When journalism overshadowed the meatballs

Is it about me, or the story?

I have a bundle of mixed feelings, going through my posts dating back to 2008.

Who is this woman talking about meatballs and tunafish, alternating the posts with life-changing movements? In one post I am teaching people how to make a channa chaat, and the next moment I am defending Marte Michelet? I sure was multi-tasking… layer-thinking.

When too much is happening in your head…can the outcome be good? Are such people even sane?

Well…love my insanity. Even if it is exhausting…

But I am sure there are dozens of lovely people around me who don’t. They are fed up by my world-saving mission.

“Get back to those meatballs, Shazia! For heavens sake…. I want my wife back”. Cant blame him…my husband.

But hey, once a journalist, always a journalist. Its a disease, and I am badly effected. If you know the cure, please feel free to share. Is there a off-switch for the braincells working overtime? The delusional notion that your words and thoughts are saving the world, changing lives?

A lot have changed since my last post. 

I am a journalist now, a good one I believe (who said girls cant brag)…

But journalism has robbed me of my humor. That free-flowing pen. The straighforwardness. I did not weigh and measure my words before putting them down. Now I have to think through everything I write. It has be to short, clear, to the point, humorless, non-personel, not stepping on any toes. Because as a journalist you are supposed to hide your personal opinions in order to preserve your objectivity. It is suffocating. For an expressive person like me.

But I guess my thoughts and pseudo-wisdom is not as important as telling the real story. Journalism is powerful!

Will I post an other recipe? Without being the laughingstock of my journalist-friends and others who don’t know this “soft” side of mine…? I dont know.

Maybe that girly-girl, super-cook Shazia will win over this no-nonsense, no-fun Shazia from time to time.

In the meanwhile… the feminist-Shazia is having a field day with the superbly path breaking feminist book “Uncovered” . 19 muslim women, 19 stories, 19 she-roes.

Three cheers to the fun, crazy, brave, beautiful, smiling, sharp muslim women of Norway.

Maya Angelou: my rolemodel, my inspiration, my beacon…are you seeing this? They are grabbing the world by the lapels…

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
— Maya Angelou

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Time to Stand up against the attrocities in Swat!

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The reason I find myself on my blog again is the horrific public lashing of the 17 year old girl in Swat yesterday. There has been a public outcry in Pakistan…. and what a relief. That gives me great hope for Pakistan as a nation. Some pakistanies in denial blame the usual suspects: India, amerika and Israel. But the majority of pakistanies have had enough of these talibani lunatics!

X-plosiv.no has started a petition, to be given to the embassy of Pakistan. “Stop the maddness in Swat”. Ultimatly it is the government of Pakistan which is reponsible for the safety of the pakistani people.

We can not, and will not be passive bystanders whilst our beloved Pakistan is shredded to pieces by religious extremists. I can not believe a part of Pakistan (Swat) has been freed from the pakistani law to create their own barbaric sharia law legislation.

Regardless of the date of the clipping. We as muslims and pakistanies in and outside Pakistan can not tolerate such inhumane acts in the name of Islam!

If you understand norwegian, please read the link regarding the inhumane actions of the pakistani taliban, and how norwegian-pakistanies try to make a difference.

Stop the madness in Swat!

Please sign the petition (Which is in norwegian and english on

http://www.underskrift.no/vis.asp?kampanje=2098

Do visit  http://www.x-plosiv.no/

Life without roti – living lowcarb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those who haven’t tried a diet once in their life, please stand up! No one? I thought so.

Name a “diet” and I have done it. Not easy combining fat-free living with desi food. I am self confessed foodie. I love making and eating food. My preferences fluctuate from desi to italian to norwegian. Above all this however is the fact that I am a true carb-junkie! I love my pasta, naan, norwegian bread and last but not least potatoes. In any form, like a true Norwegian 🙂

Well like the heading here suggests, I am a carb-junkie no more! For me personally, it is nothing short of a revolution. To cut a long story short; I have totally cut out fast carbs from my diet. Imagine a desi dinner without roti, naan or chawal (rice). Unimaginable isn’t it. Well naturally, I don’t eat lots of desi food anymore. Doesn’t fit with a low-carb diet.

I hate the word diet. This is no “diet”. I have just changed my way of eating. I still am a foodie, and love delicious food. However the challenge now is to make tasty food without the white carbs. Not possible one would think. Oh but it is. Possible that is. I still make the same food as I did earlier. Instead of boiled, fried potatoes, pasta or rice we eat lentils and beans. Yes, that’s right. The daal we have hated since childhood. Never have I eaten so much daal in my entire life. And guess what: I love it!! Masoor daal puree, moong daal/channa tangy salad. etc etc.

So a normal day would look like this:

breakfast:knekkebrød (wasa fiber plus) with a whole tin of “makrell i tomat”. ( A true omega3 bomb with 3-4 grams of it)

Lunch: A horrendously large salad with chicken/tuna and tinned beans. All the greens and veggies you love.  OR fried eggs with backed beans. YUMMY!

Fruit and nuts

Dinner: Fish/chicken/meat with loads of veggies and some sort of a daal.

Evning: omelete or 0.1 Yoplait yogurt with fruits or berries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t tell you how healthy i feel. I eat bundles of omega3, nuts, fruits, veggies and lean meat. And ofcourse lots of olive oil.

This is no “fat-free” diet. I eat as much as i want. But let me tell you not only do you get wonderful skin, and healthy tummy you also loose weight. The “diet” prevents sugarlevel raise and fall, hence preventing developing diabetes and helping those with diabetes. It keeps your colon super healty. AND you feel great.

When we come home after grocery shopping our kitchen table is fludding over with veggies, fruits and all things healty. That makes me sooo happy! I am in this wholeheartedly. Lets hope it lasts forever.

I will be putting up my low-carb dinners!!!

 

Marte Michelet – who let the dogs out?

Islamophobia is on a roll. Europeans don’t acknowledge it, but they are in it, head first. The continent with the most horrific of the crimes in recent history, the holocaust. Has less to be proud of as the racism and fascism raises it’s head. Though they are in denial, as Europeans tend to regard themselves as super-beings. The most civilized westerners of the lot. They have at last found an enemy and how! There is no problem in the world they can’t pin on the Muslims. However the most intriguing part of the situation is self-glorifying and apparent lack of common sense.

A woman of substance tells it like it is, in a national newspaper. Both her and the newspaper are of-course labeled “muslim whores”. Marte Michelet speaks of the raising islamophobia, happening at this very moment around Europe. The level of hatred and animosity against Muslims is taking the form of violent and non violent outcries against in most cases innocent fellow-citizens. Their only crime being their religion. Does this ring a bell anyone? Is history repeating itself, and are we being witness to a new Nazi uprising and a new holocaust in the making?

The outrages out-pours to Marte Michelet makes you wonder. Who let the dogs out? The comments to her piece has crossed 720 and still counting! Whatever did the Muslims in Norway do to the Norwegians? Okay, so in some crime-statistics the immigrants are overrepresented. There are ofcourse things done by people with muslim believes which are disgrace. There are crimes committed by them as by any other person with or without the baggage of illiteracy, poverty and other social issues. As no-one with a normal mind would pin all Norwegians pedophiles because some of them were. Or no-one with a normal mind would label all catholic priests as child-abusers, because some were. But now every immigrant is automatically labeled a Muslim, and every Muslim is a wife-beater, terrorist and socially incompetent. Well, hold on a little. There are some striking resemblance between this and the extremists in Muslim countries blaming the west and USA for everything. It is quite ironic to see that the mob against islam is getting quite like the ones they “hate”.

Another interesting aspect of this headless out-pour is that now every other Norwegian is a semi-mullah. To pin you down they have studied the quranic verses and hadiths more then you have. Now they tell you that as a matter of fact you are no real Muslim if you don’t know that quran states the you should kill all non-believers! Now we have semi-mullahs to tell us how our religion is to be practiced. Don’t be a fool and try to reason with them! How can you humbly state that 1,2 billion muslims don’t practice the quran word by word. There aren’t millions of “non-believers” killed due to their religion. The obvious fact that 99% of the 1,2 billion muslims live a quite peaceful and “normal” lives, does not go down well.

One wonders, and rightfully so. Who are the real extremists? How does two wrongs make a right? The name-calling and harassing of Marte Michelets is no pretty sight, and the ambassadors of freedom of speech, democracy and “good” human values should truly be ashamed of themselves. There is no difference in the narrow-minded, illogical extremist views of a mullah in Pakistan or a pseudo-mullah i Norway. It is as sad to see the hatred expressed in the 720 comments posted to Marte Michelets story as it is to hear Osama Bin Laden talking.

The D-vitamin Movement!!

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Let me clarify at the very outset, I’m no doctor (for those who haven’t read “about me”). But having a chronic and severe lack of D vitamin in my body I know a thing or two about D vitamins.

Being a woman and not just any but a Norwegian-Pakistani woman I got dealt some weak cards as far as health was concerned. With 2/3 of the elderly Norwegian-Pakistani women having diabetes type 2 I have a thing or two to worry about. My mother being one of these doesn’t make it any easier. Not only that, many of our mothers also live with severe chronic joint and muscle pains. I know, because I have experienced it first hand. My mother have them all. She is a beautiful, strong and graceful woman. She had a strong and slim body most part of her life. She never suffered from any pains or illnesses when she was young. Contrary to me!

The last couple of years I have been struggling to find out why I have been having all sorts of muscle and joint pains, a weak immune system and higher pain sensitivity. I got all my answer a while back when I got to know that my D-vitamin values were nearly zero!

Being true to myself I took the news in a nonchalant manner. Knowing nothing about this vitamin I went about my life as usual, taking the prescribed d-vitamin pills every now and then. But with time I had to pay attention to what my body was trying to tell me. I googled a lot on d vitamin and what i found was not a pleasant reading.

Lack of D vitamin can cause some serious and even fatal illnesses. Research show that the horrible Multiple Scleroses is a illness getting more common in immigrants in Norway, especially women. There is also ample research showing a clear connection between lack of d vitamin and many kind of cancers. The most common symptom however is severe muscle and joint pains and even depression.

Norway, the land of midnight sun is not that sunny at all. Over half of the year you hardly get any sun exposure. Vanity keeps the Norwegian Pakistani women from getting sun on their face and body as most of them prefer being pale. Sun is the main source of vitamin D, followed by fish. Naturally the body does not get to produce the required amount of vitamin D.

The consequences of your body being deprived of vitamin D are so severe and effecting so many desi women that one can’t sit idle and watch what’s going on. Myself and X-plosiv has therefore started the D-vitamin movement. Main objective being information about vitamin D and how one can get it and what a lack can do to your body. We want everybody to know that this is a serious health issue effecting all the desi women in Norway and can not be taken lightly.

I know take my vitamin D pills religiously! It is devastating to be a young mother of two and have to battle aches and pains in the entire body due to a lack that can be fixed easily. I just hope I am not too late. And my strongest wish is to make everyone aware of it make them take responsibility for their health!

Death of a journalist – The sorrow of two widows

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On the 14. of January a Norwegian delegation to Afghanistan came to experience the horror of terrorism way to closely. The foreign minister was on a visit, staying in a luxury hotel in Kabul. With him were the usual brigade of people, journalists, advisers and co-workers. The terror attack on the “safest” civil building left the foreign minister shattered, as it took the life of a highly regarded journalist, Carsten Thomassen.

Carsten Thomassen, a father of two beautiful girls aged nine and four. Thomassen was a journalist par excellence. Highly regarded, a master in his craft, well known in all the circles of the government and the ministers. He was always looking for the truth. For the reasons behind the happenings shaking the world. The public grief and the sorrow of ministers, government and media personalities is unprecedented. Carsten Thomassen was gunned down in the lobby of the Serena hotel, his journalist friends did whatever they could to save him. After his death two of his colleagues went to Kabul to bring their friend home, he wasn’t suppose to take that journey by himself. On the airport in Oslo, Thomassen got a honorary reception. With ministers, media moguls and a devastated girlfriend Ellen the mother of his children. Every thing was beautifully executed with great honor and respect. The newspaper with which Thomassen worked, Dagbladet carried all the stories naturally enough extensively in their paper. His collegues paid respect and the website was filled the minute to minute detail.

On 14. of January and terror-attack was carried out at the Serena hotel, taking 7 lives. In addition to Carsten Thomassen six Afghans were killed, one of them was Aziz, a security guard at the hotel. Like Thomassen, Aziz was a man doing his job. On the 25. of January Dagbladet carries a story about his widow Parwin.The story comes the day after Thomassen’s father reminds everyone in his funeral that their was not just one victim of this horrendous attack. Other innocent lives were takes as well, and that we should think about them as well. That is what Thomassen would have wanted.

The story about Parwin is similar to that of Ellen, Thomassen’s girlfriend. Both mother of two children, suddenly finding themselves in utter grief and devastation. Their lives ripped apart in matters of minutes. But the similarities end their. While Thomassen was helped by everyone around him, Aziz was left laying on the ground for an hour. While Ellen and the Norwegian public could follow the drama minute by minute, Parwin couldn’t take her husbands last call on her cell-phone because her telephone card was empty. While Thomassen got a honorable and respectable farewell from everyone in his country, neighborhood, king, ministers and dignitaries, Aziz and his widow just became a statistic. No one has bothered to console Parwin or honor her husband.

Up until Dagbladet yesterday wrote about Parwin, no-one was bothered to think about the other victims. Thanks to Dagbladet for bringing in an important aspect albeit a little late!

Ellen will have to deal with her grief the same way Parwin has to. But Parwin has not only lost her husband and children their father. With Aziz’s death they have lost their sole provider! Parwin doesn’t know how to feed her kids, their future is forever changed for the worst. Ellen wouldn’t have to worry about things such as money, education for her children, security and freedom!!

With the death of Thomassen it has become all to obvious to me that their should not even be one Ellen or one Parwin in the world. Women who lost their men to the cowardly acts of terrorism. The terror in any way, shape or form should  never be tolerated. It is high time for sustainable peace and justice in the troubled region of middle-east and the subcontinent. No-one, wether black or white, rich or poor, muslim or christian is safe until the world is a safer place!!

Living in Norway, a price to pay!

 

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NOTE: Made 27. august 2011, original post made jan. 10th 2008. 

(I assume you want to learn more about living in Norway, and that is how you found my blog. Please visit www.blendmag.no , which is my magazine Blend, Norways largest multicultural webmag. Use google translator. It will give you an idea of how it is to live here from a diversity perspective). Thanks!

ORIGINAL POST:

Show me desis living outside their native countries who have not experienced envied looks from people back home. And whom have not gotten thoroughly irritated when it has been implied that money apparently grows on trees outside Pakistan.  Further more, how extremely lucky we are living in Norway. Well we are lucky and cause of envy for some, but money certainly does not grow on trees over-here! For the life in safety, peace and prosperity we are extremely lucky and should feel utter gratitude. But there is a price to pay!

From time to time the media in Norway goes haywire over crimes committed by desis (or immigrant in general). Well they occasionally have good reason to. There are too many desi brothers involved in less proper things. Besides ruining their own lives they do a good job in making lives of innocent desis uncomfortable. With passing times the Norwegians are becoming more and more sceptical and even hostile towards non-ethnic Norwegians. The most common and frightening opinion is that there is no racism in Norway and that desis/immigrants just complain for nothing!

It is a well known fact that desis/immigrants have the highest rate of unemployment. Even higher education and university degrees do not help in some cases. Many immigrants are over-qualified and under-paid for their jobs. The evil circle is complete as low income leads to ghettos, low-class diseases, social and economical problems. These however are facts that ethnic-Norwegians in larger and larger extent do not consider anymore. The only thing they see is more and more “black” people in the city. Oslo specifically.

A new report shows that 48 of Oslo’s schools have a majority of non-ethnic children. The same day the news breaks there are several opinions in media on how to tackle the problem. Everything from the basic human-right violation of prohibiting people to live where they want to, to transport children to schools with less non-ethnics etc. The blame is solely given to immigrants who can not seem to live outside “ghettos” and who do not choose to live outside Oslo. Chat-sites and other forums are filled with Norwegians pissed of on the facts of the study, and who just have had it and want their country “back”.

Politicians and especially members of the Progress-party (Fremskrittspartiet) come with cheap and populist solutions to the problem that arises when the majority on a school is non-ethnic. There is no doubt about it, it is not an optimal situation as the Norwegian language suffers in schools where there are all kinds of different background represented.

How one would wish that instead of looking for short-term solutions, the authorities would realise the challenges our generation is facing. There should be made stronger efforts to break the basic evil circle!! First of all, employers should stop discriminating non-ethnics. It is a shown fact that this happens, but still many immigrants are accused of being lazy and corrupt. There have been a proposal of allocation of non-ethnics in governmental jobs, on the basis of merits. This proposal has been shredded to pieces as many politicians believe this is discriminating to the rest of the public! That non-ethnics should not get any advantageous due to their color. This is seeing things in a totally romantic and naive light. When immigrants are discriminated on the job-market, how can one actually tackle the problem?? Especially when many Norwegians feel there does not even exist racism?

And how can one expect desis to live outside “ghettos” when these are the areas they can afford to live in due to their poorly paid jobs or unemployment? How do one motivate desi children for higher studies when many with higher education drive cabs or the subway? How do one achieve a healthier spread of colored children in Oslo-schools when their parents can’t afford to live on the west-side of the city? Last but not least, why can’t people see value it is in having colored children in schools? That teaches children of colors to co-exist in a peaceful way, and they learn from early on that people come in all shapes, sizes and colors and culture. They learn how to handle that. That is something the Norwegian community can not brag about.

It is times like this that give your life some perspective. Yes we are lucky to live in such a beautiful county in safety, but we pay the price. The price of being considered different by some, the price of being an equity and not an asset for some. The knowledge of the fact that my children, third generation immigrants, will always be seen as different and maybe not have the same opportunities due their color. It is a heavy price to pay!

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