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In the Name of God بسم الله

Marbles

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Marbles last won the day on March 1

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  1. Plus, the costs of visiting Qatar this time round is going to be very high. Airfares are already touching the exorbitant range and on top of that all hotels in Qatar are already showing hundreds of USDs a night hotel stay during the WC dates. The rates aren't just high or very high. They are ridiculous. I managed to find cheap accommodations in Russia in 2018 by staying a few metro stations away from the city centres. But there isn't anything resembling a cheap accommodation anywhere in the non-sandy square footage in the entire state of Qatar. Qatar has copied the Russian FAN ID system and named it Hayya card. One of the requirements of Hayya is to have a confirmed, possibly paid, hotel booking for the dates for which the applicants holds the match ticket. Russians did not ask for these things for their FAN IDs. One attraction of Hayya card is that several neighbouring states have said that they would allow visa free entry to on the basis of Hayya card. These countries include Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Jordan and possibly Kuwait. Some of my compatriots are excited about this opportunity to visit various countries without having to go through the hassle of applying for and obtaining the visas, like they did in the case of Russia. I reminded them that this time our hosts are Arabs not the Russians who let in everyone without discrimination. I am looking forward to a caveat which might not even be announced but quietly put into practice: "ALL nationalities allowed except XYZ countries." We Pakis have always belonged to the XYZ category. So when my friends buzzed me about purchasing a ticket and going on a grand Middle East tour I said NO.
  2. During the last World cup held in Russia, I took the opportunity Russia offered to all nationalities by purchasing a cheapest ticket of the most useless match, which made me eligible to apply for the so-called FAN ID issued by the government of Russia. Anyone with a single valid ticket could obtain FAN ID and use it to enter the Russian Federation without obtaining a prior visa. This was of huge significance to me because as a citizen of a country with the second worst passport in the world (according to Henley's Passport Index), I saved a lot of money and avoided the red tape around obtaining a Russian visit visa just by making a small purchase online. I'm one of those people who have zero interest in football. Zero. I didn't go to the stadium to watch the match. I just followed a tourist itinerary and covered the must-see places during the two weeks I was there. And I loved every bit of it. Remarkable country. Remarkable people. Thank you Russia. Now the WC is being held in Qatar of all places. And I can't seem to control my yawning. An opportunity to visit a proper country has been missed.
  3. Isn't it ironic that, according to the BBC, a minimum of 17 people have been killed in the riotous protests over one girl's unfortunate death.
  4. A country's politics is part of its larger culture, not separate from it. People tend to limit Westernisation only to music, telly, food and how people dress up. That is a very narrow and limited view of Westernisation. By the way, Tiktok is a Chinese company.
  5. @GreenTree North Korea is very Westernised. Nothing more Western than following a political ideology devised by two German intellectuals like it is divine law.
  6. Dear Brits, Could you please bury the fossil and be done with it? It's become impossible to watch or read any media from your country without being bombarded with the state-sanctioned mournography.
  7. 1. This is clearly a misuse of istikhara. Please give it a rest and don't indulge anymore. 2. Long courtship period, for want of better word, is usually harmful for marriage. Things that may mean nothing seem like a big deal when you aren't living together. 3. Lastly, if you are still unable to address your doubts then it's better to end the matter now and move on rather than after the marriage has been consummated.
  8. Not surprising. Among South Asian Muslims every other boy has Muhammad as a prefix to his name even if he's not called by that name. My first name is also Muhammad on legal documents but I won't respond to a call of Muhammad in a crowd. But I'm surprised there's no Ali in the top ten. Prolly because Ali typically takes the second place in a name. Jaffar Ali.
  9. I don't think that is true. He got nearly 50% of the popular vote both times he ran for office. Plus, most Republican politicians have thrown their weight behind him, regardless of what he said or did. Only a handful of his own party politicians went against him. The failures of the democratic party and their shambolic handling of everything the US electorate cares about would bring Trump back. Or someone like him.
  10. Too late. Sanders is too old for this circus. The democrats rejected him twice when he still had juice left. The next president of the US will be Donald Trump. Mark my words.
  11. Personally, I'm sick of being bombarded with LGBT stuff every day in the news and entertainment media. It's as though half of the world's problems revolve around gender issues. Read a contemporary book of literature or watch a film or a TV show and it seems over half the world's population has suddenly gone homosexual all of a sudden. I'm glad I don't live in the West and it remains a non-issue here where I live, but it is difficult to escape the constant cycle of news and controversies that has become a mainstay of Western media productions - and what's more, being the cultural imperialists that they are, they want the entire world to emulate them or else... As for the parade in particular, I find this whole spectacle of almost-naked people with crazy makeup doing even crazier dances completely ridiculous and extremely cringe-worthy. That's just my personal gut reaction to it. It goes completely against the values of decency and modesty taught to me, and that before I factor in the religious angle into the equation. Shameful.
  12. Ah I see. I should have known. Segregation in the States refers by default to the racial segregation.
  13. I have never seen a segregated church. Not in real life, not in films. But I like that mosques are segregated. It helps to maintain the purdah between the sexes. The nature of Islamic prayer is such that it may breach the code of modesty if non-mahram men watch women in the act of prayer.
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