Rafia Zakaria

Displacement and destiny

Pakistan’s creation story reflects the central belief that those who migrate and start again can be absorbed.

Changing face of a holy city

In the ‘upgrade’ of Makkah, there is no room for an immigrant hovel that does not accord with the expected spiritual

Men and explanations

There are small, everyday ways in which women are silenced, disciplined and shown condescension by men.

Marriage and migration

Tradition and culture, religion and romance must all conform to rules made elsewhere.

Demons of a British ghetto

British Pakistanis lack a vocabulary for having honest conversations about sexual exploitation within their communities.

Women on the march

Women inhabiting public space is a victory for at least one half of Pakistan.

Words of a woman

Other than Ismat Chughtai no other female Sub-continental writer can claim to have excised the myths heaped on misogyny.

The perils of promises

Pakistan’s problem with promise is its addiction to a particular stage of political existence.

“Make your own Saudi prince”

All little Pakistani girls have a single dream of one day marrying an old man, alighting from a Saudi Airlines plane.

Fiction of the failed state

The new colonialism, like the old, presents the shadows of intervention as weightless.

Fear and Acid

It was in bottles and syringes, flung and squirted. It was easily purchased and used without the fear of prosecution.

Women watching women

This strategy of using women to discipline other women is not a new one. It has been previously employed by Saudi Arabia

The war on teachers

The targeting of teachers is an element of deliberate anti-intellectualism.