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1-1Anatol Lieven’s major study, Pakistan: A Hard Country is one of the more comprehensive accounts of contemporary Pakistan in recent times. Lieven quite painstakingly attempts to shatter the stereotypes about the country, which pervade the international and regional media. Pakistan, some say is world’s most dangerous country while others hold that it is a failed state imploding from within. Often these descriptions omit a plain fact that there are 180 million people living in the country who lead their regular, irregular lives amid the chaos and rapid transformation that is taking place. One can argue about the trajectory that the country may take but its dynamism is hard to ignore.

Lieven is also not just another starry-eyed visitor to Pakistan and displays his relative familiarity with the country. For several years, Lieven reported on Pakistan while working for The Times. After his journalistic career, he switched to academia and is currently a Professor of international relations and terrorism at Kings College, London. Perhaps due to his assorted background, Lieven’s style thankfully is not overly academic and is pretty accessible especially for the lay readers fed on a diet of exploding Pakistan mantra.

Steve Inskeep, (Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, Penguin Group, 2011) talks to SAGlobal about Pakistan and its people, their current challenges, and their future outlooks. He helps us dissect and peel back the layers of a metropolis like Karachi.

J.K. Rowling has had fourteen years to develop this story, but it took only one weekend to break all records. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," opened with a record $169.2 million in weekend ticket sales, and according to Hollywood.com Box Office, $43.5 million came from midnight showings and $92.1 million from single-day sales on July 15.  But it’s not over yet. 

Book1

Language Policy, Identity, and Religion: Aspects of the Civilization of the Muslims of Pakistan and North India is a compilation of Tariq Rahman’s research papers. Most of the papers selected for inclusion in this volume were written and published in international and national research journals or presented at conferences over the past decade. The compilation is divided into three sections that deal with language policy, identity and religion. A total of eleven research papers are thus distributed thematically.

For anyone interested in research in linguistics with reference to South Asia this compilation is absolutely invaluable. Rahman’s compilation, however, is distinguished from others academic publications in the genre by its accessibility, conceptual integrity and engagement of important contemporary issues.

Book2Obsession' is a strong word with an even more powerful meaning. Due to the simple fact that it is used abundantly, one tends to forget the boundaries a human being can transcend when in the state of obsession. 'Driven' by Razi Imam with Hank Walshak, introduces us to the concept of 'Junoon' an Arabic/Persian expression used to describe a very powerful state of achievement motivated by obsession.

This book is a captivating autobiography about the author, Razi Imam's journey through life and his encounters and experiences that led to him achieving success. Through the narrative the author moves from Kuwait to Pakistan and then finally to America, where he currently resides. There is a strong diversity across these countries in terms of culture, hence a variety of audiences can relate to the narrative due to the diverse geographical landscape the novel spans over.  

Driven begins with a description of the author's childhood in Kuwait. Imam's persevering attitude from the very beginning is inspirational, as fear of failure does not deter him from exploring new opportunities the way it deters most of us. Imam is not always successful in his endeavors and his failure allows a reader to connect with him as we all have experienced failure at some point in our lives. However the book teaches the reader to derive the positive from failure and not giving up as this is something we all should strive to achieve.

book_2H. M. Naqvi is a graduate of Georgetown and the creative writing program at Boston University. He won the Phelam Prize for poetry and represented Pakistan at the National Poetry Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In recent years, he has taught creative writing at Boston University and currently divides his time between Karachi and the US East Coast. Naqvi's smart and sorrowful debut is at once immigrant narrative, bildungsroman and New York City novel, with a dash of the picaresque. Immigrant stories are often appealing not only because they dramatize the longing to trade oppression for freedom and prosperity, but also because they have the perfect antagonist: America itself.


While the Bush Doctrine of unilateral intervention has been discredited in front of a global audience, the central foreign policy questions of a post-Iraq era have yet to be fully considered by the international community.  What are the limits to sovereignty (if any)?  When can a country legitimately use military force and what role is there for international institutions?  America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy, attempts to answer some of these questions in an era when a once dominant American power seems to be receding.


Part examination of the neoconservative movement (of which the Fukuyama once considered himself a member) and part foreign policy proposal, the book is a critique of American power from a thinker comfortable with the moral exercise of military power.  And while many recent books claiming to examine Bush Administration policies (or neoconservatism) also argue for the modest goal of restoring America’s international standing, Fukuyama’s book stands apart in arguing for a new internationalism and new institutions to bolster global democracy.



Author:  Anne Cherian
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (May 7, 2008)
Pages: 320 pages, Hardcover
Price: $23.95
ISBN-10: 0393065235
ISBN-13: 978-0393065237

Even though shaadi.com boasts that it is the largest and the most successful matrimonial website in the world – with over a million unions, most marriages in India even today are arranged. This however does not negate the rising sense of independence amongst the youth who often times seek cyber gravitation. But when it comes to love and family, bachelors and bachelorettes are constantly negotiating their place in a society traditionally governed by the will of parents, caste, community, religion, and thus are gradually changing the face of arranged marriages.

Two Afghan women fight to endure decades of oppression; Originally Published in The Denver Post, May 20, 2007, pg. F.13


 

Khaled Hosseini's first novel, The Kite Runner (2003), mined the bloodshed, murder, rape and abuse occurring in contemporary Afghanistan. With its protagonist an Afghan-American male like Hosseini, the story was praised for its authenticity and immediacy. That, coupled with its historical ramifications in the post Sept. 11, era catapulted the novel to third place on the best-seller list and paved the way for Hosseini's highly anticipated second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

The two novels work a similar territory. Two Afghan protagonists of differing backgrounds become close friends, with their friendship tested by the trying times in which they live. But instead of featuring male leads as in the first novel, the action of A Thousand Splendid Suns shifts between two heroines, Mariam and Laila.

In response to the person who accused this book of being 'flash over substance' and basically a Da Vinci Code rip off, I would say that they probably didn't read the book). The Jesus Dynasty is completely unrelated to Dan Brown's book, advocating an entirely different thesis. Tabor states this plainly in his preface and goes on to say of the Da Vinci Code, "while gripping fiction, this idea is long on speculation and short on evidence." The theories that Tabor proposes in The Jesus Dynasty are based entirely on an historical-critical examination of the surviving evidence of Jesus, his family, and early followers and what Tabor sees as the most likely interpretation of that evidence.

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  • SAO-May-2013-150

    Ever since Gen. Pervez Musharraf returned to Pakistan, he has been caught in a miasma of misinformation that has been created by the media to further certain negative perceptions about him. The courts are doing their bit to queer the pitch. While there has been a huge outcry to invoke Article 6 against Gen. Musharraf for allegedly committing high…

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