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The good, the bad and the ugly

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A new year is almost upon us, and although we’re not quite ready let go of this one, there’s not much we can do other than reminiscing about it. 2018 has been an interesting year, full of ups and downs, groundbreaking achievements and innovation. It’s only fair that we celebrate the end of this year by scribbling down a recap in its honor.

Pakistan was included in Forbes list of 10 coolest places to go in 2019.

In 2018, Pakistan witnessed a changing of the guard. One democratically elected government transitioned into another via the general elections.

Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan, while PTI formed a majority and took hold of the federal government. This ushered a change in the political climate of Pakistan labelled “Naya Pakistan”

What will people say, an enigmatic and groundbreaking film by Pakistani-Norwegian director Irum Haq was extremely well recieved and met with applause all around the world.

PMLN was successful in adding 12000 MW of electricity within the system, dampening the energy crisis that had been looming over our heads for quite some time.

Awareness about workplace sexual harassment was raised when Meesha Shafi contributed her story in regards to the MeToo movement. This helped shed a light on how women are treated in an allegedly safe environment.

A groundbreaking verdict was given out in the Asia Bibi blasphemy case, the previous high court verdict was overturned and she was released due to insufficient evidence.

The Government managed to secure aid from both Saudia Arabia and the UAE in order to lessen their dependance upon the IMF. Talks are underway with China for more financial support.

The Kartarpur corridor was opened for Sikh pilgrims, a mature and humanitarian step taken by Pakistan to mend bilateral ties with India.

A bill was passed in order to ensure that the rights of transgender people within Pakistan are protected, and to help save them from any form of discrimination.

A successful initiative taken by PTI was the billion tree tsunami, afforestation in many affected areas was done, lush and greenery brought back to the country.

Chief Justice Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of many afflictions that the poor people of Pakistan suffer from, in addition to that, a fund was also created to raise money for building a dam.

Important politicians such as Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari were the subject of trials in regards to financial corruption and misuse of authority.

A wave of extremism overtook Pakistan as TLP protested the Asia Bibi verdict, damages worth Rs.260 million were incurred during this time period.

Pakistan was included by the FATF in its grey list due to allegations of terror financing.

The nation was shocked to its core by an atrocious act in January; the rape and murder of Zainab Ansari, and although the gaping wound left behind by her demise has not yet healed, the one who did wrong by her has been brought to justice.

Pakistan in 2018 lost many important people and leaders such as Siraj Raisani, Haroon Bilour, Ali Raza Abidi; they kept on championing for democracy, and lost their lives in the process.

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Nobel Prize winner and activist visited Pakistan for the first time in 6 years, she called it the happiest day of her life.

After a decade of inactivity, British Airways are to resume flights in Pakistan, Qatar too opened a visa facilitation center in Islamabad for swift processing of visas, along with a promise of 100,000 jobs for Pakistani workers.

2018 proved to be a golden year for Pakistani cinema, as many of its films went to to receive critical acclaim and managed to bring in big box office numbers; Cake and 3 Bahadur were well received by Pakistani audiences and people abroad, with the former’s director winning an award at the UK Asian Film Festival.

We’ve had our fair share of U-turns, delays and mishaps this year, but we’ve also enjoyed much, this year showed us that Pakistan can persevere through anything with the grace of Allah, it is important to cling on to hope, it is integral to try and find a silver lining in every cloud. Let’s hope the forthcoming year is a prosperous and fulfilling one, bringing all of us joy and solace.

Beauty

Distinct from all; Kalash is a Beauty in itself

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Those graceful divas dressed up in identical loose robes supported by adorned belts and head covered with heavy crown-like caps spilling their charm all around the valley are a real treat for the eys. This is not the fashion of Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. This style narration is about one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan; the Kalash valley. They do not just adopt the unity in their lifestyle but also in their culture as well. Do you imagine wearing the same dresses with different colors yet not look boring or monotonous without giving an impression of a uniform? Yes, this is the place where fashion has its own sense and definition. You will see gorgeous people roaming around with a quirky-cool fashion statement, wearing no make-up yet looking radiant in those classic baggy dresses with heavy caps called “shushut” and a belt or “patti” wrapped around their waists. Who else can manage to look absolutely flawless in big slack cloaks but these women? Braids are never out of fashion in this part of the world because for these kalashi women, this is the ultimate and only hairstyle statement. Every hair is plaited in long braids both in front and back to support shushut on their heads and they are so much pro in making these braids that even a 5 years old kid knows how to transform you into a typical kalashi goddess in 2 minutes. How exceptionally distinct they look while wearing the same dresses and having a single fashion sense. Yes, that is where we see the beauty in harmony and oneness. Having a distinct culture, tradition, class and religion from ours, these people still win at living the best life full of love, kindness and hospitality.

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Beauty

Hira Waqar- Being a Superwoman

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Dr. Hira Waqar of Dental Smiles clinic has set a gold standard for working mothers as she strives to achieve as much as she can. She started out as a dental practitioner alongside her husband and decided to take time off as she became the mother of three young children. Still practicing dentistry, Hira has now expanded her horizons to include a side business of making and selling scrumptious sweet treats at her online page: Hira’s kitchen and is avidly pursuing her true passion, makeup.

  1. You clearly play many roles in your life (mother, wife, entrepreneur). Do you ever feel that one role overshadows another and if so, how do you cope?

we play many roles in our daily routine. I never let any role overshadow another. I stick to a particular time table according to my kids’ biological clock. I am a mother before anything else. I fulfill all of my responsibilities without seeking any help. I feed my children, I bathe them myself, put them to sleep, play with them, make sure their socioeconomic requirements are fulfilled; at the same time, I’m responsible for their behavior and their upbringing. In the same way, I am a good wife. I take care of my husband and his needs; looking after his home in his absence. We run a private Dental practice together and I used to go there full time previously, but now only by appointment during afternoon hours when my kids are asleep. In the evenings I look after my children and complete my baking orders at the same time. So I’m a multi-tasker by nature. I can’t sit idle.

 

  1. What inspired you to pursue a side business in baking?

Well, my daughter inspired me the most in doing Baking as a side business!

I’m a keen learner and a good baker. I live in a joint family system so family bonding could never be better than it is at the dining table. My husband and daughter have always appreciated my baking and motivated me to pursue it as a side business.

  1. What has been the most challenging part of running your business from home?

Since I live in a joint family we have a joint kitchen. Ergo the main challenge I face at times is that my orders shouldn’t coincide with family timings; so no one gets disturbed by my work. I also have to do the tasks unrelated to baking myself: from buying boxes to getting stickers, and printing menus. At times it can become difficult to drive around with 3 kids. But the Almighty gives me the strength.

  1. What were some of the obstacles you faced in setting up your business and how did you overcome them?

To be very honest I didn’t face any obstacles. I was thinking of starting my own business one day and I asked my husband to make me an online page. He did so and immediately I got my 1st order of cupcakes and a Brownie pizza. The next day I prepared my order but I didn’t have any boxes or logo stickers so I rushed to the market and bought boxes from a friend and got the stickers of my logo printed. I successfully delivered my 1st order. The very next day and Alhamdulilah the series of orders started. It was so quick that I didn’t even get any time to rethink, the response to my items turned out to be unexpectedly good.

 

  1. As a mother of three, what are some of your tips for other working women?

Hard work, consistency, patience and most of all faith in Allah. Believing in your capabilities is a key feature in running any successful business. Don’t ever underestimate yourself! You have power over your mind.

  1. Having a hectic schedule can be tough. What are some of the ways you cope with having too much work on your plate?

Don’t ever get panicked or think of your duties as a burden. Just love yourself and love your work. That way you will find joy in everything you do, despite being tired.

  1. What is your favorite item off of your own menu?

My daughter, her friends and most of my clients like my Brownie pizza. However, I personally enjoy my fudge brownies more, especially with a cup of coffee.

  1. Who do you feel serves as a role model in your life and why do you look up to them?

The One and only role model in my life is my Mom!

She is a true example of selflessness and untiring struggle and above all, she is a good human being.

  1. There are so many businesses out there. What motivates you to stick to baking and will you be expanding into other things?

Life needs changes and experiments and so do I. Since I couldn’t limit my spectrum to dentistry, I branched out into baking which relaxes me and gives me peace of mind. However, makeup is my true passion. I have taken many courses and I am thinking of starting it as a new venture early next year Inshallah.

  1. According to you what is one skill an entrepreneur must have?

An entrepreneur must believe in herself, your confidence and will power can do wonders for you.

 

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5 Top Trends that keep popping on our fashion-gram

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Every time we check our social media, we get to know about a new trend that goes viral around the globe and to keep ourselves fashionably literate and aware, we have to go with that fashion parade no matter how absurd that trend is. But some fashions and patterns keep repeating and showing that they are here to stay forever and that too with different variations and intensities. 

We got our hands on these 5 fashion fads that everyone is going loco over.

Pantsuits

No matter what you bring in fashion every season, pantsuits will always have their dapper vibes on. Not just the formal events, these pantsuits have started trending on fashion shows, red carpets and casual events depending on how you carry your look. Wearing pantsuits does not take a lot of effort as only minimal accessories are needed along with a lavish pair of court shoes. Boom!!! you are good to ace. 

Animal Prints

Animal prints have a love-hate relationship when it comes to trending. Some days, you will hate the excess of these prints and some days you would love to keep adding these prints in your wardrobe. Lately, these prints are making their way into bags, shoes, jewelry and literally every wearable item. We love how people around the world are pairing animal printed pants, shoes, shirts, necklaces and bringing out the best looks on our newsfeed. 

Tonal nails 

Embrace a spectrum of shades this time when you got a manicure. While you go for this tonal nails trend, keep in mind to choose shades from the same color family. Whether muted tones or vibrant hues, do not go for pick and mix formula. We got this done and found it to be the chicest trend in nails for this season. 

Pastel Eye-Liner 

Black, brown or dark blue liner is so 2018. This also does not work for those who do not like to apply liner. Pastel eyeliners are the new in-thing in fashion town. Not Vivaciously hyper colors, but light and soothing colors are recommended for best results. The soft-toned hues are a wardrobe staple but feel daring and bold on the eye. If you are scared of taking a risk you can apply black liner first and can use an outline from any pastel palette or can just highlight the corners of your eyes. Whatever route you take, this one trend should be the must in your makeup list.

Thigh-High Boots

Either Pull them on over skinny jeans or leggings or style them with a mid-length skirt that is right above the top of the boots. To keep them look prominent, always go for a contrasting color; If your boots are a darker shade, go for a lighter tone outfit and vice verse. Ditch those Chelsia boots and go for thigh-high boots to flaunt this winter season. 

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