In a society where women are covered, even small, private acts that express femininity, like girls dancing fully-clothed in the rain, can be seen as sexual. Cell or home videos are being exploited on YouTube as “porn.”
My film’s online premiere and its subsequent broadcast on television in the US is the first time that Americans have seen an extended report focused on the stories of survivors and kin of those killed by American bombs in Pakistan. The film has not been screened in Pakistan, though a Pakistani television channel may have broadcast it without rights; its primary audience is Americans. For the last nine years since the bombing began, the lived experiences of people directly affected by drone attacks have been largely invisible. Political parties fulminate over the attacks, analysts discuss their legal or political implications, but very little discussion engages with the lives of the people who actually endure them.
Madiha Tahir responds to criticism of her documentary, "Wounds of Waziristan," which highlights the stories of those directly impacted by drone attacks in Pakistan–in their own words.
Nushmia Khan is a video and photojournalist based out of Chicago. She received her Bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has had a range of experience through working for newspapers, such as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, political campaigns and a documentary film company. View her portfolio.
"I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. Drones don’t fly when sky is grey," said Zubair, whose leg was injured by shrapnel during the strike.
“My grandmother was nobody’s enemy,” he added.
As one commenter puts it:
This was an intentional boycott by the mass murderers in Congress (all but five have signed their names in blood) who are afraid to face survivors of their crimes.
Let us begin by admitting that the very anxiety over what Malala is doing and should be doing and should not be doing more than a little smacks of a patriarchal nature. This is a bold and courageous young woman who has stood up to misogynist bullies, been the victim of an assassination plot by getting shot in the face, and again risen above that to continue with her calling to promote the cause of girls’ education. No amount of analysis or concern—even righteous concern—should take away her agency, her will, and her resistance. To negate her agency, even by would be allies, is yet another attempt to negate her humanity. I write my own words mindful of the above.
Here are five points to help us keep a healthy perspective on Malala the person and Malala the phenomenon.
Humaira Dreamcatcher by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Only 26 percent of women in Pakistan are literate. Many families do not educate their daughters because of societal and religious pressures, and in the last 6 years Islamic militants have blown up more than 600 schools across the country, forcing thousands of women to stay at home. Humaira: The Dream Catcher chronicles the life of a young woman who is fighting to educate girls in her community. Through sheer determination, she has set up a school that now educates over 1200 children, each for one cent a day.
Four decades after she left Lahore for her new home in Delhi, Amirta Pritam, the acclaimed Punjabi poetess and short story writer, recollected the memories of her days in the city where she had flourished in the 1940s. Pritam reminisces about many famous songstresses of the time, women she met during her work at Radio Lahore. The persona of one of these vocalists, who was matchless in singing ballads about the romantic tale of Mirza Sahiban, greatly inspired Pritam. She concedes that the ghost of this singer lived with her until she wrote ‘Shah Jee Di Kanjri’-a short story in Punjabi - to free herself from the captivity of her charms. This singer was none other than Tamancha Jan, nightingale of Lahore.
When Pakistani painter Mahwish Chishty returned from the United States to her native Lahore in 2011, her friends and family couldn’t stop talking about the American-led drone war raging along the border with Afghanistan. That’s how she got the idea to reimagine drones in her country’s colorful truck art tradition. So has the US Department of Defense asked her to repaint any Predators yet? See her answers and more of her hauntingly beautiful paintings.
A campaign to fund a water filtration plant as an ongoing charity in remembrance of Sophia Khan.
At a young age of 33, Sophia Khan tragically and unexpectedly lost her life as a result of complications arising during a routine medical procedure. She was a wife and mother to two beautiful children, a one-year-old and a three-year old. This foundation was established in efforts to honor Sophia Khan and what she represented-someone who cared deeply for others and was always willing to help those in need.
Eno bhatti is a small village in the outskirts of Lahore. It is situated at approximately a one and a half hour drive from Gulberg. The water in this village is contaminated with arsenic, therefore a filtration plant is desperately needed to clean it and make it fit for villagers to drink. This project is currently at the top of HDF’s priority list.
“If a human dies, then his good deeds stop except for three: a Sadaqa Jariah (continuous charity), a beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.” – Sahih Muslim
Building this water filtration plant will mean continuously providing clean water for 1578 people for many years to come and this is Sadaqa Jariya (continuous charity) that will, in addition to the villagers, also benefit our contributors and Sophia Khan insha’Allah.
HDF has agreed to organize day trips from Lahore for family members and contributors who would like to visit the village and the plant once it is built.
God willing, we will raise the $8540 required to complete this project. Many people have been deeply affected by Sophia’s passing so please help us get the word out and be a part of this cause!
*$200 was added to the goal to help pay for campaign costs. If we reach our goal, Indiegogo will be collecting 4% of the $8,700 goal in addition to some credit card costs.