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Category Archives: Gainesville

These Birds Walk; will take you land of sweat truth

These Birds Walk; will take you land of sweat truth

After watching “These Birds Walk” I realized nothing till now has made me remember my country.

Filmmaker captured parts of my country as they are. The streets were similar to ones I have spent my childhood, bazars had same crowd, “chips” floor were of same color I have seen in so many houses (I could feel the cold touch when you step on them bare foot). And kids fighting, how many of those I have had with my brother, cousins, …. when you are wrestling with all the energy and in the sudden all the anger is gone. “meri chapal kahan hea” (where is my sandal) such small things that started punching match. “Chor deah warna Muka marun ga” I must have said it. And Masar (black lentils) and rice in an aluminum plate .
Many times in film I felt I could smell dust of roads and sweat of people sitting with no electricity in humid summer night; while sitting in air-conditioned theater in Gainesville.

These Birds Walk

Such wonderful movie about great work being done by Edhi. Interestingly gives extremely short time to Edhi and just makes you feel how that work is impacting people of Pakistan. It shows how high people regard him in Pakistan, one of rarest human beings which people feel is like them; might be that’s what greatness is. I wish this film could put him in the light he deserves

Documentary does not try to show in good colors or bad, it shows us how we are people in dirty clothes, dirty city, but innocent, loving, caring humans, it shows us what we are. and we are beautiful, lens captures it much better than million dollar PR campaign

 

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4th Nov & 11 May; crossing University Ave.


Yes it is about elections in Pakistan, but it about my experience also….. and it’s invitation to cross the University Ave. so read if you are interested. It is about a day some years ago.

In less than 30 minutes I must have crossed the University Ave. 30 or 40 times; whenever the traffic light turned red and pedestrian light switched on, I crossed the road. I crossed it with my other friend and there might be 100 students doing the same thing, right on the corner of Swamp Restaurant.

Just an hour or so ago,  ABC news has said polls are closed and they were ready to declare Obama President of USA; date was Nov. 4 2008 (yes I had to go back and check date, as people who know me know I don’t remember dates).

And these students excited on the prospect of something new, on promise of something different, a change, these young people just few years in their twenties (some even younger than that)  were on roads of Gainesville. It looked so easy in the end, it looked like all the worry of past so many months of seeing Sarah Palin heart beat away from becoming the most powerful person on earth, was nothing.

I think there were some exams going around and few were told about the results while they were taking tests. And in some cases teachers promised they will not going to look at the results till the end of the class. Now when results were out, as per the boring tradition, no one knew what to do, no one knew if any celebratory party was going around. Gators did what we were accustomed to do, gather at University Ave. (some new kids don’t remember old days of us winning those championships and closing down of University Ave., good old days)

I don’t know how it started, but students started crossing the University Ave. 30, 40 people on each side whenever the pedestrian light switched students will cross the road, high fiving people coming from other direction, shaking hands and talking and enjoying.

It was a monumental moment, even for me who is not American. I who came from the country where every 10 years the army takes over, where the best leaders you get are Bhuttos, I who was sad and angered when I had seen my countrymen cheering for Musharaf; I was happy this change coming in a country which is blamed for many things wrong in my country. I was happy to see the system work.

Might be because this was first time I have seen the election really working and choosing a person which I felt was far better choice than opponent. Might be because there were not cries of rigging and Mc Cain accepted results quite honorably. Might be because I saw the process giving opportunity to people to prob the candidate (unfortunately the 2012 elections were quite a disappointment in that respect)

No, I was not disillusioned like many of my American friends (living in Pakistan makes you too wise and cynical to believe in the oratory skills of a leader), but his ideas were grate. He looked like a leader willing to take charge, willing to defend his position, willing to admit his mistakes.

Yes did I have hope, of course, I had hope, did I had expectation? No I did not had any expectation of him bringing world peace or changing the America in 100 days.  Or he is going to radically change the philosophy with which the big nations run the world.

Today I am hopeful that we are going to see the same thing in Pakistan, an election after 5 years of completion of the Constitutional Assembly. Election, not because someone took 10, 20 thousand people and blocked the constitution avenue or did the train march towards Islamabad (never understood this name, because no trains go to Islamabad) and not because Army general pushed his stick on the chest of PM for announcing elections.

And I am hopeful because an outsider has ruined the party for others, Imran Khan and PTI long time in making have finally got enough muscle to push the old guard a little bit. It is not same comfortable run towards election. Again I have hope, but I have no expectation.

Why I have no expectation, because like Obama, he is new but like Obama he has Old guard around him. Like Obama he has words, courage and vision but no clear path. No expectation because he did not understood beauty of system and cried of fall of government too many times in past five years. No expectation because he and most of his supporters think, matters could be solved by just nomination of one person. I have no expectation because he will have to do on job learning, it is different than coming on television and giving policy speech on prompt.

I have hope because unlike the two parties that have their roots in being raised by the Dictators this one does not (atleast not directly). To refresh memories both Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif were part of Dictatorship. Unlike the two other parties, this party does not appear to have roots in one area or province, unlike other parties it does not have the family members nominated or “elected” to main party posts. Unlike other parties it worked for last 15 years to reach here. Unlike other parties it does have “ideas” about the situation and are willing to come out and say them. Even when this lets supported of other “silent” parties claim title of “secular parties” (interesting to see PPP do that when PPP elected President of Pakistan was absent for air waves on the killing of the Governor of Punjab or of the Minister of Minority affairs).

I have hope because hundreds of thousands of youngsters that had nothing to do with this system few years back are putting their hearts in it. I know many will have their hearts broken within few months of election.

I have hope because I am up for long run and long fight, I don’t believe in miracles that change nations (I have seen too many of those) or in revolutions that claim to burn down old cancers. I believe is long, tiring battles where grounds are won inch by inch.

So yes I have hope, and I wish my people will vote (whoever you try to vote to, it’s up to you);

So yes I will, when the elections will be over and results come in, go to the University Ave. right in front of parking lot of the Chemistry department and will cross the road. I know it is totally unrelated and non-consequential action, benefiting no one. But I will be there for myself and for my hope of Pakistan’s future.  You are welcome to join.

 

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concerns on Dean Abernathy’s vague proposal


{for people who don’t know what’s going around, have a look at http://saveufcise.wordpress.com/the-outcry/}

    Dean Abernathy posted her proposal (http://www.eng.ufl.edu/news/special-announcement-by-the-dean-cammy-r-abernathy/ on 14th of April) as “special announcement”. Keeping aside that this is the first time students got official access to the proposal, this 3 page proposal is so vague, without proper studies and references that I fear if it was grant request, it will be rejected by any NSF or any other grant agency. Without input from stakeholders or future cost/benefit  analysis it does not even stands as initial business plan.  We, students of CISE, don’t question her integrity, work ethics or good intentions, but that’s what we are scared of  that this is not well thought proposal.

      I would like to concentrate on the Key Highlights and Clarification section, especially the portion under “Key  considerations regarding proposed CISE restructure:”
      • It is stated that undergraduate is already co-administrated by the CISE and ECE, but fails to state that there was committee formed by Dean Abernathy that recommended how the undergraduate courses could be managed keeping the current structure intact.
      • The web post goes on to state that the restructure will allow elimination of the duplication. Mantra that there is duplication is being drummed without providing any proof. One would expect that this conclusion has been reached after a detailed study about the courses offered by both departments. Dean is not able to cite any such study. Infact she herself indicated the CISE faculty is not happy with it and now we know  CISE faculty has previously rejected merger with ECE, which indicates that they don’t believe there is serious overlap between the two departments especially in the graduate level courses.
      • Statement cites Georgia Tech where computer science is housed in engineering department. Again failing to tell that Georgia Tech has “College of Computing”  and “Interactive Computing” also. Further look at their Computer and Engineering College will reveal that they have sizeable computer science faculty.Whereas Dean Abernathy’s proposal will only move 10 or 15 computer science Faculty member ot ECE, even that she says will depend upon whom ECE wants to invite. Funding, grants and people politics might result in far fewer computer science faculty members in the ECE to offer a viable computer science program.
      • Third and fourth points, I am sorry to state, are totally unsubstantiated. With less than one third computer science faculty in ECE and all the current CISE students in ECE, how can you run a research program? Especially when half of the faculty will be Teach-Only position lingering in the halls of CISE, forced to teach without giving any facility to do research.
      I would request her reconsider her proposal, form committee of her peers (faculty members of ECE, CISE, ISE and BME) let them help her in making these decisions. I wish Dr. Abernathy good luck, because if she makes a wrong decision College Of Engineering will lose enrollment and thus great source of revenue and pride: that is their students. One hopes provost and president of UF will take a serious interest and save CISE.
      Thanks
       
       

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      Broncos, Tim Tebow and Gainesville


      You know there are people who you just like, whose success are cherish by many people who might not have any direct contact with him, the successes which might be just small. Tim Tebow appears to be one of them, a lucky one I must say.

      Today he did it again, the last pass (which finally he made) resurrected his image of quarterback you should be always be watching. Although he ruined previous two chances by taking too much time before making a pass and once almost getting sacked. The last pass just put him back on the list. He should be thankful to the defense that did the hell of job in containing the competitors.

      His success is being cheered by many of the people who might even not like Broncos. Most of the Gainesville wants Broncos to succeed because of Tim Tebow . He has this feel good thing about him. people want him to succeed; to be fair it has very less to do with his being religious or not. Just a microseconds Broncos made touchdown, facebook was full with the status updates and tweeter was singing.

      Here is for Tim Tebow and this is for Gators and for Tebowing.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/08/tebow-thomas-broncos-steelers-overtime-win-thomas_n_1193054.html

      something interesting about 316 passing yards and 3:16 on his face

      http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/fade-black/2012/jan/8/sunday-school-tim-tebow/

       
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      Posted by on January 9, 2012 in America, Fun, Gainesville

       

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      No, nothing Burned in Gainesville; only Candles of Unity were lit


      I received an email from Pakistan asking whether Quran was burned or not? Email highlighted suspicion that Tery Jones of Dove Church went ahead with his plans and somehow Govt. of Pakistan is

      blocking this news. This view was also part of column published by Express Pakistan, although author did not did anything to stop such suspicions.

      So let me state, nothing was burned in Gainesville. That evening Gainesville saw one of the most amazing gathering, where citizens of Gainesville regardless of faith, beliefs, social statuses and views came together to celebrate diversity of Gainesville.  A vigil was held to represent Unity and Peace in community.  The news was covered by Sun Gainesville. When candles were lit and silence was held, the downtown plaza was looking heavenly, beautiful,…….

      I don’t know about other cities, but following video is another example of  how people protested to stop Quran Burning.  If you go till end, a Muslim guy tells us about people who placed their hands on the grill.

      The person who emailed me has emailed back telling they have confirmation somewhere Quran was burned and they are going to protest. I want to tell everyone, protesting is your right but when you protest do remember these people. When you shout anti—— slogans, do shout slogans in the praise of these people. Let’s spread peace and harmony, let’s balance our stories of Dove Church with the stories of Trinity Church of Gainesville, Jewish Rabbi in Gainesville,  Veteran for peace and hundreds of faceless people, who stood not because they love Islam, but because they love humans regardless of their faith and views.

      Peace

       

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      Finally Pita Pit


      After my distasteful experience at Pita Pit, I never stepped in their shop for about 1.5 years. But all my friends ‘hey let’s go to pita pit‘ and I was no you go ahead, I will take something else. Some days back, I decided to buckle up and give it another try (and yes everything else was closed at 1 O clock in night).

      This time no Tuna Salad, I ordered Falafel with Hummus. It was great. Really I was surprised, well better than subway. Sprouts gave extra taste. Two days after that I went again, this time Falafel with Baba Ganoush, again it was good experience. It is little bit expensive than Subway but it is better tasting also.

      I can’t say I have become fan, but at least I know I can eat one more thing when I am on campus.

      Price: About $6

      Preparation Time: They take slightly more time than Subway

       
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      Posted by on June 21, 2010 in America, Food, Gainesville, UF

       

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      Sushi and Sushi Yami


      All you can eat Sushi and that under $10, great!. That’s what Sushi Yami opened at 13th street offers.  Buffet style all you can eat, has two offerings; many types of Sushi, coming out every few minute, and chinese food. Their Miso Soup was good, egg fried rice were tasty and sea-food delight was amazing. And then there was full counter for sweets, fresh diced fruits, jelly, custard, etc…

      Coming back to Sushi well there were many varieties and I have gone their twice, this time I found some were replaced by others. Best part is their service, every few minutes someone will come and fill your glasses. We had lots of questions regarding sushi, does this has chicken, does this has pork, is this all vegi., someone will get this information immediately.

      It’s right next to Merloin and infront of IHOP. Exterior is nice, painted in funky colors. Once you enter, it’s big hall with tables on one side and buffet on other.

       

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