Author Archives: Shirin Sadeghi


Shirin Sadeghi

The US vs Khan

New Year’s Eve 2010 was the worst day of Kareem Khan’s life. And now the whole world knows about it.
He has made international headlines of the disaster that will continue to plague him for the rest of his life, a disaster many other Pakistanis have experienced in the last few years: the drone attacks that have killed thousands of civilians – people like Khan’s eighteen-year-old son and Khan’s brother who he says were innocently sitting in their homes when a remote-controlled


Shirin Sadeghi

State of war

The Americans have now officially surpassed the Russian presence in Afghanistan. In June, they surpassed their own presence in Vietnam, officially making the Afghanistan/Pakistan war the longest war in American history. Yet another public embarrassment for American foreign wars, and a private success for the perpetual war machine that has increasingly dominated the American economic system.
And what of Pakistan? Twice now it has been America’s greatest ally in a war against the


Shirin Sadeghi

I do, or do I?

England’s royal family finally announced this week what everyone in the world already knew: Prince William will marry Kate Middleton. What’s far more interesting is how much has changed in the uptight, conservative circle that is the English monarchy since nearly 30 years ago when an arranged marriage with a virgin was the only acceptable method for continuing the bloodline.
William’s generation has come a long way since his mother’s. Not only did he get to choose his wife (and


Shirin Sadeghi

On borders

Obama didn’t visit Pakistan this week. But I guess he has good reason – it’s rather rude, wouldn’t you say, to bomb a country on a Sunday and then visit it on the Monday as if nothing is wrong at all.
His visit to India, on the other hand, was a natural choice, militarily speaking, considering that wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and proxy wars elsewhere, are not yet enough to satisfy the American military-industrial complex. So a chummy visit to one of the world’s biggest


Shirin Sadeghi

Silvio and other old men

In the heart of Lahore, just behind the ancient fort and its mosque is a restaurant where respectable families stop by for a feast in the shadow of sacred things.They whisper by the high walls of the fort, tip-toe up the many narrow stairs of CooCoo’s restaurant and look over the minarets as they relish their kabobs and their naan by candlelight.
It is romantic and graceful floating above the red light district of Heera Mandi. Below them is a world very different than theirs, so


Shirin Sadeghi

Off the fat of the land

Last week, just before Hillary Clinton pledged billions of American dollars to Pakistan’s military, she complained that “it is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people.”
She seemed right of course: Pakistanis who can should be helping each other and there is certainly a massive gap between the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor in Pakistan. Between those who have money to spare and those who spare no


Shirin Sadeghi

Up in a capsule

In the early hours of October 13, one by one the Chilean miners were rescued from their pit of despair. The world watched as a spectacular high-tech pod was lowered into the ground to lift these 33 men up to the life they thought they’d never see again.
It was bittersweet to see how innovative governments could be if they wish: sweet because of the effort organized to help innocent civilians, bitter because it is so rare.
And bitter because this particular copper and gold


Shirin Sadeghi

Death and dynasty

Amongst the Mughals of yore, the story of Aurangzeb and the brutal manner in which he treated his own family stands alone.
As legend has it, Aurangzeb served his brother Dara Shikoh’s head on a platter to his father, Shah Jahan, who he imprisoned in a fort overlooking the glorious Taj Majal which he had built in honor of the love of his life, the Persian princess Mumtaz Mahal.
It wasn’t enough, apparently, for Aurangzeb to hate his immediate family members. He had to torture

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