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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An Encounter with Fasi Zaka - Our Community, The voice of youth

An Encounter with Fasi Zaka

By S. Hamza Asad

He’s bold, he’s humorous, he’s sarcastic and he is one of the most distinctively acclaimed polymaths of our country, meet Fasi Zaka; the man who wears countless masks to have the portrayal of a cynosure in the media. In a nutshell, “versatile” is the word for him! Fasi Zaka talks on a one-on-one with Our Community – ‘The Voice of Youth’ and gives readers the chance to know next to more about him.

Date of Birth/Zodiac Sign…

Number of winters you have seen?

Sum-up your good self in just three words…
Procrastinator. Confused. Lazy.

Favorite punch line…
It’s something I read on Maila Times, the Pakistani satire webzine; it says “Coke Studios Mistaken for Cocaine Factory by FIA”.

Your recent crush…
Been a long time since I had one of those

What was it that helped you decide to shape your image as a polymath in the media?
I guess it is the different personas on different mediums, in writing as a serious analyst, in radio as a pythonesque anarchist with an obsession with the absurd and on TV as a mix of the two.

Five things you can’t live without…
Internet, books, dvd’s, video games and cats

Keeping in mind the current socio-political environment of the county, how do you think Pakistan can develop?
The solutions have never been terribly complex; at their essence they are quite basic and remain fairly constant as a need over our history. The first is full access to basic education, and the second is the elimination of corruption. Everyone seems to be fixated on everything under the sun except for these two issues.

What was the most horrifying trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
When I fell asleep on a plane trip to Sri Lanka and woke up to find out that I had landed in India. I was terrified I had gotten on the wrong plane somehow and didn’t know how to ask without bringing attention to myself. Eventually someone told me I had a transit stop, something I never bothered to read on the ticket.

Fasi Zaka as RJ, TV Host or Columnist...

Your Favorite book/Author…
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

When the Indian political figure Jaswanth Singh wrote a book on Jinnah, as a columnist what were your feelings about it?
I think he had a bout of intellectual honesty and treated Jinnah fairly. My only issue with the whole saga in Pakistan is that people hailed Jaswant only because he agreed with them; I doubt the same people would be too thrilled if someone in this country felt honestly that we haven’t given Gandhi enough credit. The hypocrisy is telling.

Ten years from now you will be…
Suffering from High Cholesterol.

Favorite revolutionary whose shoes you want to step in… why?
There are many, but I guess these days it would be Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. What he had to say back then is still relevant today. We, as Muslims, need to get over our complex of victim-hood where we keep blaming everyone else and use it as an excuse for inaction. Living in past glory will get one nowhere; we need to recreate a revival of the Muslim intellectual tradition by becoming more open, more widely read, tolerant and integrated with the rest of the world.

Where do we see Fasi Zaka heading onwards?
Honestly, I have no idea.

Friday, October 15, 2010

1,2,3... Attack! Cover Story - Us Magazine, TheNews International

1,2,3... Attack!

Cover Story

By Hamza Asad

Gone are the days when swords and arrows were used to spread terror. Guns, knives, tear gas and even burning tires have turned into old ways of protesting against something. The new weapons to express your revulsion at anything are eggs, shoes, plastic bottles and pies. These products seem to attract the people all over the world and more and more people are adopting these methods to display their hatred. Didn't we all feel the urge to do so at any point of our lives either to our bosses or to our teachers or to the nagging neighbours who always keep an eye on us so that they can spill the beans to our parents? Well, just imagine when the society has such detestation against the world leaders. It's then we get to encounter such unusual attacks. The shoe throwing spree, recently started by the Iraqi journalist Muntadar-al-Zeidi, has encouraged many others to express their disdain for the leaders they dislike. Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the ultimate humiliation in the Arab world. The trend is, however, no more limited to the Arabs, and has picked up pace in the other parts of the world. Of course, the West has modified it a bit to suit their aesthetics and added pies to the arsenal. While we, the people of the subcontinent, are quite comfortable with the use of eggs, tomatoes, potatoes etc to express our revulsion. In view of the latest wave of such attacks on the leading politicians of the world, Us, brings you a number of incomprehensible attacks on some of the most influential people from our past and present…

Be in my shoes

Shoe is the weapon of choice of the 21st Century's citizens, and is widely used to insult or protest against something or someone. Check out some of these astounding examples mentioned below:

The most famous shoe

Shoeing grabbed attention recently after an Iraqi shoe was thrown at the former US President George W. Bush during a press conference at Baghdad on December 14, 2008. Muntadar-al-Zeidi, an Iraqi journalist, hurled a pair of shoes at Bush as a farewell gift - a reminder for his unpopularity. "It was a size 10," Bush joked later. The price of these shoes on sale went above 10 million dollars after this incident. Also, 'The Bush Game' was later designed in which the winner was the one who threw maximum number of shoes at Bush in minimum time.

Slap, slap, slap!

The former Chief Minister of Sindh, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, was physically assaulted in the Provincial Assembly's corridors on 7th April 2008. He was beaten with shoes by a mob of PPP activists and his former servants.

Those who missed…

Lucky Sudanese

During a public meeting on 26th January 2009, a man threw a shoe at Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. However, he missed his intended target and was arrested by the security staff on the spot.

No shoe for the Chinese

On February 2, 2009, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was giving the 'Rede Lecture' at the University of Cambridge (London) on 'See China in the light of development'. As soon as he finished his lecture, a 27-year-old German, Martin Jahnke, stood from the audience and threw a shoe at Wen. The shoe, however, missed the target and landed a few feet away. The remaining audience shouted at Jahnke 'Shame on you' as he was taken out of the auditorium.

Just in vain

The Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, came under a vain shoe attack during an election rally on April 26, 2009. The attack was the reminiscent of another event in which the India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram was shoed by a Sikh journalist who asked him a question regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. This happened at the start of the same month of the same year. In both the cases the shoe missed its target, but left the impact.

Shoeing IMF

While addressing a university in Istanbul on October 1, 2009, the director of International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was shoed but it did not hit him and landed on the stage. The hall echoed with slogans of "Go away IMF, you're stealing money".

He was just intoxicated…

On February 22rd 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan survived a shoe attack in Seville, Spain. The shoe hit a bodyguard. The news agencies reported that the assailant was heavily intoxicated hence his act shouldn't be judged as his hatred towards the Turkish Premiere.

In his own land

The Chief Secretary for Administration in Hong Kong, Henry Tang, was shoed on 6th March 2010 at a Youth Summit in Chai Wan. The vain attack was attempted by a 31-year-old unemployed man who had been fired by a computer company.

With love… from Pakistanis

The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has lately been ranked on the top of the shoe club as he had to face a pair of shoes being hurled at him by an aged Pakistani origin British citizen on 6th of August, 2010, while he was addressing Pakistani nationals in Birmingham. Mr Zardari was already being criticised for visiting Britain at the wrong time as the country suffered from the devastating floods. The popular view was that he should have been at home helping the ones in need instead of travelling abroad!

President Zardari got a shoe game under his name as well, following the legacy of George W. Bush. Later, the game was banned by the government and was removed from every possible website it could have been posted to.

The egg treatment

Egging is yet another source of protest for the common people. Let's check out some of the high-profiled people who have been egged.

Fist for an egg

Infamous for his short fuse, the former Deputy Prime Minister of UK, John Prescott was egged on 17th May 2001 at a Labour Party rally in North Wales. The incident is the most ardent example of Newton's third law of motion, because as soon as the protester hit the then PM with an egg, Prescott punched him badly and both started to fight until the protestor was arrested. So true… every action has an equal (and opposite) reaction.

The unpretending actor

One of the most highly influential legendary actors and the 38th governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was egged while walking onto the dice for his speech on September 4, 2003. The egg hit his shoulder and clearly dirtied his suit, Schwarzenegger pretended as nothing had really happened. Later, when he was questioned about this incident, he dismissed it as a part of free speech.

Let me speak!

The chairman of the British National Party and member of European Parliament for North West England, Nick Griffin, was awfully egged on 9 June, 2009 at a press conference. He had hardly spoken for few minutes when the protestors began to pelt him with eggs. Griffin was forced to abandon the conference.

Campaigning for… eggs??

After a Q & A session at Cornwall College Saltash, on April 21 this year, the Prime Minister of UK, David Cameron, was hit by an egg. The successful strike was attempted by a young student who was arrested and then quickly released after police established he did not have any more 'weapons' with him.

A source of ridicule

The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukoyych, was hit with an egg during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections. The then candidate was taken to the hospital right after this incident as the government officials claimed he was hit with a brick. This confusion became a source of ridicule later.

In another incident, the chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn, was egged on April 27, 2010 by the deputies as protest against the bill saying that the Russian navy would be allowed to stay in the waters of Ukraine for 32 years more. The egg throwing became so rampant that Lytvyn had to open an umbrella to guard him from the eggs being thrown at him from every direction.

Duck Steve Ballmer, duck!

Steve Ballmer, the CEO of a multi-billion dollar software company - Microsoft, was egged on May 19, 2008 at Hungarian University. Just when he had started his speech, Ballmer was forced to duck and hide behind the desk by an angry graduate who threw eggs at him. The student wore a "Microsoft = corruption" T-shirt, and yelled: "Give back the money of the taxpayers".

The food combat

Pie in Gates' face

The entrepreneur of personal computer revolution and consistently ranked as the wealthiest man in the world for the past one and a half decade, the one and only, Bill Gates, was struck in the face with a pie on February 4, 1998. Gates was on a visit to Brussels, Belgium, to meet the European Union officials. As he was entering the building to deliver his speech, Noel Godin, an anarchist, struck Gates' face with a cream pie and succeeded to escape. He later appeared on television to take responsibility of the prank. Gates, who doesn't even like to be touched by a stranger, was very angry over this unexpected incident.

The fierce ones

Peace process goes down

One finds it truly bizarre how an ordinary Sri Lankan naval cadet assaulted the former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, with the wooden end of his rifle. This unpleasant incident took place on July 30th 1987, in Colombo while Mr. Gandhi was receiving the guard of honour. The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord resulted in a great setback after this assault.

Not a punching bag!

On 12th August 2009, Turkish Premier, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was to deliver a speech in the province of Trabzon (Turkey) when all of a sudden a citizen came close to him and punched him badly in the stomach. Erdogan screamed with pain. The assaulter was immediately arrested but later released when he explained that the attack was an accident.

The Italian job

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was severely attacked on December 13, 2009. Berlusconi was punched in the face by an angrily disturbed citizen in a rally. 73–year-old Berlusconi suffered broken teeth, a minor nose injury and cuts on his lips. His face was covered with blood and so he was admitted to the hospital for a week to recover.

Woah! Close call!

Camera attack

Previously, the Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi was assaulted in Rome on the occasion of New Year's Eve 2004. The PM was at a rally in Piazza Navona when a tourist visiting Rome, struck him with a camera. The attack, however, didn't cause any harm nor did it draw much importance.

Use of bottle

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the Charles Fauqueux High School in Beauvais on 25th May 2010 to discuss violence in French schools when suddenly a school boy threw a plastic bottle (filled with water) at him, but failed to hit the target as a body guard came in between to defend the French President.

Just a shove

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, arrived at Maori Memorial at Waitangi for the celebration of National Day on February 5, 2009 when he was shoved and jostled by two protestors. Both of them were arrested by the police. Key said he was "quite shocked" by the incident.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tears, Poem - Us Magazine, TheNews International


By S. Hamza Asad


Incapable of going unnoticed

My tears...

Are a shrunken world

A mystery untold

A demise I chose

Like a blue hell’s cloud

Like a cackle, so proud

Like the fingers running over a piano

With a tone so sad and loud

My tears...

Are a smoldering Fire

A doubtful chill

A ghost’s captured hill

Divorced by eyes

My tears...

Are traveling out of life

Like a meteor, finding a room in space

My cheeks’ lost grace.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aman Ki Asha Peace...Reality or Illusion?? - Cover Story - Us Magazine, The News International

Aman ki asha Peace…Reality or Illusion??

Aman Ki Asha Peace…Reality or Illusion?

By Syed Hamza Asad

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi

‘Aman ki Asha’- an initiative taken by The Jang Group of Pakistan and The Times of India seems to have created a festive atmosphere between the two nations. The project has so far been successful in promoting tourism, culture and sports activities.

On the political level, a number of meetings have been held. Pakistan has always been the first to extend her hand in friendship but ironically it’s not taken so well from the other side of the line of control. This, of course, makes the layman quite skeptical.

Us today, brings you some of the things that can foster peace under the umbrella of ‘Aman ki Asha’ and also unveils the people who are bent upon trying to sabotage the peace process.

Impact of books…

Jaswanth Singh on Jinnah

One of the most senior political figures of India, Jaswanth Singh, wrote a biography on the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah titled Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence, published on August 17, 2009, in which he claimed that Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru’s centralised policy was responsible for the partition of the subcontinent. Jaswanth Singh had a bout of intellectual honesty and treated Jinnah fairly.

Reaction to the book

Soon after the release of his book, a controversy grasped India and Jaswanth Singh was expelled from the membership of Bharatiya Janata Party for writing a favourable biography on Muhammad Ali Jinnah. His book was banned and his posters were burnt by the Hindu extremists. Jaswanth Singh received hostile criticism from political activists. However, in several interviews, he quoted his opponents as ‘narrow-minded people’ for not accepting the reality. On the question of a ban on his book, he said: “The day we start banning books, we are banning thinking.”

Cross border wedding…

Shoaib weds Sania

One of the most exciting events of the year 2010 was the marriage of Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik with Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on April 12, 2010, at a hotel in Hyderabad, India. The union of South Asia’s top sports personalities rekindled the Indo-Pak arch-rivalry and shook the masses of both the countries with a frenzy of outraged patriotism. The Pakistanis claimed that Shoaib-Sania’s wedding is not merely a marriage of a man and woman; rather it’s the marriage of Pakistan with India. Most of the Indians also showed a friendly attitude towards this event.

On the other hand

Always ready to criticise the Indo-Pak peace relations, the far-right Hindu political party, Shiv Sena bitterly opposed the wedding of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. Shiv Sena’s leader, Bal Thackeray spewed venom at Sania Mirza for marrying a Pakistani, calling Pakistan ‘an enemy’. “Had Sania’s heart been Indian,” said Thackeray in an editorial written in his party mouthpiece, Saamna, “it wouldn’t have beaten for a Pakistani.” Further, he said that Sania would no longer remain an Indian.

Sports: conduct and controversies

IPL 2010: Pakistani cricketers ignored

After the Mumbai attacks of 2008, the attitude of Indian government towards Pakistan changed drastically. Due to this unpleasant incident, Pakistani cricketers had to face a great setback. Having played tremendously well in the first two seasons of the Indian Premier League, none of the eleven Pakistani players (who were invited for the 3rd IPL auction) was selected by the IPL franchises. It especially came as a shock after their 2009 T20 World Cup victory.

Reaction to action

None of the IPL owners raised voice for the Pakistani cricket team except for the king of Bollywood and the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders team in IPL, Shahrukh Khan. King Khan, who believes that Pakistani cricket team has some of the finest T20 players, told the media: “We hail from a country that accepts different cultures, so whatever happened is very unfortunate.”

However, his stance towards this issue was strictly opposed by the Shiv Sena Party. Once again Thackeray played a negative role. Shiv Sena threatened that Shahrukh’s latest release ‘My Name is Khan’ would not be screened in Mumbai. Moreover, the party officials said: “Let Shahrukh settle in Pakistan; he is not needed in Mumbai.”

Later, a large number of Bollywood biggies like Amitabh Bachan, Amir Khan and director Mahesh Bhatt stood by Khan’s side and supported his stance.

Being Human

On 27 May this year, a celebrity match between the two countries was organised by Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan’s charitable trust, ‘Being Human’ at Dubai City Stadium. Atif Aslam, Salman Khan and Shoaib Akhtar were the most notable amongst the players. This small initiative taken by Salman Khan was a great step towards better relations and ultimately peace.

Play with sportsman’s spirit

‘Peace through sports’ is one of the latest outcomes of Aman Ki Asha. This sensational event was held at the Wagah border on Friday, 26th June 2010 where the torch of the Commonwealth Games 2010, Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR), crossed the border. The gold medalists and Olympians carried the QBR to the zero point on Wagah border which was then handed over to Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab and also the chief guest of the event.

Shortly after the ceremony, a musical event was held in which prominent Pakistani singers like Jawad Ahmad and Najam Sheraz performed national songs while Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed from the other side of the border.


Singers’ act

Some of our Pakistani singers have become the voice of Bollywood. From the time of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the singers of this era, Pakistani singers have scored some great musical numbers across the border. Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are the two most notable singers of Indian cinema these days.

Criticism on Pakistani talent

Atif Aslam is one of the finest musical talents from Pakistan. Having given some of the best hits in recent times to the Indian music industry, he has been criticised by some Indian singers. In several Indian music reality shows, Atif’s voice has been criticised and insulted by judges and performers. Abhijeet, an Indian music director/singer, turned out to be the harshest of all.

Indo-Pak judges in dance show

The former Pakistani cricket star Wasim Akram and Bollywood div

a, Sushmita Sen, judged a dance reality show ‘Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina’ that featured cricket stars and television actresses as contestants.

Actors’ part

A number of Pakistani actors have also been seen lately in Bollywood movies. Javaid Sheikh now seems to be a part of the Indian celluloid as he has done quite a lot of movies on the other side of the border. Besides, Meera and Moammar Rana have appeared in a couple of Bollywood flicks, too. Presently, Ali Zafar’s Tere Bin Laden and Mona Liza’s Kajraare are the latest movies from our neighbours.

Taking it to celluloid

Progressing with the peace process, both countries participated in a joint ventur in movies coming out with Virsa – produced by Jawad Ahmed from Pakistan and Pankaj Batra along with Vikram Kakar from India. The movie featured actors from both sides of the border and was released earlier this year under the banner of Aman ki Asha.

Stand-up for the comedians

Shakeel Siddiqui, a famous Pakistani stage comedian, became the judges’ as well as the audience’s favourite through his performance in Comedy Circus. He was also invited to the grand finale of Salman Khan’s reality show ‘Dus ka Dum’.

Then the attack…

After the unpleasant Mumbai attacks in 2008, many Pakistani professionals were threatened and told to leave India, but what shocked the people on both sides of the line of control was the incident when Shakeel Siddiqui was beaten up by the mob of Shiv Sena party while he was performing in a studio at Mumbai.

Aman ki Asha anthem

The two unique voices – Shankar Mahadevan of India and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan of Pakistan sang an anthem written by the famous Indian poet/lyricist Gulzar, for Aman ki Asha. ‘Nazar mai rehte ho jab tum nazar nahi ate’ holds a spell-bounding power of silent emotion and love between the two nations. The video also featured Amitabh Bachchangiving out the message of peace.


Several concerts under Aman ki Asha campaign have been held to promote peace. Lately, we have seen some great combined performances in India…

- Kailash Kher and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s peace performance on January 16 at Purana Quila, Delhi.

- Strings and Euphoria performed on January 20 in Kolkata.

- Abida Perveen and Shubha Mudgal’s Sufiana Kalaam at Bandra fort on January 17.

- Arif Lohar and Parvathy Baul folk songs’ performance on January 22 at Chowmalla Palace, Hyderabad.

- Ghulam Ali and Hariharan’s Ghazal night on January 23 at Bangalore Palace.

Nadia Khan Show at Wagah

One of Nadia Khan’s morning show’s episodes was shot at Wagah border, representing the grand peace and cultural ceremony organised under the same banner.

Imran Khan says…

Peace is a sacred trust and we must strive for it through all possible means. A prosperous Pakistan and India is in the interest of people of all faiths living off Indo-Pak sub-continent. But in order to make that happen, the issues which stymie peace will have to be tackled with an open mind.

The present efforts of spreading the message of peace under the ambit of Aman ki Asha are commendable and only an insane mind would oppose them. Let us not forget that by throwing ashes the smoldering fire underneath can be dulled momentarily but it will never be put out completely. You have to pour water on it for best results. This is certainly not to denigrate the invaluable efforts of peace seekers on both sides of the border of India and Pakistan. Let us first hammer out a solution to the outstanding issues that plague our relations with India. The politicians, the media, the intellectuals and the civil society of this region will have to shed their prejudices and work with an open mind for solving all issues between Pakistan and India if we want to make Aman ki Asha a real success story.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Letter_ Inefficient Professionals! - The Frontier Post - February 2010


Inefficient Professionals!

Hamza Asad, Peshawar

On 21st January 2010, I went to the office of Chairman Board of Secondary Education Peshawar with an application given to me by my father i.e. Professor Asadullah, asking me to deposit it with the Chairman or his P.A and get signed the office copy.

Being a routine normal work, I thought it would be done in routine. However, the chairman and his staff seem to have taken oath not to do something in routine. The peon refused to allow me meet the chairman saying “It's his order not to allow students” When I went to P.A of the Chairman, he refused to accept the application. In fact the application was for issuance of the revised certificate of SSC as allowed by the Addl Session Judge Peshawar i.e. Muhammad Iqbal Khan, dismissing the appeal of the Board against the orders of trial court.

The case is simple, I'll go to the court of the Addl Session Judge for execution and the Chairman will, willy nilly, allow the issuance of Certificate; but why this physical and mental torture? He's known as man of problems creation. He is a retired 19 grade professor called for special duty by the present Government when dozens of active serving grade 20 professors are available. His predecessor in the chair Professor Tariq Khan was a noble man who was shown red card simply because of his straight ways.

I and my parents are ardent lovers of Ghaffar Khan, Wali Khan and my father loves them to the extent of worship. He has written a book on patriotism of Ghani Khan which is being compiled. We admire them for their democratic values and noble struggle. However, when we experience people like the present Chairman appointed by the present government, I feel disgusted and don't feel like praying for their rule in the province. The P.A and Chairman refused to sign the office copy. I wonder why such a retired man with uneducated approach is the head of Education Board? I strongly believe a man of the calibre of the present Chairman and his P.A who are kicking students like football should be shown red card.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The 7 habits of highly Effective Teenagers!! __ Updated Version - US Magazine, The News International

Book Review

The 7 habits of highly Effective

Teenagers!! __ Updated Version

By S. Hamza Asad

It was astounding; it was amazing, and it was stupendous! Reading the book proved to be one big rollercoaster ride for me. Based upon the principles and paradigms with reference to different traumas that most of the teenagers go through, illustrated by examples of real life stories of some of the greatest people who ever lived and with delightful quotations sprinkled here and there, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers touches your heart’s core and keeps you on tenterhooks till the very end only to leave you spellbound!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers has become my lucky mascot. This book inspires 'greatness’ in the youth. It is not merely a book but an indispensable teenage guide that helps you while you embark on the journey of self-recognition in finding out your identity in its own beautiful style.

Authored by Sean Covey, 'The 7 habits of Highly Effective Teenagers’ belongs to the same category of books which have astonished millions of minds, such as 'The 7 Habits of Highly effective People’ and 'Daily reflections of highly effective teens’ et cetera, but the prime motive of this book is to develop the personality of teenagers. It equally focuses on the entertainment quotient and there are times when you can’t just stop getting enticed because the author’s attempt at presenting serious counsel with a frivolous gist. He mentions the seven habits of highly defective teenagers, too, and leaves the decision to you whether to indulge in the recipes of disaster or make a difference by getting into 'The 7 habits of highly Effective teenagers’.

The book starts off with the poem 'Who am I?’ Beginning with the man-in-the-mirror portrayal, the plot continues with the motto 'Principles never fail’. The author proficiently explains a diagram containing a tree of the sequential 7 habits. Sean Covey speaks directly to the teenagers and provides thinking caps that enable them to find the solutions to any problem within themselves.

The first Habit tells us to be 'proactive’ and take the responsibility of life. The second habit tells us to 'begin with the end in mind’ by defining our mission and goals. The third habit tells to prioritise our tasks by 'putting first thing first’. The fourth habit 'think win/win’ gives a message of optimism. The fifth habit 'seek first to understand, then to be understood’ teaches the art of listening to people sincerely. The sixth habit 'synergise’ depicts a positive way of working in teams. And the last habit 'sharpen the saw’ focuses on regular self-renewal.

Sometimes valuable things come in small parcels. 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers’ is a prime example of this statement. It has motivated many teenagers and developed self-confidence in their personalities. This book is a little gem that deserves to be your lifetime camaraderie. I am sure your appetite is whetted for its updated version. So go and grab a copy now. Such books are not to be missed. Because after going through this book, 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers’ is going to be one of those five essential things, you cannot do without!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Atlas of the Quran" - Hiba Magazine, Vol 6 - Issue 04

Book Review: Atlas of the Qur’an

By S. Hamza Asad

Compiled by: Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil

Publisher: Darussalam

Number of Pages: 392

Available at: Darussalam outlets (Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad)

Muslims, young and old, have always loved to read the stories of all the prophets mentioned in the Quran - Islamic stories always leave their impact on our imagination. but to capture the pictures in mind, for the first time an untouched subject has emerged in the form of "Atlas of the Quran".

‘Atlas of the Quran’ is an authentic compilation of the Qur'anic stories and information regarding the prophecies and the places where different prophets lived, ruled and died. The book contains tables, pictures, regions, routes and maps of all those places which are discussed in the Quran. It also embellishes the beauty of some of the major divine events with reference to their scientific facts and innovative historical and modern sources such as the flood during the times of Prophet Noah. Apart from this, almost all the stories and incidents of the twenty five prophets, mentioned in Quran by name, are discussed in this book.

Compiled by Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil, ‘Atlas of the Quran’ is one of the greatest attempts ever to adumbrate the Islamic facts and the author of this book surely seems to have burnt the midnight oil to undertake such extensive research.