creativity

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All!

Though I stopped celebrating Christmas for the last 11 years, I always miss the spirit and celebration that comes with it.
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Christmas Greetings

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Pakistan ambassador to the United States has confirmed that the son of the famous Pakistani television actor, Jamil Fakhri has been killed in the United States.Sources declared that Fakhri’s son's body was unrecognizable, but his identity was confirmed through DNA testing. The bereaved father said  “I don’t know when they are going to hand over my son’s dead body. Ali Ayaz Fakhri went missing in the US around 22 months ago and his father said that the Pakistan Embassy did not cooperate with them to recover his son. Fakhri has named two suspects, Mujeeb Lodhi and Adeel Shah in his son’s case and wants them arrested.Speaking to Daily Times on Monday, December 6, 2010, Jamil Fakhri said that a New York office in charge, Saleem Siddiqui, released news on behalf of Adeel Shah and Mujeeb Lodhi. The news piece reported that a friend of Ali Ayaz Fakhri had claimed that the South Carolina Police had arrested Ali on drunken driving charges and sentenced him to four months. Jamil Fakhri in turn contacted Saleem Siddiqui about the sources.“Saleem told me that he received the information on a telephone call. He was reluctant to give the telephone number of the caller. Later, he got confused and mistakenly uttered the name of Mujeeb. I asked him about Mujeeb and he said that he has gone to Pakistan. I told him that Mujeeb could not come to Pakistan as he has some criminal record. At this he asked me to call him later as he did not have the phone number of Mujeeb, but neither person called me or attended my calls,” Fakhri said.In March 2009, Jamil Fakhri was informed via phone call that his son was arrested by the South Carolina police.  Jamil Fakhri said, “I contacted New York police who contacted Carolina police who denied the arrest of a man named Ali Fakhri. They also tried to trace the telephone call which I received but informed me that it was a disposable phone and the call could not be traced.”.He believed that Mujeeb and Adeel were involved in the case and they should be arrested.
Updated December 16, 2010: The coffin carrying the dead body arrived at the airport last night through a PIA flight. The funeral prayers of Ali Ayaz was held at Ravi Ground today at 10:00 a.m..

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Please Help Us Find Ali Ayaz Fakhri

Missing: Ali Ayaz Fakhri
Legendary actor Jamil Fakhri pleads for any information about his missing son who disappeared in New York, USA in Feb. 2009.

To my regular blog readers, the photo above looks familiar to you, because I posted photos of him in my previous post about wedding traditions of Pakistan.He  is the father-in-law of our niece who got married a month ago.The wedding was supposed to be in April but was postponed because his eldest son was missing in USA.Jamil Fakhri is one of the legend of Pakistan and recipient of various awards including pride of performance by the President of Pakistan. He spent 38 years of his life to serve the people of Pakistan and Pakistan Television. Legendary Actor Jamil Fakhri perform as ”Jafar Hussain” for PTV Super Hit TV Drama “Andera Ujala“.  The video is in Pakistani language , here's the translation:
“I m very tired, I don’t know who to plead, I really don’t know who will tell me about my son” Jamil Fakhri said while talking in a famous TV program Hasb-e-Hall.
He said that his elder son Ali Ayaz Fakhri was reported missing since February 2009 from New York and It’s still a secret as to what happened to him also there are no official word by any USA agency so far.
The actor said that everyone seems to be heartless even the people who once loved him and his work now don’t even recognize his voice.
“I don’t want to die like pleading about my son” he said also added that is there any one who could ask those people who know about his son but are not telling any thing.
Jamil Fakhri also complained in the interview about the careless attitude of Pakistani foreign office who is saying from the very first day that “do what ever you can do , ask whoever you want to ask but at the end you have to beg us (Pakistani foreign office in US) about the whereabouts of your son.
Please help us by signing  the petition and do visit also the Facebook page.Thanks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Walima is the final day of the wedding held by couple as they host their first dinner as husband and wife. The groom's family invites all of the bride's family and their guests to their home for a feast at their home or a marriage hall. The walima is typically the most festive event of the wedding ceremony and intends to publicize the marriage.The bride wears a heavily decorated dress with gold jewelry provided by the groom's family. Typical colour palettes are green or pastel shades. The groom normally wear a formal Western suit or tuxedo.

My first entry for:

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Rukhsati takes place, when the groom and his family leave together with the bride. The Qur'an is normally held over the brides head as she walks from the stage to the exit in order to bless her. This is a somber occasion for the bride's parents as it marks the departure of their daughter from their home. The departure of the bride becomes a very emotional scene as she says farewell to the home of her parents and siblings to start a new married life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Bluberry craft and hobby time


Monday, November 22, 2010

Doodh Pilai

Doodh Pilai is a ceremony which is prevalent in many Pakistani weddings. On the actual wedding day, the sisters and cousins of the bride will bring milk for the groom. After he drinks the milk, he is supposed to present his new sisters- in -law with money and gifts.
      Linking to   Ruby Tuesday. Visit Mary Tomaselli's site for more photos with Red.


Sunday, November 21, 2010


The barat or grooms procession indicates the arrival of the groom's family and friends to the bride's house. The barat is often accompanied by the rhythms of a dhol (drum) as it arrives and is greeted with flowers and rose petals by the bride's family. The bride traditionally wears a red,pink or purple gharara, lehenga or shalwar kameez which is heavily emroidered.However, other bright colors may also be worn. The dress is always accompanied with heavy gold jewelery. The groom may wear a traditional dress such as sherwani with a sehra or turban .
A dinner is served which consists of one rice dish, one salan(viand) and one sweet dish as any more than this amount is banned in Pakistan nowadays.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today is Eid-Ul-Adha!

Eid-ul-Adha or Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated at the end of Hajj, which is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ is followed by a ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, which pays homage to  Prophet Abraham’s unselfish act of sacrificing his son, Ishmael, to God. In turn, God spared the boy’s life and instead substituted a sheep. In  remembrance, people sacrifice a lamb, goat, or other animal  and give the meat to family, friends, relatives, and most especially to  the poor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Mehndi  or the Rasm-e-henna ceremony, takes place one or two days prior to the main wedding day. The event is traditionally held separately for the bride and the groom.The henna is symbolically placed on the couple's hands. The groom's friends and family bring along sweets and henna for the bride, and the bride's family does the same for the groom. On the bride's ceremony, the groom normally does not participate and similarly, on the groom's event the bride stays at home.

Traditionally, since there were separate functions for the bride and the groom, the groom's function was called 'Tael' (oil) where female guests apply oil into the groom's hair.Ceremonies are now held simultaneously for both the groom and the bride, the use of the term 'tael' has diminished greatly. In some cases, the entire ceremony is instead referred to as "Tael Mehndi" (Oil and Henna) ceremony.The bride normally wears a green dress or yellow  for the Henna celebration and uses only light, or mostly without  make-up. The groom  typically wear a casual Shalwar Qameez. The bride and/or the groom are brought forward in the ceremony under a decorative dupatta by their close relatives. In the bridal ceremony, a certain number of married women who are closely related to the bride apply henna to her hands, and feed her sweets. This ritual is supposed to bring good luck and longevity to the bride's married life. Similarly, on the groom's side, oil is applied to his head and sweets are fed to the groom.

Tray containing "tael"(oil), "mehndi"(henna)  & "methai"(sweets)

The groom accompanied by his father, Pakistani TV actor Jamil Fakhari.
The bride brought forward by close relatives.
The groom and bride

Me, preparing to apply "mehndi" during the ceremony

                My entry for this week's Ruby Tuesday.                       

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wedding in the Family

For the next 4 days, a wedding  will be celebrated in our family.It is a tradition here that the  bride's family string hundreds of colored lights over and around their home, creating an ostentatious announcement of their daughter's forthcoming marriage.I'm sharing a photo of how our house looks like everynight for next 4 days .

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eid Greetings

                           Peace be upon you all and may everyone have a happy and blessed Eid!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Remembering Princess Diana on her 13th Death Anniversary

(photo credits
It's been thirteen years since Princess Diana passed away, but the princess continues to rein people's hearts and stir media's attention even today.On August 31, 1997, the Princess of Wales died in a car crash. The charming princess, who was a descendant of King Charles II of England, was believed to have died trying to elude the paparazzi, when the black Mercedes Benz crashed into the thirteenth pillar of the road tunnel.The princess who is survived by two sons, William and Harry,  is remembered not only as a humanitarian but was also the most influential style icon of her time. Before Dodi Al Fayed, Diana have a Pakistani  lover, Dr. Hasnat Khan.She even visited Pakistan few times.For more of the old news, read here, here & here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Horror Story Every Woman Must Read

How could a human being - let alone a husband - disfigure a person in this way?  It happened to Zahida Parveen, and it happens to thousands of other female victims of "honor violence" each year in Pakistan.Read here for more of the story.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Palak Gosht" (Spinach + Meat)


1/2 Kg. mutton
1 Kg. Spinach  
1-1½ tsp. salt (according to taste)
¼ tsp. turmeric (Haldi) powder
1 tsp. chili (Lal Mirch) powder
 1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. ginger (Adrak) paste
½ tsp. garlic (Lehsan) paste
2  tomatoes-finely chopped
8 whole black pepper (Kali Mirch)
3-4 cloves (Laung)
2 black cardamom (Bari Ilaichi)
¼ tsp. cumin seeds (Zeera)
3-4 green chilies
1 inch ginger (Adrak)–sliced
2 tbs. corn or wheat flour
 1 tbs. dry fenugreek (Methi) leaves


Steam/blanch the spinach and grind.
Fry the onion in the oil till brown. Mix all the ingredients together and add to the pot and stir till the tomato has become soft and the water has dried.
Add the meat and cook again to let the water dry. Add 3-4 glasses of water cover and leave to tenderize.
When meat is almost done add ground spinach,dry fenugreek leaves and flour. Cook till water dries.
Garnish with fresh chopped green chilies.
Serve with chapati or  plain rice.

Friday, August 13, 2010

12 Things To Avoid During Ramadan by Dr. Zakir Naik

1. Don't sleep during the day and pray all night. By doing this you areconverting the day into night and the night into day, which is not the
purpose of fasting.

2. Avoid being lazy and inactive during the day.

3. Don't waste time playing games during the day. Rather, please Allah by increasing in your worship of Him..

4. Avoid having Iftar parties. Ramadan wasn't meant to be a food extravaganza.

5. Don't ask your wife to spend Ramadan in the Kitchen. Eat something light and quick.

6. Spend the last 10 days worshipping Allah rather than trying to prepare for Eid! A day that is better than a thousand months is in these last 10 days. You can't afford to miss this.

7. Don't stay awake the full night. Your body has a right over you, and when it wants rest, then rest.

8. Avoid excessive socialising after Taraweeh

9. Avoid shopping a lot in Ramadan.

10. Don't eat the full night.

11. Don't loiter around at night rather than worshipping Allah.

12. Eid does not require loads of preparation. Don't fall into this trap! Keep it simple, and it will be blessed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan (Ramadhan/Ramazan)

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year which is celebrated from beginning to end as holy. In fact, many regard it as the holiest time of the Muslim year. The principle outward characteristic of Ramadan is that Muslims are expected to fast all day, every day. Traditionally the times of fast are marked as whenever a white thread can be distinguished from a black thread. Once those threads can no longer told apart, eating is permitted.

Fasting during Ramadan is considered one of the Five Pillars, meaning it is one of the five most basic beliefs/acts which a Muslim has to do. However, it's not accurate to say that everyone simply goes without food or water - there are quite a few rules which apply to it. For one thing, a Muslim must consciously formulate the intention to fast as part of a rite. This is to prevent fasting from becoming an empty symbol which people don't give much thought to. The full formulation reads: "to fast tomorrow to acquit my duty towards God of fasting Ramadan this year."
EXEMPTIONS:There are all sorts of ways in which a person can be legitimately be exempted from fasting:
  • Young Children
  • People in poor health
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing women
  • Menstruating women
  • Travelers, if the distance traveled is great
  • If one feeds thirty poor people each day

The status of children is actually mixed. The youngest are not expected to fast, but as they get older they gradually begin fasting for more and more of the day until they are able to go the entire day without food or water without endangering one's health.

Although travelers and menstruating women can be exempted from fasting, they are nevertheless expected to make up the same number of missed days some time later in the year after Ramadan. Thus, they fast the same number of days as everyone else, but not at the same time.

Feeding thirty poor people each day is a technical excuse for avoiding the fast which everyone must observe, but it is rare for a rich person to actually use this exemption. It would be looked up very, very badly by the rest of the community and the rich person would probably lose much too much respect for it to be worthwhile.

There are also a number of things which would not otherwise qualify as food, but which are also prohibited:

  • Putting drops in the eyes
  • Saliva leaving the mouth and then reentering
  • Sex
  • Listening to music
  • Harsh words/arguments

The theological reason for abstaining from food, water and other things is to better learn the nature of personal limitation. It is believed that knowledge cannot be acquired unless a person can first learn his or her limits - then, and only then, can the true nature of something become evident. Muslims also believe that fasting during Ramadan allows  them to purify themselves through a kind of sacrifice.

Because the Muslim calendar is lunar rather than solar, the month of Ramadan moves through the year. Thus, sometimes if falls during the winter when the days are shorter and fasting is easier but other times it falls during the summer when the days are longer and fasting is more difficult.

After the sun sets, Muslims break their fast first with a small meal and then, often, a larger meal later on in the evening. It is also common for Muslims to take a meal early in the morning before dawn, a meal known as suhur. There are musicians and others who volunteer to walk through town to wake people for this early meal.

There are a number of special days during the month of Ramadan which are considered special. They are:

  • Battle of Badr: This was a key battle in the year 625 CE and which occurred on the 17th of Ramadan

  • Retaking of Mecca: On the 19th of Ramadan in the year 630 CE it is believed that Muhammad manage to return and retake the city of Mecca from his opponents.

  • Deaths: A number of important deaths occurred during the month of Ramadan: Muhammad's first wife, Khadija (10th) and both Ali and the eight Shiite Imam, Ali Reza (21st).

  • Births: A number of important births also occurred during the month of Ramadan: Hussein (6th), who was later martyred and Ali (22nd).

  • Laylat al-Qadr: This literally means "the night of power," and is celebrated on one of the last ten days during the month of Ramadan, but always on an odd numbered day. Tradition holds that on this night, the prayers of a sincere and devout Muslim are sure to be answered because it is believed to be the night when the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad. Many Muslims also believe that, on this night, the tree of Paradise is shaken and the names of all those who will die in the coming year can be found on the fallen leaves.

  • Eid al Fitr: On this day a large feast is celebrated on the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, and is held on the first day of Shawwal, right after the month of Ramadan. Also called "Eid," on this day many elaborate dishes are served at banquet-like gatherings. Additionally, houses are decorated and gifts are exchanged.

It is possible that the obligation to fast during Ramadan comes from early injunction to fast on Ashura, the 10th day of the month of Muharram, which may have once been identical with the Jewish observance of the Day of Atonement. This obligation, however, was ended by the command to fast during Ramadan instead in the Quran verse 2:184.

The derivation of the name Ramadan is in some dispute. Many believe that it comes from the Arabic ramad, which means scorching, and is thus a reference to the idea that the fast "scorches" away human sins. Others argue that is simply means "high summer" and has no reference to the act of fasting. During pre-Islamic times the month of Ramadan was already widely celebrated as a month when Arabic tribes observed a truce from all hostilities.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Brutal Women Abuses in Pakistan

If you are a follower of my blog, I've posted several videos before about violence against Pakistani women.Here's another video I found in YouTube.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

3 Million Affected by Floods

Monsoon this year is certainly not a blessing for Pakistan. While it has been considered an occasion for jubilation and joy and of the atypical summer rains, the recent spell that has procured a disastrous flood all across the nation is definitely not what Pakistanis were looking forward to.The worst floods in memory in Pakistan have affected more than 3 million people so far and the death toll has climbed over 1,400.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

152 Perished

Airbus A321
I spent my whole day watching TV, waiting...if there are any survivors of the plane crash this morning in Margalla Hills, Islamabad.90 charred bodies were recovered so far.152 are confirmed dead(146 passengers & 6 crewmembers).For more of the news, read here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"Shab-e-Barat" is considered the night of reverence and fervour and  will be observed across the country with great religious zeal tonight. Muslims would offer special nightlong prayers to seek forgiveness for their sins and Allah Almighty’s blessing on this occasion to achieve success in the world and hereafter.On the occasion of ‘Shab-e-Barat’, Muslims believe, Allah Almighty showers infinite mercy and blessing upon human beings.According to Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa, “Allah Almighty opens the doors of Mercy and Grace for the mankind, the door remains open throughout the night till the ‘Fajr’ prayers in which He exonerates those seeking forgiveness.” Faithful would gather at mosques after ‘Isha’ and offer night- long special prayers, while different gatherings and ‘Mahafil-e-Naat’ would be arranged to mark this holy night. Houses, streets and especially mosques are decorated with colourful pennants and buntings whereas at night these were well illuminated by means of electric lights, candles or even oil lamps.

photo by Raja Islam

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Working Donkeys

carrying sacks of rice
carrying crates of mangoes
Camera Critters
 This is my third entry about Donkeys in Camera Critters.I admire these strong & small creatures which have been oppressed since ages.I see them everywhere, struggling terribly with carts that are way beyond their strength.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Pakistan has banned content on more than a dozen websites because of offensive and blasphemous material. This Muslim country, which has laws on dress codes, has banned Facebook and Youtube before.So here's the irony: Google ranks Pakistan  #1 in the world in searches for pornographic terms, outranking every other country in the world in searches per person for certain sex related content.For more of the story, peep here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Badshahi Mosque

The Badshahi Mosque  or The Emperor's Mosque was built in 1673 by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Lahore, Pakistan. It is one of the city's best known landmarks and a major tourist attraction epitomising the beauty and grandeur of the Mughal era.
Capable of accommodating over 55,000 worshippers, Badshahi is the second largest mosque in Pakistan, after the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. The design of the Badshahi Masjid is closely related to the Jama Masjid in Delhi, India, which was built in 1648 by Aurangzeb's father, Emperor Shah Jahan.
Though it is just a 5-minute walk from our house, I haven't visited the Mosque.

Friday, July 9, 2010


The Shab-e-Mairaj-un-Nabi or the Night of Ascent would be observed tonight.Muslims every year on  the 27th of Rajab (Lunar calendar) observe the Shab-e-Miraj in which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) went on a special journey to meet Allah Almighty, crossing seven skies on the heavenly animal named ‘al-Buraq’.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) continued his heavenly tour until he reached very close to the Throne of Allah Almighty and attained the utmost nearness to Him. After having drunk fully at the Divine fountain of spiritual knowledge, He came down to impart the knowledge to mankind.On that Night of Ascent, Allah Almighty also gave the order of the five daily Salat (Prayers) as being mandatory upon the Muslims.Faithful would gather at mosques after Isha to offer special prayers that would continue till Fajr prayers, while different gatherings and Mahafil-e-Naat are being arranged to mark the holy night.Ulema and religious scholars in their sermons would highlight the teachings and various aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).The houses, streets and specially mosques are decorated with colorful pennants and buntings whereas at night these are well illuminated by means of electric lights, candles or even oil lamps.People visit graves of their loved ones, seeking Allah Almighty’s blessings for the departed souls.