You Have One New Notification

They say you shouldn’t use the word hate, because it’s very strong. It makes you look nasty, and mean-spirited. Well guess what? Sometimes, I hate this interconnected online world. I hate the way my Gmail is linked to my Facebook and my cell contacts are synced with everyone I know on Twitter, and Pinterest and every other account I’ve ever had. I hate the way Skype is now a Microsoft account thing, and the way my contacts are duplicated because there’s Facebook friends, and Outlook contacts (whatever happened to Hotmail anyway?) and something called a Yahoo Friend.

Want to know why I hate it? Want to know why it sucks? Because you won’t go away, even after I’ve cut you so painfully from my life.

Even after I’ve hacked at my heart to get rid of you, torn you like a mass of entangled nerves, woven into me, from my spirit, you just won’t go away. It’s been three months, and I’m idly whizzing through my contacts, stuck in a doctor’s office, and whoops. There you are, with that picture I picked out for you, that you insisted you hated. There is momentary alarm. Didn’t I delete you?

Oh, I realize: My phone auto-synced my contacts with my Facebook. Delete.

It’s been six months. I’ve gone through three crazy anxiety cycles, willing myself not to think about you. We haven’t spoken once, but a thousand conversations have played out in my mind. My friends keep telling me to chill, sympathy in their eyes, but I wish there was an actual pill for that, because I can’t seem to handle this on my own. I wake up telling myself I’m good, this is a better day, I haven’t thought about you in thirteen hours and 47 minutes and 3 seconds. I’m having Cheerios at the dining table, streaming some Vampire Diaries, and a little Skype blurb pops up.

You’re online. The spoon tumbles from my lips.

Why are you on my Skype? Why is there an option to call you? To video call you? Oh, God. My Outlook contacts are integrated with my Skype now, and it’s asking me if I’d like to add 417 other friends. I wish I had never sent you an email from my Outlook. Delete.

It’s been a year. My online presence has been cleansed of you. You are not my Facebook friend, LinkedIn connection, fellow Pinner, Twitter follower, or Insta-buddy. I’ve even gone on a paranoid social-media purging bender and kicked you out of my Google + circles. Your favorite songs have been kicked off my iTunes playlists, and the <3 list on my Soundcloud. It’s done. I’m clean. And then, like a thief in the night, you’re where I never expected you to be.

I’m digging through the caverns of my Dropbox (100 GB) and it turns out it’s been syncing every photo I’ve ever taken – including dozens of you. You, you, you, that I hadn’t even remembered. That quick smile from the driver’s seat as you realized I had my camera app open, a blurry close up of your hand as you try to knock it away from me, a couple of crazy laughing ones, water streaming down our happy faces – preserving memories that I loved.

That I need to get rid of.

Now.

It’s been 14 months. You’re gone, and more importantly, the  reminders of you are gone. I can move on with my life, and I hope you have already done so. Maybe I don’t hate the interconnected world quite as much as I thought I did. Maybe hate is too strong a word. Maybe I’ve forgotten something, and one day you’ll pop up in a notification somewhere; if you do, I’ll be okay.

I’ll be okay.

PS: This post was written to support everyone out there struggling with letting go, because it’s only natural. Hang in there, friends.

Oh, You Don’t Like My Body?

Guess what. Most days, neither do I. The way my thighs jiggle when I run, and the “wholesome” curve of my fat arms. You don’t like my body. I don’t like myself.

Just another fat girl. The chubby friend. The girl who is fun, and interesting and creative, but c’mon, you’d never date her. I mean, have you looked at her?

Yeah, plus-sized models are sexy. I mean, OMG look at Kim K and Ashley Graham – I’ll take some of that please. But Fat Amy over there? C’mon. I mean, I don’t want to be rude, but you know we’re both thinking the same thing. Right? Right?

You don’t like my body. You don’t like my body. You don’t like my body.

I don’t like myself.

My skin is too dark. My hands are too masculine. Wearing sandals in the summer gives my feet tan lines. My chest isn’t big enough, but my shoulders make me look like a Viking.

I’ve forgotten, you see, that my body has changed over the years. I forgot the year in high school when I lost so much weight I went down a whole size in my favorite jeans. I forgot the times my mother wasn’t home and I had to come up with something to eat. I forgot that when I was 15, all the girls were my size, and then when I was 17, they suddenly weren’t. I forgot the time I had my heart broken and no one to talk to. I forgot all the boys who said they liked my curves, and all the girls who wished they didn’t look anorexic. I forgot that this body is more than my failure.

The wide hips and strong legs admired in the past are heritage – passed down to me from my grandmother’s blood. This body is family, along with the big eyes, and full lips that you love so much.

The way I’ve bulked up in the last year? I survived having my heart blown to smithereens, and I am still here. This body is proof. This weight is a remnant of being at war with my nerves. This body is strength. The thick hair I have pulled out – of my eyebrows, of my arms, of my chin and my legs – that’s not easy. You don’t like my body, and I pluck and pull and rip and rub. You don’t like my body.

I’m not at risk for heart disease, and yes, they do still carry my size at every clothing store I go to (albeit sometimes it’s shoved in the back). This body is a size 12, a size 14, a size 16. But this body is more than a number printed onto my denim. The acne scarring from the face wax to get rid of my mustache is covered up by my favorite foundation, and now you say you can’t trust women wearing makeup, and makeup shaming has actually become a thing. Are you kidding me? And still, you don’t like my body.

When you sideways glance at my tugging my shirt down over my stomach, or make a sexy big booty remark and wink at me across the room, I forget that I am more. I forget that I would rather have played my video games instead of picking out black heads, and putting eggs in my hair. I forget.

I forget that while I suck at dieting, I am a better cook than most others. I forget that while I can’t find the motivation to get up for a 6 AM run, I’ve circled the world through great literature. You think I don’t exercise, but I am not afraid of washing my own dishes, mopping my own floors, and doing my own laundry. You think I don’t care, but I have a full length mirror that replays all the things you assume I didn’t hear you say.

I wear makeup because I love it. My foundation is marketed as Better Skin, my chapstick is “your lips but better”, and my concealer gives me a “natural” highlighted “glow from within”. You say I am too fake. That I should look more natural. But in a flurry of activity, like a mad woman, if I unzip, untuck, unhook, and wipe off everything you call fake, you don’t like my body.

I forget that this isn’t a war I should be fighting. I forget that this isn’t a war anyone is ever going to win. I forget that you aren’t the enemy. I forget that I don’t need your validation.

You don’t like my body, but sometimes, I really love it.

I love it when I go to the doctor and he says that I am perfectly healthy. I love it when I order my double-patty burger and I love it when you’re not talking about how I need to lose weight.

You don’t like my body. I’m focusing on loving the world, one day at a time.

Disclaimer: This post was written to support a friend who struggles with body image issues. 

Who is Prince Charming?

We’ve all talked about it, whether it’s in hushed tones when our mothers aren’t listening, or maybe when you’ve just broken up with the last guy – we want Prince Charming. Whether or not we admit it, and even if we hide behind the whole “Of course you always have to compromise – especially as a woman. You’ll never find someone who is 100% perfect, and that’s not even what you need”, we all still want Prince Charming. 

Now, after we’ve politely made the socially-needed (as in, society demands it) admission that no one is perfect, we are willing to adjust with the man we have to spend our lives with, and that our parents know best when picking someone out for us for the long haul, can we get into the real conversation?

Who is Prince Charming? 

Disney says he is someone who will make your heart want to positively explode with the goodness and happiness that he brings, and have dashing good looks, a rippled-to-perfection abdomen (Disney never overtly brings this up, but all our resident Princes are suspiciously well-built.) and last but not least, a never-ending devotion to your happiness, (never mind his own) which may or may not demand intense sacrifice on his part.

Now who do I think Mr. Charming is? (Note: Everything stated below is the result of painstaking research on the matter, undertaken by myself, qualified as I am – being a woman and all – over the last 10-15 years [assuming the effects of Disney movies began to take their toll around the time I was 8] and based on interactions with numerous teenage girls [classfellows, friends – giggles] and super-serious coworkers from my adult life. The point of this note is for you to realize that all parts of the following laundry list are very, very accurate and you need to take them seriously.)

  1. Prince Charming respects me & views my mind as equal – that means whenever there’s a major decision to be made, he will involve me, and we will make it together. This does NOT mean that my preference will always be the final decision. It means we will both share our views, debate their virtues and faults (warning: this might get a bit messy) and then decide on a final course of action.
  2. Prince Charming knows there are certain things I hate doing, that I will do if absolutely necessary, but would much rather prefer that I don’t do them, and helps me achieve this. He knows I am willing to compromise, that I am not unreasonable, but Prince Charming does not demand unnecessary compromise from me.
  3. Prince Charming is ambitious – knows what he wants in life and works towards the goal, regardless of if it’s career advancement or to build a lake house.
  4. Prince Charming is kind. Kind when I’ve failed. Kind when I suck. Kind when I’m not. Kind when I’m irrational and stupid and mean. Because I will be. Because I am human.
  5. Prince Charming accepts his mistakes. This does NOT mean he accepts everything I think is his mistake. I can be wrong. He should argue his point. I should be a good enough person and partner to be able to accept that I am not in the right. But when he knows he is wrong, he should apologize, because sometimes I will need to hear that he’s sorry.
  6. Prince Charming knows what’s important to me – whether it’s my career as a fancy-smanshy business exec, or an active involvement in my community, or whether I’m blood-sweat-and-tears-ing my way to launching a successful start-up, or even if I’m at home, pursuing personal projects such as writing a book or painting – and respects those as worthy pursuits, not belittling or chiding me for pursuing them.
  7. Prince Charming doesn’t lord his job over me, if I don’t work. Especially if I stay home and take care of the kids (a choice which is entirely mine).
  8. Prince Charming may not remember a million anniversaries or birthdays or the first time we ate a samosa together, but he is there when I need him. I don’t mean this in the I’m having an emotional breakdown and WHY AREN’T YOU TEXTING ME BACK RIGHT NOW kind of way, but I mean in life. Real life. Not dramatic, immature, the world is a hell-hole and you’re my salvation life. He helps me pick up the dishes after we’ve had guests over, and will run to the market to get milk when we’re out because I am too tired to go. He will voice his opinion when he thinks I am making a mistake, and he will be there to help me through the aftermath of the bad decisions (leather sofas when you have a cat) I am bound to make at some point or the other. He will celebrate my successes (when I manage to exercise for more than 3 days in a row).
  9. Prince Charming tells me the truth. A lot of girls like flowery romance. And there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of cheesy goodness. But what really takes your Prince to the next level? When he tells it like it is. So that you know you have an honest opinion whenever you need it. So that you know you have a no-judgement helping hand whenever you need it. So you know that this is a partnership.
  10. Prince Charming has a compassionate face – a beautiful for me face. A face that I can grow to appreciate. A face that makes all the girls I don’t like really jealous because he’s gorgeous. (Don’t pretend you’ve never wished that.) A face that makes me think ooh la la, I got lucky. (Yes, I said it. Go ahead and be nasty and judgmental if you want.)

That’s all we really want, Disney, popular media, rishta aunties, and whoever else is out there.

(Disclaimer: This in no way is meant to be an exhaustive list or represent exclusively my views. This also in no way means that there can’t or shouldn’t be a Who is Princess Charming list. Maybe that’ll be my next blog post.)

Feel free to add anything to the list. The best thing about fairy tales is that sometimes, they come true. :)

So When Are You Getting Married?

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It’s been a while since I’ve brought the topic of marriage onto this blog. Some of you might remember my post about rishta aunties. I wrote that post three years ago, easily quipping about how twenty-somethings in Pakistan are always fretting about the all-seeing potential mothers-in-law hunting them down. Well, guess who’s a twenty-something know? (I think this is what they call karma.)

So what better way to deal with this than take it head on? Let’s talk marriage, ladies and gentlemen, specifically marriage for young women in the middle to upper middle class in urban Pakistan. First thing’s first – just about everyone has had a boyfriend. Oh, I’m sorry, do you not like to call him that? Even though you text non-stop from your secret phone? Even though you’re “best friends” who make eyes at each other across the quad? Let’s get real. Every girl who has gone to university has bound to have had one or two (mis)adventures of the heart. (And if she hasn’t, she’s a gem, aunties, snap her up for young Javaid now!)

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We’re all familiar with the horrors of formalized arranged marriages, where the girl often feels like a show pony, and the boy is presented as an investment portfolio more than a human. We know about the dreaded serving tea on a trolley ritual, and keeping your legs crossed and your eyes down. We know of how the term semi-arranged (we like each other but we got our parents’ approval) has become a thing now, and how parents have become more open to the idea of their children having love marriages. (I wonder how they would react to I’m in love but I don’t want to marry him.)

So what is it like? The actual marriage part? Supposing you find a fellow that puts up with you (bonus points if he actually appreciates you, ladies!) and start looking to shack up (ahem, I mean, begin your lives together) there’s several other obstacles you find yourself facing. These are some stories I’ve heard over the last three years.

Best Behavior – for how long?

Mom and Dad found a nice/decent/friendly/kind guy, I got to know him, and we are married/engaged/baat-pakki’ed now. He’s great, but we’re still learning our way around each other. Do I tell him about my ex-boyfriends? I am committed to him, but they were a central part of shaping my personality, and many of my views about the world. How long do I keep pretending they never existed?

His Parents Don’t Like Me

We’re perfect for each other. We’ve been happy together for such a long time, and have overcome difficulties together. We want to marry each other, but his parents don’t approve of me. Words that felt like praise my entire life are now reasons for my rejection – working woman, strong, capable, ambitious, good grades, career-oriented. I knew I had to marry his family, but what if they don’t want to marry me?

I Know I Have to Stop Working – for my Family

I have a career and I love it. I am from a wealthy family, and have no need to work. I am well educated and I want to use all those hard-earned degrees, but I know that when I get married, I have to balance my personal obligations with my professional ones. And I know I will have to give up my career – it’s the right thing to do.

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Women Can’t Have It All – “Having It All” Just Means Being a Bad Mother

Because I don’t cook for my kids, I’m a bad mom. Because I don’t make it to “pot luck luncheons”, I am a bad mother. I’m killing it in the boardroom, and providing for them just as much as my husband is, but because I am not doing my “womanly” duties, I am a bad mother. It doesn’t matter that I pay the cook and that I buy their school supplies. What matters is that I don’t attend the kitty parties the other mothers throw, and I carry a briefcase. My kids and happy, living fulfilled lives, and they know that their mother loves them and is always there for them – but society doesn’t.

I Make More Money Than He Does & This Is A Problem

I don’t care about him enough. I am not attentive enough. I am always busy with my work. That’s what I hear. The clothes aren’t freshly laundered and the tables are dusty – I am a bad wife. The funny thing is, I am also paying the rent.

This post has one simple purpose: to get us to think about the imposed social structure and societal norms we’ve built. Each of these stories has multiple perspectives. I’ve kept them short and simple, because I invite you to explore them in your minds. Think about your experiences, your friends, and your ideas. And if we can all accept one new idea today, I think that’s a smashing success.

What Nobody Tells You About Your First Job

Growing up is such a big deal. You’re graduating (hurray!), you’ve landed your first job (hurray!) and now you’re well on your way to joining that Eligible for Marriage list (hurray?) that rishta aunties are always updating.

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And while there will be plenty of people with celebratory smiles (and hopefully, cake) and words of praise, there are some facts you need to get straight before work life completely surprises you. This is a list of just some of the ones I’ve managed to figure out (thanks for the heads up, everyone in my life).

1. People at the office are not all the same age as you.

We’re used to environments where everyone around us is relatively the same age. School, internships, even extra curriculars – we are, essentially, always surrounded by our peers. When you start working though, there’s people from all walks of life and all age groups around you. That girl that looks 25 might just be 36 and married, with two babies. (Bravo for aging well!) That guy with the greying hair and darker skin may be from a small rural town, or of a different ethnicity, or even just a year older than you are. Remember to be mindful of this, especially if you grew up surrounded by people more or less like you. Not everyone has the same color, race, religious background, and financial status – of course you knew that, but it’s easy to let it slip so far back in your mind that you say something silly.

2. It’ll take a while before you can actually start calling it “the office”. 

You won’t just belong right away. Having a fancy title and getting a handsome starting salary doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. Being accepted in the workplace takes time and effort. Remember to represent yourself – as clearly as you can – don’t make promises you can’t keep, and just work hard. Everyone respects the ability to do your job well, and a friendly demeanor never hurt either. Respect those who have been there before you for that simple fact: they’ve been around longer than you have.

3. Prioritize: big presentation comes before seeing if the copy machine can scan your hand.

No, this is not the same as the lecture your parents give you about balancing friends and shopping with work and family time. This is about work – and how you need to make sure that out of all of your tasks for the day, the most pressed-for-time ones get done first. Often, we have a tendency to push big tasks towards the end of the day, doing smaller, easier things first. That’s fine if you know you’ll buckle down towards the big task at the end, but that’s a lot harder to do than say. So make sure the work that you’ll be evaluated on, that reflects directly on you, is done on time, and done well.

4. There is no monster under your office desk.

You will mess up. This will happen. Nobody will eat you. (Hopefully.) You may be chastised or even reprimanded, but don’t take it to heart. Learn from it and use it as a reminder to double check (perhaps before you email the wrong person, or when in a rush, put down the wrong statistic) yourself. Things happen and your job will go on – apologize when you’re wrong, and pick yourself up. This is only the start of your career, and you’re in this for the long run.

Source: www.ragan.com
Source: http://www.ragan.com

What did you learn at your first job?

Coming Home – A Thought

I’m sitting in my aunt’s living room, amidst an ongoing argument on the issue of the electricity and expenses of cooking food without gas, the usual start to my day in this household. Every day, since she returned back to Pakistan five years ago, I’ve watch my aunt wake up to a very typical version of “Pakistani” problems knocking at her door, while her servants have their remedy ready in the form of some morning tea on the side. To her surprise, being home to raise her children has not been as green as it seemed from the other side of the fence. Daily frustrations like these have become quite common for many Pakistani’s returning home after relocating abroad, dreaming that it would provide those homey comforts which the foreign country could not. Unbeknownst to them, that during their time away our motherland has continued to push against the underlying evils of mismanagement, corruption and possibilities that exist in governments everywhere.

The longing, emotional bond with the homeland usually brings the expatriates back after some amount of time spent away, but it has little support to offer those that are returning under usual circumstances. These returning families face a variety of problems, consequently, returning back has its own perks but the fears formulated in the process can make the transition even more challenging.

  • Cultural shock, or the feeling of being a foreigner in their own homeland, leaves many feeling lost while they are still struggling to relocate back to Pakistan and reacquaint themselves with the new areas, growth, and culture that may be much different than they remember.
  • Jetlag, however, might still be one of the most difficult things to manage physically during a return home. Taking the biggest toll, and adding to an already stressful situation. Also, the most easily overlooked and underrated part of the trip back, jetlag can not only lead to additional problems but can also compound new problems blowing them way out of proportion.

Initial days are thrilling of course, filled with the excitement of a journey back home and the chance to revisit old friends, but the real deal sets in shortly thereafter. The feeling of being a stranger, sometimes among your friends and family despite the good old lifestyle you once left behind, prevails. Very well leading to confusion, lack of direction, and in the worst case, a mismatch between the dream home you’re searching for and the current transitional phase. However don’t lose hope, there are a number of things one can do to combat these factors that many face.

  • Pick the most suitable city– For many this is one of the most important aspects. Your new city will be your new environment, and your “ideal” city and what it offers may have changed while you were gone, much like you did.
  • Weigh the pros and cons– Resources, employment, commute time, and convenience may be just a few to begin with, aside from the presence of one’s family and friends.  This makes it easier to adjust as it did when moving abroad.
  • Enjoy the hunt– While it can be very exhausting, as it is the basis for your new life back home, it can be made much easier by buyer’s assistance companies like Lamudi here in Pakistan. While these new real estate listing websites may have sprung up while you were gone, they walk you through the entire process of this transition, providing paperwork and help along the way.

Your “settling down” phase, and the joy of returning home is one that you have been looking forward to for weeks, if not months. For many it is a dream, and as the pressure and culture shock begin to wear off, you should be able to slowly return to the list of things you’ve put off during your busy schedule abroad.  Your home country is glad to have you back, and despite what you remember about the past, it has grown and matured much like you have, and has all the solutions ready to paint the life you’ve wanted to live, in a very Pakistani way – slow and steady.

Ilmesters Academy Hosts an Open House in Karachi

Education, apart from being the cornerstone of a successful and fulfilling life, helps mold and polish students and Ilmesters Academy aims to make your child shine. The administration, faculty and staff members are pleased to invite your family to the Open House. Ilmesters Academy is an IB World School with the goal to meet the international benchmark by offering unique inquiry-based learning. The school provides rich opportunities for academics, physical-education, artistic and community endeavors and engages in programs, which are offered by University of Cambridge.

If you’re interested in visiting, there’s an open house coming up.

Date:               25th January 2014, Saturday

Timings:          09:00 a.m. till 12:30 p.m.

Venue:       31/11 Block 7/8 Alhamra Cooperative, Shaheed-e-Millat Rd, Karachi

Phone:  (021) 34558986

For registration and more details please click here.

As Aristotle said, “the educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differs from the dead.

To connect with Ilmesters on Facebook, click here.

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BOOK SALE! Get your books here!

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago, and over sips of chai, we shared our lives with each other. During our discussion, we realized that so few of our colleagues enjoyed picking up a good novel, and diving into the story it holds.

In elite universities in Pakistan, we hear discussions about how it’s up to our youth to lead the country, and our bright young minds – fostered and developed in the nation’s top universities – are the leaders of tomorrow.

We are expected to lead, and rid the nation of poverty, corruption and nepotism.

But how can one lead without the essentials that literature gives us, without learning the lessons of times past and times present? Can you truly understand the line between passion and obsession without Anna Karenina?

Can you feel an oppressed woman’s pain without Simone de Bouvoir?

Can you understand compassion if you haven’t walked 500 pages in Quasimodo’s shoes? An author doesn’t just tell a story – they share a piece of the world as they know it. And aren’t the greatest leaders known for their understanding of humanity?

So I decided to do something about it. My online book sale is a project to bring popular titles to people who might read them. Whether you’re an avid bookworm, a maybe-sometimes reader, or just clicking around on the internet, the book sale is open to you, and I hope you do stop by. We’ve tried to make the books as affordable as possible, to facilitate that bookworm that we know is somewhere inside of you. Our goal is to get you to read more, and develop a love of books.

Some of these books were donated for this project, and most are from my personal collection. There are some new ones, some almost-new ones, and some that have been well-read. These are books that I have loved and learned from, and that I want to share with the world.

How will this work?

A photo album is uploaded on my Facebook page. Each picture is captioned with the name and price of the books shown. Simply pick the books you want, and send an Inbox Message to the page, telling me which books you would like. Those will be set aside for you. Prices are non-negotiable, and have been set keeping in mind the conditions of each book.

All books will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Keep in mind, the quantity of books is limited, so you’ll want to hurry!

How do I pay, and how do I get my books?

Payment will be through online bank transfer, and your books will be delivered to you by post, or in person (if you’re close enough).

How can I help?

Since this is my way of giving back to the community, I encourage you all to help with the effort. Feel free to contact me here on the blog, on on my Twitter or Facebook to donate books, create a partnership, or share your ideas. I would love to hear from you!

“If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If youre a pretender com sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in!
Come in!”
– Shel Silverstein

 

The Myth of Peaceful Resistance (#Mandela)

There is a way in which the myth of peaceful resistance is flattering to the oppressor and disabling to the oppressed. It’s as much the oppressor’s narrative as anyone’s. “You ought not to fight us with more than the image of your own broken body,” it says, “for we who oppress you are good and rational — most of the time. We have the same interests as you, and understand that you enjoy the same basic rights. We, your rulers, simply need to have our consciences pricked from time to time.” By couching the antipathy as a mere moral lapse, the oppressor is permitted simultaneously to deny the actual material basis of the social division and hence the necessity for a struggle for liberation that is more than merely symbolic, and to perform a mental splitting-off from its own identity of those aspects of itself it can now pretend were inessential deviations from its rational, humanistic core. Just as the United States broadly did with the benighted South of Bull Connor and the Klan. As if the story of American racist oppression was one of mere regional ideological peccadillo and not one of the founding principles of the whole nation’s economic structure. As if the story of Apartheid were simply those nasty Afrikaners and their gauche racism. They’d probably lived in Africa too long and allowed its “tribalism” to rub off on them, and so deviated from the European universalist norm. Still, one of us in the end, eh? – Three Fingered Fox

 

NESTLÉ MILKPAK & Tetra Pak Pakistan Launch Pakistan Safe Milk Movement

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LAHORE: 18th November 2013 – NESTLÉ Pakistan and Tetra Pak Pakistan proudly co-launched the Pakistan Safe Milk Movement today. The aim of the movement is to educate every Pakistani on the importance of consuming milk that is safe. In addition, the movement also intends to give enough awareness to everyone to be able to understand how milk could be unsafe and the subsequent adverse effects on health owing to the consumption of unsafe milk.

The ceremony was hosted by Sidra Iqbal, leading media anchorperson and development activist. Among other notables from both NESTLÉ Pakistan and Tetra Pak Pakistan, the launch event was attended by renowned philanthropist Syed Babar Ali and also by distinguished writer and respected media personality Anwar Maqsood, the brand ambassador for NESTLÉ MILKPAK, who is also spearheading the movement.

Mr.  Babar Ali, as member of the expert panel at the press briefing, said he recognized the movement as an extension of his mission of providing high quality products to the Pakistani consumer. He highlighted the importance of consumer education about the packaged foods industry and underlined that the Pakistani consumer has always been smart enough to make the right decision, once given the right information. He also underlined how this movement will result in improving the overall quality of dairy farming and has the potential of making Pakistan a major exporter of milk in the global market.

Anwar Maqsood highlighted that as Brand Ambassador, he has learnt new facts about the safety of milk – of how NESTLÉ ensures that pure milk is protected throughout their value chain from sourcing till the point it is consumed in households. He emphasized that understanding this process is key to ensuring that we consume safe and healthy products and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Representing NESTLÉ, Mr. Roland Steiger, Business Head of Ambient Dairy added that “NESTLÉ as an organization has over 140 years of global experience in ensuring that consumers get a delightful experience through the use of NESTLÉ products owing to high quality standards and safe handling of milk right from the milking shed to the pack of milk in the consumer’s hand”. He highlighted that as a result of adherence to these values, NESTLÉ MILKPAK, with a heritage of more than three decades in Pakistan, holds strong brand equity with its consumers and enjoys market leadership in the UHT all-purpose milk category.

“NESTLÉ is involved in numerous initiatives to create shared value, including farmer development, training of female livestock workers through external dairy development projects and model farms, among many others” said Mr. Waqar Ahmad Sheikh, Head of Corporate Affairs at NESTLÉ. “Over and above, by purchasing milk on a daily basis from more than 190,000 farmers, NESTLÉ is contributing positively to farmers’ livelihood and hence, rural development”.

Tetra Pak, the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, has partnered with NESTLÉ to create awareness about milk safety. With presence in over 170 countries across the globe, Tetra Pak comes with the expertise on processing and packaging solutions best suited for the local market needs.  Tetra Pak’s motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™” reflects their vision to make food safe and available  everywhere.

Speaking for Tetra Pak Pakistan, Osman Bucha, Director Marketing, said, “With over 30 years of experience in the Pakistani market, we realize and appreciate the need for creating awareness about milk safety. Through an integrated awareness campaign supported by seminars and other direct consumer engagements, we see NESTLÉ’s Pakistan Safe Milk Movement as a platform for helping consumers in making informed decisions about what constitutes safe and hygienic food”.

The panel also consisted of Mrs. Ghazala Pervaiz (RD), Head of Food and Nutrition Department at College of Home Economics. She shared facts with the forum on the nutritional significance of milk intake in the daily diet and also highlighted the possible adverse effects of consuming unhygienic / adulterated milk and associated gastrointestinal disorders. She stressed the importance of choosing milk that is safe and of high quality.

The consumer awareness campaign will be seen on mass media as well as on key digital platforms. NESTLÉ Pakistan and Tetra Pak urged the Pakistani consumer to search for more information and enhance their understanding on the subject, and to join them in their mission of consumer education… Socho, Samjho aur Phir Piyo!

For more information on Pakistan Safe Milk Movement, search for:

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pakistansafemilkmovement

Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/pksmm

#PakSafeMilkMovement

For more information, kindly contact the following person:

Zeeshan Suhail
Manager Public Affairs,
NESTLÉ Pakistan Ltd.

E-mail: Zeeshan.Suhail@pk.NESTLÉ.com
Tel: 00 92 42 359 88138 or
111-NESTLÉ

*This post was written and published in accordance with Converget.