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Water crisis

Water connects every aspect of life. The water crisis is a health crisis. Access to safe water and sanitation means opportunity for improved health and the ability to help fight disease. Access to safe water means improved health. It means increased dignity and reduced psychological stress for young ladies and women.
The human body consists of 70% of water. Roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, of which 96.5% is contained in saltwater oceans. Less than one percent of the water on Earth is fresh and approachable. We all need it to survive. Nearly 10 percent of the world’s species live in lakes, rivers, wetlands and aquifers, and they are declining at a faster rate than terrestrial and ocean species. WWF is focusing on freshwater ecosystems to help produce a sustainable future for all. Population growth, changing consumption patterns and climate change have put increased pressure on our new water resources.
Cape Town is running out of water and low dam levels in the emerald-green highlands of Lesotho are raising alarm bells in South Africa’s industrial heartland around Johannesburg, which delivers so far avoided the shortages hitting other regions. The overall picture of South Africa is worrying, with Cape Town the most urgent.
Expressing concerns over using up water reserves in Pakistan, environmental experts and researchers say mega cities like Lahore lack safe drinking water. According to WASA Lahore, the ground water table depth in Lahore city has sunk by 600 feet to 1,000 feet. This is an alarming development as the water table depth in the rest of Punjab is between 30 to 60 bases.
Other large cities in Punjab facing the same situation are Faisalabad and Multan while the same situation also prevails in Karachi owing to its enormous size and humungous population. The urban centre is facing shortage of water as it is not getting the required 100 million gallons of water. Water theft and power outages at the pumping stations are also the main reason as to why the supply to Karachi is being moved.
New approaches to filtration and extracting moisture from air promise to relieve the world’s looming water scarcity crisis. Meanwhile, improved technology for capturing water vapour from the air holds out hope for arid areas.
Desalination technologies could take fresh water to everyone, but are currently very costly. Desalination is an operation that extracts mineral components from saline water. More generally, desalination refers to the removal of salts and minerals from a target sum. Most of the modern interest in desalination focuses on the cost-effective provision of clean water for human use. Along with recycled wastewater, it is one of the few rainfall-independent water sources.
Due to its energy consumption, desalinating sea water is generally more costly than fresh water from rivers or groundwater, water recycling and water preservation. Nevertheless, these alternatives are not always available and depletion of reserves is a critical problem worldwide. Presently, approximately 1% of the world’s population are dependent on desalinated water to meet daily needs. Desalinated water is usually healthier than water from rivers and ground water, and in that respect is less salty and lime scale in it.

Nevertheless, a revolution in water filtration developed at The University of Manchester could provide a much-needed solution, with ready access to clean water finally a real possibility for the world. A research team led by Professor Rahul Nair in Manchester University has developed a graphene-oxide membrane that makes whisky clear, paving the way for new commercial application of graphene membrane. The latest research report says that the newly developed membrane allowed alcohol to fall through and remove the larger molecules, which gives the amber colour to whisky. We filtered whisky and cognac through the graphene-oxide membrane. As a result, we reasoned that the membrane allowed, the alcohol to pass through, removing the larger molecules that give it amber colour. The clear whisky smells similar to the original whisky. According to Dr Nair, the new research would help them extend the applications of grapheme-based membranes from sea water desalination to organic solvent nanofiltration.
On April 2017, Prof Nair demonstrated that a multi-layer membrane made from graphite oxide can filter out the sodium chloride in seawater much more promptly and cleanly than existing techniques. Unlike sea water desalination, which separates salt from water, OSN technology separates charged or uncharged organic compounds from an organic solvent.
Prof Nair hopes full-sized desalination plants with graphene membranes will be possible within five years. Still, he thinks that a small scale version of the graphing filter can be developed for bottles and household units within two years. Initial studies indicate that all this is absolutely feasible with the graphene membrane; it performs superbly, better than anything else. Graphene filters would have the further benefit that they will not let any liquid through when they get to the end of their life. During the following few months, the portable graphing filters will be tested to check that they work for chemical contaminants such as cadmium, copper, arsenic, nitrites, nitrates and pesticides.
Solutions to the problems are there, it all depends how quickly actions are taken to resolve the issues.

Modern Slavery

The “sex work” discourse has turned the world’s oldest profession into the world’s most modern profession. The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country, from being legal and considered a profession to being punishable by death.
Prostitution has been practiced throughout ancient and modern cultures. Prostitution has been described as the world’s oldest profession, and despite consistent attempts at regulation, it continues nearly unchanged.
Prostitution was commonplace in ancient Israel. There are a number of references to prostitution in the Hebrew Bible. The Biblical story of Judah and Tamar provides a depiction of prostitution being practiced in that time period. Prostitution in Ancient Rome was legal and licensed. In Ancient Rome, even Roman men of the highest social status were free to engage prostitutes of either sex without incurring moral disapproval. At the same time, the prostitutes themselves were considered shameful. Most prostitutes were slaves or freedwomen, and it is difficult to determine the balance of voluntary to forced prostitution. Because slaves were considered property under Roman law, it was legal for an owner to employ them as prostitutes. During the Middle Ages prostitution was commonly found in urban contexts. Although all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage were regarded as sinful by the Roman Catholic Church, prostitution was tolerated because it helped prevent the greater evils of rape. However, sexual slavery was not considered prostitution and was very common during the Arab slave trade during the Middle Ages and early modern period. Women and girls from the Caucasus, Africa, Central Asia and Europe were captured and served as concubines in the harems of the Arab World.
In 1949, the UN General Assembly adopted a convention stating that, prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, requiring all signing parties to punish pimps and brothel owners and operators and to abolish all special treatment or registration of prostitutes. As of January 2009, the convention was ratified by 95 member nations including France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and not ratified by another 97 member nations including Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Prostitution has occupational hazards that few other jobs come close to: 82 percent of people in prostitution have been physically assaulted, 83 percent have been threatened with a weapon and 68 percent have been raped. The death rate among women in prostitution is higher than for any other group of women, including homeless women and drug addicts.
Groups claiming to represent “sex workers” are just as likely to be a voice for pimps as they are to represent the women who earn their living selling sex.
Several terms are becoming derogatory and indecent as human race is moving forward. In Oct 2010 President Barack Obama signed a legislation requiring the federal government to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in many areas of government.
It was Barack Obama who said that human trafficking should be renamed ‘modern slavery’, so as to highlight the appalling conditions people were living in.The same applies to prostitution: it is not ‘sex work’. Most of the time, it is modern slavery.

Prostitution has not changed. It is the same industry, the same rich men buying poor women, the same exploitation, the same violence and the same trafficking. What has changed is the label.
Hooker, whore, prostitute, call girl, harlot, slut, etc. etc.
At least to me I find all the above terms derogatory and disrespectful. Have we given any term to the men who pay these sex workers for their time? Why do they deserve any respect if women sex worker can’t?
Why are we judgemental towards the women sex workers only? Why not the men who is paying?
I am in agreement with the Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, where it is illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them — the client commits a crime, but not the sex worker.

 

Sadequain forever

IMG_7301بول کے لب آزاد ہیں تیرے

بول، زباں اب تک تیری ہے

تیرا ستواں جسم ہے تیرا

بول کہ جاں اب تک تیری ہے

دیکھ کے آہن گر کی دکاں میں

تند ہے شعل، سرخ ہے آہن

کھلنے لگے قفلوں کے دہانے

پھیلا ہر اک زنجیر کا دامن

بول، یہ تھوڑا وقت بہت ہے

جسم و زباں کی موت سے پہلے

بول کہ سچ زندہ ہے اب تک

بول، جو کچھ کہنا ہے کہہ لے

Majorelle Marrakech

Towering minarets against deep blue skies immediately spring to my mind whenever I think of Marrakech, known as the Red City thanks to the vividness of distinctive hue of the thick walls surrounding the old city. For decades Marrakech has been a popular tourist destination, attracting everyone from the Beatles to Yves Saint Laurent.

Vigorous and bustling Jemaa el Fnaa is a whirlwind of colour and noise, where concourse of people braid between packed stalls exhibiting brightly coloured spices, dry fruits and a thousand other goods, in the evening the square is packed with fire-eaters, acrobats, astrologers, and other characters of street entertainers.

Only a 20 minute walk from the Jemaa el Fnaa is one of the most evocative places in Marrakech, a tranquil garden Jardin Majorelle. As I enter the garden it seems hard to believe that only half an hour ago I was walking through the bustling crowds of Jemaa El Fnaa square. Inside the Majorelle gardens the atmosphere is totally tranquil, sky high bamboos, palm trees and the complex arrangement of cacti and flora has left me in an overwhelming feeling of reverence. The flows and pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers, delicate sound of dribbling water accompanies the song of the nightingale in the gardens, the rustling of leaves and the chirping of numerous exotic birds who come here to take refuge.

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Set up by the expatriate French painter Jacques Majorelle in 1920s.The son of well-known furniture designer Louis Majorelle, was born in 1886 in Nancy. After studying art in Paris, Majorelle visited Morocco, whose colours and light mesmerized him. Moving to Marrakech in 1919 with his wife, he bought four acres of land in 1923 where he built his Moorish-style villa. His greatest art work is supposed to be the Majorelle Garden, which he created in 1924. A special colour of blue, which he practiced extensively in the garden, is named after him – Majorelle Blue. During his travels, he brought home plants from all over the world, corresponded with fellow passionate gardeners worldwide, and amassed a total of 10 acres to have more distance. It took him forty years of love and dedication to create the enchanting garden in the heart of the Marrakech. The more he travelled, the more he enjoyed gardening, he began to bring plants from around the globe and to communicate internationally with people who shared his passion for botany. He took on hundreds of rare varieties of trees and plants.

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Majorelle opened it to the public in 1947. Sadly, after his 1956 divorce, he was pressured to sell off the property piece by piece. After a serious car accident, he went for medical treatment in the last year of his life to Paris, where he died in 1962. The garden was deserted after his death.

Since 1980 the garden has been owned by French Fashion Designer Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. After preserving the garden and villa from demolition for a new hotel, Saint Laurent bought them in 1980 with his partner Pierre Berge.

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Saint Laurent increased its number of plant species to 300 from 135, and installed automatic irrigation systems pegged to certain times and the demands of each plant. He and Berge lived in the villa, renamed Villa Oasis, which they decorated as an Orientalist fantasy, and turned Majorelle’s studio into a museum of Islamic artwork.

After Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) died in 2008, in the presence of numerous personalities and friends, Yves Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered at Villa Oasis, his private residence in Majorelle Garden.

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Saint-Laurent praised the garden as a “constant source of divine guidance,” saying he even dreamed about its vibrant colours. We were seduced by this oasis where the colours of Matisse were mixed with those of nature.

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Whore of Babylon

Several terms are becoming derogatory and indecent as human race is moving forward. In Oct 2010 President Barack Obama signed a legislation requiring the federal government to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in many areas of government.
Prostitution has been practiced throughout ancient and modern cultures. Prostitution has been described as the world’s oldest profession, and despite consistent attempts at regulation, it continues nearly unchanged.
Prostitution was commonplace in ancient Israel. There are a number of references to prostitution in the Hebrew Bible. The Biblical story of Judah and Tamar provides a depiction of prostitution being practiced in that time period. Prostitution in Ancient Rome was legal and licensed. In Ancient Rome, even Roman men of the highest social status were free to engage prostitutes of either sex without incurring moral disapproval. At the same time, the prostitutes themselves were considered shameful. Most prostitutes were slaves or freedwomen, and it is difficult to determine the balance of voluntary to forced prostitution. Because slaves were considered property under Roman law, it was legal for an owner to employ them as prostitutes. During the Middle Ages prostitution was commonly found in urban contexts. Although all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage were regarded as sinful by the Roman Catholic Church, prostitution was tolerated because it helped prevent the greater evils of rape. However, sexual slavery was not considered prostitution and was very common during the Arab slave trade during the Middle Ages and early modern period. Women and girls from the Caucasus, Africa, Central Asia and Europe were captured and served as concubines in the harems of the Arab World.

Hooker, whore, and prostitute, call girl, hooker, harlot, slut, etc. etc.
At least to me I find all the above terms derogatory and disrespectful. Have we given any term to the men who pay these sex workers for their time? Why do they deserve any respect if women sex worker can’t?
Why are we judgemental towards the women sex workers?
Don’t you think men visiting brothels are prostitutes not women?
What’s a polite and respectful name for a prostitute?
Ask yourself this question honestly?

Like mother like daughters

Every day is women’s day.

The International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been coming about for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.

This day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. The General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be remarked on any day of the year by Member States.

Obsession is, the domination of one’s thoughts or impressions by a persistent idea, image, or desire. Since I met with Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, I am obsessed with her fearlessness, her vision for democracy, her views on human rights and freedom of speech. Today Pakistan is celebrating the International Women’s day, I would like to share not a pleasant incident, but it is linked to her bravery.

On Nov 27 1991 a friend of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Farhana Veena Hayat was assaulted by five gunmen at her residence in Karachi. Ms Farhana Veena Hayat was the daughter of Sardar Shaukat Hayat, a prominent member of the All India Muslim League and granddaughter of Sir Sikander Hayat, chief minister of united Punjab.

She accused the province’s home affairs adviser, Irfanullah Marwat, a son-in-law of the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, of having ordered the violation. She claimed the rape was politically motivated because of her friendship with Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. There were two other cases set out the limelight because of Farhana Hayat’s case, Khursheed Begum and Rahila Tiwana, a Pakistan Peoples Party student activist. All three women were connected with PPP.

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She was raped to send me a message. This is the worst sort of male prejudice, male chauvinism to send a message to a woman political leader by raping her friend, her supporters: Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto led her Pakistan People’s Party, chanting “Fascists,” in an unprecedented walkout from President Ghulam Ishaq Khan’s ceremonial address to a session of Parliament. Firing tear-gas canisters and swinging batons, police later drove 2,000 Bhutto supporters away from the heavily guarded Parliament House. Ghulam Ishaq Khan denied any official complicity. He told the reporters that the charges against Irfan Ullah Marwat are nothing more than fabrication.

Initially, the Sindh. The government tried to sink off the case as one of audacity and assault. The police even refused to lodge an FIR. Benazir Bhutto, along with several political parties and women’s organizations, established a countrywide campaign demanding the arrest of the offenders but no arrests were made. Protests over the rape of Farhana Hayat reached a peak on 12 December 1991 when rallies were called in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi

On Dec 12 1991 the Sindh government formed a one-man tribunal consisting of Abdul Rahim Qazi of the Sindh High Court to test the case. The tribunal’s report, presented to the Sindh government two weeks later and made public. The tribunal cleared Mr Irfan Ullah Marwat of any engagement in the rape and also concluded there was no political motive behind the rope.

Mr Irfan ullah Marwat remained highly controversial during the term of office of all powerful Sindh Chief ministers, the late Jam Sadiq Ali. The two, along with the former DIG CIA, Samiullah Marwat, were blamed by Benazir Bhutto for unleashing a reign of terror on the PPP leaders and workers, which reminded her of the days of the late General Ziaul Haq.

Mr Irfan Ullah Marwat, who was elected from the PS-114 constituency on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) ticket, met Ex-President Asif Ali Zardari on 24TH February 2017 at the Bilawal House and announced joining the party. I just got blanked when I heard this news, couldn’t understand how to respond.

While I was in shock BB’s daughter came to the deliverance;

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All faiths and all societies have given parents an honourable status. From a purely material standpoint, we find ourselves indebted to our parents, I am sure it must have been very difficult for Miss Bakhtawar Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto to show their disagreement publicly, but it was the training of their brave mother who taught her children how to show your disagreement without being rude. Our indebtedness to our parents is so immense that it is not possible to repay it in full. Bakhtawar Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto you are an inspiration for millions this year and years to come. I hope you always will stand strong for the women of Pakistan.