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The Lysias

What matters to you, matters to us.

Contents

Lyceum Social Entrepreneurship Summit

The Annual English Play

The 4th Annual Blood Drive

Trump’s Visa Ban

Duterte halts ‘Drug War’ 

Fate of Muslims in 2017

Karachi Literary Festival

Accuracy of Polling

NANANANANANA Bat Bot

Something to Think About

A Simple Look

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Lyceum Social Entrepreneurship Summit

By Taimoor Zulfiqar

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Zoe Viccaji singing Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ at LSES’s social

History repeats itself as once again the Lyceum school’s corporate society, Lycorp, hosted its prestigious inter-school corporate competition LSES-Lyceum Social Entrepreneurship Summit. From the 27th to the 29th of January, teams from all over schools in Karachi, sent their finest entrepreneurs to go head to head against each other in an attempt to secure the best team award for their school. The competition centred around three main rounds in addition to sub rounds for each round, certainly brought out the best in the delegates. The teams certainly put on show; be it in the ‘Mela of Brands’ or in ‘Lights, Camera, Action’.

The event was a huge success thanks to the dedicated and hardworking core team of Lycorp, the host team, the culinary society and the ever committed volunteers who helped out a lot. Kudos to the society heads Suha Yamin and Khizar Dara for organising not only this event so well but aptly leading their society as such as well! It is events like this that offer young budding entrepreneurs a chance to truly showcase their talents beyond the four walls of the classroom and pursue their passion. It is events like this that often produce the leaders of each generation so kudos to the Lyceum and everyone involved for successfully hosting and organising this event.

The Annual English Play

By Hareem Khalid

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The cast of the play with the director, Shehzad Ghias

Late night rehearsals, eating excessive amounts of fried fatty food, sleepless nights, bonding sessions, getting ourselves into our characters: we did it all. It was all physically and emotionally overwhelming, but in the process, we got to know amazing people with whom we shall be friends with for the rest of our lives, made memories that we shall cherish, and learnt more about the obstacles and hardships that many people go through every day.

Lytheatre, the drama society of the Lyceum, put up its Annual English Play, ‘The Dead Poets society’, a renowned classic written by Tom Schulman and directed by the Patron of Lytheatre, Mr Shehzad Ghias Sheikh, on  3rd, 4th and 5th February 2017.  The days leading to the play were marked by excessive marketing by Lytheatre members not only through social media, but also by going to different schools and colleges. Thanks to such effective marketing, we had humongous audiences on all three days. We were honored to have people from all walks of life and different age groups coming to watch our play: students, teachers, parents, literature enthusiasts.  Miss Ishrat Lindblad, a guest lecturer at the Lyceum, and our chief guest on Friday the 3rd, delighted and enthralled after watching the play, commented,’ We are lucky to belong to this institution which values honor, tradition, discipline and excellence, but also encourages us to think for ourselves.’

Every moment in the rehearsals and the play itself was priceless, but there was one special moment which overwhelmed all of us more than any other. On Saturday, in the last scene of the play, the lights went out as the electrician had forgotten to connect the amphitheater to the generator. Some of us were, including me, were backstage and freaked out. How will the play continue? But our patron Mr. Ghias had told us earlier to continue performing no matter what and everyone on the stage did, despite the darkness. Then, a magical thing happened; people in the crowd took out their phones and put on their flashlights. The last scene was performed in the light of a hundred cell phones. After the play, Mr. Ghias commented,’ The end was the perfect anecdote for the play. We live in dark times (sometimes literally) but always believe in yourself and there’ll always be someone who will shed his or her light on you!’

CARPE DIEM, EVERYONE!

The 4th Annual Blood Drive

By Hafsa Zulfiqar

31st January 2017: the fourth annual Indus Hospital Blood Drive was organized at The Lyceum from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. The camp was organized in conjunction with the Indus Hospital, a tertiary care multidisciplinary hospital in Karachi which provides free treatment and medical care to all.

Prior to the blood donation, a briefing session with the Indus Hospital team was organized for potential volunteers and donors on 26th Jan. Participants present in that session were explained in detail about the absolute need of blood donation, its benefits and how one action of theirs could save the lives of people suffering from various medical conditions. They were also briefed about the whole procedure that would take place during the blood drive, the prerequisites for donating blood, and ensured that it was completely safe to donate blood, if one was eligible to do so. The inspiring pitch made by the representative of Indus Hospital surely left an impact on the audience, convincing more students to donate blood, and making the decisions of the ones who were already doing more concrete.

Tuesday, 31st Jan, 8:30 am: The extensive professionals and hospital staff of Indus Hospital arrived at The Lyceum, the student volunteers and teacher supervisors took their positions, and the process of safely donating blood commenced. All blood donors had to bring a         signed Parental Consent form, without which they wouldn’t be allowed to donate blood under any circumstance.

Periods ended, one batch of volunteers went away as the other one filed in, meanwhile, the donations continued at full swing. To the dismay of many zealous donors, the criteria to donate blood proved to be very strict, and thus a lot of them were rejected, showing just how much scrutiny and care the Indus Hospital team was handling the donations with.

3:00 pm: The blood drive successfully ended, with a total of 94 participants from whom 68 units of blood were collected. The donors included students and teachers of The Lyceum, as well as the parents of some students. The donations will not only save precious souls of the most deprived section of our society, but will also help in the reduction of highly spreading deadly diseases like hepatitis B & C from our beloved homeland. Indus Hospital commended the efforts and contributions made by the Lyceum students who devotedly volunteered themselves for this noble cause and turned this activity into a huge success.

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Trump’s Visa Ban

By Syeda Marzia Ali

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Protestors rally at JFK airport against the Muslim immigration ban (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Just a week after being inaugurated, on 27th January, Donald Trump signed an executive order which bans the entry of residents from seven Muslim majorities countries; Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In addition, he has halted the entire Refugees admission system for 120 days and suspended the Syrian refugee program indefinitely.

The countries that have been included in the ban are those that are politically unstable. Residents from those countries are the ones who are most at stake here.

The order has been immensely unpopular within the country and elsewhere, facing massive backlash and resistance. Even the former president Barack Obama has come forward condemning Trump’s discriminatory policy. His spokesman reports saying: “The President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

His order is in direct violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin.

In an interesting turn of events, Judge James Robart issued a temporary restraining order that severely limited the extent of the executive order by forcing the Federal government to stop the implementation of the ban. This temporary restraining order led to the complete suspension of the travel ban after a bench of federal judges from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the ban.

The order is a death penalty for the refugees who were trying to flee for their life, in search of a better future where they do not have to constantly worry about whether they will survive or not. Perhaps the only positive outcome of such an outrageous order is that it has united the American people, but only the future will reveal the full extent of the damage.

Duterte Halts Drug War

By Aamnah Mansoor

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A woman cradles the body of her dead husband who fell victim to the ‘drug war’ (Thomson/Reuters)

Rodrigo Duterte took his position as the president of Philippines no more than six months ago and already he has dug his hands in to one of the most deep rooted problems of the nation, drugs.

He was elected due to his tough talks on the country’s drug and crime problems and as a man of his word, 60 days from his inauguration he has the death of more than 7000 people on his hand. “Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars — or below the ground, if they so wish,” he said, safe to say his status: unpopular.

However, there was a recent murder of a South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo who was seized from his home in Angeles city, near Manila, under the pretence of a drug raid, the Department of Justice said. After strangling him, his killers lied that he was still alive in order to collect a ransom from his family. This led to Duterte putting the drug war on hold and investigate into the anti-drug unit itself. “You policemen are the most corrupt. You are corrupt to the core. It’s in your system,” Mr Duterte said, adding that he thought up to 40% of policemen were used to corruption.

The president had ordered all tainted police officers to be in the front line duty in the unstable conditions of southern Philippines. Railing against the police, he vowed to ‘cleanse it’ as he claims them to be ‘corrupt to the core.’ Gen. dela Rosa, however, made it clear that the Philippine police would again pick up the drug war once it had cleansed its own ranks. However it can be questioned as when and how the ranks are cleared will the raid on drugs produce better results or worse.

Girlfriend cradles body of dead husband  (thomson-Reuters0.jpg

Fate of Muslims in 2017

By Hareem Khalid

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Courtesy of Southern Poverty Law Centre

 

Within minutes of Donald Trump signing his executive order banning the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, the horror stories started coming through. I had distant relatives and friends with Iraqi passports being stuck at JFK, aunts who have been living in the US for as long as I remember fearing their future, uncles with good positions in American organizations fearing xenophobia from their colleagues whom they have known for decades, my cousin frantic over fulfilling his dream of studying at MIT. People turned back from boarding their flights, handcuffed in airports, interrogated on their political beliefs. Mothers, fathers, children, students, employees suddenly found that the unthinkable had happened. They had been banned from returning to their jobs and studies, to their families and homes all because of the God that they bowed before. All this because of a matter very personal and dear to every one of us, our religion.

Chuck Schumer, Democratic leader in the Senate, said: “Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded, has been stomped upon.

Thanks to thousands like Schumer, who opposed the ban, calling it inhumane and undemocratic, including a federal judge in Brooklyn, who blocked the President’s order resulting in the ban being lifted.  However, the xenophobia and stereotypical perceptions towards the Muslim community to be ‘terrorists’ continue, a perception which might intensify to an extent resulting in the Muslims becoming pariahs in many societies. So what will the fate of the Muslim Community be in 2017?

In history, we have often seen many leaders’ statements regarding a community or the passing of a discriminatory law causing more hate and discrimination against that group of people by the general population. For example, after LGBT marriages were prohibited in Nigeria in 2014 by President Good luck Jonathan, within hours of this law being passed, many members of the LGBT community were attacked and tortured. Hours within the election of Donald Trump becoming President, there were already numerous reports on Social media of Muslim Women being harassed on subways, Muslim children being told,’ We don’t need you in our country’ in their schools. It was almost as if people felt that they have been legally given the license to act out their racist tendencies. Discriminatory laws such as the Visa Ban will convince racist elements in the country that they can continue to carry out crimes of bigotry against Muslims without much action from the government.

Anti-Muslim sentiment has been quite prominent in Right wing politicians in many countries in Europe. In Slovakia the Prime Minister, Robert Fico, has called for the “restriction of the freedom of Muslims in Europe”, and last year a law was passed that effectively bans Islam from gaining official status as a religion. The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has become a hero of the anti-Muslim movement because of his Islamophobic and anti-refugee views. Of all the European leaders Orbán has gone the furthest in adopting conspiratorial counter-jihadi rhetoric about a planned invasion by Muslims. A key milestone in the mainstreaming of anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe came in late 2015, when the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, addressed an anti-Islam demonstration that included former English Defence League (EDL) leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) and a contingent of leaders from the anti-Muslim Pegida movement in Germany. Meanwhile in western and central Europe there has been a rise in the number and size of explicitly anti-Muslim parties, as populist radical-right parties such as the Alternative für Deutschland, Geert Wilders’ Freedom party and Marine Le Pen’s Front National have brought anti-Muslim prejudice to the forefront of their political agendas in Germany, the Netherlands and France. We don’t learn from history. Human race seems to be resolute on not learning from history. This marginalization of Muslims by these right-wing politicians reminds me of nothing but the extreme discrimination against the Jews and its disastrous consequences: the creation of the state of Israel, which even after 69 years of its creation is still an area of conflict and has resulted in the death of millions, not to mention, the holocaust, one of the worst genocides in history.

The fate of Muslims, politically, socially and otherwise, does not seem very hopeful in 2017. However, democracy gives me hope. Morality gives me hope. The voices of those protestors, women, children, people of all backgrounds, standing tough and resilient against Trump’s ban, a former US Secretary of state openly stating that she’s ready to register in the New Muslim Registry gives me hope.

Karachi Literary Festival

By Mohammad Hasan Khan

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Politician and academic Nafisa Shah (centre) discusses her book on honour killing. (Dawn Images)

The Karachi Literature Festival, held in the Beach Luxury Hotel from the 10th to the 12th of February, was a star-studded event attended by the bigwigs of the literary, art, and music industry. Authors attended the event to talk about their work, activists gathered to talk about advancing issues and artists showcased their work, in an event that is widely considered a safe space to discuss all ideas. Thus it served as a place where appreciators of the arts gathered to learn and further their love for their preferred medium.

The Literature Festival was first held in Karachi in 2010, which served as the birthplace for the Festival. As, after the Karachi Literature Festival, a Children’s Literature Festival was launched at the end of 2011. Following which, the Islamabad Literature Festival and the Teachers’ Literature Festival were also launched in 2013 and in 2014 respectively.

The Karachi Literature Festival is traditionally a platform for voicing and shedding light on issues, and this year was no different. At the Karachi Literature Festival, Nafisa Shah, a politician and an academic, talked about honor killing whilst discussing her book ‘No Honor in Honor Killing’, a book she spent nearly twenty years on, in which she criticizes the government’s lax treatment of the perpetrators of ‘honour killing’, and prescribes that we must take a deeper look into the customs and societal structures that make such crimes possible. Educationist Anum Zakaria held a discussion with other scholars about how government textbooks teach a distorted version of history to millions of schoolchildren, and how this affects the children’s outlook of the world. Along with this, numerous other topics were discussed and debated on, much to the pleasure of the attendees.

A much read blog post on Geo news’ website, titled ‘Wither the Karachi Literature Festival’, criticized some aspects of the festival. It criticizes a select few sessions in the festival as being ones that were either being drab, or were being dominated by the host, whose job is to encourage the participating author to the center stage, rather than taking it him or herself. The article suggested that the programs at the festival weren’t geared towards youngsters, who formed a large proportion of the attending crowd, which led to them being turned off towards the event. The blog post also pointed to a small number of technical issues, such as the microphones of the audience members not working during the question and answer sessions.

Let’s hope that when the red carpet for the Karachi Literature Festival is rolled out next year, it can work on the criticisms, whilst still doing what it does well, and can still pull crowds that thirst for artsy endeavors like these to sate their appetites.

Accuracy of Polling

By Ahmad Murtaza Naqvi

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Following the shock of Donald Trump being elected as president ,the election process has been under severe scrutiny , suggestion of Russian interference have become very popular with some suggestions being made that even the election process is faulty. Allegations have been made that the republican party enlisted the help of Russian hackers to elect Trump as president.

Now, research conducted at the University of Houston on February 2, 2017 shows polling data if used correctly can accurately predict election outcomes. A research model was used which previously  predicted election outcomes two weeks prior to elections in Latin America during 2013 and 2014 which correctly predicted 90% of election outcomes or 10 times out of 11.

The model was made using an election dataset covering 500 elections in 86 countries, along with a separate dataset which incorporated election data from 146 elections. The project was carried out using researchers from the Northeastern and Harvard university.

It was found economic growth had little impact on the outcome of elections. Only a few democratic institutions tended to favour the incumbent party. The most major factor for election outcomes were polling results. Polling results were most successful in predicting election results, wherever polls were conducted which only comes as a shock after the recent elections.

The model used showed the likelihood of a Clinton victory at 84% and that of a Trump victory at 16% which shows the likelihood of a Trump victory was very low but not impossible. The election results show that even though one outcome is very likely ,it is not guaranteed.

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