Great few days in Lahore. Hung out with friends, spent time with extended family and spoke to people regarding the upcoming elections. Can’t express how thrilled I am to see everyone so involved and excited as the date quickly approaches us. In fact, a friend even mentioned that he is going on a PTI campaign […]

I was sure of having a clearer picture of the current status in Pakistan once I would land here. But I don’t. In fact, I’m even more confused now. Had an interesting first day back yesterday where I met all kinds of people. People from all ages, backgrounds and political parties. Must admit though .. […]

Check out who else is on the flight with me. Yes, our very own Mohommad Yousuf (Youhana). Sitting right next to me. I tried to get a shot of us by switching around the iPhone but he quickly hid his face with the wet towel. Awkward. So cool .. but I wish the guy in the […]

Sitting at Dubai Airport minding my own business when a random fellow Pakistani sits down next to me. “Who are you voting for” he asks. Well, he didn’t wait for my response and instead, volunteered to tell me that his brother is running against Nawaz Sharif in Lahore in the upcoming elections. He apparently came […]

Not sure why but I still manage to get shocked by Pakistanis. In a good way though. Not all the time. But this time. I’ve been following the #Elections2013 hash tag quite closely on Twitter & been observing friends on Facebook too and am shocked by the personalities that politics has brought out in people […]

As you may already know, Ijaz Ul Haq (my Father) is running from NA 190 and NA 191 during the elections and has several contestants (from PMLZ) participating from around the region. He is taking part in the upcoming elections as an Independent candidate (PMLZ with a helicopter symbol) and has opponents from PPP, PTI, […]

  Time doesn’t stand for anyone. Life moves on, but there are certain events that stay with you forever. They change who you are and how you view life. The earthquake of ’05 was one such event for me. “On Saturday, October 8, 2005, two buildings of the Margalla Towers –luxury apartments in Islamabad – […]

Before & After – Pakistani flooding as seen from space: an explosion of water!! “You’ve probably seen the horrifying pictures of the 20 million victims of Pakistan’s unprecedented flooding of the Indus River. But this image from NASA’s Terra satellite really drives home the extent of the devast…ation wrought by rising water levels.” Before After

I recently had the opportunity to spend a month in Pakistan, which is something I haven’t been able to do in the past ten years. I decided to make yet another trip to Chitral, which turned out to be a trip of a lifetime. Below, I have attached a few of my favorite pictures from […]

Kalsoom Lakhani is the Director of Social Vision, the venture philanthropy arm of ML Resources. Social Vision essentially provides the seed funding and support for innovative initiatives and social entrepreneurs/enterprises in their earliest stages. A few days ago, ML Social Vision, in partnership with Pakistani Peace Builders (PPB), a new initiative of Pakistani-Americans and concerned […]

I recieved a message yesterday from a friend who works at Interflow, Karachi. She asked me to check out Ufone’s Ad for Pakistan Day and I didn’t have any time to look at it. I finally got a chance to check it out right now and the ad has left me speechless.   Yes, Pakistan isn’t perfect. Yes, […]

My cousin just sent me a link, which directed me to the comic above. His exact words were that “this reminded me of you” and he was absolutely right. It’s my second week on the job and there is so much to learn with such little time.  I’ve been to a few commercial shoots, worked on […]

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’re probably already aware of my love / hate relationship with cab drivers in Dubai. Dubai is not particularly pedestrian-friendly and cabs are the best way to travel around the city. They are relatively cheap and can be found outside hotels or hailed almost anywhere around the city. […]

Danish Farid Khan, my cousin, recently made a trip out to Islamabad and took some great shots. This one, in particular, was one of my favorites. CDA didn’t allow him to go inside Faisal Mosque with the camera but he still managed to take this amazing picture from a distance. Thought I’d share it with […]

Time doesn’t stand for anyone. Life moves on, and there are certain cities & certain people that stay with you forever. They change who you are how you view life; and that is exactly what London and its people have done for me. I was a wreck when I was leaving London. I was dreading […]

Times are tough and the recession continues so I decided to avoid taxis and explore Dubai’s’ Metro instead for the first time this past weekend. After all, I am now living in “Dubai, Dubai”; a city like no other, so might as well explore it all while I’m here. It was quite an experience, to […]

Despite dodging the constant recession cuts, I decided to leave the banking world a few months ago on my own terms in order to follow my dreams & explore the world of advertising. You may call it stupid, risky, or even intelligent but yes, I did trade in the wet, gloomy city of London for […]

I walked into work in a surprisingly good mood despite the fact that I didn’t get much sleep last night. I was in complete ‘Friday mode’ and I started catching up on e-mails when I heard my colleagues begin discussing the deadly shooting at the US army base. As I had just read about it on my way […]

Every morning, I wake up dreading what the day ahead will bring.    I dread switching on the news. I dread receiving phone calls. I just dread.   I dread because I have now started to anticipate the inevitable. Another bomb blast in Pakistan. Another mother weeping. Another child crying.   To vent my frustration and despair after Monday’s bomb blasts in Rawalpindi and […]

After the tragic earthquake of October of ‘05, Danish, a close friend from childhood and I went up to Balakot. We had taken a few sweaters, shirts, jeans, shoes, chocolates, cookies, and jelly bears for some of the earthquake victims over there. I wish that there was more we could have done while we were […]

My father sent me a poem today, which was written by Khalil Gibran in his book ‘The Garden of the Prophet’ in 1934. We then discussed how these words were written more than 70 years ago, yet sadly still apply to so many nations today – especially Pakistan! Please read the poem below in case […]

Barack Obama has just been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. “The Nobel Committee said he won it for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples. The committee highlighted Mr. Obama’s efforts to support international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament. Mr. Obama’s spokesman said the president was “humbled” to have won […]

Nayha Farid Khan Time doesn’t stand for anyone. Life moves on, but there are certain events that stay with you forever. They change who you are and how you view life. The earthquake of ’05 was that one event for me. Please see below for one of the articles I had written about that tragic […]

Noor Rizvi has just contributed to ‘Chasing Thoughts’ by sending in this incredible piece on ‘Dubai, Dubai’.  Check it out below and share your feedback in the ‘comments’ section above the post. Dubai, Dubai Noor Rizvi Dubai. An emerging city, endlessly aspiring to be counted amongst the greatest in the world. Almost bordering on the […]

Take a look at Danyaal Hasan’s ‘contribution’ below and please check out his brilliant Blog @ http://writeofleft.wordpress.com/ __________________________________________ Excuse my Rant, and my French! Danyaal Hasan So the Champions Trophy is over for Pakistan but the hangover continues. It feels like running out of tequila at a Shoaib Akhtar and Meera joint press conference. Oh God […]

My friend, Sharmine Aziz, recently got married to Mutaqeen Kapasi. Although I was unable to attend the wedding, I was blown away by the pictures of the festivities. Sharmine, being a Pakistani, had the first few wedding events in Islamabad, our gorgeous home town and capital of Pakistan, followed by the rest of the events in […]

Take a look at Danyaal Hasan’s ‘contribution’ below and you can also check out his Blog @ http://writeofleft.wordpress.com/ God Must Love Cricket Danyaal Hasan History is often misleading when interpreted without the context of how it occurred. So shall be the case with the Australia v Pakistan cricket match, in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy […]

Are you a car lover? A fanatic? Worship them? Obsessed with Formula 1? Grand Prix? Feel, taste, and breathe cars to the point that even the smell of gasoline and burnt rubber become enthralling? If so, then you must spend a few minutes to check out ‘Car Platform’, because it is a great website dedicated […]

I just heard from a friend about an email scandal that took place in Dubai.   A few months ago a hacker managed to break in to a girl’s Facebook account, contact her family, friends and employers, and change her status. He found out about a forthcoming job interview that this girl was due to have and rang the company, discouraging them from hiring […]

Kurbaan is a forthcoming Bollywood film directed by Rensil D’Silva and produced by Karan Johar. The film features Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Vivek Oberoi and is being released in November. When I met Vivek a few weeks ago, he mentioned the movie as he had just finished filming for it in New York […]

Chitrali Girls – Picture taken during my trip to Chitral, Pakistan in August of ’09 As Kalsoom Lakhani, Creator and Editor of Changing Up Pakistan (CHUP!) had once said in the earlier stages of her website: “Pakistan is no longer the country of our parents’ youth”. As a child, Kalsoom remembers her father fondly reminiscing […]

Take a look at Danyaal Hasan’s brilliant ‘contribution’ below and you can also check out his Blog @ http://writeofleft.wordpress.com/ Proving we Belong!For the future of one-day international (ODI) cricket, much rests on the success of the 2009 Champions Trophy. The tournament has been billed as an ODI cricketing extravaganza; a showcase of evidence that the […]

I was able to witness about fifty Markhor, which is also the national animal of Pakistan, when I was visiting Chitral a few weeks ago. They came sprinting down the mountains at sunset to drink water from the river and it was one of the most beautiful and fascinating sights I have ever seen. Luckily, we were also […]

For those unaware, Eid Ul-Fitr is a celebratory feast that marks the end of the fasting period of the Islamic month of Ramadan. It’s not only meant to indicate the end of the fast but also signifies the achievement of communication with the divine spirit and religious virtue, characterized by sacrifice, self-discipline, and acts of charity. […]

A picture can say a thousand words.  An ad captures a thousand pictures and affixes you to a certain product.  If the ad is remarkable, it can change the way you view the product forever. Saatchi & Saatchi, UK have done such a thing with T-Mobile’s ‘Life’s for sharing’ campaign.  They launched the campaign with […]

As most of you already know, Twitter is a community of friends & strangers from all around the world who are updating each other on their lives. It’s a communications gateway that gets personal by asking “What are you doing now?” I was one of the first ones to join the website when it came […]

The month of Ramadan seems to be flying by this year and it will be “Chand Raat” and “Eid” before we even know it. I’m actually quite excited about celebrating Eid this year as I’m planning on going out & about to all the Desi areas in London to celebrate it the British Asian way, […]

A friend and I recently saw Tanhaiyan after a long time. Per my request, he has offered to share some of his emotions and thoughts about the play with you guys as well.  Please see below for this brilliant contribution to ‘Chasing Thoughts’. I recently saw the Pakistani drama series called Tanhaiyan again and have been unable […]

I spoke to my friend Mehnaz last night who had just spoken to Siraj Ulmulk, her father in Pakistan recently. As I mentioned in my ‘Chitral – serenity untouched’ post @ https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/chitral-serenity-untouched/, we recently went to the Kalash Valley and had the opportunity to visit the Kalash Museum there. At the museum, we met a […]

As you may already know, a few men opened fire on a vehicle carrying Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs & Minorities, in Islamabad yesterday. The gunmen severely wounded the Minister and his driver was killed instantly. I was deeply saddened by this news and it really hit home for me as my […]

The scantily clad mountain would be calling to my soul – all she wore was a shear ice thin chamois yearning to have my eyes upon her – and there she was; Tirich Mir – the highest mountain in the Hindu Kush region of Northern Pakistan. I would gaze upon her from afar – seemingly […]

  As you know, I’m a huge fan of Coke Studio. I constantly promote the show and have managed to obsess over each performance as well. Although I have many favorites songs, one of my most favorites at the moment is Nahi Ray Nahi by Ali Zafar, which is brilliant. According to Ali’s Blog, he […]

You may remember my ‘Princess’ post from a few months ago @ https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/princess/ I recently took another great picture of the Princess, who is from a town situated in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP)  of Pakistan. Check it out below –

“In Muslim nations and regions around the globe, this is the first week of the holy month of Ramadan, a time for followers to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity during the day, breaking their fast each sunset, with traditional meals and sweets. During this time, Muslims are also encouraged to read the […]

My Father has asked me to send out a message to all of you. He has just recently launched a website on my Grandfather and has requested for you to check it out. Any positive / negative feedback can be sent to him at info@ziaulhaq.pk (or if you would like his private e-mail address, please […]

The State of the Union Nadia Rahman Khan My impending departure from Pakistan, coupled with the nation’s 62nd independence anniversary is making me feel like a deserter. The past year I spent in my country brought upon me the most fragmented states of mind. It constantly felt like an acid trip that had gone on […]

I’m sorry I have been missing in action. I’m currently on holiday and have just not had the time to share my thoughts with you lately. I do, however, have some great ideas and will work on sharing them with you soon. I wanted to wish those Pakistanis who have tolerated & survived the bomb […]

I spent the evening attending M & G’s wedding, which was one of the main reasons I came to Pakistan. The bride and groom looked great and the entire evening was amazing.  As usual, there was a slight disaster (which happens at every desi wedding) and it started to rain like mad causing the food […]

I’m home. I’m finally home. I’m home for eighteen days – the longest I have ever been back to Islamabad in the last 9 years. I ended up going to Khanpur Dam today as soon as I landed an hour away for a friend’s pre-wedding get together. It was one of the most stunning places and […]

Crow – Rockstar Do you recognize this from a few months ago? This is one of the many brilliant paintings by Bilal Maqsood (member of Strings, the Band) who is based in Karachi, Pakistan. It’s still one of my favorites so I thought it was necessary for me to put it up again in case […]

  I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Bollywood freak. Ever since I was young, I have watched Indian films on a weekly basis and have had a strong passion for Bollywood. I’m also not embarrassed to admit that I wrote to Bipasha Basu and Rohit Roy on Facebook and was lucky […]

I was at a friend’s Dholki in London this past weekend and was very impressed by the amazing atmosphere. I’ve been a bit homesick lately so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see all the  aunties,  uncles, and ‘youngsters’ dressed in shalwar kameezes and making some noise the desi way. I had a great chat with one of the […]

I love Chili’s – the restaurant. I became obsessed with the food the minute I entered the Copley / Prudential Mall back in 2000 in Boston and have been loyal ever since. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across one in London yet but I make sure to make a stop (or few) at Chili’s every single time I […]

Gaurav, a friend / colleague of mine sent me a ‘forward’ this morning. It’s one of those “good deed of the day” types of moments, which I thought should be shared with you guys as well. * Not sure if this is ‘not allowed’ or illegal in any way or form but I ended up […]

IS PAKISTAN A FAILED STATE? (soon to be published in ‘The News”) Ijaz Ul Haq Former Minister for Religious Affairs & Minorities Washington based Fund for Peace; an Independent Research Organization has conducted a world wide survey to index the failing states wherein Pakistan has been placed at the 10th position in the International Community. […]

I was flipping through channels a few weeks ago when I came across an actor who seemed familiar. I then realized that I had seen him in “Gangster” and a few other films and began to sing “Ya Ali” while reading the news alert at the bottom of the screen. I was shocked, to say […]

I went to Chitral in September of 2008 and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place and the intricacies of its people.  I’m planning on going again in a few weeks and I am really excited about it. I’m not sure if any of you came across the article below in the Guardian this past weekend but it’s about […]

A few months ago, many people attended an art exhibition at the Casa Dell Arte Gallery in Bahrain to admire the works of Thajba Najeeb. I grew up with Thajba in Bahrain and our family has known each other for decades. She is a brilliant artist and an even more wonderful individual. Thajba displays her work privately […]

I came across Fasi Zaka’s parody in “The News” today and thought it was hilarious. Fasi, a Rhodes Scholar and former academic, has put together a short skit with two main actors – Breath (Bad) Nullah who heads the Taliban in Waziristan and Fuzz (Gandah) Nallah who is his compatriot in Swat. Check it out […]

If you guys are anything like my friend, Z, I’m sure yesterday’s article, “Great Rats to Fly with: PIA” in ‘The News’ left you pretty disgusted. In case you haven’t read it – check out http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=23140    Z sent me a piece he had written about his experience. Thought you guys would find it amusing! P.S. No matter how scary the thought […]

I turned twenty-seven yesterday. I had a great birthday and spent most of the day with friends, which is always a good thing. Sadly, I wasn’t able to see too much of my family, as they are scattered across the globe right now, but they made sure to call me at midnight.. I’ve realized that […]

Saqiba Rahimuddin is one of the kindest, most hardworking and dedicated individuals I know. She holds an esteemed position in the Pakistan literary world as a best-selling author of children’s books.  In addition, she is renowned for her commitment to social welfare and childhood literacy.  I am also lucky enough to call her my grandmother.  […]

I came across Ismail Gulgee’s “Polo Player” painting recently and thought it was amazing. My uncle is a polo player in Lahore, Pakistan and I guess I have learned to appreciate horses more through his enthusiasm and passion for the game. For Gulgee, who was considered a well-respected artist of Pakistan in particular and the subcontinent in general, life has been a journey in many […]

Blast heard in Rawalpindi Updated at: 1627 PST, Thursday, July 02, 2009 RAWALPINDI: Casualties are feared when a powerful explosion occurred in Chauhar Chowk of Rawalpindi, Geo News reported Thursday. The ambulances and relief teams have been sent to the blast site. According to preliminary reports, the blast occurred in a government bus and the […]

A friend of mine just tagged me in a “note” on Facebook, in which he provided the translation of Bulleh Shah Kafi’s “Aik Alif”. As you may remember from my previous post on Coke Studio, which was @ https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/coke-studio-returns/, Aik Alif was recently performed by Saeen Zahoor, Ali Noor, and Ali Hamza in one of their […]

Many use the term Lollywood to refer to the Pakistani film industry based in the city of Lahore.   The name, of course, is a portmanteau of the first initial from the city’s name with Hollywood. Sadly, as patriotic as we Pakistanis usually are about our country, there aren’t enough of us who watch Lollywood movies on a regular basis or know the ins […]

As mentioned in one of my previous posts @https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/picture-of-the-day-ouh-3/, Danish, a close friend from childhood and I went up to Balakot after the October, ’05 earthquake. We had taken a few clothes, food, and basic goods for some of the earthquake victims over there and spent the day distributing what we had and took the […]

I moved to London about three and a half years ago and unfortunately, missed the “Bar Bollywood” craze by just a few months. Needless to say (for those who know me), I was very disappointed to have missed out on this special spot where South Asians came together to enjoy an evening full of desi groovin’ and […]

One only needs to pick up the news paper on a daily basis to realize that there are times when light at the end of the tunnel seems to be fading to a point of non-existence, when hope in man kind recedes, and faith in goodness dwindles amidst the turmoil that our country is going […]

I jumped on the tube at 7:00 am yesterday morning and quickly looked for a seat so I could read about Pakistan winning the World Cup Final in the Metro Newspaper.Unfortunately, even after flipping through the entire paper, I couldn’t find a single reference to it and was in a state of shock! I even looked around at other passengers on […]

My Father just sent me an e-mail about an Ex-Army Pakistani Soldier who has lost both of his arms from his shoulders from an electrical shock. He has a wife and few children and my Father has been supporting him and his family for the past few years. Unfortunately, he is homeless right now and is trying […]

CONGRATULATIONS to Pakistan for getting through to the 20Twenty World Cup Finals! I ended up watching the match at a Sports Café in London yesterday with about 50 Pakistanis and the energy level, the enthusiasm, and the patriotism was phenomenal throughout the Café. Below, you can see some other interesting perspectives & views on the […]

Asif Chaudhury, a Bangladeshi friend of mine just sent me this interesting piece of writing that he found on a Blog. It’s written by a Bangladeshi girl who was visiting Pakistan recently and she has expressed her personal sentiments and experiences of the trip.  Her Blog is – http://krishnochuramusings.blogspot.com/ * The Picture below is of […]

The 20Twenty Cricket Semi Finals will be intense tomorrow, to say the least. South Africa is a very strong team and everyone (including most Pakistanis) are doubting that Pakistan even stands a chance in the match. A few of my Pakistani friends have already started insulting their own players by saying “thanks to allah, we […]

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been re-elected as president of Iran with a resounding victory, the electoral commission says.  Violence over Iran’s disputed election intensified Sunday, with word that authorities had detained more than 100 prominent opposition members, riots erupting in Tehran and other cities, and the incumbent hinting his top challenger could face punishment for calling […]

Sanam Hasan & Roopa Saini have recently launched Mara Pictures- a boutique theatrical distribution company focused on independent films from South Asia in the United Kingdom. They have also just announced the release of “Ramchand Pakistani” by Mara Pictures in the UK. I had the opportunity to watch this film recently at a private BAFTA viewing in […]

Atiqa Odho, a famous Pakistani television & film actress, recently interviewed my father, Ijaz Ul Haq, at our house in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  The interview was aired on Geo TV a few weeks ago and has finally been uploaded on You Tube. It was one of my favorite interviews as it portrayed a lot about his […]

Following up on one of my favorite posts  – Coke Studio @ https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/coke-studio-ouh/ – I thought I would update you guys with some brilliant news. After the popularity of Season 1, Coke Studio has recently returned to the recording studio with brilliant singers, an excellent band, and great passion for music. There are brand spanking […]

Going Global Over a meal of what I consider to be the best lamb in London, my friends and I got to talking about the topic which is on every Pakistani’s mind: the IDPs, Taliban and the future of Pakistan. Considering all of this, it’ll come as a surprise to you – as it did […]

Danyaal Hasan, a friend & colleague, has just written this article which will be published in “The Nation” newspaper very soon.  Feedback is appreciated. Finding Heir Apparent? By Danyaal Hasan Pakistan’s form so far in the Twenty20 World Cup, culminated by its loss to England should not come as a surprise to its fans. In fact […]

Bilal Maqsood (Member of Strings, Pakistani Band)’s painting, “How Dare you call me a Pigeon” is the last of the crow series that is left up for sale. It’s 3ft x 4ft and according to Bilal’s cousin, it’s a “stunner, with amazing colors and has such a powerful impact”. If interested, please send me an e-mail […]

A few months ago, one of my friend’s in London became obsessed with this one song in particular. She would refuse to let go of her iPOD and would listen to this song on repeat for hours on end. As harmless as that may sound; it was frustrating for the rest of us who, while […]

The Chitral series is not over just yet. This was one of my favorite photos of the trip. We were in Garam Chashma (Hot Springs), which was about a 2 hour drive from the Chitral Airport. As we were trekking through the mountains, I came across this guy who was lying backwards with his arms […]

A few months ago, I sat down with a friend in London and discussed the current political situation in Lebanon. To be honest, I was pretty clueless as to what has been going on there but I did know that the upcoming elections were going to be crucial for Lebanon’s future. I have since met […]

CROW – BAD MARRIAGE Another great painting by Bilal Maqsood (member of Strings, the Band) based in Karachi, Pakistan. Previous posts on Bilal’s Paintings- Rockstar – https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/picture-of-the-day-ouh/ and Chinese Whispers – https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/picture-of-the-day-ouh-7/ Unfortunately, these pictures of the paintings don’t do justice to the real thing but it gives you an idea of Bilal’s work.

The beautiful region of Kashmir, a rose between two thorns, is between the Himalayas and Pir Panjal range and is an area of striking natural beauty. Sadly, its borders have also been the subject of a long running dispute between Pakistan and India since the end of British colonialism led to the partition of the two states in […]

My cousin recently went horse back riding for the first time. She sent me this picture, which was hilarious! Thought I’d share it with you guys as well … ha ha!

As most of you will have heard by now, there has been yet another bomb blast in Pakistan. This time the bomb was placed in a car near the police and intelligence agency offices on Lahore’s Fatima Jinnah Road. So far more than 50 people have been pronounced dead and at least 100 have been […]

A friend of mine just sent me a link to this annual conference, which is put together by Google for world business & thought leaders. I had actually not heard of this before and really enjoyed watching this clip. Very interesting speakers so check out the link below to see parts of the conference. http://www.youtube.com/eurozeitgeist

  I was speaking to Nabila Amin Hoda, a friend of mine, recently about the “hijab” and what it represents to her and we ended up in quite an intense discussion. I then asked her to contribute to “Chasing Thoughts” as I’m sure it would be of interest to you guys as well. I understand […]

Picture of the day – Annually, thousands of Muslim devotees from across Pakistan attend the ‘Urs’ of Saint Syed Ali bin Osman Al-Hajvery, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh. The three day festival is celebrated in Lahore, Pakistan. Worshippers light candles, incense and pay homage to one of the great sufi scholars of South Asia. One of […]

I might just get offended if you haven’t heard of Nandos so let’s just pretend that all of you are familiar with my favorite restaurant, ok? Well, on the off-chance that you are not as familiar as others, allow me to enlighten you. It’s mostly Portuguese flame-grilled chicken as well as some vegetarian dishes. Apparently, […]

Emilio Morenatti began his career in photo journalism in Spain covering both national and international events. In 2003, he traveled to Afghanistan as a correspondent to cover the war and the fall of the Taliban for the Associated Press. Currently, he is based in Pakistan and covers Central Asia for the Associated Press. Emilio was named […]

I’m not sure how long this will last but I have recently decided to lead a healthier lifestyle. I have been eating less and exercising more for the past few days but it already feels like I’ve been doing it for at least six years. Part of my new-found health conscious routine is to make […]

Location: Notting Hill Time: 3:35 am Date: Feb of  ’09 Weather: “Massive Snow Storm” according to Herald News   Picture Credit: OUH

I have been in love with Google for a number of years and of late, this love has turned into a case of obsession. My incessant researching, investigating and stalking has equipped me with a wealth of knowledge about the company and led me to the conclusion that I would like to work there, someday […]

The Princess of a town situated in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP)  of Pakistan was about to leave the airplane to meet & greet the people of her area when I took this picture of her in October of 2008.

I still remember the time when I was a Senior in High School back in June of 2000. Many people knew from an early age exactly what they wanted to be when they “grow up” and how to get there. There were plenty of friends and family members who used to look down upon us […]

I just spent the evening with my cousin and a few friends who were visiting from out of town. I then watched “Firaaq”, a movie that I recently bought when I was visiting Pakistan a few weeks ago. Have you seen it? Acclaimed actress Nandita Das presented this directorial debut about ordinary people, from different walks of […]

One of my favorite shots. The roads in Northern Pakistan are quite narrow. I feel bad for those, who have to walk miles to deliver goods or to even go home as their journey constantly gets interupted by cars, vans, & buses. As we were driving on one such road, we passed by this individual who was trying to […]

Thanks to HR for sharing this letter with us – Imran Khan’s Letter to Gordon Brown May 8, 2009 Prime Minister of Great Britain 10 Downing Street London, England 7th May 2009 Dear Mr. Prime Minister, I want to urgently bring to your attention the activities of a British citizen, Mr. Altaf Hussain who was […]

Lately, I’ve been hearing complaints from people settled in Pakistan that today’s generation of Pakistanis have selfishly settled abroad and should now start making their way back “home” to help the country in this time of need. Taimoor Farouk, however, has a different point of view and in his recent submission on Dawn Blog discusses […]

I’m sure a lot of you have been reading about the current state of Pakistan’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) issue. Hundreds of internally displaced families are pouring into Islamabad & Rawalpindi from Buner and adjacent areas and are desperate for assistance. We must as a nation take responsibility and find the time to help our […]

________________________________________________ Unfortunately, I suffer from severe Cynophobia. Cynophobia, also known as fear of dogs, stems from the Greek word cyno meaning dog and phobos meaning fear or terror. It’s actually quite embarassing and not something I am proud of at all. I have had many violent arguments & fights with friends in the past who […]

_______________________________________________________________________ My cousin went to Iceland a few months and came back with the most amazing pictures. The sights, animals, and culture that I witnessed in those pictures were phenominal and this picture in particular, was one of my favorites. Initially, I laughed when my cousin told me that she wanted to go to Iceland. […]

______________________________________________________________ A few years ago, I went to Cuckoo’s Café, which is right next to the famous Badshai Mosque near the red light district in Lahore, Pakistan. While we were there, we came across Iqbal Hussain’s art as well since he had displayed some of his pieces in the entrance of the restaurant. Hussain, whose […]

_____________________________________________________________ I spent the majority of the day in Hyde Park today and a friend of mine randomly said “you’re always asking me if I have any new music for you and I always say no – well, I have a song now; one that I know you will really like”. We obviously didn’t have […]

__________________________________________________________________ I was traveling up in the mountains of Pakistan last year. As I was walking by one of the very few markets over there, I saw a lady sitting in alley with a chicken in a bag. I later found out that she had traveled all the way to this market to get that […]

__________________________________________________________________________ I have kept my fingers crossed for Zardari’s departure for over a year now as President of Pakistan. For many of us, his departure will be the beginning of hope for our country. But do we have time to distract ourselves from the current Taliban crises in Pakistan to think of who is going […]

___________________________________________________________________ Lately, I have been avoiding all discussions regarding the topic of Taliban and how they have taken over the Swat Valley. I had refused to dedicate any specific post on my Blog as I just don’t have any words to describe my sentiments on the issue. My parents, brother, & I have actually been […]

_______________________________________________ A friend of mine went back home to visit his parents in Srinigar last winter. As you may know, “Srinigar is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. The city is known to be the gateway to some of the most scenic and […]

__________________________________________________________ Irtiza Rubab, better known as our very own Meera, is one of our top Pakistani actresses in the Lollywood Industry. She first started out her career in 1992 and has won the Best Actress award several times over the past few years. I know that some of us have mentioned Meera & her jokes […]

_____________________________________________________ Ever chased an aquarium? If not, you should definately check one out. I was in Atlanta, Georgia over thanksgiving of ’05 and went to the world’s largest aquarium with my cousins, which is based there. It was simply amazing. Asem Akthar, a friend of mine in Virginia recently went to one as well. It […]

________________________________________________ Having lived abroad in the States & the United Kingdom for about a decade now, I often think of slowly making my way back closer to home. Although I was born and raised in Bahrain until I was 10 years old, I don’t think I would consider moving back there as a single, twenty-six […]

I just got home from work and logged on to my Gmail account. My cousin and a friend had both sent me “forwards” with these pictures, which I saw one right after the other. I know that we find it annoying and chose to ignore our parents & friends when they tell us to finish […]

___________________________________________________________________ A friend of mine just sent me a link to a video, which is called “World – A Pakistani Underworld”. I was expecting to find out more about the Pakistani Goons & Dons and how they operate in Pakistan. Instead, the video is of two Pakistani brothers who manufacture fetish and bondage wear, earning […]

_________________________________________ I got a message on my Blackberry over the weekend from a friend who lives in Washington DC. The message said – “Are you worried about the situation in Islamabad? What’s going to happen when the Taliban come there? Are your parents thinking of leaving the city and moving elsewhere? Dude, don’t go back […]

____________________________________________________________ Crow – Chinese Whispers Yet another brilliant painting by Bilal Maqsood (member of Strings, the Band) based in Karachi, Pakistan. Although Crow – Rockstar (https://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/picture-of-the-day-ouh/) is my favorite of the bunch; this one is great too! It’s about 6.5 x 4.5 and if you’re interested, you can send me a message and I can […]

__________________________________________________________________________ Hindukush Heights is owned by the Ulmulk family in Chitral and is one of my most favorite hotels. I won’t get into too much detail right now as I will be dedicating a post on it in the future but it’s one of the most amazing places I have been to in my entire […]

_____________________________________________________________ I have had some of my best & some of my strangest experiences while I was studying in the United States. Being a Pakistani Muslim in Worcester, a city outside of Boston, it was only natural to be questioned and followed by strangers every now and then. Although I was never personally questioned by […]

A _____________________________________________________________________________________ As you can tell by now … I’m all about promoting new talent. Once I believe in someone and their talent, I try to encourage and promote them as much as I can especially because word of mouth seems to be the best strategy to push one forward these days. “You may recognize […]

________________________________________________________ I must admit – I’m addicted to my Blackberry Curve and am proud of it. Next stop – Blackberry Bold. I know this BB vs iPhone debate has been going on ages but for some reason… it just doesn’t come to an end! I’m not a fan of touch-screen phones so I haven’t personally […]

____________________________________________________________ In Pakistan’s Buner district on Thursday, a barber looked at the “Shave is strictly forbidden” warning that the Taliban wrote on the window of his shop. The Taliban now control the region. Picture by – Tariq Mahmood/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images published in the NY Times.

__________________________________________________________ I took this picture with my Blackberry while I was at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai a few days ago. Although I didn’t like the hotel much … the aquarium was amazing and brunch @ Saffron was great too! Check out the Shark and the 3 Baby Sharks that were following behind in the […]

______________________________________________________ I have been meaning to watch “Children of Taliban” for quite some time but just haven’t had the time to do so until now. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has done a brilliant job with this documentary and I’m truly impressed with her courage & confidence. “As her country slips further into political instability, becoming perhaps […]

_________________________________________________ Familiar with Reshma? Well, you should be. As some of you may already know, Reshma is a brilliant folk singer in Pakistan. Along with Pakistanis sprawled all over the world, she has managed to win the hearts of many Indians and has made her mark in Bollywood as well. Although Reshma is extremely simple […]

____________________________________________________________ I am still recovering from my holiday and it’s been an exhausting second day back at work today. Around lunch time, I was busy catching up with all my e-mails and didn’t have time to go and grab a sandwich. Instead, I thought I should step out for a quick smoke as the sun […]

________________________________________________ Qasim Tareen, a friend of mine, posted a note on Facebook a few days ago in which he expressed his sentiments towards the Pakistani media. I have also been speaking to a few of my friends and family members in the past two years who can’t stop complaining about the media and how they […]

_______________________________________________________________________ This picture was taken from the same trip to Balakot – after the Earthquake in October of ’05. Danish & I had stopped at one of the street corners to hand out some sweaters, shoes, and food and while everyone was pushing and shoving to get to our car .. this girl was standing […]

_________________________________________________________________________ In September of ’08, I went up to Chitral with a few friends, which is in the Northern part of Pakistan. I usually don’t believe in magic & fairies but this is a true story, which needs to be shared with you guys. One fine afternoon, we went on a Trek, which was near the […]

_______________________________________________________ Am in the middle of chasing Emirates Airline right now but just wanted quickly post this for you guys … I just logged on to Facebook and saw a friend’s status, which she had recently updated. It was of a youtube link and said “Fantastic” next to it. I clicked on the link and […]

I had written a Post in the discussion thread on Smallworld.net about a year and a half ago regarding a “sex worker” in my building. Well, as you know, sex sells… and I ended up having 30,000 hits and the maximum number of comments. The story was out of control and smallworld just published a […]

I went to Oxford to see my cousin a few weeks ago. Loved the city, the people, and the atmosphere. I arrived in the afternoon after taking the train from Paddington and acted like a full tourist while I was there! I took this picture a few minutes after arriving in Oxford …

_________________________________________________ Andrew, a friend of mine just sent this article as a counterpoint to the “Dark side of Dubai” – an article that I had pasted in an earlier post. Check it out – If you think Dubai is Bad.. just look at your own country! –http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sultan-sooud-al-qassemi-if-you-think-dubai-is-bad-just-look-at-your-own-country-1666748.html

__________________________________________________________ In my opinion, Coke Studio is one of the most brilliant projects that has taken place in Pakistan. For those who are not familiar with it; many of our most talented artists such as Strings, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Zafar, Ali Azmat, Ustad Hussain Baksh Gullo, Zeb & Haniya, and Sajid & Zeeshan […]

——————————————————————————————— Verbier, Switzerland ’07 – A random couple had used special bricks in their Verbier home, which would never get wet! Trust me, they stayed dry even through the awful Swiss blizzard that we witnessed while we were over there and I had to take this picture just so I could prove it.

__________________________________________________________ …. or should I say good day of the week as I haven’t been updating this as often as I should be? As I was standing in line at Heathrow and right about to board my Emirates flight a few days ago, I decided to get a soda to take along on the flight. […]

_________________________________________________________________ The western media usually tends to exaggerate and play up all that is going on in Pakistan. Unfortunately, that’s not the case this time. I have been back in the homeland for about 40 hours now and am finally experiencing it myself. Although I am in holiday mode and am enjoying the spring weather, […]

_______________________________________________________________ A friend of mine’s mother sent a message today. She attached a picture to the message and said “I would usually laugh at something like this …. but I didn’t even crack a smile this time as it’s the sad truth now and turning into reality in our country; Pakistan”. The picture was of […]

__________________________________________________________________________ A few hours ago, I got a call from a few friends who were near my apartment. They asked me to come down and join them for some sheesha & coffee as I’m leaving on holiday and won’t be in the city for some time. As I took the lift downstairs, I remembered that […]

_______________________________ Shameful – Published in Daily Times ’09

__________________________________________________________ Although I haven’t traveled around the world as much as I would have liked to, I can confidently say that London is one of my most favorite cities in the world. We used to come as a family during the summer time all through my childhood and I would spend my time feeding the […]

  ________________________________________________________ Crow – Rockstar One of the many brilliant paintings by Bilal Maqsood (member of Strings, the Band) based in Karachi, Pakistan. It’s about 6.5 x 4.5 and if you’re interested, you can send me a message and I can put you in touch with the appropriate contact.

  ___________________________________________________________________ Have you heard of Varun Gandhi, a 28 year old educated politician, grandson of Indira Gandhi,  abusing Muslims in India?  I hadn’t heard much about him in the past but have seen his name floating about articles for quite some time now. I personally know a lot of Indians and am sure that […]

_____________________________________________ As shocking as it may be to some of you who have only been hearing about the elite expat lifestyle in Dubai… there is a dark side as well. (On a side note, although it’s necessary to read this and be aware of the situation… I completely agree with Shujah’s opinion in the “comment” […]

_____________________________________________________________  I’m not sure who would want to go to Iraq for their honeymoon but I’m just going to let it slide and move on to the my next question. WHO will want to sleep in Saddam’s bed let alone have their honeymoon in his bedroom? Saddam’s Bed awaits Daring Honeymooners Matthew Campbell – Times […]

_____________________________________________________________ I’m still getting used to this blog so please be patient with me & my random thoughts for now. I have been away from Pakistan for about a decade now and have missed out on all sorts of different occasions. Whether it was my parents 25th wedding anniversary, the birth of my cousin, or […]

_____________________________________________ Thanks for taking out the time to come to this website. I have been meaning to start a Blog for quite some time now but just haven’t had the time or motivation to do so.  Well, until now. A friend of mine just BB messaged me and said “Oms.. so what’s the purpose of […]

__________________________________________________ An audience at a conclave in New Delhi cornered former President Pervez Musharraf on several issues a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if you have had a chance to see this yet but I just came across this thanks to Hammad & Tooba and would encourage you to see this as well. Unfortunately, […]

______________________________________________ Promoting Prostitution? July – ’07 A friend of mine was visiting for a few days so I’ve had a hectic weekend but enjoyed catching up with him as well. I dropped him at his cousin’s place on Sunday evening and decided to walk it home as the weather was nice, which is rare for […]