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Pakistan

Technology and Terror Fill Shah’s Dystopian Society

in Fiction by

In Bina Shah’s Before She Sleeps (Delphinium), the ratio of men to women in a South West Asia capital has become increasingly and critically low. In order to fix the problem, the government has taken on using modern technology, combined with terror, to ensure that women take on multiple husbands, to have as many children as fast as possible. But, there are those who resist: women who live underground, refusing to participate in this society, and are protected by the most elite members of society. Coming out secretly at night, these women provide the elite with the only commodity they can’t buy: intimacy and closeness without sex. But time moves on, and there’s nothing to say that those in power will…

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Jack MacLean’s Global Predator takes on drones and violence against girls in Pakistan

in Fiction by

Do you dedicate your Sundays to watching the next episode of Homeland with Claire Danes? Is Eagle Eye with Shia LaBouf one of your top favorite action flicks? Instead of waiting for these stories to return on-air, Jack MacLean’s new political thriller combines the best of both worlds. Take the suspense from Homeland and the technological prowess from Eagle Eye and you get Global Predator (Legend Publishing). Jack MacLean tackles the risks military drones present to civilians as he delves into the social issues young women face under Taliban-controlled areas in Pakistan. Sam Wilkins, an unlikely hero, flees to Pakistan after he embezzles money in the UK. Wilkins can only watch as the Taliban burns schools built for Pakistani women—then…

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Hearing the voice of the woman behind the veil

in Non-Fiction by

By Bina Shah If you go to a bookstore, chances are you’ll see a lot of veiled women looking at you. They gaze mysteriously at you from behind veils covering their faces, revealing only large, dark, kohl-lined eyes. Their veils may be black, or they may be coloured and decorated with exotic jewels. You might see a hand, exquisitely painted with henna, holding the veil in place. No, these aren’t fellow customers in the bookstore, but women on the covers of books about the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan or just about any Muslim country, as imagined by graphic designers and illustrators working for every publishing house in the Western world. Recently some astute observers collected as many book covers of…

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International author Bina Shah discusses Sindh, Sufism and storytelling

in Fiction by

The original title of my novel A Season For Martyrs was meant to be Children of Sindh. Sindh is one of the four provinces that make up Pakistan, and it’s where I was born and where I live today. When I sat down to write the book, I envisioned an epic narrative that encompassed tales from Sindh’s history, combining them with a modern thread that took place from October to December 2007, the last three months of Benazir Bhutto’s life. In this way I hoped to tell the story of Sindh’s importance to Pakistan’s history, and how its people – its children – are affected and influenced today by that weighty history. I decided that I would begin the story…

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