Azal Zahir

  • TFunctional literacy is a term initially defined for UNESCO by William S. Gray as the training of adults to ‘meet independently the reading and writing demands placed on them’. In essence, it asks of individuals to be simply ‘functional’, i.e able to survive, in society. Ours ...

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  • TBen Okri, a Nigeran Poet and Novelist, graced his presence at the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) and took us on visual journey through a story his mother told him. She said; there is a frying pan filled with water. Now there is a frog that has leapt into this frying pan. He sits there, perfectly ...

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  • TBen Okri, a Nigeran Poet and Novelist, graced his presence at the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) and took us on visual journey through a story his mother told him. She said; there is a frying pan filled with water. Now there is a frog that has leapt into this frying pan. He sits there, perfectly ...

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  • TIncreased fossil fuel combustion has been as close to lighting a conflagration right on Earth’s axis. Our global emissions are having unhindered consequences including melting glaciers, warming oceans, rising sea levels and changing oceanic current movements. Climate change is the ...

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  • TWater levels in Khanpur dam have dropped drastically amidst a dry spell in the country. WAPDA officials have claimed that it is dropping up to 0.10 feet a day, with an outflow of 90 cusecs a day and inflow of 50 cusecs. This news has come to us at a time when Cape Town is approaching ‘Day ...

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  • TPlants predate human existence by 100 million years, and their biological evolution has been one of the greatest processes in earth’s history. The distinct and uniquely individual species of plants provide so much for us and the earth with eco-system services. To each climatic condition from ...

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  • T31st October was marked in 2014 by the U.N as World Cities Day. This was done so to create awareness about global urban expansion and the aggressive need to challenge uninhibited growth. Climate change is attributed to colossal amounts of fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, agriculture, meat ...

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  • TIf heaven has an abode, it is in Gilgit Baltistan. If heaven is a desert and has a river running through it, it is Skardu. Expansive valleys carpeted with white silt, surrounded by gargantuan, barren mountains. Clear water that allows you to see through to the depths of the lake, and trees bearing ...

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  • TPerhaps it was our parents’ generation that were the last to really play ‘outside’ as children, in the fields around them or the natural landscapes of where they were residents. Like Scout, in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, where learning and curiosity was taken into the ...

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  • TEvery day the average Pakistani suffers from severe stomach aches, diarrhoea, food poisoning, heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome or acidity. Up to 125,000 children die of diarrhoea every year before their 5th birthday in the country. A lot of these health issues come from the foods we consume ...

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  • TOur feathered friends are usually the first to experience changes in the environment and have for centuries been made use of as indicators for these changes. In old tradition, observing birds and knowing them was prestigious. They were, even then, used as important indicators. In many cultures, ...

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  • TWith the world working towards an effort to limit global greenhouse gas emissions to prevent irrevocable damage from an increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees centigrade, expansion in renewable energy has become all the more crucial. However, the need for renewable energy is no longer ...

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  • TAs part of the United Nations collaborative planning on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) a new mechanism has been initiated that involves paying cash credit to developing countries that protect forests and the carbon stored within them. ...

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  • TEvery year it seems, Lahore is experiencing prolonged summers, with a shorter and milder winter. As of now, we should have been well into the use of our shawls and sweaters, and have hushed, gentle mists suspended over the city and landscape. However, citizens remain perplexed. Summers have not ...

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  • TWe are not contributors toward air pollution but rather its victims. Most of the smog you see here is coming from India”, indubitably postulates our Punjab Environment Protection Agency (PEPA) official. The hilarity that is this statement is beyond comprehensible. The ease with which ...

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  • TThe current banter over the Indus Water Treaty, stressing Indo-Pak relations has presented itself as a major reality check. It has been renowned as a largely successful treaty in the international arena, even at times of war. Yet, current threats emanating from the Indian side to review the treaty ...

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  • TI hope some of you have wondered as I have, why those around us bargain over the Rs 60 bag of potatoes with the poor vegetable vendor at the side of the road, when they don’t so much as flinch at the Rs 10,000 worth of shopping they do at grand superstores such as Alfatah, Haji Kareem Buksh ...

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  • TIllegal wildlife trade and inhumane animal treatment has been continuing unfettered and remains unnoticed by both our officials and public alike. What we eat in our quotidian meals has become a daily debate; we don’t know where the meat comes from, and more importantly, from what. Which is ...

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  • TGeographical Information Systems (GIS) has become a key global-mapping tool to help discern spatial patterns and relationships. It is a software that allows layers of information to be piled onto a map, which allows for capturing, displaying, analysing, storing and checking data in accordance to ...

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  • TEvery day the Lahori loses a piece of their soul as Lahore, in all its former glory, is wilting away right before our eyes. Like sand from the seashore, we try to hold on, but it powders like pixie dust and disintegrates into an ‘urban’ abyss. What is Lahore, I implore? The city of ...

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  • TWith the final agreement and signing of COP21 fast approaching on April 22, (Earth Day) in New York, the world still seems to stand by unsure of what to expect. For the past 25 years, the global community has been working on or towards the matter of climate change but largely to no avail. The Paris ...

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  • TIt is said that, ‘What goes around comes around’, and in the matter of ecology, this is always the case. Through our anthropocene pursuits, we humans have forgotten that nature is intricate, and delicately balanced. The slightest changes in weather, temperature or soil alters the entire ...

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  • TWith the ominous blanket of smog that bathes every leaf on every tree with dust and pollution in Lahore, the populace is plagued with an incessant cough borne from this soot. Cars are packed together at every end of the city at all hours of the day. Tempers are flaring and accident statistics are ...

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  • TThe human race is reactionary, that is to say, it waits for a crisis to happen and only then, does it hastily attempt to resolve it. This haste rarely ever resolves the issue and at best, might alleviate it for a brief period, only to exacerbate it in the long run. The latest crisis is not even on ...

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