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In the Name of God بسم الله

Basim Ali

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Everything posted by Basim Ali

  1. @Haji 2003 Salam Haji! Long time!! I took my IGCSE's in 2010/11. It's been several years but I used https://xtremepape.rs/ back in the day for practice questions (a cursory look tells me it's still going strong). You may have already found it since its pretty popular but incase you haven't - it is THE online forum for the newest content on the exams (including prep material etc) and they also manage to keep a record of all recent exams. Might be helpful for Maryam! Good luck to her!
  2. Salam! Sorry I've been on a bit of a blog-stalking spree since I recently re-joined SC! But I must say I found this to be a very interesting and observant blog entry Haji - one that also hit close to home! Kids graduating from top schools in my country (traditionally a 'drainee' country) have always been slapped with that label of being responsible for the 'brain drain' in the country that direly needs them. The emphasis on trying to send them on a guilt trip back back to their country if they decide to move can sometimes get really out of hand (coverage and negative publicity in the press etc). The argument is (at least for private schools) if someone was put on their mettle to get into these schools and pay the exorbitant fee out of our own pockets (or private loans etc) then they have every right to take the brain where they want without feeling guilty. If they were born in a 'drainer' country, they'd probably be able to achieve just the same (or more) without the added guilt if they decided to move elsewhere. These drainee countries arguably and potentially keep these brains from reaching their full potential leading to a 'functional drain'. For example, over time many of these countries have developed decent undergraduate programs in STEM specialities but have not been so successful for postgraduate/doctorate programs. So how far are the brains themselves responsible for the drain if they leave the drainee country just to get access to greater academic opportunities? Finally, the academic fraternity often argues for the pursuit of a global academia without borders - where institutions are not defined by their geographical location. With that argument in mind, it's interesting to consider that this pattern of moving from one institute to another exists even within 'drainer' countries (so people who complete their medical school at Yale are less likely to also pursue their PhD at Yale in favor of another institution). Here these brains do it for professional growth. If brains from drainee countries do the same with the same goal, they also have to live with the label that they fueled the drain. Some more interesting thoughts in these articles from people I know: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1275995/ https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e938/e1c2d3d77c1b947cf4f74c061524e361a7ac.pdf
  3. 1) i) Probability of surviving first inspection = 1 - probability of being rejected by the first inspection (ie 1-0.1) 0.9 * 0.08 = 0.072 ii) 0.9 * 0.92 * 0.12 = 0.09936 2) i) (3/5) * (2/6) = 0.2 ii) (2/5) * (4/6) = 0.267 iii) The possibilities are: aspirin + thyroid, aspirin + laxative, thyroid + aspirin, thyroid + laxative So 2/5 * 3/6 + 2/5 * 1/6 + 3/5 * 3/6 + 3/5 * 1/6 = 0.667 3) 0.6 * 0.3 * 0.1 = 0.018 I don't take any responsibility for any answers. I've been in medical school for the past few years.
  4. I know MMA failed to polarize the Shia vote bank (or any vote bank for that matter - it won a single seat in the Sindh assembly and none in the National Assembly) in Karachi at least last election season. It's always baffled me how Shias can decide to join hands with the likes of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Served them right to lose terribly in the election.
  5. Might be symptoms of hypothyroidism. Fatigue >2 weeks warrants a visit to a doc. Hope everything turns up fine. Good luck!
  6. There's a chapter in Al-Kafi Volume 6 that is called 'باب لُبْسِ السّوَادِ' which is 'Dislike for black clothes'. Here's the first hadith: Some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the above. There's a long (but interesting) analysis of the ahadith we have on the topic here: http://www.valiasr-aj.com/english/mobile_shownews.php?idnews=251 Salam
  7. You're comparing apples to oranges. The brother asked about wearing black. How the Kiswah fits into the argument here is beyond me. Besides, it used to be white during the Prophet's (p) time! Anyway, to answer your question brother @Shah Khan: Yes. It is Makrooh to wear black attire when not worn in order to mourn (with few exceptions like turban etc.). From Ayatullah Sistani's (rh) website: Question: Is it permissible to wear black on an ordinary day when it is not coinciding with the martyrdom of one the fourteen infallibles? Answer: It is permissible but it is reprehensible (makrooh) to wear full black. https://www.sistani.org/english/qa/01134/ Maybe later if I have some more time I can dig up a couple of ahadith that I recall from Al-Kafi that state the same. Salam
  8. A lot of airports are now heavily invested in offering quality services to passengers and making their transit comfortable. I happen to have had transits at a lot of Middle East airports and I've really come to enjoy airports that are kind to their passengers (and cognizant of the fact that travelling is a tiring and unpleasant experience for many who are forced to do it for work and/or family). I think they also carry an enormous responsibility of representing their countries/cities for the short duration that passengers stay there. Abu Dhabi and Doha are probably at the top of my list of favourite Middle East airports. Muscat was also surprisingly serene. Riyadh inaugurated a very impressive domestic airport recently. Dubai has become too crowded with multiple airlines using it as a transit destination. I recently had a 4-hour transit at Sharjah airport and it was terrible. It smelled, the WiFi wasn't complimentary and I couldn't find a place to sit. Air Arabia is pennies on the dollar so I guess this is where they make their cuts lol. Salam
  9. I think this is what OP is talking about: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/babri-dispute-shia-wakf-board-says-ram-temple-can-be-built-at-disputed-site-mosque-at-a-distance/story-Te9ytfzjvm8tBI9GYmTHwK.html I know about the Babri Masjid issue but never knew that the Shias of India claim it as their mosque! This is pretty interesting. In any case, their position seems to be pretty sensible. If they did indeed own the land they have a right to decide what happens to it. And even if they don't, Babri Masjid has become an unnecessary war of egos for Hindus and Muslims of the subcontinent that has claimed countless innocent lives. This issue needs to be put to rest even if it means one side conceding to the other.
  10. Hmm I've been taught, for as long as I've been part of research projects, never to offer financial incentives to your study subjects to participate in your study as it a) introduces a bias and b) is unethical. Not to mention, online surveys have their own major issues. So I'm really curious as to how they manage to maintain the reliability of their questionnaires.
  11. Why Pakistan is mourning loss of German nun Ruth Pfau Tributes are pouring in for a German nun who spent more than half a century in Pakistan battling leprosy and helping the country's most vulnerable people. Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced in a statement that a state funeral would be held for Ruth Pfau who died on Thursday aged 87. "She gave new hope to innumerable people and proved through her illustrious toil that serving humanity knows no boundaries," the statement said. "We are proud of her exemplary services, and she will remain in our hearts as a shining symbol in times ahead." Pfau trained as a doctor in her youth and went on to join a Catholic sisterhood. She arrived in Pakistan, where she spent the rest of her life, in 1960. She specialised in the treatment of leprosy, a disease that causes discolouration of the skin, sores, and disfigurements. Pfau's work earned her the Nishan-e-Quaid-i-Azam, one of Pakistan's highest civilian awards. More here. ------------- This is an interview by her before she passed away:
  12. I don't think the Prophet (p) always had someone pouring water for him!! (think Tahajjud or all the other prayers offered in private when no one would be around/awake). Here are videos of Agha Khoei (rh) and Agha Sistani (rh) pouring water for themselves while performing wudhu (they make it look so easy lol):
  13. Hey Minal, While almost all of us get anxiety at some point it's a medical disorder when it happens disproportionately or inappropriately to the events causing it. It is unlikely that someone over the internet can help you. As a medical professional myself, I can't stress enough how important it is for you to seek professional help. Anxiety disorders can usually be treated by psychotherapy and/or medications but the longer they are left untreated the more difficult it may become to treat them. I understand that it's difficult to ask for help without adequate support from family or friends, but you must take the first step and approach a clinical psychiatrist/counsellor/clinical psychologist yourself. I hope and pray that things get better for you inshaAllah. Salam.
  14. Salam everyone. Has anyone been following the Google controversy surrounding an internal memo (later made public) circulated by an engineer criticizing what he calls Google's discriminatory diversification practices? I attend a university where this debate about gender roles and stereotypes is triggered every couple of months so I'm fairly familiar with the subject. Naturally, I was interested in what this guy had to say in his memo that got him fired. I was expecting a very aggressively opinionated piece filled with a guy mansplaining gender issues (after all, it was enough to get him fired). So either I don't fully understand the flip side of the argument or the guy was really good at making his opinion sound like facts because I don't think I disagreed with a lot of what he had to say. He seems to have backed up much of what he says with scientific evidence. The gist of his argument is that men and women are inherently different biologically so they can't be expected to make similar choices while picking occupations and professional specialities. He says this all the while admitting that the gender-specific biologies are not binary and on a spectrum that overlaps (so one can't state that such-and-such profession is for a specific gender alone) and also supporting the idea of greater diversity in the workplace albeit minus the discriminatory practices to promote it. Admittedly he also makes some statements that appear blunt and unsupported by evidence (then again this was meant for internal circulation not a journal). This theme and argument (biological difference in gender and gender roles) is one that I've seen spring up in many gender debates (issues of testimony and inheritance etc.) on ShiaChat as well over the year. Unfortunately, much of what he's saying is considered politically incorrect in the times we live in. For those interested, James Damore's (the Google engineer who got fired) full essay/memo can be found here. It's an easy read and would recommend everyone to read it and maybe ask yourself what you find correct/incorrect about his views. Since the news became public people have expressed their infuriation with the memo but some others have also expressed their support. 4 well-credentialed scientists have written pieces voicing their support, from a purely scientific perspective, for the memo and its accuracy. Obviously, I'd encourage you to read the memo before you read their pieces. I'd be interested in knowing what some of the other members here think about this issue. (PS: Feel free to move this thread to any forum. Wasn't sure where it belongs and I'd like to see reasonable opinions on this so posting this here.) Salaam
  15. Care to share the source of these stats? I've seen the 70-75% figure being thrown around a lot but have never actually seen a solid source. I mean I understand nobody really collects this kind of data due to obvious reasons but there must be some logic to this inference.
  16. Two sentences into the first paragraph and I realized that something didn't sound right about the language being used (too biased and opinionated). Then I realized I was on the website of The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) which is not the main, authoritative body of pediatric practice in the US. That's the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). ACPeds is actually an offshoot of AAP and is a protest group made and run by conservative pediatricians who were opposed to the pro-LGBTQ stance of the AAP on several issues. Nobody really pays attention to this aberrant group anymore lol. While I haven't really analyzed their article and their references (don't think it's worth anyone's time to do so tbh) these groups tend to be selective in quoting medical literature to support their point of views. Kind of like the anti-vaccination groups among the medical fraternity that repeatedly quote flawed studies to prove their point. I know we'd like scientific evidence to fit our Muslim narratives but I'd personally be happier if we don't look like we share our values with a group as un-scientific as ACPeds. Salaam.
  17. Sure. Heterotopic (putting a donor heart in the chest while leaving the original in situ) or piggy-back heart transplants, while not very common, are possible.
  18. Sick post man. Came in quite sometime after all of you but few other features of the internet have excited me more than ShiaChat over the years. Made so many friends, met so many inspiring people, found a few distant cousins and relatives. Learned so much. Can't help but feel a bit envious towards the people who conceived the idea of SC for the sawab they probably get from this. This was my evening hang-out place for the longest time in school. I really feel discovering SC and being part of this place made me a much better and more educated person and Muslim. Most of us born in Muslim families (like most kids born in other faiths lol) are never taught to question our beliefs and practices. While this may not sound like a good thing to many, but questioning your beliefs and practices, and finding out for yourself why and how they've come to exist is a wonderful feeling. Nothing reaffirms your faith in your madhab better than finding things out things about it for yourself. It lets you connect with your religion and culture on a level you didn't think was possible. I've done my fair share of embarrassing things in my time here too. :p None of my social network profiles are as embarrassing as my SC profile I think. I've come back to SC this week after a long hiatus. So much as changed (I CAN'T FIGURE THE EMOTICONS OUT, I CAN'T BELIEVE I WAS MODERATOR!!!) I feel like there should be some way to identify people who have gotten their usernames changed. Very confusing when someone says salam and you have no idea who they are. Hehe. Salaam.
  19. Yes and you follow the sequence of head and neck -> right side of the body -> left side of the body. It doesn't matter, for example, if while you're washing your head water flows on your body too (as long as you wash the part you do intend to wash at that particular moment, thoroughly). It's possible with both a hand-held shower and a fixed shower. Alternately, you can use a jug that you fill and pour over your body parts in the prescribed sequence. This method will probably help you save water and is more in line with the recommendation to not use an excessive quantity of water while performing Ghusl. But I suppose this method is also less convenient, would take more time and I'd be wondering at the end if I was thorough enough with my washing. Discussed elsewhere here and here. Rules for performing Ghusl Tartibi a/c to Agha Sistani here. Salaam
  20. Easier said than done lol This is an overly simplistic way of looking at personality traits/disorders and mental illness - 'just let it go'.
  21. Thanks! True, true. I only meant it figuratively like the descriptions in idioms that are used to show admiration/favoritism: 'his blue-eyed girl', 'their fair-haired boy' etc.
  22. It's a stunning development. We have the ability to prolong life, prevent premature death and decrease human suffering due to death and disability. It is the future of medicine. As for designer babies, and picking blonde hair and blue eyes with superhuman strength for your offspring, there are correct and incorrect uses of everthing. People can get intoxicated by something as harmless as cough syrup. Doesn't mean you ban cough syrup. The more widespread use of CRISPR will depend on, among other things, effective legislation limiting its use for medicine. Surgeries are being performed in utero (eg: for spina bifida) and gene therapy is being used to treat genetic disease in children (eg: Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy) so I don't see why we can't start at conception. The cousin-marriage issue is blown out of proportion in Pakistan imho. It's not nearly as bad as people claim it is. The risk of congenital defects is only mildly higher in children of consanguinous parents. The vast majority of children of consanguineous parents are normal. In many cultures and societies, cousin marriage might actually be beneficial. While I don't intend to promote cousin marriage, it's important to check your privelege and the reliable evidence available against cousin marriage before we start fear-mongering and schooling people about it.
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