Weekly News Round-Up (15th – 20th August ’21)
While a Pakistani woman makes history this week, another was brutally accosted by 400 men. Around the globe, Britain announces a photography competition chronicling life spent during the lockdown, while Afghanis risk their lives looking for a way out. Meanwhile, a Pakistani filmmaker makes an effort to be more inclusive with differently-abled actors and an olympian silver medalist reignites our hope in humanity. Read more in this weeks news round-up.
Samar Khan Becomes The First Woman On A Bike To Reach K2
On the 16th of August Samar Khan made history by becoming the first woman to reach the K2 base camp on a mountain bicycle. She successfully summited the 6,250-metre Burbucho peak in Shigar’s Arandu and Mount Kilimanjaro and went on to prove that Pakistani women can do anything when they are determined. She documented parts of her journey on social media and explained that she traversed the difficult terrain in parts and the maximum height she reached was 5000+m.
Samar went on to express the numerous hurdles she faced as a mountain biker in Pakistan, which included – the lack of trained coaches and proper infrastructure, scant government funding in niche sports, the incidents of harassment she faces on the daily and the difficulty in generating enough funding to be able to afford a mountain bike. Samar hopes that adventure sports in Pakistan gets the recognition and the government funding it deserves because not only will it help to promote tourism, but it will also help launch new talent on a global platform. Moreover, she is optimistic that one-day sports will become more accessible to women in Pakistan and that they’ll be championed to reach new highs and break global records.
Bhai Bags A Spot At Toronto International Film Festival
This week, the Pakistani short film ‘Bhai’ made it to the Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled to be screened in September. ‘Bhai’ tells the story of brotherhood – two brothers on independence day at a biryani restaurant, where one of the brothers (on the autism spectrum) has an episode and the other brother is left to make the difficult choice between intervening or feigning ignorance.
The film explores the themes of trauma, shame and making difficult choices and chronicles the experiences of differently-abled Pakistanis who are often shunned in society. Moreover, the film casts Ayan Javaid who is differently-abled, very talented and making his debut on the silver screen. The film is directed and written by Hamza Bangash who wants to create an authentic representation of differently-abled individuals in the media and hopes to encourage mainstream directors to offer more roles to them.
Olympic Silver Medal In Exchange For An Infant’s Heart Surgery
The Polish javelin thrower, Maria Andrejczyk raised over half a million zlotys ($128,380) for an infant’s heart surgery last week by auctioning off her 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medal. As a survivor of bone cancer, Andrejczyk was moved by the plight of the eight-month-old Miloszek Malysa, who was suffering from a heart defect and decided to help by auctioning her silver medal to the highest bidder. Żabka, a Polish supermarket chain, won the bid of $125,000 (as reported by CNN) and announced that they would be returning the medal to Andrejczyk because they’d been moved by her noble gesture. This news restored many people’s faith in humanity and they applauded the olympian for her kindness and support.
‘Hold Still’ By Kate Middleton Documents Life In Lockdown
On World Photography Day, the Duchess of Cambridge launched a community photography project called ‘Hold Still’ that aims to capture a snapshot of life in Britain during the lockdown. The National Portrait Gallery has invited citizens to send in their submissions and the top 100 will be chosen by Kate Middleton and a panel of judges to be featured in a digital exhibition that’ll be launched on the 14th of September. The news has already created a buzz and everyone is excited to send in their photographs to get a chance to tell their incredible stories from COVID-19.
Minar-e-Pakistan Incident In The News Highlights How We Have let Our Women Down, Once Again
A woman was assaulted by nearly 400 men in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park on the 14th of August. The woman and her companions were robbed, groped and harassed by the onslaught of men while they were making a Tik-Tok reel. Soon after the video of the assault went viral and numerous news outlets began reporting it, Pakistanis were outraged and demanded justice. An FIR was registered and twenty suspects have been taken into custody for further investigation. Moreover, the recently released medical report by the Punjab government details the numerous bruises and signs of inflammation on the victim’s body and confirms signs of assault. The story is still developing, however, as the instances of violence against women continue to rise, we wonder when the domestic violence bill will be approved and will women in Pakistan ever truly feel safe in their surroundings.
Afghanis Risking their Lives Looking For A Way Out
As Afghanistan once again faces an uncertain future after the arrival of the Taliban in Kabul, many Afghanis are risking their lives for a chance at freedom. After the harrowing images of two people falling from the US military plane made the news, many were devastated and appalled at the apparent insignificance of human life in the face of political turmoil. As human smugglers continue to shepherd many Afghanis through the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing and into Balochistan, many celebrities are asking for global intervention to protect the refugees and children.