12 Hours in Istanbul…

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I have always been a savvy traveller trying to get the most out of my money, so when the opportunity arose to do exactly that I jumped at the chance. During my recent visit to Lebanon I realised if I had a longer layover it would make my flight cheaper. Me, being the opportunist I am, extended my layover to 12 hours in the turkish capital. And so began my 12 hours in Istanbul.

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The Hakawati – Rabih Alameddine

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“Listen. Allow me to be your god. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you a story.”

Star Rating : 5/5

The Hakawati could be described as a story within a story, or a memoir of someone’s life along side a rich ancient culture of story telling. Either way this book is a masterpiece and entertaining to say the least. From the first chapter my attention was drawn and kept with the intertwining stories between timelines and the magical, mystical element of ancient history

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[insert] Lives Matter –

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Together we laugh,
together we cry.
Forced to stand silent
and watch people die.

Where is this justice?
This freedom of speech?
Our kids are watching,
Is this what we want to teach?

That people are less
because of the religion they follow.
Dehumanising a community,
just like the Pharaoh.

No matter who you are,
or the colour of your skin.
The media is always winning
if they’re telling you what to think.

The Truth About…. Culture

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Culture is a wonderful thing, it gives you a chance to be different and unique. It has given us the gift of music, food and language but not all is sunshine and rainbows as they say. Being a British Asian I have had the experience, like many others, of growing up with two different types of culture. Being British and being South Asian. Britain is known for its multiculturalism and there are people from all different nationalities living in the UK today. As people came leaving behind their homeland they brought with them their culture.

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My Top 5 HUM TV Shows

The evolution of Pakistani cinema as been that of remarkable substance. It has grown over the years to become one of the most viewed genre on TV. The creativity and talent shown through their screen and song writers its no wonder that their popularity has increased through the last few years. The key factor which drew me into Pakistani drama was that they progress with speed and tackle very political subjects. Pakistan is also know for is quality in music which  demonstrated with the amazing title songs of each of the serials below as well as the world famous Coke Studios. Below I have compiled my top 5 TV shows and reasons for them. Spoiler alerts will be posted.

5. Mere Meherban

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Mere Meherban released in 2014. The award winning dram is centred around a family environment drama focusing on 2 brothers Nassir and Basser. Nassir is well off  and the Bassir is a barely making ends meet. The serial focusing on the relationship between the two brothers and their families. Nassirs daughters and wife are portrayed as the high nose society girls looking down on their lower status family treating them like the help. All gets complicated when Nassirs only son has his eyes set on Haya, the daughter of his Thaya. The story then goes to evolve around the trials and tribulations faced by both families. The serial focuses on the importance of family and not taking people for granted because in your difficult time its your own who come to your aid.

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Modesty-

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She walks down the street from
head to toe she is covered.
Lower your gaze sister
keep your body undiscovered.

They say ‘The Parda’ is a veil
to protect the beauty of the face
Don’t attract too much attention sister
don’t attract a moth to the flame.

But why is her modesty judged
by how much she veils herself.
Instead of focusing on her values,
her morals and the people that she helps.

Let’s redefine modesty to dress
in what we feel comfortable in.
As what may be modest to you and me
for someone else it may be a sin

The Truth About…. Lebanon

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The Masjid al Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut 

When I started telling people I was going to visit Lebanon I got one of 2 reactions. The first being the typical response of ‘Where is that?’, the second response was the typical one you always get when you tell someone you’re travelling to the middle east. The over cautious ‘Why are you going there?’, ‘Is it safe?’ and ‘What if you get caught up in a terrorist attack?’.

The Middle East has drawn my interest over the last few years. I have become to accustomed to the language and culture, something so similar yet very different to my own. My expectations of Lebanon were somewhat hazy, having been to Palestine the year before I had some inclination of what to expect from a Middle Eastern country but I wasn’t entirely sure what this may entail. I believed Lebanon to be a sort of revolutionary capital within the Middle East, a home to a variety of Arabic residents full of creativity and ambition. I imagined Beirut to be a thriving capital full of intellects and nightlife. That is exactly what I found, to an extent.

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