So, today, I'm just going to write a personal journal and talk about myself - partly because I didn't feel like doing any features or updates today of other major events happening on dA, and partly because I felt like sharing what's been in my mind recently. For what its worth...
I got a receipt from uni-assist that they received my Hamburg Application, as well as payment of the processing fee. Similarly I was also informed by Hamburg university that they received my application, and will be awaiting uni-assist's response so far as my application is concerned. With the exception of my transcript (which was an unofficial use one, since my official transcript wasn't made yet), the rest of my application was... fairly solid, in my opinion anyway (they were photocopies of the originals I have, but they nevertheless fitted the requirements of what they were asking from me). So I am hoping for the best.
With that said, I'll probably be learning German - I have an "Oxford mini School German Dictionary" but I'll have to start reading some German literature in German in order to start being fluent. (sigh) lingoes the app here I come (I have been ignoring that particular app for a while now, and my French has been rusty as well. I should work on that).
I'll be getting my transcript from university. Usually they take ages to give the damn thing to the student, but I've been given a "tip" on how to get it done. Living in Pakistan, I'm going to keep that in mind when getting the thing (I need to - the equivalence of the document is paramount for me to apply to Erasmus Mundus as well as the United States).
With that said, I'll be candid here - I do admit that I'm applying to the United States, but I am not looking forward to it. I don't mean it in a mean spirited or bigoted way (more on that later), but I do feel that the US has been kept artificially expensive. And I find that the government is simply turning a blind eye towards the matter. Its an opinion (and my parents have said that I'll be given their support through and through, while I also have the advantage of an alumni in one of the unis I am applying - my paternal grandmother completed her MPH from John Hopkins in 1963-1964, as she was selected on a scholarship back then - so I do hope that I might be selected for the scholarship, for what its worth) but as a person who isn't always selfish and does feel a strong support towards society, for what its worth, I find it grossly unfair that the foreign student has to be skimmed of his money.
Although I didn't like the Hamburg university application (Seriously, please someone explain to me the German education system - why are there "grammar" schools still running there? why are there 5 different varieties of special education institutions - especially when the trend has become one of inclusive education with special and necessary inclusion of "tolerance" among youth (not meant in a sarcastic sense, mind you)? Why wasn't there a good old fashioned "Other" mentioned in the application?) I acknowledge Hamburg as an institution. It isn't LMU (Ludwig-Maximilian Universität, München - Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich) but its still significantly high ranked. And for me, Hamburg has tradition and the Germans aren't all
as bad as is stereotyped or even portrayed. And I'll be candid when I say this: I would genuinely look forward to studying in Germany. Truly. Its a part of the EU, it has an amazing support from God knows how many sources, its financially very secure so far as Masters are concerned (although still not LMU, which was no tuition fee - the problem was an entry test, which I feel was independent of GRE, and I couldn't bring myself to study for the thing because it had calculus which I am terrible at), and its the EU (visa free travel, the Euro, the capacity of interacting with numerous other Europeans, a significant cultural hub, and even a variety of employment). Which are not that often seen in the United States - its a thought, and I'll admit its biased. Which is why I suppose I'm going to at least look at the other side as well (John Hopkins, or rather the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Applied Biosciences and Medicine if you want to be pedantic, is higher ranked and the States based education system tends to be more inclusive generally, while the country speaks English and States residents tend to be friendly at an individual level, for what its worth).
Its a thought, and it does make me wonder at times.
Incidentally, that point which I had mentioned earlier, the more on that later point: Malala Yousafzai has been co-awarded the Nobel Laureate in Peace 2014. Unlike most people globally... I feel slighted by it.
What is written on the website is as follows:
The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education" ("The Nobel Peace Prize 2014". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 11 Oct 2014.")
Kailash Satyarthi, even with his nationality in mind, fine. I'll accept his contributions. I endorse girl education, and I'll be very blunt in acknowledging that Pakistan does need to take steps towards women education. It has been able to do a lot, Pakistan's government as well as the community has, but... Its still something which requires time.
But Malala Yousafzai? Why her? I live in Pakistan, and work with the philanthropic community here (and with sufficient closeness, at that), and I have yet to see her contributions to the girls in this country. And to that, I will sound cold but I'll be blunt here: she is not a global symbol, nor has her struggle borne any fruit for our people here on Pakistan.
In fact, I'd like to pinpoint something here to everyone who is reading this article: I have women friends from university who are based here in Pakistan. And they are in their Postgraduate Studies. Many of them had completed their education before
Malala Yousafzai had come to the limelight. They studied from places like Oxford , Cambridge and even Imperial College, University College, and Queen Mary (UK) to name a few; John Hopkins, Colombia, Colorado, MIT, Georgiatech, Caltech, UCD, UCLA, Bates, Mt. Holyoke, Housten, and Dallas, to name a few (US); As well as Waterloo, Toronto, McGill, McMasters (Canada); and there are countless others I could name. And this is a list of both
women and men, by the way. And all of them had parents - of all backgrounds and all financial statuses and social strata - who were proud of them, genuinely so. Yes, Pakistan has had those parents whose families aren't... well... "easy". But tell me this: aren't every single societies out there perfect and truly perfect, at that?
So far as the graduates of those particular institutions are concerned, we do have a significant degree of respect - the women folk here, as well as the girls who go. To study in Oxford, Cambridge, and Mt. Holyoke College and Bates College is a very big deal. And they're good people - good, sound minded, and very upright folk. Now, this country produced them - likewise, this country had also produced its fair share of stigma, often represented in Urdu short stories, plays, novels, and dramas. We are a vocal lot, and to that, we have done our fair bit as well in trying to get some
sort of solution to the problems here. Much like the rest of the world as well.
Here's what I mean:
Taking Pakistan as an example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic…
Yes, it exists, granted, BUT: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemio…
With that said: www.af.org.pk/gep/deskStudies/…www.bzu.edu.pk/PJSS/Vol32No120…ue.edu.pk/jrre/articles/61005.…prr.hec.gov.pk/thesis/607s.pdfwww.paas.com.pk/images/volume/…pc.gov.pk/mtdf/12-Women%20Empo…
The purpose of these articles is not to justify why Malala Yousafzai should not have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; its to indicate that the people of Pakistan have not been living in a shell and deciding on simply letting the matter go. For what its worth, this community - and to this I have seen it myself - has become conscious of women's rights. As an analogy, I'll talk of something I know is a fact: my batch for BS Applied Biosciences in my school, was 63 strong. And of those 63 students, 7 (including myself) were men - not
Also, another thing: www.nust.edu.pk/INSTITUTIONS/S…
That is representative of my school - it does have female and male staff in it, and at important positions at that.
And mind you, it is an internationally representative insitution. Many of them support women education, in fact some of them have family relatives who are actually working in the field towards women education. That, mind you, does not justify that Pakistanis would let the matter of Malala Yousafzai be considered as an undisputed and uncontested award. Her story, yes... its something out of a fairy tale, or Charles Dickens. Or, more specifically, something which would suit the environment created by Banoo Qudsia (a famous Urdu writer hailing from Pakistan and who has written about domestic violence, child abuse, gender discrimination, and representative portrayals of the rags-to-riches - or, in more twenty-first century parlance, "slumdog millionaire" - stories which do
happen here in Pakistan). But that's the point: its just one
aspect to her story.
Pakistan is not a small little T.P L.A.C, and that is something we tend to forget - not just the politicians, but also the people. People compare it to Botswana, Somalia, the Congo, Angola, Sierra Leone, New Guinea, The Ivory Coast, or Papau New Guinea - Tin Pot Little African Countries where niggers roam free with their drugs, AIDS infected womenfolk, Ebola, Civil Wars, Raping, and other Nigger privileges, and take pride in their ignorant bigotry and far far worse than the gangsta culture with its abuse of cocaine, its rise of a "free verse" renaissance, and other similar idiotic crap this world did not need.
I compare it to Tunisia, and Algeria, with the mix of Palestine, 1950s/1960s Germany, and bits of Japan, China, Russia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Morocco, Oman, Korea, Vietnam and even a tad bit of the States as well - it has its share of riots, it has its share of rot and crap, but its still a place considered exotic, and even unique in its own right. It is a fusion of everyone and everything - a true enigma which has forged its own personality, much like the names I have mentioned. Pakistan produced countless little Malala Yousafzais who are a part of our lives - and they do their bit.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arfa_Kar…
Arfa Karim became the Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9.dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Tech…
Although this article is not very well written (with its slighted approach), I'll still mention it anyway: blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/108…time.com/342/pakistani-boy-sto…
Aitazaz Hasan Bangash, the 14 year old Hangu resident who, single handedly - and with full acknowledgement of what must
be done - was killed by a suicide bomber, while defending the school he was studying in.
Other names who need be mentioned are as follows:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitara_B…en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babar_Iq…
(who I read about as well - quite a biggie in his own right, to be honest)tribune.com.pk/story/352089/9-…
(9 year old novelist from Lahore)
She deserves recognition, Malala Yousafzai does; but to say that she deserves the Nobel was a bit of an exaggeration.
Then again... I suppose that I see it often here in Pakistan and I admit, having grown up here in times of great deprivation, having seen how Pakistani children have lived, and having read about it to a significant extent that what I see is what I get:www.google.com.pk/url?sa=t&…tribune.com.pk/story/512539/ki…www.lahoreschoolofeconomics.ed…
I feel that... Malala Yousafzai could have done a shade better, and in fact, she ought to do something now that she's been awarded for her "efforts". For what its worth.
So yes... that was something which kept me up...
With that said... I've been reading a few public health articles as well. Keeping myself busy with the organization I've been busy with.nhsd-pak.org/
With that said though, I've become really conscious of my fluency in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. I speak it like a foreigner, like someone who isn't born here - an alien, in essence. And I am fully aware that its something that holds me back a lot. Although I might not be exceptionally verbose with the language itself, I am capable of reading Urdu and I do comprehend what is written or spoken by people... just that I do require a dictionary and a significant degree of internet services, or a translator, in order to give a fluent Urdu answer. And it hurts - I'll genuinely admit that my inability to speak Urdu fluently tends to make me feel hollow. Which is one of the few reasons I've stuck - or rather, remained entrenched - in my modicum of instruction and interaction through English. If its in something Roman (like French, or German or Dutch) I'll be able to read it. I do require English subtitles for other languages like Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Persian, Turkish and even Chinese, to name a few. With that said, I haven't developed an ear for some African languages; I find them jarring for my ears - its like a dog's whining or truck's honking or something similar for me, whenever I listen to it. I just haven't developed an ear for African languages, which is sad - or for that matter, South East Asian languages as well (which are sweeter, to a significant extent).
Haven't had any luck in the woman's side either. I haven't tried, nor do I feel I should. Consider this: after reading what you did up there *points at the block of writing on Malala Yousafzai* and considering me overall (this applying to the friends I've made here on dA who know me personally, as well as new entries) you reckon I should try? I keep my chin up by reminding myself about how far I have reached in life (my academics slowly rising up; my writing in general; my recognition on sites like dA, hellopoetry, wattpad, soundcloud and I suppose on twitter as well; my social awareness; the fact that I have published a book - locally, but still, its published - and have an authorship mentioned in a few articles as well; and that I've mustered the courage to actually write to magazines, something which I never thought of before), I think that it will inevitably happen, or it won't. I'll admit that I'm a pervert, and I'll admit that I tend to have promiscuous tendencies, but those tend to be when I am exceptionally comfortable with a woman - in reality, I'm harmless: Literally, you can slap me in the face, and the only thing I'll do - at worst - is glare for a moment, and then lower my eyes, and go to a corner... I wouldn't raise my hands on anyone, unless I'm pushed in a corner or unless I feel very strongly about something and I know that I am left with no choice. Although I was a very big dick when I was a teenager (a complete little misogynistic shit, and I hated that bastard), I feel I've come a long way, so I suppose that being a teenager was just me going through the whole process, in the end.
With that said, I've read a few intriguing works lately. On Book VI of Paradise Lost (John Milton), and finished Toby Harnden's "The IRA and South Armagh". And I'm reading (bit by bit) "The Casual Vacancy" by J. K. Rowling. I recently started a process towards compiling a memoir of my maternal grandfather. Its slowly progressing, I suppose, but I'm hopeful it will work out. At least I'm hopeful anyway. I'm getting to it slowly, and steadily (among other things keeping me busy), so wish me luck there. I have other projects keeping me busy as well, but those are for another time to be discussed.
For now, I think that this is enough.
I'll end this with simply: if anyone's interested in a copy of my book, let me know and I'll try to work something out... for what its worth. Keep being wonderful people, and I hope to hear from ya'll soon. Truly.