Saturday, November 18, 2006

Babel--A Thought Provoking Film Mired in an Emotional soliloquy

A thought provoking reality film which on the surface of things appeared to have an ad-hoc plot, without any clear-cut goal; the film center, or rather centers were rural Morocco, technologically affluent Tokyo, and the wild-wild west along the U.S.-Mexico Border, south of San Deigo, California.

The film appeared to be a sort of emotional soliloquy, intermingled with disjointed inter-character discourse. Emotions ran awry, at times leaving the audience dazzled and perplexed; wondering what to make of the abrupt and disjointed scene changes. From Morocco to San Diego to Tokyo we are taken on a journey of the human state.

This was indeed an accurate depiction of the present state of affairs in the world today. How an incident such a couple kids playing with their fathers rifle in remote Morocco could turn into an International crisis.

An American tourist being shot by a stray bullet is no trivial situation, it would surely as the movie depicted involve government involvement at the highest level. With next to no first hand knowledge of the incident, the International press are shown to be having a field day concocting theory after theory on what they believed had transpired. As a result pushing the local Moroccan authorities to act fast and brutally to diffuse the relatively volatile situation that appeared to be brewing under the hot dessert sun.

One could argue that the film was a depiction of the 6-degree networking theory, where essentially it was the rifle which resulted in the whirlwind of events. With a Japanese hunter who presented his rifle as a gift to his Moroccan guide, who in turn sold it to a friend, who handed it over to his sons to shoot wild Jackal in the Mountains, to ensure the safety of their goats.

Towards the end of the film, the Japanese hunter made a remark to a cop in Tokyo that his wife didn't jump off the balcony but instead shot herself. Which makes one wonder, was it with this same rifle before his trip to Morocco? Perhaps one of the reasons he gifted the rifle to his Moroccan guide in the first place was to distance himself from the very item that reminded him of his wife's suicide?

In essence had the Japanese hunter not gifted the rifle to his guide, events wouldn't have transpired as they did in the film. The American tourist wouldn't have been hit by the stray bullet, the husband and wife couple wouldn't have rekindled their love and marriage, the Mexican Nanny wouldn't have been deported, instead whould made her journey to Mexico to attend her sons wedding and safely return without alerting the border petrol of her illegal status.

There is nothing such as an isolated event. According to the film every action is surely to have an equal and opposite reaction. Which in Physics is refered to as Newton's Third Law of Motion. As the world grows smaller with the advancement in technology, the effects of this law become more pronounced.

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Karachi: Industrialist's son held for cellphone robberies

KARACHI, Nov 13: Police on early Monday morning arrested a son of an industrialist for his alleged involvement in mobile phone snatchings following a shootout on Shaheed-i-Millat Road.

Educated at the Lawrence College in Ghora Gali and the British School, Junaid Abbas, 19, son of Asad Abbas, has up to 200 acts of cellphone snatching to his name, said SHO Aurenzeb of the Ferozabad police station. The snatchings had been carried out since April, he added.

Explaining the circumstances that led to his arrest, the SHO said Junaid deprived some people of their cellphones in the DHA area on late Sunday night.

The complainants informed the police helpline 15 about the incident. The suspects could not be found in the DHA, but over an hour later they were spotted at the Tariq Road intersection of Shaheed-i-Millat Road by a police party.

Following a shootout the suspects were arrested by the Ferozabad police.

They were identified as Junaid Abbas, Altaf, Munir and Rashid. Four TT pistols and 35 cellphones were seized from them, the SHO said.

Munir and Rashid have several cases of murder and possession of illegal arms registered against them at Korangi and Zaman Town police stations.

Junaid owns a floor mill in the Site area where he hired security guards and used them in cellphones snatching.

They also used to dump the cellphones in the floor mill. END DAWN REPORT

This is Pathetic, I could have understood if these were unemployed youth or homeless persons, but an industrialist's son? What on earth is going on? Someone who has access to three square meals a day, a roof over their head, which is more than the average man, woman and child on the streets of Karachi could ever ask for is involved in cellphone robberies. Worse, he has the security gaurds from his flour mill in SITE do the dirty work.

What has the world come to, is there not even an iota of morality and ethics left, or are we so "bighrofied" as a society that that the distinction between right and wrong are increasingly becoming blurred?

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In Memory of a Great Pakistani Patriot: Hasanally Abdur Rahman

There have been countless named and unnamed distinguished individuals whose whole life was spent in service to our great nation. One such individual who is well respected to this day in many circles of Pakistani society is the late Professor Hassanally Abdur Rahman, Barister-at-Law, Founder, architect and the First Principal of the Sindh Muslim Government Law College in Karachi.

Professor Hassanaly A Rahman was born in the Karachi, Sindh in the year 1909 C.E. to a respected professional, legal family of Sindh. He received is early education at the Sind Madressah and Saint Patrick School in Karachi. where after he joined the Aligarh Muslim University. He was called to the Bar at Middle Temple, England in 1934 C.E.

At Middle Temple he in a short span of time distinguished himself as a knowledgeable and persuasive advocate and also leader of the Bar. He was one the few Muslim advocates of Karachi, before the 1947 C.E. partition of the Pak-Indo Sub-Continent, to be elected to the office of President of the Karachi Bar Association.

Mr. Hassanally stood for the rule of law, wherein lies the salvation of the nation. He was one of Pakistan’s greatest patriots, and a staunch supporter and follower of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, or Mr. Jinnah, as he would respectfully and affectionately refer to the founding father.

Professor Rahman’s love for Pakistan knew no bounds. As principal of the Sind Muslim Law College, he would make it mandatory that every student at the time of admission sign the “pledge of a law student:”

“I shall serve Pakistan to the best of my ability, and
I shall abstain from creating dissension and hatred.”

The late Professor Rahman was also known as a social and community leader. He served as Vice Chancellor (1964 C.E. - 19XX C.E.) at the Sindh University, Jamshoro. He was the treasurer of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Secretary General of All Pakistan Educational Society and President, Sind Madressah and S.M. Law College Board. In 1952 C.E., he led the Pakistani delegation to UNESCO and in 1953 C.E. represented the country at the Commonwealth University Conference.

The untimely death of his illustrious younger brother, Mr. Justice Tufail Ali Abdul Rahman, on the 16th of January 1975 inflicted a heavy blow on his health, happiness and law practice; On April 19th, 1982 he made his last appearance at a function hosted in his honour and in recognition of his contribution to the cause of the legal profession and education at the Sindh Muslim Law College.

It was in the year 1986 that this illustrious figure of Pakistan took to his deathbed. The members of his legal fraternity held Mr. Hassanally Abdul Rahman in great reverence; He was well respected by the Pakistan Supreme Court bench and Bar Association. What added to his stature were his polite and gentlemanly manners in court. Though he was an eminent educationists and reputable successful law-advocate, he never developed a false pride to ignore people he had known even slightly and was always the first to raise his hand to say “As Salaam Alaykum.”

*Primary source: Newsletter, Sind Muslim Law College and tit-bits of family anecdotes.
** Visit Hassanally Abdur Rahman's bio on wikipedia

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

Tuesday, November 07, 2006