i cant sleep God.

When I am with you we stay up all night
When you’re not here, I cannot go to sleep
Thank God for these two insomnias
and the difference between them
Rumi

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The middle class debate

Almost all the powerful ideas that shaped human societies up until the past 300 years were religious in nature. this was rather relevant and educational  to read.

The middle class debate

Published: April 1, 2012

The writer is a former vice-president of the World Bank and a former caretaker finance minister of Pakistan

There is a debate both inside and outside Pakistan about the size of the middle class in the country. I had suggested in an article written some time ago for Dawn that the size of the middle class was about 40 million. At that time the country’s population was about 170 million. If my estimate was correct, the Pakistani middle class accounted for a bit less than 24 per cent of the population. This did not seem to be an unreasonable estimate for a country at Pakistan’s stage of development. I had used a simple back-of-the-envelope type of calculation to reach my estimate, which used the World Bank’s income distribution numbers for Pakistan that provided the shares of income for the upper and lower deciles of population and for the quintiles in between.

Based on considerably more robust pieces of analyses carried out by several Indian scholars, it was determined that the Indian middle class accounted for some 40 per cent of that country’s population. This meant that some 500 million people in India could be said to belong to this economic and social class. While the Indian estimate generated considerable excitement among western businesses, my estimate for Pakistan provoked some controversy. At a conference held in Belagio, Italy, some participants from the US doubted my numbers, suggesting that it was a very high estimate. Why this questioning when a much larger one for India was readily accepted?

The answer is simple. There is a group of scholars in the US who believe that the endgame has been reached for Pakistan as we (and they) know the country today. They believe that Pakistan is now ripe for takeover by Islamic radicals. Once they have succeeded in overthrowing the current political and social order, they will go on to establish a regime not too different from the one that has been governing for the last several decades. Such a regime, like the one in Tehran, will be hostile towards the West, in particular towards the US. It will also be much more dangerous being in possession of a large nuclear arsenal — now believed to be the fourth largest in the world — a radical Islamic Pakistan would pose a serious threat to the US, and by implication, to the state of Israel.  The West should, therefore, be prepared to take action to prevent such an unpleasant outcome. It was, however, not specified exactly what action should be taken.

The middle class estimate, such as the one I had offered, countered this line of thinking. It was recognised that the middle classes normally are more inclined towards modernity than other classes. In this context it is worth quoting from Francis Fukuyama’s recent article in Foreign Affairs.  He writes: “It is most broadly accepted in countries that have reached a level of material prosperity sufficient to allow a majority of their citizens to think of themselves as middle-class, which is why there tends to be a correlation between high levels of development and stable democracy”. He accepts the fact that there can be deviations from this path, as has been the case in Iran and Saudi Arabia, but that is explained by their enormous oil wealth which they can use to obtain the loyalty of the middle class. The Arab Spring has shown — he maintains — that the middle class can be mobilised against any kind of dictatorship including the theocratic ones to which the followers of radical Islam aspire. What stands in the way of the nightmare seen in Pakistan by some American scholars is the middle class. If it is large enough, their fear is unfounded and no action is needed. The academics advocating that the West should be prepared, don’t like this conclusion to be reached since it is likely to breed complacency amongst policymakers.

More serious work has been done on the size of the middle class in Pakistan since I wrote my article. In a recent contribution by the economist Sakib Sherani to Dawn titled “Consumption conundrum” (March 23), he presents a much higher estimate than I had provided, both in terms of the size of the middle class in Pakistan and its proportion in the total population. “I updated the figure arrived at earlier, making one crucial adjustment: for the estimated size of Pakistan’s undocumented (or ‘black’ economy). The adjusted figure for the middle class is a staggering 70 million people, or 40 per cent of the population”, he writes. This brings the Pakistani situation closer to the one that is generally accepted for India.

A large Pakistani middle class will keep Pakistan moving on a relatively liberal path in terms of its economic and political development. This class is also influenced by the members of the large Pakistani and Muslim diasporas, particularly in the US. The Pakistani middle class is well-represented in the various diasporas dispersed across the globe. Notwithstanding the European and American fears about the penetration of radical Islam into these communities, large segments of these populations have picked up the liberal economic, political and social values of their host populations. This makes the diasporas more modern and secular than the native populations from which they are drawn. With the development of communication technologies in recent years, the Muslim communities in the West are not only in touch with their homelands, they are also influencing the populations from which they come from.

We know from the several case studies that have been carried out to understand the dynamics of the Arab Spring, that the diasporas had a deep influence on the events leading up to the uprisings in the streets and the public squares. Prominent members of the diasporas are now prominently engaged in the political restructuring of countries such as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s rise has the support and financial backing of the Pakistani diasporas in Britain, the Middle East and North America. I think it is safe to assume that Pakistan’s development will be deeply influenced by its middle class, which is not likely to adopt the radicalism on offer by various groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban.

A bold and simple mode of life

taking free style writing n Pakistani style over analysis seriously to a whole new level!

HILARIOUS! commonsensical on #savingface http://is.gd/zmWBjC

on the other hand, heh. i can understand why would any one hate a muslim? we need to be re packaged and not as above, muslims are egotistical and lost in various wrongly assumed quranic translations of quran. thats ok. and “as plain as my bigotry is to see” and i like that confusion [cos you have to be an Asian, and in Pakistanis shoes to totally ‘get it’ ]

The splendour of a monarch great is worthless for the free and bold:
Where lies the grandeur of a king, whose riches rest on borrowed gold?
You pin your faith on idols vain and turn your back on Mighty God:
If this is not unbelief and sin, what else is unbelief and fraud?

Luck favours the fool and the mean, and exalts and lifts to the skies
Only those who are base and low and know not how to patronize.

One look from the eyes of the Fair can make a conquest of the heart:
There is no charm in the fair sweet, If it lacks this alluring art.

I am a target for the hate of the mighty rich and the great,
As I know the end of Caesars great and know the freaks of luck or fate.

To be a person great and strong is the end and aim of all;
But that rank is not real and true that is attained by the ego’s fall.

My bold and simple mode of life has captured each and every heart;
Though my numbers are lame and dull And lay no claim to poet’s art.

i d like to address this double standard issue through a system of thought i happily subscribe to [as pro regionalism, non taliban,neoliberal nationalist, proudly present in the definition of quran] being rather skeptical of globally imposed western school of “thought”, which hysterically, is totally Islamic in practice! allama is the best person to understanding Quran, allama iqbal had stream of consciousness and a bit of wine to become shair e mashriq, and beautifully delivers Easts understanding of good western progress, and what all man kind including all kinds of Muslim definitions must become. Must watch.

The only way out is Through!

In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and watch how the pattern improves.
Transformation: By Jalaluddin Rumi.

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Chapter 2

When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it knows good as good, evil arises
Thus being and non-being produce each other
Difficult and easy bring about each other
Long and short reveal each other
High and low support each other
Music and voice harmonize each other
Front and back follow each other
Therefore the sages:
Manage the work of detached actions
Conduct the teaching of no words
They work with myriad things but do not control
They create but do not possess
They act but do not presume
They succeed but do not dwell on success
It is because they do not dwell on success
That it never goes away

Inspiration: Bracha L. Ettinger

themes: human subjectivity, feminine sexuality, maternal subjectivity, psychoanalysis, art and aesthetics fertility eternity creativity femininity good luck happiness knowledge transformation

Being Muslim: a balanced individual

Talking about religion gets people hyper, vocal, holier than thou and abusive. I believe faith is about calmness and keeping hope, moderate activism and creating and encouraging balance and harmony. after countless passionate discussions, on exhaustive religious differences , i still felt empty after winning every argument. Something changed since 2007, few meetings over a  year with baba (the first person who recognized my “weirdness” and asked me to write) since i found writing allow more explicit  and decontextualized interaction, than speech, which depends on a spontaneous, shared situation which i abhorred briefly, his non judgmental interactions made me see and feel things differently.  Funny how with him i never discussed religion but he still made me grow, i find writing about religion and other combative issues alot easier now.

– Human rights! And responsibilities

Most western (i.e Western culture , Western civilization or European civilization) theories are extremist about their ideology,  they focus on the self centered need  /rights of citizens but doesn’t address “responsibility” to other community and world at large. words like Moderation , Regularity , Rest , BALANCE , Activity are lost in the ideology of speed, fast lane, look busy, Now an abundance of “rights” and scarce encouragement of “responsibilities” generates imbalance, inequalities and unrest.

civil and military “Responsibilities” are the foundation of all human “rights”; without responsibilities, there will automatically be no rights.

From an Islamic perspective, there are six essential elements to generating a culture of recognition of rights and responsibilities:

• Awareness of the need to appreciate others
• Acknowledgement of others needs over your own needs
• Appreciation of self first, then others
• Acceptance of your role as a giver
• Action of recognition that leads to constant ethical acts which become habits
• Accountability whereby each individual asks this simple question: What have I done to deserve to be a citizen of this country and how am I contributing to the well-being of others?

Deepak Chopra: the personal and collective growth guru. just reiterates the above on finding balance along with his hindu/buddhist teachings: Amazing stuff!

1. Know that the world “out there” reflects your reality “in here.” The people
you react to most strongly, whether with love or hate, are projections of your
inner world.

2. Shed the burden of judgment – you will feel much lighter. Judgment imposes
right and wrong on situations that just are.

3. Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either through food , drink, or
toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system.

4. Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior. Fear is the
product of memory, which dwells in the past.

5. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence.
Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a
portion of this intelligence resides in you, you share in the organizing power
of the cosmos.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra
(Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Where the streets have no name, but art does.

Just like the Billboard painting performed in Pakistan, there is another indigenous form of art performed in Pakistan and it is the Truck Painting. With its all colorful floral patterns, depiction of human heroes with creative aspect ratios, calligraphy of poetic verses and driver’s words of wisdom, this form of art is truly a part of Pakistani transport tradition. Many trucks and buses in Pakistan are highly customized and decorated by their owners.

gorgeous via karachi khatmal

These adorned vehicles are considered as movingart, or jingle art. Because of their unique decor style, these vehicles are quite distinct in layout from other trucks around the world. Each part of the vehicle is decorated differently, with variations depending on the regional style. Although the decorative process is usually very expensive, it is still practiced throughout Pakistan as well as a few other countries of South Asia and Central Asia with great zeal and aesthetic zest.InPakistan a truck driver/owner usually pays $3,000 to $5,000 for their vehicle’s external decoration.

This decoration includes structural changes, paintingscalligraphy, ornamental decor and more. Mirror work on the front and back of vehicles and wooden carvings on the truck doors are commonly used. Usually, the driver or the owner takes the truck to a coach workshop soon after its purchase for this decoration. The artist embellishes each truck according to the particular tastes of the driver

http://www.pakistantruckart.com/

bigtruckwDecorative elements :colors movement and memory, Form , Colour ,space, poetry, Calligraphy , local wisdom, Flora and fauna