a broken soul in search for the cornetto girl

•September 12, 2007 • 10 Comments

guess what i bumped into today. a friend of mine sent me a link to a comedy clip that some guys have made up regarding the whole cornetto girl syndrome. i just think that the whole concept of the cornetto girl is rather sweet and they have protrayed it really well in the drama. there is a whole website (http://canteenkahani.com/) dedicated to it and a couple of weeks back i caught the last two episodes that i had missed coz of a friends wedding on the website. i know it all looks like a huge marketing campaign by walls but the drama reminds me of college a lot. by the fourth year of college you have been engrained so much into the system that nothing really catches your fancy, but it was the early years that really make me nostalgic when i think about them. but this is the life that we really live. and even though guys think that they are pulling the wool over our eyes, deep down every girl knows whats going on in the mind of the guy.

anyways, the video is attached here for your viewing pleasure.

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When the kids are not safe … and how adults help in that- part 0ne

•September 10, 2007 • 2 Comments

THE biggest crime against Humanity ( innocence thats forced out of them), I have always had my heart stopped when I read, or heard a story about a child being sexually abused, I felt as though my skin would start to tighten and have a large amount of anger … that made me so helpless and desperate because I don’t have the ability to do anything about it, around 2 years ago I was watching Opera with my mom  and she had Ricky Martin on the show my mom is a die heart fan of his and he mentioned what work he is doing with Thailand and also the work in India about saving children from prostitution and sexual abuse, and there is one case he mentioned which was a man paid around $100,000 to have sex with a six months old baby girl !!!! they younger they are the more money they get from them, but I also want to mention that there many kids who get abused by family members .. fathers .. brothers .. uncles .. cousins .. grandfathers .. family friends .. and so many more .. I wish that I can take all that pain away from all these innocent kids.. I read a couple of articles and have posted them … I will write more about the effects this has on them on the long run …

Almost half of Indian children suffer physical abuse: study
NEW DELHI, March 17: Almost half of Indian children surveyed for a landmark national study were physically, sexually or economically abused, according to leaked results.

One quarter of almost 17,000 children and young adults surveyed had been sexually abused, many by relatives, while 40 per cent had been beaten, many by persons in authority, the results showed.

The survey is part of the first comprehensive study of child abuse in India, a child welfare official said on Saturday, but would not comment on the findings, which are not yet public.

However, national news magazine Outlook, which has obtained a copy of the study, reported that “close to 50 per cent of the respondents spoken to have suffered some form of abuse”.

“Twenty-five per cent of the children have suffered sexual abuse. In more than 30 per cent of the cases, relatives of the child are involved,” the magazine said. The same findings were reported in the Hindustan Times daily.

Forty per cent of the children in the study, which the government plans to release at the end of March, had been beaten, the media reports said.

The beating figures were even worse for children in the capital New Delhi.

“Nearly 71 per cent have been physically beaten by persons in position of authority,” the Outlook report said.

“In more than 56 per cent of the cases (in New Delhi), the beating resulted in bleeding,” it said.

The study also said 60 per cent of those children surveyed had suffered economic abuse which included forced labour.

It was conducted in 13 states by Indian nongovernmental group Prayas and backed by the UN’s child welfare agency Unicef and Save the Children Fund.

Children, chosen at random, were questioned on the street, at jobs, in schools, in institutions and in their own homes.

The study would shed much-needed light on the nature and extent of child abuse in India which was under-reported to government authorities, the project’s leader said.—AFP

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Why, in the name of God?
By Zulqernain Tahir

The church in the West and religious seminaries in Pakistan have been found time and again to have more than a fair share of child abusers in their ranks. In a developing country like ours, with few social institutions, many working for seminaries admit having the problem, but insist that it is rampant in society as a whole and not just a seminary-specific issue. Certainly not the whole truth, for the subject remains taboo. Consider, for instance, why are seminaries not linked to drug peddlers, murderers or thieves, who also are a wider social menace? Why just child abusers?
Some four years ago, the father of Atiq-ur-Rehman, 10, of Rahim Yar Khan, got him enrolled in a Lahore-based seminary. His dreams to make his son a hafiz-i-Quran were shattered when Atiq told him that his teacher had sodomised him and he did not want to continue his studies there. Now, the child is too scared to go to even another seminary.

Narrating his ordeal, Atiq said one Qari Rafiuddin, appointed at the seminary in Liaquatabad a few months ago, treated him harshly for not memorising his lessons. One day Rafiuddin called him in his hujra, a one-room residence built on the premises, in the evening and sodomised him –– a crime that was repeated several times later by the perpetrator.

Eventually the boy reported the incident to his father who got an FIR registered against the accused at the Liaquatabad Police Station under Section 377 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The accused is on judicial remand these days.

This is one of the 20 other cases of sexual abuse registered with the Lahore police during the last three months. In another case, a seminary teacher has been indicted for his involvement in a similar crime. In the remaining 18 cases, the children were lured by the people of their locality and most of the victims did not inform their parents about the incidents until several days later. However, the change in the behaviour of the children concerned led their parents to suspect that some untoward incident had taken place and upon their insistence, the children opened up.

Recently, the police killed two men accused of sodomy in an ‘encounter’ in Sherakot, Lahore. In this particular case, nine-year-old Muhammad Tayyab, the son of a Qari who runs a seminary in the area, was the victim. Three people allegedly sodomised him and subsequently murdered him. The police managed to arrest the accused the day after the crime. There was so much resentment among the people of the area over the heart-rending incident that they supported the police action.

Hafiz Azeem, a former student of a seminary located in the walled city, says that in some cases older students abuse the younger ones. However, he dispelled the impression that seminary teachers are involved in such acts. “The government is very keen on registering seminaries but it pays no attention to improving the living conditions of the students, especially those residing there,” he complains.

In most seminaries in Punjab, he adds, students are kept like animals and are often not provided with sufficient food even.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, who also runs a seminary, admits that sexual abuse does exist in seminaries but the number of perpetrators is limited. He believes that the issue is not confined to seminaries alone as it is rampant in society as a whole.

“This is often attributed to seminaries in order to defame Islam,” Maulana Farooqi claims, adding that those who are suspected of involvement in the heinous crime are expelled from seminaries and they do not get admission in any other seminary under the rules of the Wafaqul Madaris. “In order to curb this menace a qari monitors the rooms or a hall where 10 to 20 students live,” he adds.

Maulana Farooqi says he is for meting out strict punishment to an abuser. “Islam has fixed stricter punishment for committing sodomy than that for fornication. However, under the Pakistan Penal Code, the accused of sodomy faces an imprisonment for only 14 years.”

Advocate in the Supreme Court, Manzoor Malik, says that Section 377 deals with carnal intercourse that is considered unnatural and an accused faces 14 years’ imprisonment for it upon conviction.

“Though a medico-legal report is important in a case when a victim reports the incident several days after sodomy has been committed, it is difficult to establish it. However, a witness from the side of the victim is enough to get the accused penalised,” Malik disclosed.

As Maulana Farooqi says, the menace is extensive in society, and the Child Protection Welfare Bureau figures appear to support his viewpoint. The bureau has rescued more than 4,400 such children since its inception in 2005.

According to the bureau official, Nabil Malik, a few lucky ones are not abused —- a revelation that must be noted by our policymakers for coming up with steps to deal with the menace.

“The government should at least provide shelter after rescuing all destitute boys and girls from the roads because there they are an easy prey for perpetrators.”

A bureau study says that a good number of the children caught while seeking alms at various Lahore intersections are members of beggar families and not a mafia.

“The statistics show that poverty compels people to make their children beg,” says a bureau official. These children have been handed over to their parents or guardians on the assurance that they will not force them again into begging. “Ironically their parents or guardians know that by doing so they are exposing their children to sexual abuse as well. Perhaps they have no other alternative,” he observes.

The official notes that these families often do not quit the habit of begging and move to other parts of the country as this is an easy way for them to keep begging. On the other hand, runaway children are said to be easy prey for those exploiting children for prostitution, beggary and forced labour.

According to the Society of Protection of the Rights of the Child, at least 10,000 children living in a metropolis have left their houses for various reasons. The notorious serial killer Javed Iqbal, of Lahore, is said to have sodomised and killed over 100 children after luring them to his flat from places like Data Darbar, the Badami Bagh bus stand and other areas where runaway children usually take refuge.

Under the Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act, 2004, the government is bound to rescue and provide shelter to destitute children. The government may establish one or more courts for a given area and appoint a presiding officer in consultation with the Lahore High Court. Until a court is established in an area, the LHC may confer powers upon a district and session’s judge or an additional district and sessions judge to carry out legal proceedings on its behalf.

The law provides that the court shall decide a case within one month from the date of production of a child. It may also order the admission of a destitute child to a child a protection institution or the child’s custody be entrusted to a suitable person until he attains the age of 18.

Fines and imprisonments have been introduced by the court for keeping unauthorised custody of children, their employment for begging, giving them intoxicants and drugs, permitting them to enter places where drugs are sold, inciting them to bet or borrow and exposing them to seduction.

The Child Protection Bureau has handed over about 4,100 children of the total rescued ones to their guardians so far. However, a lot more needs to be done on this front because the problem is prevailing in other parts of the country as well.

Some studies hint that in Pakistan one out of every three girls and one out of every four boys is abused. Psychologists say parents must teach children to distinguish between a harmless embrace and sexual advances. It is a myth that children are abused only by strangers or that an attractive child could be a victim. Children should be taught which parts of the body are private, and that they have the right not to allow anyone to touch them.

Parents must also watch out for infections, itching, bleeding, urinary tract infections, bruises and cuts in the genital area of the child or for delinquent behaviour on the part of the child. Most parents shy from discussing sex and reproductive health with their children. They either do not have enough information about the subject or think it inappropriate. When parents do not tell their children about hormonal changes, they will try to get such information from friends, which is either deficient or deceptive.

Under international legislation, the rights of the child must be protected from economic and sexual exploitation. The laws also protect them from performing work that is hazardous or interferes with the child’s education or is harmful for his or her physical, mental, moral and social wellbeing.

A victim’s tale

Twelve-year-old Abdul Wahab has been through the agony of sexual abuse for four years. He was eight when a group of four boys in his locality near the Lahore railway station made him a glue-sniffing addict and then started abusing him. Though he was rescued by the Child Protection Welfare Bureau from Data Darbar over a year ago and subsequently rehabilitated, he started it again. The abuse continued till June last, when a bureau team member took him into custody from Ali Park in Hira Mandi, which serves as a rendezvous for addicts, including children.

Wahab, whose father works in a workshop, blames other boys of his area for making him an addict. “They lured me to addiction because they wanted to abuse me,” he believes. He has six siblings but his parents do not care much for any of them.

“My elder brother and I used to seek alms at intersections, considering it an easy way to make some buck. My brother, however, does not sniff glue, smoke hashish or opium, the intoxicants I had developed a taste for,” he confesses.

Wahab is so malnourished that he does not look more than eight years of age. He seems to be a rather precocious child.

“When the Bureau first handed me over to my father, he gave me a sound thrashing. My father’s hostile attitude forced me to quit home again and join the company of the same boys,” he discloses. “During the day we would beg and in the evening we would smoke up whatever we could lay our hands on. The older boys told me how to save money by taking free breakfast and lunch from Baba Chhatriwala on Ravi Road, and the evening meal at Data Darbar.”

The Bureau officials are trying to instil the desire for learning art in Wahab so as to enable him to earn a respectable living and to wean him away from begging. The officials say that they are also doing their best to make him learn a technical skill. — Z.T.

Getting away with it

A considerable number of cases pertaining to sodomy generally go unreported for various reasons and, more importantly, owing to the socio-cultural concerns. Children belonging to the lower income groups have been found more vulnerable to this crime. Street children are extremely susceptible to sexual molestation; however, their cases are seldom reported as they have no legal guardian to take them to the police or for medical examination.

The police often ignore the cases where street children have been subjected to brutality. They don’t take the initiative in registering the case on behalf of the state. Generally, it is seen that the accused in these cases, in some way or the other, don’t get the appropriate punishment as stipulated by the law. By and large, the investigations carried out by the police in such cases are so flawed that it becomes easy for the accused to get away with it. Medical examination in sodomy cases is very important based on which a case can be built. However, due to lack of knowledge, the victim reaches the hospital two or three days after the crime. By that time, vital evidence is lost and mere physical marks of injuries are registered in the medico-legal reports.

Recently a case was reported where the act of sodomy was established in the medical report and circumstantial evidence also pointed a finger at the accused. But the accused got away even after the cancellation of his bail application by the court. It is clear that this could not have taken place without the connivance of the police at some level.

Seminary teachers are, off and on, caught or have been accused of molesting their students. Intimidation rules supreme in such situations where the teacher is guilty of this crime. Sometimes the child is repeatedly abused until he breaks down and discloses it to his guardian or parents.

In 2003, a young boy was subjected to sodomy by four policemen near Colony Gate, Shah Faisal Colony, Karachi. Following the incident, the boy committed self-immolation in his house the same night when he locked himself up in the washroom, and died shortly after being taken to hospital. The four policemen accused in the case, though initially caught, were released after a few months mainly due to the flawed investigation carried out by an inquiry officer of the Shah Faisal Colony police station. Generally, far fewer cases of sodomy are reported than those of rape. The annual figures collected at the Civil Hospital show that in 2006, 40 cases of sodomy were reported at the hospital while 141 rape cases were reported during the same period. —S Raza Hassan

Child abuse and the church

The menace of child abuse is a real threat in the UK. Ask any parent of young children here and you would be shocked to know how much they dread the possibility of their children being abused when out of their homes and beyond parental watch. Schools and churches are no exceptions.

Since the evil was exposed by the victims of wayward priests several decades ago, efforts are being made to tackle it both at the level of the church and introduce stricter vigilance by the law enforcing agencies. That the menace continues to linger despite all these efforts is said to have brought to the fore the limitations of administrative and legal measures in suppressing a social evil.

Also the game of cover up is said to be rampant because the churches do not want transgressions of a few of their members to be the cause of loss of faith of the masses in the institution. Secondly, they feel that by suppressing the misdeeds of a minority they are actually saving the majority of the priests from being looked as suspect. And thirdly, public exposure has become too costly for the churches as many in the US have gone bankrupt by paying compensation to the victims.

In April this year Peter Halliday, the choirmaster was jailed for two-and-a-half years for abusing three boys at St. Peter’s church in Farnborough between 1985 and 1990. In 1990, he admitted to the church he had abused one boy. He was forced to leave the job but police were not told. And again in the same month David Smith, the vicar of St. John the Evangelist church in Clevedon, Somerset, was jailed for five-and-a-half years on 12 counts of indecently assaulting boys for 30 years. The Church of England officials were reportedly twice alerted but no action was taken.These two cases are said to have highlighted inadequacies of churches’ so-called code of conduct guidelines.

Earlier, in November 2004, Peter Cranch, the Church of England priest, was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a choirboy at All Saints’ Church in Exmouth. In 1999 he received a two-year suspended sentence for abusing boys in the 1970s. In July 2003, Robin Everett the vicar was jailed for five years on seven counts of assault against two girls in the early 1980s. Some of the abuse took place in the vestry of his church in Castle Donington, Leicestershire.

In 2000, Anthony Clayton was convicted of performing a sex act on a boy at his Derbyshire vicarage and jailed for six months. In 1985 Terence Knight was jailed for three-and-a-half years for abusing seven boys when he was a priest in Portsmouth between 1975 and 1985. There were complaints in 1985 but nothing happened for 10 years until one victim went to the police.

Recently Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has promised that independent reviews would be set up in every diocese to investigate outstanding allegations of child abuse against clergy and other church workers.

The Rt Rev Nigel McClloch, Bishop of Manchester, has already asked an independent lawyer to review 850 files on complaints against clergy in his diocese alone. The church is reviewing its codes of conduct guidelines for the third time since they were introduced in 1995.

The full extent of child abuse scandals threatening the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has emerged in a recent study by the archdiocese of Dublin which reveals that more than 100 of its priests have faced paedophile accusations since 1940.

The report constitutes the most serious admission by a senior cleric in the republic. More than 350 children are said to have been sexually or physically abused in that period.

However, there is another side to the story as well. Figures released in June by the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults revealed that in 2006 police in England and Wales investigated 41 allegations of abuse in the church, which resulted in one conviction. Twenty-four allegations immediately resulted in no further action, suggesting that the majority of the allegations were unfounded.

Meanwhile, an independent commission has urged the Catholic bishops of England and Wales to bring their child-protection measures in line with the Code of Canon Law amid fears that false allegations are driving priests away from working with young people.

The report published on July 16 and called Safeguarding with confidence, says that many priests believe the system brought in five years ago after several high-profile clerical abuse cases is loaded unjustly against them.

In 2003, a British newspaper published a report alleging that the Vatican had instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk being thrown out of the church. The 40-year-old confidential document from the secret Vatican archive on which the report is based has been called by lawyers a “blueprint for deception and concealment”.

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threaten those who speak out with excommunication.

Recently a radio programme once again put the searchlight on the evil of child abuse and on the cover up efforts when the reporter, who was himself raped by a catholic priest when he was 14, revealed what he described as the latest evidence that the Catholic Church is prepared to cover up episodes of child abuse. — M. Ziauddin

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3 children sexually abused daily in 2004: report
By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, March 5: On average three children were sexually abused daily during the year 2004, a report launched by an NGO said. The report titled “Cruel Numbers” presents statistics based on cases reported in 27 newspapers last year.

It said as many as 1,549 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in national dailies. However, the report said, a total of 1,567 cases of child sexual abuse occurred in 2004. Out of the total, 373 (24 per cent) were boys and 1,194 (76 per cent) were girls. This shows that females are more vulnerable, they are seen as sex objects and also considered means of settling outstanding scores with rivals, it added.

The report underlined that this figure did not represent the total number of such incidents in the country because such issues were considered taboo and not easily reported. Resultantly, any attempt to quantify the issue of child sexual abuse is bound to be limited in scope.

According to the report, child sexual abuse occurs when an adult or adolescent uses a child for sexual purposes. It involves exposing a child to any sexual activity or behaviour. It is betrayal of trust and an abuse of power over children.

Given the shame and silence that surrounds child sexual abuse in the country, newspapers are one of the few tools that can be used to establish prevalence and occurrence of child sexual abuse.

Mainly five forms of sexual abuse crimes were identified to record information. These include abduction for sexual purposes, molestation, rape/sodomy, gang rape/sodomy and murder after sexual assault.

Of the reported cases, there were 661 cases of abduction, 177 of molestation, eight of molestation murder, 364 of rape/sodomy, 58 of rape/sodomy murder, 264 of gang rape/sodomy and 35 of gang rape/sodomy murder.

The report also underlined that cases of voyeurism, child pornography and commercial sexual exploitation were not reported and kept hidden.

About the age of victims, the report said that it was divided into four categories, i.e five years and below, six to 10 years, 11 to 15 years, and 16 to 18 years.

There are numerous myths prevalent in the society regarding child abusers. One popular myth is that mostly strangers abuse children. In the year 2004, there were a total of 2,876 abusers who sexually assaulted 1,567 children.

The report noted that acquaintances were the major perpetrators of the crime.
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Child abuse and NGOs
By Omar R. Quraishi

Sexual abuse of children is very common and widespread in our country. Given the sanctimonious bent of our society, such issues are often brushed under the carpet and everyone seems to think that they do not exist, writes Omar R. Quraishi
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seem to be in the news of late, though mostly for all the wrong reasons. Foremost are the denunciatory remarks made by some top level government leaders.

First, it was two members of the federal cabinet, followed by President Pervez Musharraf himself, who cast aspersions on the work NGOs do in Pakistan, on their sources of funding and on their agendas and objectives.

There is some truth, though, in the fact that some NGOs are in the social service sector mainly to get funding from foreign donors and that their agendas are mostly (foreign) donor-driven.

However, there are also many NGOs, especially some notable think-tanks, which rely almost exclusively on the Pakistan government for funding. And when one compares the NGOs in Pakistan with their counterparts in the South Asian region, there is some cause for disappointment.

India has a thriving and vibrant NGO sector which consists of organizations with indigenous sources of funding, with strong ties with the communities and regions that they seek, to serve and a proven track record of tangible results.

Even countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are better placed than Pakistan in this regard. However, this is not to say that all NGOs here are bad, and, in fact, as bad as the religious groups and institutions which, too, receive generous foreign funding, but that is the gist of what remarks by senior government functionaries seem to suggest.

There are some organizations in Pakistan that have done some excellent work in supplementing or even outpacing the efforts of the government to provide basic services like affordable education, health care, non-formal education, clean drinking water, sanitation, solid waste management, or environmental protection solutions to those who need it most.

Some like the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan have served well as human rights watchdogs, keeping a check on the abuse of peoples’ rights or the persecution of them. Islamabad-based Network has done some good work on consumer rights. The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) has tried to raise awareness on children’s rights and lobby for a separate law for juvenile offenders.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has helped evolve a national conservation strategy for the government, while the Islamabad-based Progressive Women’s Association, the Pakistan Women’s Lawyer’s Association, the Aurat Foundation, Shirkatgah, AGHS, ASR and several others have fought for the rights of oppressed members of Pakistani society, especially women and the minorities.

One in particular, Islamabad-based Rozan, has been doing some very commendable work on the issue of physical and sexual abuse of children in the country, an issue that many Pakistanis probably would like to think does not exist in our society.

According to Rozan’s website, the organization works on “issues of emotional health, gender and violence against women and children” and that its teams consist of “psychologists, psychiatrists, community workers, management experts, researchers, teachers and doctors”.

Particularly commendable is the NGO’s programme called ‘Aangan’ which seeks to work on the emotional health of children and on the issue of sexual abuse of children. It also organizes gender sensitization workshops and has been working on a programme to bring about what it says is “attitudinal change” in the police, especially in their dealing with women and children.

It is also perhaps one of the few NGOs to have a helpline where young people can write a letter, call in or e-mail problems that they might be facing and where they are provided professional counselling and therapy.

It is good to see someone doing some work on the much-neglected field of sexual abuse of children. Given the sanctimonious bent of our society, such issues are often brushed under the carpet and everyone seems to think that they do not exist. But ask someone who has suffered such abuse as a child or adolescent and one will realize that the effects and emotional scars of such reprehensible acts are very real and are more common in our society than most of us would like to believe.

To that effect, this NGO decided to conduct a survey of children which was based on a questionnaire that asked respondents whether they had ever been sexually abused, harassed or if they had sexual relations with members of the opposite sex.

The result was that the ministry of social welfare and special education blacklisted the NGO, asking it to immediately disband the project. The reason being that the questionnaire contained material which the ministry thought was ‘objectionable’. The only conclusion that one can draw from it is that the ministry thinks that Pakistani society has no paedophiles and that children, of any age, are never vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse or harassment –– this despite reports over the years of exactly such cases happening, the most prominent being a scandal that rocked a government boys secondary school in Peshawar and even forced the NWFP assembly to sit up and take notice.

Does the minister of social welfare and special education, Zubaida Jalal, who is said to be an enlightened individual, think that the distribution of such a questionnaire and the holding of a survey, whose aim is to gauge the emotional health and prevalence of sexual and physical abuse among young children, is wrong and needs to be abandoned?

Consider the facts on this account. The first properly documented survey on this problem, conducted by the United Nations in early 1999 in the NWFP, found that one-third of those surveyed believed that abuse of children was “not even a bad thing, let alone a crime”.

The report said that in the major cities, especially in inter-city bus-stands and in seedy hotels close to railway stations, hotel-owners hired young boys to attract customers, and that all kinds of services were then provided to them. The report quoted a clinical psychologist as saying that though largely ignored and under-reported, sexual abuse of children was widespread.

The then federal secretary of the ministry for women’s development and social welfare, Muzaffar Qureshi, was also interviewed and he said that the ministry had realized that this was a “serious problem” for which several studies had been conducted to gauge the extent of the problem and suggest remedies.

That was over six years ago and not much has changed since then. Sexual abuse happens and is increasing but the government and society in general choose to look the other way, pretending perhaps that such things could possibly not happen in an Islamic country.

However, even going by newspaper reports, one can say that the menace of sexual abuse of children is on the rise. Other than the highly publicized sexual abuse scandal –– which lasted for several years –– at the government boys school in Peshawar, a survey of newspaper reports in the past four years by the Karachi-based Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid and Madadgar suggests that reported crimes against children have almost tripled, from 1,612 in 2000 to 4,530 in 2004.

Given this, the ministry of social welfare would be hard pressed to explain exactly why it has directed this particular NGO to disband its project and stop circulating the said questionnaire. How can a problem be dealt with if the basic premise is to pretend that it doesn’t exist?

There might be some people, such as in the Mukhtaran Mai episode, who think that looking away from this problem and pretending no such thing happened. But what about the hundred and perhaps thousands of children who are physically and sexually abused every year?

When will officialdom in Pakistan ever stop its ostrich-like behaviour pretending that everything is hunky-dory with a GDP growth rate of 8.4 per cent?

Even good economists know that GDP per capita is but one measure of social well-being and that the quality of life is an equally important measure of people’s welfare. Efforts like that of this particular NGO to improve the social and emotional health of children, however small, should be encouraged by the government than otherwise.

It would be foolish on the part of the social welfare ministry to think that children in Pakistan are any better or worse than their counterparts in other developing countries. Streetchildren in Karachi are as vulnerable as streetchildren in, say, Mumbai or Rio de Janiero, but in our unfortunate case not only is the government unwilling to do anything about it, it doesn’t even allow private sector organizations and concerned sections of civil society to do anything to address the problem. That indeed is a shame.

New York’s first Arabic School Khalil Gibran International Academy

•September 6, 2007 • 2 Comments

I went through some friends blog  and he posted a picture that showed some students that were holding a banner stating this phrase (NEW YORK support the Khalil Gibran international Academy)

so, I thought let me pay some attention to that topic and try and see what I could do about it. there one thing I hate most is discrimination I HATE IT!!!!! I HATE IT!!!! I HATE IT!!!!!!!   

I wouldn’t want to hurt anyones feelings by stating something here that would be wrong, the whole story is down and listed, I just want to say one thing that there is a Difference between Arabs and Muslims not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs, there many Arabs who are Christians and Jewish… 

but there is one thing that made my eyes widen which was replacing the former princple with a principle who doesn’t even speak ARABIC   that’s what the school is teaching ARABIC and ARABIC culture!!!!! 

its like appointing a British to a Chinese School !!!! how awkward and also to put the cherry on top of the ice cream she is also Jewish, I am not trying to be racist and judge her for her religion but they picked a Jewish principle for an Arabic School( the goal must be to prevent any religious extremism in the school, the point here is that they should have appointed an ARAB principle if it is more assuring for them that she/he wouldn’t be a Muslim so be it, but at least a person who knows the language and the culture by heart!!!

they created a conflict them selves!!!! 

here is the link and the whole story http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2007/09/05/03aparabic_web.h27.html

Published Online: September 5, 2007

 

Arabic School Opens Quietly in Brooklyn Despite Protests in Manhattan

The 55 sixth-grade students enrolled at the Khalil Gibran International Academy were greeted Tuesday morning by only supportive faces as they made their way into the space they share in Brooklyn with another middle school and a high school.

Supporters of the school, named for the Lebanese Christian poet who promoted peace, stood by as the students started their day. The school is the first in the city to teach Arabic and Arab culture.

Protests against the school, which have been fervent since it was announced this year, were in another borough — on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan. Opponents have attacked the school as a potential training ground for radicals.

A group of protesters repeated those charges on Tuesday.

The city’s Department of Education has said that part of the reason for the school is to respond to the need for Arabic speakers — one that the federal government has recognized and has taken steps to address.

Language Training

Grants have been given out to schools that teach students critical-need languages such as Chinese and Arabic, federal Department of Education program specialist Becky Richie said.

While many of the grants have gone toward Chinese-language programs, some have gone to schools in places including Iowa and Michigan to teach or expand Arabic programs, she said.

At least one parent had high hopes for the Khalil Gibran school.

Carmen Colon had been planning to send her son to the school before the controversy erupted.

“I thought it was the best advantage I could give my son,” she said.

The school is starting with sixth-graders and will expand with one additional class every year to end up with 500 to 600 students in grades six to 12. It joins a number of small public schools in the city that are themed, covering areas from the arts to social justice to Chinese language.

The academy’s original principal, Debbie Almontaser, left last month after criticism for her failure to condemn the use of the highly charged word “intifada,” an Arabic term commonly used to refer to the Palestinian uprising against Israel, on T-shirts. She was replaced by acting interim principal Danielle Salzberg, a Jewish woman who does not speak Arabic.

The academy originally was going to be housed in an elementary school in Brooklyn.

Parents at the school objected for a number of reasons and questioned whether there would be enough space in the building and whether the ideological controversy would create a security risk.

Love Stories … I LOVE YOU

•September 1, 2007 • 9 Comments

I wrote in my last blog about this sitcom on ARY digital canteen kahani where this guy is looking for his true love after seeing her 3 or 4 times.

I love watching romantic movies although not most are very original these days, we look up to these ancient historical love stories and wish we could have a love affair like that:

  • Romeo and Juliet

the two young couple who feel in love and their families hated each other in Italy.

  • Cleopatra and Anthony

the last Pharaon of Egypt and the dashing Roman general.

  • Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

grieving emperor when built the Taj Mahal for his late wife.

  • Ablaa and Anter

a rich woman belonged to noble Arab tribe and a slave.

  • Abelard and Héloise

a monk and a nun whose letters became famous.

love-story.jpg

and the list could go on … it seems like all famous love stories are always sad and never end with a happy event, which is very depressing and sad.

so i thought to pay tribute to all those love stories that are having Happy Life, our if you have witnessed a happy love story.. please list it down

I wanted to share a very inspiring story that I have witnessed (my mom and dad)

My father was studying to become a engineer way back in 1978 he was still a fresh man and he saw my mother who was still studying in school and he feel inlove with her because she is the prettiest person God has created, so is my dad he is one handsome man 😉

anyways moving on … they met my mom never talked to him although he tries his very best then she suddenly disappears , he looked for her for about 3 months then he got to know her address, he went crazy he wanted her to be his wife, his forever he couldn’t stand some one else looking at her or even being around her, he wanted to make her his queen 🙂 isn’t that sweet.

so, he gathered up some of his friends and his elder brother ( my late uncle and May he rest in peace) and he went to my moms house knocked on the door and waited till teh maid let them in, and called my grandmother (nanna) because my grandfather was living abroad, anyways my mom is Persian so my nanna was really against it because thats just not acceptiable in there family to get married to a non- persian ” i don’t know why though” she kicked him out of the house, and my dad was really depressed and my mom wasn’t to leave the house although she hadn’t done anything wrong!!! so, my dad was more determined than ever he was losing his mind he couldn’t see her, or hear her voice.

he went to my grandmother asking for her hand every Saturday, asking for her hand in marriage for about two years … in the end

on August 9th, 1980 My mom and dad were officially married 🙂

and both completed there studies my dad becoming a chemical engineer and my mom gaining her Bachelors in Arts and her Masters in Economics.

and eight years later on January 1st 1988 Princess Maliha was born “thats me :P”

isn’t that the sweetest story ever. 🙂

so, please share all that you can about your experiences or people you know who are living a happy love story or were living one 🙂

ICe CrEaM CoNeS….

•August 30, 2007 • 4 Comments

 I wanted to write something that always put a smile on my face so, after what  I wrote about the sitcom that had my favorite ice cream i thought why don’t I list down the history of it, and say something that I always say :

                                                I LOVE ICE CREAM 

yummy.jpg

Ice Cream Cone Patents

Now the question is: Who invented the first commercial ice cream cone? Up until recently, historians seem to think that Italo Marchiony’s patent in 1903 was the inventor . Recently Steve Church of Ridgecrest, California discovered a long forgotten patent for an Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups for Ice Cream by Antonio Valvona of Manchester, England. This patent, by Antonoio Valvona, clearly shows that the ice cream cone had been around prior to Italo Marchiony’s patent.

1902 – Antonio Valvona of Manchester, England received Patent No. 701,776 on June 3, 1902 for an “Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups for Ice Cream.” The patent says:

“By the use of the apparatus of this invention I make cups or dishes of any preferred design from dough or paste in a fluid state this is preferably composed of the same materials as are employed in the manufacture of biscuits, and when baked the said cups or dishes may be filled with ice-cream, which can then be sold by the venders of ice-cream in public thoroughfares or other places.”

Antonio Valvona (A.Valvona & Co. Ltd) was firstly an ice cream manufacturer and in 1901 was listed at Glasshouse Street, Ancoats Manchester. In 1907, he moved his biscuit operation to The Bridgewater Mill, Rodney Street, Ancoats. In 1919, the families Colaluca and Rocca opened a factory in Mill Street, Ancoats later trading as the Colroc Biscuit Co. Ltd. Colroc closed in the late 1950’s, and Valvona having sold to new owners moved to Oldham north Manchester but closed in the late 1970’s.

1903 – On September 20, 1903, Italo Marchiony (1868-1954), an Italian immigrant living in New York, NY,  filed a patent application for a “molding apparatus for forming ice-cream cups and the like.” U.S. Patent No. 746,971 was issued to him on December 15, 1903. His patent drawings show a mold for shaping small cups, complete with tiny handles – not a cone. His invention in his patent application is described as:

“This invention relates to molding apparatus, and particularly such molding apparatus as is used in the manufacture of ice-cream cups and the like.”

Marchiony always insisted that he had been making cones since 1896 where he sold his homemade ice cream (lemon ice) from a pushcart (hokey-pokey) on Wall Street in New York. He originally used liquor glasses to serve his ice cream in. To reduce his overhead, caused by customers breaking or wandering off with his serving glasses, he baked edible waffle. While the waffles were still warm, he folded them into the shape of a cup (with sloping sides and a flat bottom). His waffle cups made him the most popular vendor on Wall Street and soon afterward, he had a chain of 45 carts operated by men he hired.

When cones became popular after the 1904 St. Louis Fair, Marchiony tried to protect his patent through legal channels but failed. Since Marchiony’s patent was for only the specific mold construction and there were lots of other ways to mold cones, his patent was not much good. Marchiony’s ice cream and wafer company thrived at in Hoboken, New Jersey until his plant was destroyed by fire in 1934. He retired from his business in 1938. It wasn’t until Marchhiony’s obituary was printed in the New York Times on October 29, 1954, that this story was made public.

1912 – According to some historians, cones were rolled by hand until 1912, when Frederick Bruckman, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, patented a machine for doing the rolling. In 1928, Nabisco bought out Bruckman’s company and rights. Presently, I can find no patent record for this.

1924 – U.S. patent No.1,481,813 for an ice cream cone rolling machine was issued to its inventor, Carl R. Taylor of Cleveland, Ohio on January 29, 1924. He described it as a “machine for forming thin, freshly baked wafers while still hot into cone shaped containers” for ice-cream. Multiple dies were designed on a turntable, such that when formed, the cone had time to cool and harden before rotating into position for release. The whole machine was to be set up beside a batter baking machine which provides the supply of the hot, flat wafers.


1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

In 1904, St. Louis, Missouri recognized the importance of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to the history of the United States by inviting the country and the world to participate in the “greatest of expositions,” the St. Louis World’s Fair (also known as the St. Louis’ Exposition and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition). The celebration also honored explorers Lewis and Clark and their epic journey into the unknown American west in 1804, which both began and ended in St. Louis.

During the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, there were approximately 50 ice cream stands at the Fair and a large number of waffle shops. It is generally accepted that the 1904 Fair was the place where the ice cream cone became popular and where the great ice cream cone controversy began:

There are several versions to this story:

Ernest Hamwi – The first version, and said to be the official version by the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers (IAICM), credits pastry maker, Ernest Hamwi, with coming to the aid of Arnold Fomachou, a teenage ice cream vendor, by rolling the ice cream in crisp wafers that he called a Zalabia (a wafer-thin, waffle-like confection sprinkled with sugar). According to the article, Zalabia and the First Ice-Cream Cone, written by Jack Marlowe:

Nor, it turns out, do zalabia hail from the Arabian Gulf: They are historically Levantine, popular in Syria, Lebanon and parts of Iraq and Turkey. For that matter, they’re not made in a waffle iron—they’re too flat; they most resemble Italian pizzelle, including in the grid pattern that marks their surface. (North African zalabia is a very different dessert: It consists of looping, pretzel-like strands of deep-fried batter, smothered in honey or syrup and often tinted a garish orange.)

After the fair, Hamwi sold his waffle oven to J. P. Heckle and helped him develop and open the Cornucopia Waffle Company. Hamwi traveled for the company introducing the cornucopia. According to his account, they served approximately 5,000 free ice cream cones at the Augusta, Georgia, Fair to introduce the product to the public. In 1910, Hamwi opened the Missouri Cone Company.

Hamwi was interviewed by The Ice Cream Trade Journal in the May 1928 issue, and he was quoted as saying that he was located next to an ice cream booth at the 1904 exhibition. Ice cream concessionaires all over the fair grounds began to purchase his waffles, calling them cornucopias.  Hamwi was so intrigued with the idea and the World’s Fair Cornucopia was born. Hamwi’s story and claim is based on this interview

Nick Kabbaz – It is also claimed by the family of Nick Kabbaz, an Syrian immigrant, that he and his brother, Albert, were the originators of the cone. The Kabbaz brothers may have worked for Ernest Hamwi in his booth at the Fair and came up with the idea of folding cakes to insert ice cream in and also the idea of making them in the cone shape. Kabbaz was later president of the St. Louis Ice Cream Cone Company.

Abe Doumar – Abe Doumar (1881-1947) also claimed to have invented the ice cream cone in a very similar way at the Fair. The story is that sixteen-year-old Abe, an recently arrived Syria immigrant, was met at the dock by a recruiter. He was given unique items to vend at the St. Louis Fair (paperweights filled with water purportedly from the River Jordan). In Arab robes, he set up shop in one of  the streets of Jerusalem section of the St. Louis Fair. One evening while talking to one of the waffle concessionaires, he suggested that he could turn his penny waffle into a 10-cent cone if he added ice cream. He then bought a waffle and rolled it into a cone, to which he added ice cream from a neighboring stall. In one fell scoop, he invented what he called “a kind of Syrian ice cream sandwich.”  Doumar stated that he shared the idea freely among the vendors (it was in this way the notion spread from stand to stand). He immediately began selling them nightly, after 6 p.m., where the concessionaires gathered in the entertainment area of the fair.

When the Fair closed, Abe was given one of the waffle irons to take home. In North Bergen, N.J., Abe worked out a cone oven (a four-iron machine) and had a foundry make it. He brought his parents and three brothers to America to help him sell these cones. He then set up business at Coney Island, New Jersey, with three partners in 1905. The first of his many ice cream cone stands at Coney Island.

His nephew, Albert, later wrote a family history called The Saga of the Ice Cream Cone. Albert Doumar provided papers, photos and parts of the original cone machine for the Smithsonian Institution, and they have noted that though many claim credit, there is no doubt the machine is the real deal. Doumar keeps a red album of family/business photos and clippings. In the front is a worn paper signed by Peggy Cass, Gary Moore, Alan Alda, and Kitty Carlisle, panelists on a popular TV show from 1972. The paper is the text that Doumar read on the air when he was a guest on the show, on Sept. 26 of that year. It reads in part:

“I, Albert Doumar, come from a royal family in the world of ice cream. We Doumars proudly claim the title of creator of the ice-cream cone. While there are others who claim that they were first, there is little doubt that that great American treat actually began back in 1904 at the St. Louis Exposition when my relative, Abe Doumar, had the brilliant idea of rolling a waffle into a scoop and filling it with ice cream. He then created a special cone-making machine which could be used inside or outside. The Doumar ice-cream cones were sold from temporary stands at resorts or fairs and at the most elegant soda fountains. … Signed: Albert Doumar.” The show was “To Tell the Truth .”

David Avayou – A Turkish native, David Avayou, who had owned several ice cream shops in Atlantic City, New Jersey, claimed that he started selling edible cones at the St. Louis Fair. He claimed that he had first seen cones in France, where ice cream was eaten from paper or metal cones, and had applied the idea in edible form at the Fair. Avayou later recalled, “I spent three weeks and used hundreds of pounds of flour and eggs before I got it right, but finally I found the right combination.”  After the Fair, he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he set up a concession in a department store.

Charles Menches – According to another story, Charles Robert Menches and his brother Frank, of St. Louis, Missouri, ran ice cream concessions at fairs and events across the Midwest. The family of the brothers claim they came up with the ice cream cone at the 1904 World’s Fair when a lady friend, who for daintier eating, took one layer of a baked waffle and rolled it into a cone around the ice cream. They had the idea to wrap a warm waffle around a fid (a cone-shaped splicing tool for tent ropes). The waffle cooled and held it’s shape to provide an edible handle for eating ice cream.

After the fair, Charles and his brother started a business called the Premium Ice Cream Cone and Candy Company in Akron, Ohio. The brothers are also credited with the invention of candy-coated peanuts and popcorn that was sold under the name “Gee Whiz,” today known as Cracker Jacks. They are sold are credited with the first hamburger.

At the close of the 1904 St. Louis Fair, the popularity of this of eating ice cream in a “cone” had industries racing to produce molds and machines to be used for baking ice cream cones. Demand for cones quickly outstripped the hand-rolled waffle makers.

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and the world will still fight over who made the cone or who didn’t i am just going to say thank god that they did, who ever it was I am just thankful for making such a splendid treat for the world. will i just want to put up some Ice cream cones pictures because they are the best thing about this blog i write about them with no pictures that is impossible, my Favorite will be served on my blog:

Cornetto flirtyberry is my favorite cornetto12.jpg

 

 

 

upgrade .. love begins in the CaNtEeN .. with Ice Cream

•August 29, 2007 • 1 Comment

I finished my dinner when I sat in front of the T.V because thats the only time I get to spend watching t.v i am either studying, or helping my mom with her reports, or doing my paintings. so i had an amazing meal of chicken makhani (butter chicken) with white rice and that is just YUUUUUUMMMMMY… anyways lets put food aside and talk business now.

I wanted to watch something interesting that would make me laugh a little make me just relax, i wasn’t really feeling like watching a movie or something something short quick and really funny unfortunetly nothing was on besides stupid and really lame indian drama’s that had more sound effects than actual words, and the words they say as dialogs make you want to scream and cry out of boredom , so that wasn’t very entertaining so i was going through many channels and suddenly i find a wall of ICE CREAM every where on the set, so that caught my attention it was Wall’s corennetto ice cream, and the show was called Canteen Kahani ( cafeteria story) the whole story starts in the canteen where this guy Sarmad a complete flirt sees a girl who takes his heart right out of the chest at the first sight and with the first bite of the ice cream she ate 🙂 she was having flirtty strawberry i like that flavor.

anyways coming back to our point, Sarmad loses his control he wants to know who she is and no one really knows who she is so the call her “cornetto girl” s, very cute right wait there is more…

Hira .. she is not as ugly as this picture so don’t freak out :) she is Hira .. the pic is ugly but she is pretty on the show 🙂
sarmad.gif that is Sarmad a cute looking guy with tons of love for all girls.. till the right girl walks in the canteen …

the girl is nameless and the guy is officially brainless, so the plot is really funny, what really caught my attention was not only the cornetto 😛 it was the character of the female who is Sarmad’s very good friend called Hira, she reminds me of me this is the description of Hira from how i see her: ( she is the Brains, pretty but doesn’t really care about how she really looks most of the time, has something to say about everything all the time and she is always right, you can’t win with her, she’ll beat you at your game and you’d be laughing while her winning) . before i know it the show was over because i was too busy thinking of what’s going to happen i didn’t pay attention to the rest of the show, so i looked very hard on the net trying to find something that would let me what it really is and it actually made me more interested in watching it, this is the official website http://www.canteenkahani.com so please do visit it and get hooked like me this wont waste your time there is no thing out of the ordinary about this show, and thats why i liked it, its very realistic this is how our lives are in our colleges full of fun and tons of weird things going on that make you laugh your heads off.

this show is about being with your friends, only having fun with them, and YES true love, college love, oh wonders have been written about young love!!! so lets see maybe this would make headlines too 🙂 i can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.

oh before i forget the show air’s on ARY digital every Monday @ 10:00pm

is this the end of it

•August 21, 2007 • 5 Comments

is this the ending of all relationships … is this what all marriages end up with ?????