What do you see?

What do you see?


Law School: A Letter to Ambition

Dear Ambition,

A friend says to me  live with goals and dreams where somebody can’t tell you what you can’t be because you might “just” do it. The “just”  is more than good enough for me to work with you. Because of “just” I fill out applications for law schools whose cut-offs I barely make. I continue to elaborate on my “grand plans” of far too uncertain future in personal statement, hoping some schools may just see some sanity in my insanity.Thanks to you, I guess I’m prepared to be labelled crazy.  Where for me you are nation-building, in words of Jinnah I remind myself of how you are possible: my message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation. 

I must give you another thanks for keeping my life aligned, giving me direction and conviction to bear the uncertainty of future education. Because I am in a position to speak to you, I remind myself I am privileged. To chances, destiny and Allah, you are more exciting then ever to pursue.  And so with you by my side I keep walking the path  with steps of determination one at a time.

Yours Truly,

A girl with symptoms of insanity

Short Snippet of My International Relations Classes

You know when in your off time you want to talk about Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, and worry about chances of democracy in Middle East and South Asia or when you just feel a little frustrated by the fact Canadian Foreign Policy story can literally be replaced by the American Foreign Policy and then see Bush be a second version of Stalin, I do wonder where am I headed in understanding the world. Through a recent simulation that I led in class, where we acted out four different committee session between 1924-1929 we tried to understand how Stalin rose to power. As he beat his opponents and  with some luck,  ultimately he led soviet union to a disaster. I could not help wonder then to be caution of the fact that where conviction can be guiding, it can be blinding. We have believes but from time to time we need check in with them. What do you believe in? Who do you believe in? Where are your believes leading you?  Meanwhile, in my Canadian Foreign Policy I am realizing that Canada continues to glue one feet within America while attempt to extend their other leg into the world in term of  diplomacy. Honestly Canada I’m not really sure whether your really the “middle power” if you only follow and let your southern neighbors leads. Hey, I’m not asking or provoking for  a war but Canada come on, considering in class we talk more about American position then Canada itself the dependency relationship Canada has with America is a little disturbing to say the least. The readings are a little dull and nothing ever provoking takes place. Come on, Canada I know you are much more exciting and have the potential to lead.  And after doing couple of role plays in International Security, I’m realizing how difficult negotiations can be between nations where solution is almost impossible. I realize here perhaps the role of intellectuals of the relevant countries are key in bridging the gap between nations over important issues, where they can play a role beyond intellectual circles and even positively drive talks forward. Representatives of different states are often way too burdened with number of issues on their plate and I think intellectuals here can play an active role in real world of politics. To great extent they already do but they too have their own agenda and interests. If these intellectuals really worked for the best way to reconcile over issues of contention, perhaps then, a different world could be possible. Further in my Diplomacy class, I am just beginning to prepare for two weeks simulation on climate negotiations and I will be representing one of the big players, yes China.  Let’s see how this develops and I will follow up with this in coming posts.  On last note, in American Foreign Policy class, my first assignment on neo-conservatives role in policy making process, I totally failed at but a case presentation on counter-terrorism abroad should get me back on track. And again this is something I will follow with a more detailed post.  I’m not sure where all these issues are driving my mind but it is paving some path and moving my believes and views in some way. For now, I try to take in these realities as my course work jump from different histories to different parts of the world.  How close are you to grasp what your professors are teaching you and your readings are telling you? Even though I’m in my last year of undergrad, I feel like I’ve only just begun.

A poem from my thirteen year pre-teen self

I was reminded recently by my younger sister of these ‘lost words’ who used the poem while she was in a French program in Quebec this summer. Now that I’m trying to work out a personal statement for law school that in true express who I am, I find myself glancing back in life. And so here is a version of me about seven years ago. 

I wonder what to do sometimes 
what’s going to happen to me 
who will I be 
what will I be 
where will I be 
I wonder sometimes


When this soldier, in the middle of life or death situations, stopped to take care of a kitty who wandered in the area. Honestly, seeing the picture I had to smile. We are capable of love even in difficult times.

I Dream: The Difference Between Ignatieff and My Destiny

When Michael Ignatieff resigned as leader of Canada’s Liberals at a press conference in Toronto on May 3rd, members of his team were seen at the back of the room in tears….[It was] the sad end of a six-year experiment that they had once believed would conclude with a unique man, Ignatieff himself, pulling the sword of political governance out of the stone of political theory and coming to power in Canada as a contemporary philosopher-king. -Jordan Michael Smith, World Affairs July/August 2011

I was just contemplating on who Ignatieff was as I recalled his visit to campus last year. The bigger question I had in mind was his background. Was his family involved in politics that led him into ultimately finding a place as a leader in Liberals party of Canada or was he self-made? Interestingly he’s a Russian descent, whose father was a diplomat and his grandfather was a Russian Minister of Education during World War One. All his family tree has relations in diplomacy.

I can’t help but think damn what a luck guy, he had it in his blood.  Nobody in my family ever been a politician or  come close to any political forums other then maybe voting. And that disappointingly can’t even count. This means I need to take the self-made route and this is my official admission to destiny.

Currently Ignatieff teaches at UFT during fall term and at Harvard’s Kennedy School in winter term.

Yups, who said I can’t dream.


…And the Empire Lives Under Obama

In my American Foreign Policy course, last class we talked about the influence of Neo-conservative in American Foreign policy. They believe in American exceptionalism, military intervention and are pure hawks. Irvon Kristol is considered the father of neo-conservatism who began the weekly standard which is run by his son today. These intellectuals often are found in various think tanks, where a primary example is Project for the New American Century.

I use to see a world that ideally should follow a democratic outlook, where certain actions fit and others deviate from this. But observing the extent of neo-cons institutionalization in American government, Bush or Obama maybe Plato was right in saying “dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.”  Democracy just feels like an illusion, one that promises some kind of election-that’s where it starts and ends. Here fairness, and peace means not much. Nevertheless I still ask whether East or West, how can we dismantle Empire building agendas? How could the common people like you and I play a part in this?

And I thought Obama was likeable possibly. Ugh. 

Growing Up: These Birds Walk

Pakistan. If I ever find any gratitude, any state of humbleness and any appreciation of Allah its because I found myself attached to these stories presented. I still cannot figure out how and why, when I’ve never been back to Pakistan. I have not been raised with an upbringing that is extremely cultural or religious. Its as ordinary as the next kid in my school; with movies, intramurals, cross-country running,  shopping and gossip about cute boys with my girlfriends and even with my mom. Yet, almost none of that matters anymore. Is that what I should call growing up?