Guest Post: The Power of Reading From Day Dot….

If you are reading this, then you are most likely a person who is passionate about reading. You may be the kind who always has your nose in a book (or an Ebook reader like an IPad Kobo, Kindle etc). You may feel lonely when a book ends as you end a relationship with the characters in the story. Sometimes you my feel ‘ripped’ off when a story ends as there are many questions left unanswered, or you don’t like how it ended. You may be a regular visitor to blogs and read reviews on the types of books you want to read, or write blogs and reviews to assist other readers in their book choices. So passionate you are about reading! You’re probably an adult, or close to it. How then, do we ignite this same passion in our children, hoping that they too one day will have an interest and passion in reading? In a world where technology is constantly outdoing itself, how do we rise to this challenge?

As a mother and an educator of primary school aged children, this is a daily challenge I am faced with, both personally and professionally. When do we start reading with our children, and how do we go about it? How old is too old, or how young is too young? Is there a right or wrong age? My suggestion is……….well from day dot really. Continue reading

Featurette: The Pakistani Diaspora by Aliya Anjum

Pakistan is a country with diverse and intriguing landscape, home to very ancient and traditional cultures as well as an urbane and educated population.  The Pakistani diaspora therefore is also very diverse in terms of their cultural, educational and social background.

In the US you would find Pakistanis working for the Harvard Medical School as scientists, which is as good as it gets and then you would find Pakistanis who work at odd jobs in supermarkets and gas stations.  In between the two, there are many school teachers, doctors, computer programmers, engineers and office managers who originate from Pakistan.

Pakistan is host to world class engineering and medical universities, which offer sate subsidized education.  English is the medium of instruction for higher education.  This is why Pakistani engineers and doctors are found working all over the world from the Middle East to Europe and the US. Continue reading

Feature: Historical Travel by Aliya Anjum

I remember one hot August afternoon in Philadelphia, US, when I was being given a historical tour of the city by a very jovial gentleman who was later to become my favorite professor.  This was part of the international student orientation and the professor had volunteered to show us his city and its rich past.  What struck me most was that during the tour he said that the city’s history may not impress those of us who come from countries with thousands of years of history.  While it is true that the history he was relating was at most three centuries old, but nonetheless it was fascinating to hear about the early struggles and triumphs of a fledgling United States of America.  Take for example the story of the American flag, sewn by a woman named Betsy Ross, after she was shown a rough drawing.  Her house is close to the famed Liberty Bell, in the heart of Philadelphia city.  Philly as its popularly called, is a very vibrant university town where you can explore American history by day and watch world class entertainment by night.

That’s just my kind of travel.

New York City, Rome, Madrid, Athens, Singapore and Cairo are some of the world’s most famous cities that I have had the privilege of visiting.  These cities have skyscrapers, metro trains, bustling airports, plush hotels and fine dining, but the core of these cities is their history, which gives them a unique charm and a distinct identity. Continue reading