It's #QandA Time! (and the Burka Avenger)


We sit in front of the television every most Monday evenings, cursing and celebrating in equal measure, the opinions stated by the panellists sitting on either side of Tony Jones.

"Oh what!" we yell, out aloud and on twitter.

We all think we would have the perfect answer to the questions being asked too ;)

Well on Monday, I have the scary honour of being one of those very panellists on the firing line and by gosh, with the election just called, it's going to be a fun evening indeed!

I'll also be heading into the studio early to be talking to the Australia Network on the new animation, the Burka Avenger...

I think the idea of the Burka Avenger is fantastic, but it is a little too early to call.

Burka Avenger is a Pakistani animated television series airing on Geo Tez. Created and directed by pop star Haroon and produced at Unicorn Black production studios, the show features Jiya, a mild-mannered teacher with secret martial arts skills who uses a flowing black burka to hide her identity as she fights local thugs. The Urdu language series first aired on July 28, 2013. [wiki]

The program seems to tick the initial acceptability boxes; written by a member of the community, it is clearly coming from within and is relatable.  Programs that cultivate and encourage creativity and artistry are in dire need as well, so that is a plus.

Furthermore, the aim of the program seems to be to encourage education as the superhero uses only books and pens as her weapons.  Encouraging education, particularly in the areas this Urdu-language program is targeted to laudable and required.

What will be important is whether or not this actually works in the community.  Will it be watched by young people and change their perceptions? More importantly, will their parents allow them to watch and be educated by it?  It will most definitely create controversy: given the attire of the 'villains' (very 'traditional', even 'Taliban' looking...) and the use of the Burka as a disguise rather than as a traditional religious garment used for modesty (and in some cases, for oppression, but that's another kettle of fish).  I think the fact that this program will create conversation though is a boon in of itself...

So let's wait and see on this one. I think it is a positive, but the jury is still out on the effectiveness on the outcome - and we judge by the outcome in this world, do we not?


So what about you? Ever wanted to be on the panel? What would you like to talk about?  What are your thoughts on le Burka Avenger?

Weeeekly Liiiiiinks

You know what it is! Here are some interesting internet tidbits I came across this week…

Above: French rapper shocks her fans by wearing the hijab!

I have found myself truly stirred and inspired by this school girl, who was brutally shot in Pakistan for simply wanting to learn…

Classic; on sexism and recent rulings for sole parents:

Making two unconnected issues part of the same debate is a classic response to "women’s issues". The government can then claim "We are taking care of one category of poor women so we can’t afford the other". The tendency to connect two separate issues, both about women, illustrates a much deeper political sexism than the legitimate anger about sexist tweets and commentaries.

What is it like to date a model?

…and then there was peace? A deal has been struck between the two Sudans, but where does that leave them, and will it all work out?

We all need leaders who challenge the tribe. We benefit even more when our leaders have peers who push them to be even better.  Wise words from Seth Godin

You can make it without being a sociopath or middling to the point of uselessness. But it's going to take some insight

Great article on the true role of the World Bank

This is why the World Bank is so valued by the US government and Wall Street: because it is instrumental to expanding the sphere of Western capitalism, a role not dissimilar to that which colonialism once played for Europe. This may be a good way to overcome flagging corporate profits and to stop stagflation at home, but it does not countas a serious strategy for global poverty reduction.

We have to face up to the fact that the World Bank will never be an effective tool in the fight against poverty without fundamental changes in its power structure.

Inside the real-world Double-O section of Her Majesty's Secret Service: How to become a ‘real’ James Bond

So far from pistols, chop-socky or irresistible sexual magnetism, a normal SIS officer's primary tools for motivating foreigners to do what he wants are bribery, bullshit and in certain circumstances blackmail. The only Bond-like quality a normal SIS officer will be required to show is the ability to drink heavily and remain functional, as any diplomat must on the embassy cocktail circuit.

    This chick’s face:

    I love maths used in every day sort of problems. Did you know the probability of having two people with the same birthday is 50-50…in a group of only 23 people?

    The dawn of LI-FI…This is technology innovation being AWESOME.

     The weird square dance in lifts

    An interesting piece on Facebook’s diminishing returns…

    Let your career passion follow you…

    Nice to see something written by a fellow hijabi on “what it is like to wear the Hijab..”