Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

ALAMGIR -Aamay Bhashaili Rey, Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 6


Alamgir and Fariha Pervez

Aamay Bhashaili Rey – You have set me adrift – আমায় ভাসাইলি রে
Download Now!
Song Info

Turning over the pages of a story that has come to pass in our history is Alamgir’s contribution to this season of Coke Studio with the soulful Bengali folk composition ‘Aamay Bhashaili Rey’. The roots of the song are old, and has always been a source of inspiration for Alamgir reminding him of his youthful beginnings as a 14 year old boy who had come to Karachi on his own to find his passion and what would become his new home. The song was also featured in Alamgir’s second album and he feels that the song’s enchanting quality has always connected with people irrespective of whether the language was understood. Thematically, the song is one of Struggle. It asks for the devotion and spirit to endure the toil and risks that eventually reaches the finish line of Success – something that resonated with Alamgir’s struggle to keep going in the early stages of his career. In the subtle melancholy of what is almost a lament; the song is met by Fariha Pervez’s rendition of ‘Saiyyan Bina Ghar Suna’, which speaks out on the other end on the need for companionship and the yearning for Completeness. The instrumentation of the song is used to complement and mirror the flow of emotions that transition between the vocals and carry the theme into its resolution. The overall piece is a glimpse of a bridge to the past, asking what it truly means to belong in the face of displacement and how our choices make a difference in the world today.
Lyrics of Aamay Bhashaili Rey; Language: Bengali & Braj

আমায় ভাসাইলি রে
آمائے بھاشائلی رے
aamaay bhaashaaili re
You have set me adrift

আমায় ডুবাইলি রে
آمائے ڈوبائلی رے
aamaay ḍoobaaili re
You are causing me to drown

অকুল দরিয়ার বুঝি কূল নাই রে
اوکول دوریار بوجھی کول نائی رے
okool dauriaar boojhi kool naai re
The river seems endless as if there were no shore

কূল নাই কিনার নাই
کول نائی کنار نائی
kool naai kinaar naai
No border, no shore

নাই কো দরিয়ার পারি
نائی کو دوریار پاری
naai ko dauriaar paari
The river has no limits

সাবধানে চালাইও মাঝি
شابدھانے چالائیو ماجھی
shaabdhaane chaalaaiyo maajhi
Steer it most cautiously, boatman

আমার ভাঙ্গা তরি রে
آمار بھانگا توری رے
aamaar bhaanga tori re
This boat of mine with a broken rim

অকুল দরিয়ার বুঝি কূল নাই রে
اوکول دوریار بوجھی کول نائی رے
okool dauriaar boojhi kool naai re
The river seems endless as if there were no shore

چاہے آندھی آئے رے
chaahe aandhi aaye re
Whether a storm rages

چاہے میگھا چھائے رے
chaahe megha chhaaye re
Whether rainclouds rumble

ہمیں تو اس پار لیکے جانا ماجھی رے
hamen tu us paar leke jaana maajhi re
Take us across to the other end, boatman

چاہے جتنا شور کریں یہ ندیا کے دھارے
chaahe jitna shor karen ye nadiya ke dhaare
However loud these river torrents roar

ساتھ میرے لگائیو ماجھی ناؤ مری کنارے رے
saath mere lagaaiyo maajhi naao miri kinaare re
Help me get my boat to the shore, boatman

ہمیں تو اس پار لیکے جانا ماجھی رے
hamen tu us paar leke jaana maajhi re
Take us across to the other end, boatman


نہ میں مانگوں سونا چاندی
nah main maangoon sona chaandi
I don’t ask for gold and silver

مانگوں توسے پریت
mangoon tose preet
I ask you for love

بلما مئیکا چھاڑ گئے
balma maeeka chaaṛ gaye
My lover has left me and gone

یہی جگت کی ریت
yihi jagat ki reet
This is the way of the world

سئیاں بنا
saiyaan bina
Without my beloved…

سئیاں بنا
saiyaan bina
Without my beloved…

سئیاں بنا
saiyaan bina
Without my beloved…

سئیاں بنا گھر سونا
saiyaan bina ghar soona
Without my beloved, my house is desolate

سئیاں بنا گھر سونا
saiyaan bina ghar soona
Without my beloved, my house is desolate

ساوریا نہ آئے
saawariya na aaye
My handsome love did not come

My handsome love

یاد تہاری
yaad tihaari
The thought of you…

یاد تہاری
yaad tihaari
The thought of you…

مئیکا جلائے جیارا
maika jalaaye jiyaara
Makes my heart burn with longing

سئیاں بنا گھر سونا
saiyaan bina ghar soona
Without my beloved, my house is desolate

نہ آئے
na aaye
…didn’t come

نہ آئے
na aaye
…didn’t come

سئیاں بنا گھر سونا
saiyaan bina ghar soona
Without my beloved, my house is desolate

جیارا جلائے مورا
jiyaara jalaaye mora
…makes my heart burn in longing

ہو راجا چین جیا ناہیں آئے
ho raaja chain jiya naaheen aaye
O dearest, my heart gets no peace

چین جیا ناہیں آئے
chain jiya naaheen aaye
My heart gets no peace

چین جیا ناہیں آئے
chain jiya naaheen aaye
My heart gets no peace

چین جیا ناہیں آئے
chain jiya naaheen aaye
My heart gets no peace




ساوریا نہ آئے
saawariya na aaye
My handsome love did not come

سئیاں بنا گھر سونا
saiyaan bina ghar soona
Without my beloved, my house is desolate

Performance Credits

Serbian House Band

Goran Antovic | Piano, Keyboards
Branko Trijic | Guitar – Acoustic and Electric
Dejan Antovic | Bass, Electric Upright
Jovan Satric | Drums

Ivana Pavlović

Jaffer Ali Zaidi

Babar Ali Khanna

String Orchestra/ Violins

Tijana Milosević
Mirjana Nešković
Ksenija Milošević
Jelena Dimitrijević

II Violins
Selena Jakovljević
Jelena Dragnić
Tamara Zivković

Ivana Uzelac
Aleksandra Damjanović

Julijana Marković
Uroš Zikić
Acoustic Upright

Srdjan Djordjević

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Faiz Mohammad Baluch - Layla o Layla (Original - 1960s)

Laila O Laila - Behind The Scene, Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 6, Episode 4

Laila O Laila, Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 6, Episode 4

Artist: Rostam Mirlashari

Song: Laila O Laila – Laila, O beautiful Laila — لیلیٰ ءُ لیلیٰ

Song Info:
Upon the journey of tracing one’s roots, Coke Studio had the pleasure of connecting with music from across the border – in bridging the great tradition of Balochi music with its family across the border in Iran. In walks Rostam Mirlashari, a Balochi from Iran with his rendition of the folk song ‘Laila O Laila’ – a song found in our part of Balochistan as well, demonstrating that while borders may have been put in place, cultures, traditions and heritages remain intact. The song itself is a simple, happy, love song in the pursuit of meeting with the object of one’s Love, in this case, Laila. The instrumentation is reminiscent of folklore and simpler times where music was used in the form of oral tradition, which is complemented by instruments such as the Accordion as well as the Balochi Dumboora. In connecting the elements of the music, one cannot help but notice just how instruments such as Norway’s Hardanger Fiddle find their place within the flow of the song indicating that the sounds that we hear across the globe are harmonious in the subtlest of ways. ‘Laila O Laila’ is a song that finds its home where there are those to connect with it. Past all borders, it begs for us to look deeper when understanding the idea of what is ours.

Lyrics of Laila O Laila (Language: Balochi)

لیلیٰ ءُ لیلیٰ
laila u laila
Laila, O beautiful Laila

بیا تر ءَ برانت سیل ءَ
bya tar a baraant sail a
Come, let me take you to see the sights

مجازی انت لیلیٰ
mijaazi ent laila
O high and mighty Laila

مجازی انت لیلیٰ
mijaazi ent laila
O high and mighty Laila

تو شت ءِ دیر کت
to shut e der kut
It’s been so long and you haven’t returned

زھیراں من ءَ کور کت
zaheeraan man a koor kut
Your memories have made me go blind with weeping

مجازی انت لیلیٰ
mijaazi ent laila
O high and mighty Laila

مجازی انت لیلیٰ
mijaazi ent laila
O high and mighty Laila

لیلیٰ ءُ لیلیٰ
laila u laila
Laila, O beautiful Laila

تئی سرے قید ءَ
tai sare qaid a
The beauty of your forehead ornament…

کتگ من ءَ شیدا
kutag mana shaida
Has made me fall madly in love with you

کتگ من ءَ شیدا
kutag mana shaida
Has made me fall madly in love with you

تئی سر ءِ دوری
tai sar e doori
The sorrow of your separation…

مئے چمّانی کوری
mae chammaani koori
Has made my eyes go blind with tears

تو شت ءِ پاری
to shut e paari
It’s been a year since you went away

من کشّتگ واری
man kushitag waari
And I have suffered so much grief

اے ڈگار پلکیں
ae ḍagaar pulken
This land is fertile and abundant

کوئٹہ مئے ملک انت
koeṭah mae mulk ent
And Quetta is our home

گیوارتئی ساپ انت
geewaartai saap ent
The parting of your hair is so clear and exquisite

دل منی آپ انت
dil mani aap ent
That my heart just melts to see it

لیلیٰ ءُ لیلیٰ
laila u laila
Laila, O beautiful Laila

لیلیٰ شنک لیلیٰ
laila shanko laila
Laila, I willingly give up my life for you

لیلیٰ ءُ لیلیٰ
laila u laila
Laila, O beautiful Laila

لیلیٰ ءُ وشّیں لیلیٰ
laila u washe ent laila
Laila, O sweet Laila
Performance Credits
Serbian House Band

Goran Antovic | Piano, Keyboards
Branko Trijic | Guitar – Acoustic and Electric
Dejan Antovic | Bass, Electric Upright
Jovan Satric | Drums

Babar Ali Khanna
Hardanger Fiddle

Anne Hytta

Fida Baloch

Miloš Punišić
Balochi Backing Vocals

Master Sheeraz Ali Sabzal
Mohammad Ali Osman Baloch
Shaukat Ali
String Orchestra

Tijana Milosević
Tea Balint
Svetlana Stančev
Predrag Žikić
Selena Jakovljević
Slavica Perić
Tamara Živković

Boris Brezovac
Aleksandra Damnjanović

Julijana Marković
Katarina Stanković
Upright Bass

Srdjan Djordjević
Backing Vocal

Rachel Viccaji
Zoe Viccaji

Merry Christmas to Everyone Especially Pakistani Christians!

I wish all those who celebrate Christmas - a very Merry Christmas - holidays full of fun and enrichment!

Season's Greetings to everybody!!!

By the way, December 25th is the birthday of Quaid e Azam - Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan and it's also my mom's birthday - and then it's Christmas - well I"m super happy for all of you out there. My message is simple: Live and Let Live!!!

I remeber that In Pakistan, there is this continious persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters. I stand with them in solidarity and I hope and prey that they live comfortably in Pakistan - a state that was founded on the idea that - no matter what religion one believes in - they can practice it in peace and without fear however, over the past few years down the lane we have totally lost the entire concept of the creation of Pakistan!!

Today if Jinnah was alive - he would definitely have been hurt with the kind of religious intolerance we have in Pakistan. I can't speak for the religious minorities of Pakistan when as a Muslim woman myself - I was mentally and verbally tortured in my own homewtown - capital of Pakistan, Islamabad- for some stupid reasons , when I last visted a coupe of months ago!

Anyhow, Merry Christmas my dear Christian community of Pakistan, please do NOT give hope ad things will become normal some day1

Moving Back to Seoul with Mom!!

This is my first post after 3 months - wow ...a long break that was!!!

My mom is back  in Seoul to stay with me for a while and so my entire life pattern has changed - for good!  I've got myself a cute house, previously I was in  a guest house or with a host family...which is very different. 

She is in her 80s and so I've tried my best that she stays safe and comfortably during her stay. It's also the first time that I'm gonna take care of her solo. I've renovated the entire bathroom  on my own that cost me 1200USD or 1.2 million won - and it would have been less if the plumber and the real estate woman had not cheated on me but now, the bathroom looks chic and high tech. I 've renovated the entrance and it has cost me another 500 USD or 500,000won. My house owner declined on sharing "any cost" with me... Voilà !!

I have built up an entire kitchen from scratch  - keeping in mind her age and the requirements of food and there are a couple. I think that she is probably one of the oldest (by age) foreign visitors in Korea at the moment which is cool.

It is winters here which is a tough season but since she has lived in Seoul for 7 years between 2002 to 2009, so she knows whats' comin!!!

She was obviously much younger and we used to travel all around the city of Seoul together when we first moved here. The year was 2002 and both of us fall in love with Seoul - it's World Cup hype and ambiance,  its' very kindhearted people (with the unexplainable Jeong), vibrancy  and sense of safety as a woman. My mom loves football and when my family moved to Korea on June 1st 2002 - it was the first day of World Cup FIFA - Japan- Korea 2002 - and as they  - the rest is history!

Living here for so long and as a family unit we ended up renovating our furnished housing back then too, which we got from office. I bought all the gadgets brand new from Yongsan Electronic Market ..it was only later that I found out that there are many other and better ways in which one can buy the same stuff in a much comfortable and a cheaper way but time is the best teacher and that's how we learn - making mistakes and falling down but then again, we stand up and move on!!!!

In 2009, we moved to the US completely and I sold or gave away my belonging to friends mostly or even threw a couple of really good things coz there was no other choice...the things which I threw included our beds, oven, closets, dinning table, sofa and rug  -  all went into the trash! To save oneself from such a scenario - one needs organization and planning which I lacked then but now, I'm an expert!

While I've developed a kitchen again and so I'm on the hunt for best buys in Seoul and as its the end of the year, Christmas was around too and then Seolnal (Korean New Year) is also  coming...there are some great deals at every  nook and corner. Thus far, I loved one thing -  I've got my self a cute food processor. This food processor is one of the very basic ones but is multi-purpose and way too good for me. What used to take an hour is done in 5 minutes and as we say - time is money , now I've realized the importance.

I'm, very glad to choose it and that too on a discount!

Key Features of Kenwood Food Processor FP215 are here!

I will just say one thing: when you move somewhere, make that new place your home and that will change your life - believe me...it doesn't matter if you are there to stay for a short time or a long time. Don't live like backpackers or nomads, please don't!

Sense of belonging and a sense of having a home simply enriches life. I have a home - right here in Seoul - far away from my real home. It's great!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jugnu (1947) - Yahan Badla Wafa Ka - Mohd.Rafi & Noor Jehan


Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Arif Lohar's 4 Years Old Son: First Performance

Third generatio of the Lohar family entertaining and mesmerizing the audience!


Cool It - Pakistani Rap Song


Monday, November 11, 2013

Farhan Saeed - Pi Jaun (Official Video)


Pi Jaon (Farhan Saeed) - Favourite Pakistani Song!


Sajjad Ali - Yaad (Official Video)


Monday, October 21, 2013


Register online before Nov 4 to get free admission to FOOD WEEK KOREA (Nov 6-9)

There will also be a Makgeolli Expo (Nov 6-9) and a Craft Beer Fest (Nov 8-9).

Check out their Facebook page.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

17th. October - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty



Theme for 2013:
Working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Today is Hangeul Day (한글날)

The Korean Alphabet Day, known as Hangeul Day in South Korea, and Chosŏn'gŭl Day in North Korea, is a national Korean commemorative day marking the invention and the proclamation of the Korean alphabet (한글; 조선글), the native alphabet of the Korean language, by King Sejong the Great. It is observed on October 9 in South Korea and on January 15 in North Korea.

In South Korea, the holiday is also known as Hangeul Proclamation Day.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Reza Aslan on Faith Discourse

Reza Aslan, M.T.S. ’99, whose book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” soared on the best-seller lists after an infamous Fox News interview last summer, spoke at Harvard Divinity School on Thursday, saying that while he is a Muslim, he also is “a follower of Jesus” whose “life is deeply influenced by Jesus.”
Aslan discussed his portrayal of Jesus as a historical figure and revolutionary insurrectionist against Roman authority rather than as a sacred figure. He also addressed the perils of discussing religion from a scholarly standpoint, his personal faith, and the challenges faced by a scholar who writes for a popular audience.
Aslan’s focus in “Zealot” on the secular Jesus has troubled some people of faith. His bold assertions, narrative endnotes, and determination to reach a lay audience have called forth objections from some in academia. But in front of a standing-room-only crowd, Aslan focused on his experience of trying to explain a religious matter in ways non-academics understand, and urged his listeners to learn how to bring tough religious questions before the public successfully.
As expected, Aslan was asked about his July 27 Fox News interview. In the exchange, which afterward went viral on the Internet, host Lauren Green repeatedly asked, “Why would a Muslim write a book about the founder of Christianity?” Aslan repeatedly defended his academic credentials and his treatment of the subject. The interview brought sharp criticism of Green’s journalistic approach, focusing on Aslan’s professed faith instead of the merits of his scholarly work.
“Look, I know what Fox News is about,” Alsan said to those gathered in the Sperry Room. “Honestly, I was more confused than anything else … The interview was over, and I thought ‘that was weird,’ and I just forgot about it until it became this phenomenon that very quickly stopped being about me, and … became about very important discussions about media and journalistic bias, religion and society, the role of academia in public life and in popular discourse.
“These are conversations we [in theology] have amongst each other all the time, and that nobody else listens to,” he added, as the room erupted in rueful laughter. “It was exhilarating to me.
“The problem with discussing religion is that everyone thinks they are an expert … If you read the Bible, you’re an expert on religion. When the news media have a conversation about the climate, they bring on a climate scientist. But when they want to talk about religion, they bring on some activist or religious leader, not an expert on religion.”
As murmurs of assent rose, Aslan emphasized:  “We have to change that. The responsibility rests on us.
“I take faith seriously,” he said. “What I am talking about is very deeply a part of someone’s identity, and they can easily feel as if they are under attack … For us [in academia], it makes sense that we separate our faith from our academic research. But until we figure out how to communicate better with the outside world — and to encourage it among ourselves — then [such an interview] is what’s in store for all of us.”
Aslan blamed some of the controversy on those in his field. Chastising the academy for “punishing” popular writing, he recalled how, as a young scholar, his determination to obtain a master’s in writing set back his academic career.  “This is the ethos of academia: Your wanting to be a better writer makes you a weaker candidate.” But he also sees change in the works: “I meet younger scholars who are more engaged in popular media and popular discourse, who are not afraid to break free of the ivy walls.”
He urged students to push back against the practice of writing work impenetrable to anyone outside of the scholarly world. “Simplify, simplify,” he suggested. Practice scholarly methods, but remember: “Your grandmother doesn’t care about your methodology and research. She just wants to get to your conclusions.”


Malala at Harvard

DGF meets Yousafzai_570

Last Friday, the demure teen, wearing a plain white gown with a rose-colored scarf covering her head, stood before a crowd of nearly 1,000 at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre receiving one standing ovation after another throughout the evening.

“We are here to find a solution and it’s simple: education, education, education,” Yousafzai, now 16, told the audience as she made a plea for peace, education, and equality in her country and around the world.

“A war can never be ended by a war,” Yousafzai said. “You can only fight wars with education.

“Instead of sending guns, send pens,” she said. “Instead of sending tanks, send books. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.”

Yousafzai was in Cambridge to receive the 2013 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award from the Harvard Foundation, which each year honors an individual whose work promotes equality, racial harmony, and peace. Previous recipients have included Elie Wiesel, Desmond Tutu, and Kofi Annan.

“This impressive young woman has touched many throughout the world,” S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation and Harvard Medical School (HMS) clinical professor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said as he presented the award. He called Yousafzai “a refreshing new voice on the world stage.”

The benefits of education for girls in developing nations has been underscored by a World Bank study that showed improvements to economic productivity and decreases in child mortality rates when girls are allowed to go to school, said Paula Johnson, HMS professor of medicine and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who also spoke at the award ceremony.

“Education and health are totally intertwined,” Johnson said. “Malala, our work at Harvard is inspired by you.”

Malala Yousafzai, who was joined by Harvard President Drew Faust in front of Massachusetts Hall, addressed a group gathered in Harvard Yard prior to attending the awards ceremony at Sanders Theatre. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Johnson’s remarks echoed those of Harvard President Drew Faust, who praised Yousafzai’s efforts at a meeting in Harvard Yard before the ceremony.

“We educate women because it is smart. We educate women because it changes the world,” Faust said.

Read more at the Harvard Gazette here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

South Korean Choco Pie in North Korea


Some North Koreans have been shelling out up to a fifth of the average monthly income for a single chocolate snack, it's claimed.

Supplies of Choco Pie, a Wagon Wheel-style chocolate, biscuit and marshmallow snack, dried up earlier this year when Pyongyang closed Kaesong Industrial Complex - a collaborative venture between the two nations - amid heightened tensions in the region. The industrial zone's 35,000 workers had been receiving Choco Pies in their lunchboxes from their South Korean employers, and many sold them on the black market as a means of supplementing their income. Once supplies were disrupted, they ended up changing hands for 3,000 ($23 or £14), according to the Daily NK website. There are no accurate average wage statistics for North Korea but analysts estimate per capita income at between $1,000 and $2,000 per year.

Pyongyang seemingly launched a copycat version but people reportedly complained they were too sweet. With Kaesong's recent re-opening, the snack's black market value plummeted, and they're now reportedly selling for 500 won (about $4; £2.50). However, it's not all good news. Southern employers, citing the losses they've taken due to the plant's enforced closure, have taken the opportunity to slash the number of Choco Pies they hand out, Daily NK reports.

I think even for a regular vistor in Seoul, Choco Pies is a replacemnet of a souvenier from Korea. A good gift to give to friend and family.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Take Me Home (Acoustic) - Young the Giant (PureVolume Session)

the piano (+playlist)

HUMAIRA: THE DREAM CATCHER by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy with voiceover from ...

The voiceover for "Humaira: The Dream Catcher" is by Madonna.

An amazing documntary.

Khalida Brohi at Clinton Global Initiative

Khalida Brohi is a social entrepreneur from Pakistan. She received her BA in international relations, sociology, and economics from the University of Karachi in Pakistan. Currently, Khalida is the program manager of Sughar Women, a program of the Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) that works to engage customs to end customary violence against women in tribal areas of Pakistan by providing socio-economic empowerment to women, and education to tribal leaders and men about the status of women. She is a speaker for Girls Fight Back!, an organization that helps women and girls to lead safe and peaceful lives. She also serves as a presenter for the Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organization of more than 3,000 volunteers personally trained by former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore to raise awareness about climate change.

Khalida Brohi and Humaria Bachal with Oprah at Asia 21 Summit

Read more about her project here.

THIS IS HOME - Kev Jumba

I have been entertaining myself with the intelligent comedy/humor of Kevin for past 5 years.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Malala to get Clinton's Global Citizenship Honor

Malala and Bono

Besides  Malala and New York’s mayor Bloomberg honorees include Hot Bread Kitchen founder Jessamyn Rodriguez, Bunker Roy of the Barefoot College fame and three others. Check out CGI to read in detail.


This honor in Clinton Initiative started from 2007

 For details read here.

Check out Malala Fund here.

Malala Has Opened her Twitter and Facebook Account

A few hours ago at Mashable's Social Good Summit, in NYC which also hosted the likes of Al Gore and Melinda Gates, Malala open her first ever Facebook and twitter account.

She also has an account on  twitter for Malala Fund where she chatted live @2:00pm Eastern from New York.  Here is Malala Fund on facebook. What is Malala Fund, read here an intro!

Find her on twitter at:  #MalalaFund

She said: “When I see this support and the love of people, I forget about the incident,” she told moderator Elizabeth Gore, the United Nations Foundation’s resident entrepreneur. “When I look at smiles, support, and love I think I am the luckiest, I am the most lucky girl. You all stood up for me.”

Buzz Korea Awards 2013- Apply Now!

In 2012, I was among the 12 participants who won Buzz Korea Awards 2012. The experience that followed was one of the most memorable, one of the best. Though I have lived in Korea for a long time, I got to visit new places, touristic spots, great restaurants and got to stay at some of the best hotels in town. Not just that, I met some incredible people from across the globe and we are still in touch.

It's 2013 and this is the time that members of Buzz Korea can send in their entries for 2013 Buzz Korea Awards, the event has kicked in today, September 24th  and will run until October 13th. 2013.

Check Buzz Korea website here for details on how to participate. I would highly recommend you to send in your entries since there is nothing to lose. It's a win-win event! It's an event that if you are not a winner you are still an integral part of the whole program which will conclude in November - on the Award Ceremony Day where you can go and enjoy the day!

Don't wait, jump in to be a winner on Buzz Korea Awards.

Best wishes for everybody!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Target Killing of Christians in Pakistan

Once again Christians are under attack in Pakistan where the state has completely failed to save the lives of the people. On Sunday two suicide bombers attacked a landmark 19th century church in Peshawar, killing 75 people and wounding dozens more.

The bombers struck soon after Sunday service, just as hundreds of worshipers were streaming out of the All Saints Church in the northwestern city’s old quarter. The church is one of the most famous in Pakistan, noted for its colonial history (it was built in 1883 by a British officer) and its elegant, white-walled and domed design that resembles many of the old mosques in this Muslim-majority country.Pakistan's long-suffering Christian community is among the country's most vulnerable minorities. In Punjab, Pakistan's most province, many Christians are converts and formerly low-caste Hindus branded as "untouchables" by bigots. Many are to find jobs only as sanitation workers or performing other menial tasks.

Sunday's attack is the second major bombing of a Christian church in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A church was bombed in Mardan last year. In past four years, there have been repeated attacks on Christians in which unsubstantiated charges of blasphemy are hurled at a member of the community before mob torches Christian homes, forcing residents to flee. In 2011 Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian member of the cabinet at the time, was brutally gunned down outside his mother's home in Islamabad for his opposition to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law. People who stood in solidarity with the Christian community or have raised  voice against blasphemy law have also been targeted such as the late governor of Punjab Salman Taseer who was shot dead by his body guard.

Pakistan is indeed a country without a nation, a country deeply divided on religious and ethnic lines.

May Allah give strength to the bereaved families to bear the loss of untimely death of their loved ones and may the souls rest in peace!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Halal in Namdaemun Market

This kebab place is in Namdaemun at main street towards Namsan. The main road goes straight to Seoul station.

On the really opposite side a man sell rolls with glass noodles (chapchae) and vegetables, don't miss him out. It's also delicious with hot n spicy taste and is halal.

Buzz Korea Event: Thank you Gift!

I participated in Buzz Korea's event called "Thank you Gift" in which one will get a very pretty tumbler as well as gift vouchers worth 25000 won to shop at the duty free. If you haven't got yours yet, then hurry up and get this wonderful memorabilia.

I had to go to Chungmuro and stopped by the Donggok Univ .subway station which is only a stop away.  Direction on Buzz Korea website was confusing so I had to ask a lady on how to get to the  Shilla duty free which has co-sponsered this gift with Buzz Korea.

You can get this gift only at Shilla Duty Free  located at Dongdae Station in Seoul and no where else in Korea. I saw a lot of questions asking about getting this gift in Busan or at the duty free of the Incheon airport. The reason why there is an address in the event means that you have to go to that particular place, quite obvious, isn't it!

So back to how to get to Shilla Duty Free at Dongdae station on line #3?
The info. says that go straight out of exit 4 and you will get to the Shilla Duty Free which is right but simply going straight won't help. From exit 4, one has to go straight until the traffic signals and then cross the road and turn right. Walk another 200 meters and turn left. Go straight for 50 meters more  and that's where you will find the Shilla Duty Free on your left at the entrance.

There was no mention that passports were a prerequisite to enter the competition and that printed voucher meant nothing ( however, do take that). I went there without my passport so obviously I was told at the counter to present the passport or its photocopy (alien card is not acceptable) - of the page carrying info. and picture of you.

In all this, I lost my wallet which I later found but had to report it. For this, I went inside the Shilla and ended up on their 23rd floor . Took photos of the panoramic view of the neighborhood with Namsan tunnels, Donggok University campus and a view of Dongdaemun.

Namson 2 Tunnel

Here are a few shots I took with shaking hands of Dongdaemun area and Tuegaero:

Duty Free from Shilla Hotel's 23F

and the Dongdaemun area below where you can see Dosan Tower and a fine example of Korean garden in front of the Shilla's main lobby.

Fountain in front of main lobby

Dosan Tower/Dongdaemun area


Towards Namsan National Theater

This picture above is of the road that will taken you to Namsan theater as well as Park Hotel (old name) which is called the Banyan Tree Hotel now. I have commuted on this very road with my mom and brother for many years between 2002 and 2007 on weekly basis.

Aside from the pretty gift from Shilla and Buzz Korea collaboration, this neighborhood and roads took me back in times when I was living with my family, which was an entirely different experience then what I'm going through now. Good old days or nostalgia - wow, time flies!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jon Stewart Jabs Obama on Syria, Gets Tough with Putin: 'You Want Us To ...

Man-made island on Hangang soon to be opened to public

Seoul City and Hyosung Group signed an agreement Thursday to normalize an artificial resort island on the Hangang River that has been idle for two years due to corruption and contract irregularities.

The city government said Floating Island, called sebitdungdungseom in Korean, would partially open within the year before entering full-fledged operations next year. It will be run by FLOSSOM, owned by Hyosung, for 30 years and then transferred to the city.

The 20,382-square-meter landmark was built in September 2011 as part of former Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s Hangang Renaissance Project.

Located near the southern end of Banpo Bridge, the 139 billion won ($128 million) manmade island consists of three sections for conventions, art exhibitions and recreational activities.

Its opening was suspended as the city failed to find an operator and construction of its bridge was delayed.
When Floating Island was temporarily in operation in 2011, it attracted 2,000 people a day on average.

Performances, exhibitions and water leisure sports will be available after the remaining interior work is completed by next year, the city said.

George Fulton on Pakistan

Expansion of Islamabad

Dawn News reported  here that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s plan of cutting through the Margalla Hills for the expansion of Islamabad city has drawn severe criticism and has been termed an ‘environmental disaster’.

The project is currently at its initial stage, but if the federal government decides to implement it, Islamabad would be expanded beyond the Margalla Hills. The new site will be connected through a tunnel.

Ms Helga Ahmad, who has been working for the protection of the capital’s environment for the past two decades, said the city was already suffering from acute water shortage because of its depleting water resources.

She said the city’s expansion towards Margalla foothills had reduced the underground water table to dangerous levels.

You can watch Ms. Helga here on the water politics of Islamabad.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

John J. Mearsheimer

Vladimir Putin on America's Exceptionalism

Putin wrote an article on NYT here, very powerful and impressive. I commend Putin for contributing to the discussion.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all. 

t is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”  

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.
No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect. 

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action. 

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria.

 My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal. 

Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.

Life of Putin , click here. 

Let's Learn Judo with Putin is here.

Talk @ MIT on 9/11 Attack - A conspiracy of bad US government policies and half truths

Jonathan Yeo's Malala Portrait

Jonathan with the portrait