Inspirational Women of Pakistan.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Well well well. Finally the video is here. Quite a headache I tell you! It definitely was fun, but I think I'll stick with my static-image-love.
According to the Ada Lovelace deal, I was suppose to write about ONE woman in technology who I've been inspired by. After signing this pledge, I just knew I wanted to write about someone from Pakistan, but I didn't know who. So I delved into quite a thick search. Since technology is not so far ahead there as it is here in Netherlands, or the "West", so it's not possible to find women in this field easily. Well actually even talking about men then ... hmm ... I would've probably written about my digital-artist friend. Anyways. This is about women. So while doing my search, I was amazed at the information I had out of the blue landed myself upon. And I have to say I felt very proud of it all. The rush was so amazing to see all that information, that I was purely convinced that I have to include all these women somehow, as it is rare that we, as a nation, celebrate our courageous people, women!
Thus, the video.
Now here i'd like to say a couple of things. In my search, I also landed upon some very sad comments from different people within Pakistan, including women. The worst thing women can go through is hegemony! That's the worst of the worst things. One, you have a hard time convincing men of your capabilities, and upon that, you have good for nothing women discouraging you as well. This is especially in reference to Pakistani women who live abroad, who have perhaps never even been to Pakistan. As soon as we see some skin, we go crazy! The insane debate of how this is not representative of Pakistan because it is a Muslim state, and these women should not associate themselves with either Pakistan or Islam because they are only defaming them. I find it utterly ridiculous. We need to re-think what Islam is, what a Muslim is, and then, what are the basis of Pakistan? Pakistan was NOT formed for having an Islamic country, it was for the Muslims to have a separate homeland where there are no Hindus dominating them and ruling them. It was purely political. We see what the state of Indian Muslims is. Same goes for the flag of Pakistan. If it really was for the sake of Islam, then it should have been a complete green thing like that of Saudi Arabia. But it isn't, the white represents the minorities, and including them in the flag is about giving them the space and respect and a sense of belonging to the nation of Pakistan.
Now. While it is true that showing skin is not Islamic, but why do we have problems with women choosing such careers abroad? Why are we not also shouting against those also at home? Don't we have a fashion industry? Don't we have female singers? And here the MQM comes in who have completely lost it, and God help them! As if they have nothing better to do. I am not saying that it is ok for these women to go about topless, but we need to give each individual their space to behave however they want, and they are individually responsible. God ain't gonna question you for their actions! Isn't this why this life is in the first place? We have been given the free-will. Let people practice it.
I sense double-standards. Drink, go naked, attend late night concerts, whatever you can think of. But do it in the privacy of your home. Don't let anyone else know what's happening inside. Before we question someone else's morals, we need to take a look at ourselves. Are we so pure that we have the courage to point at someone else?
Everything aside. This video is a celebration of all women who have made it! Well not all, it's only a handful. there are so many more women who I could not find online. And all the small efforts that go unnoticed. This is just a grain.
But I respect all women initiatives and efforts. If someone is not in line with my moral code, that's their business.

Did you turn your lights off?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour has officially begun in the Netherlands as of 3 minutes ago, and my lights are off. But my laptop is still on *raised eyebrow" ... is that cheating? haha!
I think this is a great initiative. People up in space should make a video of this! Must look so cool. Can you even see much from up there? Anyways. other than the visual aesthetic, of course it saves a lot and gives a loud enough message - ultrasound message!
With this green peace thing going on, I notice how I've almost turned my apartment into a rainforest! ahahaha. It's green everywhere. A plant here and there! Nice. I just got done with painting the first layer of big stripes on one of my walls. Now I just need to add splashes of mother nature's colors. I'm thinking pink! :D

Video editors have hurt me bad.

Now. I've never made a movie before. I've never even bothered making a video out of an image collage. Video is not my thing. It's a medium, I feel, that you either feel it, or you don't. And I lean towards the latter. But I finally thought, why not. Let's give it a shot, and create a nice little image collage. Since I am not using my own laptop (it's the school's), and it's not something I know inside out, I didn't realize what a big shitty thing this can throw you in.
iMovie 5 is what's in my system by default, and I've been trying to make it obey me since the last 3 days, and I am at a verge of insanity (well no, insane already, there must be a next level). I've been trying to do upgrades, downloads, installs ... uuggghhhhh ... it doesn't LISTEN!
Wrong files, incompatible upgrades, moral warnings on torrents about copyrights, leaps of several faiths (this comes from python), stupendously slow download speeds, calling me a leecher ... this is crazy!
All I want to do is attach text to my image clips. But I bet there is something wrong with my iLife. On every tutorial or forum that I've been at, they all give the same method, BUT IT DOESN'T WORK. Things are MISSING.
Oh God blogging is frustration-releasing. Nice. I haven't given up hope still if you're wondering. I will make this crap happen!

Ada Lovelace Day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Okay. So I pledged to submit a blog entry about a woman in a technology-related field that inspires me. This was supposed to be done on 24th march, and I am 2 hours and 27 minutes late as of now. But as one of the e-mails said: on the internet, one day is 50 hours long, so it is still the 24th in some part of the world, and so I am safe :D
In the beginning I did not know who to write about, but I definitely wanted it to be someone from Pakistan. But women aren't really on a mega-fore-front of technology, and I hadn't really heard any big news. Being in the arts, I haven't really heard of any media-artists from within Pakistan. So I can safely for now say that I am an inspiration for myself, and others :D But please do correct me if any media-artist tends to be lurking around and stumbles upon my page, it would be a most welcome correction.
So I did some search, of what is happening on the "female" landscape of Pakistan! Viola! I found some nice things. So I decided, since women on that side of the world are often very sadly and mistakenly boxed under the stereotype of an "oppressed woman", to make a little video of some of the great women I found. It's still under construction, but I will definitely post it by tomorrow.
Another article I found about the progress of women in Pakistan, and there were some responses from our respected western counterparts of how progress is really associated only with the higher class and nothing is being done for the lower class. From one perspective, this is true, but looking at it more positively, no it's not. Little effort often goes unnoticed, and now there are innumerable efforts made on tinsy scales where women are encouraged to make their lives better on their own standing, sadly (or as are the rules of media) only the higher class, or outrageously controversial women (like Mukhtaran Mai) make it to the news.
There is more to what meets our ears and eyes these days, since WYSIWYG is pretty much relative considering our virtual world nowadays. Now that I am in the West, and I have some substantial material to compare my home with, it's not so bad. We're doing pretty awesome!

Coming back to my vdo ... yea ... by tomorrow for sure!

Tot Ziens.

Learning to bike, and going around.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Well, since I'm not from China or Thailand or Holland, biking doesn't run in my blood. It's a new deal for me. And when it comes to crossing the Erasmus bridge it is even bigger (not so much now, i've become stronger :D, besides, it's an awesome view.) The Maas tunnel tends to be a wiser option when you're not feeling so athletic, or it's rainy, cold, and windy. But lately the weather has been stupendously gorgeous.

So now that i can bike almost like a pro :D and the weather has been gracious, this needed to be taken advantage of. The clean air pulls you out. I have to admit it wouldn't be easy to bike in Lahore anyways; you'd come home with mutilated lungs and a chronic breathing disorder.
Anyway. This time the selected destination was south of Rotterdam: Waalhaven.
Now this was new to me in contrast to all that I've seen so far. It was very Dubai-esque. Dubai is also an interesting story, lol. Fits perfectly in my struggle to break free :P ... makes it more dramatic.
But yea. It's a new area, I've been told there wasn't much here 3 years ago (port-wise). It was quite surreal to bike through a very mustard/yellow, desert-like landscape with the sun shining bright; the containers piled high creating an urban feel. I can finally take my sunglasses out :D

I remember the first few days in Dubai I was aching to see some green - everything was so yellow(ground, buildings) and blue(water, glass), my eyes were longing for some far-spread, lush greenery. It was there that I realized how important green is for our eyes. But it was a similar feeling I experienced in this port area. It felt great this time - walk through memory lane. It's like you want to hold that moment, and KISS IT! :D

Useless templates!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Templates are cruel. Impersonal. Frustrating.

In my old post you might have come across me whining about templates not working. Widgets going crazy. Guess what? The entire technological world is crazy and has its own mind. It is not running 24/7 to always comply with your wishes! It lives. Like a cat who loves you - only when it wants. I don't even like cats. They are annoying and demanding, and ruin everything. Template to cats? I'm probably over-drugged! No. Well.
So there was something probably wrong with Blogger, or just because it was my first time on it, so it was testing me out, of how strongly I want to stay here, and run my thoughts online, therefore it wasn't obeying me! But now randomly, just for the heck of it, I started trying out the templates I had saved from last time, and they worked! But I did not like them all around my text. Too distracting. They are all nice and everything, but it's not something I have designed, so probably it's me fighting against somebody else's stuff. I feel the basic template is pretty good, and let's you work around it.
But of course! After an hour of going through templates that I was so dying to plaster all over my page, when I returned to my basic page, all my personal settings were gone, and had to redo all of it. Not like there was much. But anyways.
Blogging is nicer than vlogging. V 4 vlog.


Monday, March 16, 2009

About Brussels. What excited me out of my shoes was this graffiti and these paintings that I saw around the city, as I find them really cool and they give a lot to the city. The portion that I saw, it was an effort done by Recyclart, so hats off to them. Nice, nice, nice.

A little trip to Bruxelles.

As lazy a blogger that I've turned out to be, anyways!
Well this past Thursday (12/03) was a day dedicated to Brussels. I am living in Rotterdam right now, and as much of Holland I have seen, I have to admit how much the visual language differs across borders. Netherlands seems to be acquiring a 'barbie' identity - symbol of architectural/social perfection. In Dutch sites you will come across a list of reasons of why you should be in the Netherlands (well, they don't really want you actually :s), and one of them is that it is a country of young people - the youth lives here. Nice roads, rather clean. But then this contrast between what a city-with-real-people really looks like, the signs of aging, and usage. Never in the past couple of months have I missed the garbage of Lahore so much.
Europe seems to be exuding this almost Peter-Pan-esque mystique to the rest of the world (Joey approves of this - 'Friends'), but it is as much a part of this world as any third world country. It's, fortunately, not perfect - perfection is not human.
Anyways. This was supposed to be about Brussels. So yea. Very human. I really liked it's character. When you come from a place like the Indian sub-continent, then it kinda feels that festive color and folklore make up the culture. So it's difficult to dig where the culture is in this bricked, dark, rainy, gray part of the world. But this is the culture. Rain.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day!
Wishes to all the women around the world. Prosperity, happiness, success, fulfillment and all to us.

Easy steps towards choosing your religion!

Social networking.

I think this is completely hilarious and conveys my political agenda perfectly. Yes I do have online profiles as well, using one of them right now as I type. But I do openly vocalize my anti-virtual-identity point of view. And no I don't put images of characters or other better looking people or celebrities as my profile picture!

women rape man!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I simply CANNOT stop myself from posting this.

1. It is unheard of;
2. It is unheard of;
3. It is unheard of in a country like Pakistan where the entire world think women are oppressed!


my header image

Since I am desperately trying to somehow change the theme of this blog, shamelessly in vain, so I decided to at least change the header image. It is part of a sugar-lift print I did back during my Bachelors. The eyes are a Marilyn Monroe inspiration. Hmm ... in my study we are discussing Authorship. So in that event, should I say a Monroe inspiration, or Andy Warhol???
If one is a celebrity, does he/she lose right to ownership of his/her imagery? Since Andy is stepping over many rights (Campbell's soup cans!!), does he retain any rights anymore to his work?

While we are at talking about problems with blogger, can someone tell me why on earth can't i change the theme? All are in .xml and somewhere it was written to change the value of widgets from 1 to 2, or if it is already 2, then to 3. It doesnt seem to work. Although I did randomly have one of the themes working. Too bad I didn't like it enough and ditched it.

the other hemisphere

Since I come from Pakistan, which has in the past couple of years acquired this tendency to reach alien temperatures in summers, the first experience of being in the Netherlands was to come in contact with th crazy cold. Great time to have moved here though, as this time, this part of the world recorded the coldest winter in ten years. They even had the ice-skating 11-city-tour this time! In some places like the south near Belgium, the temperatures dropped to -20 at night! And I was there actually for my Christmas vacations! Of course I can't drive here, and don't feel like wasting money on public transport, so I bike. And mind you, I learned how to bike only in October last year! I never had the need to bike in Pakistan! I had my car and used it for even a 0.5km distance! So, even though I wear 2 pair of gloves, when you bike in this crazy cold, it feels like my fingers would shrivel and cut off. The pain is so insane, that I was almost to tears once :(
But the phenomenon of sitting in your own house with a hot cup of coffee (I am a tea person though, but coffee is quicker) and watching it snow outside, is just surreal. It only snows in holiday resorts for me!
An not to forget the rain. My God! There used to be collective prayers in Pakistan at times (no kidding) for rain. And here it just doesn't freaking stop!
But like two days ago, the first time in 5 months and almost 2 weeks, there was the sun in an almost clear sky, fusing its warmth on the people of Holland. Never has it been better! It was just wonderful to sit outside under the sun and watch the kids from the near school play. Ah! The little joys of life!
It's sunny today as well. But its windy. This is the tricky part. If its sunny, then its just stupendously windy. If the temperatures are not too low, then it's cloudy and the drizzle is spraying across your entire existence as you're biking to and back from school!
But I miss home. Been long now. I hope to find someone here in my city, Rotterdam, with whom I can share my roots. My tongue is tired of speaking English, and embarrassed of making silly attempts of speaking Dutch. Where are the Urdu speakers hellloooooo???

the first blog

So here begins the blogging.
My name is Farrah and I recently moved to the Netherlands (5 months, 1 week, 6 days to be exact) for the secondary purpose of my higher education. What's the primary purpose? Hmmm ... perhaps I will touch that topic in my following posts, as it is a big part of my life, and no conversation is complete without it.
Ever-since I have moved to Europe, I have come about more than just a handful of experiences, and have been dying to talk them out with someone, as a result of the lack of finding people here that I could share them with, who at the same time shares my roots as well. I have found this as an extremely important factor, the urge to connect with your roots. While foreigners can be friendly and helpful, they cannot fill in that private gap of talking to someone that shares your vocabulary and jokes.
So. This blog: "Untitled", will be about experiences from my life before moving to Europe, and after. About my study experience. The new things I have found. The absurdities. The refreshing. And basically anything that I find worth mentioning. Even a recipe :P
Cheers to a hopefully exciting blog!

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