Search for authentic Pakistani food leads to the Kebab Palace in Redmond

Chicken handi is the dish that defines Pakistani food for me.  The first time I tried it I was sitting on the roof of Cuckoo’s Den in Lahore–a former brothel famously converted to an eccentric restaurant with a romantic nighttime view of the Badshahi Mosque.  I remember the sweat-soaked shirt plastered against my lower back […]
Jan 31, 2012

Jimmy Carter at the World Affairs Council: Not your grandfather’s American Exceptionalism

The lights are low and excitement high at the Paramount Theater in downtown Seattle.  Murmuring gives way to whistling and foot stomping and finally shouting and thunderous applause. A smiling white-haired man steps onstage.  No, it isn’t Bono or the Boss, it’s former President Jimmy Carter, and Seattle loves him. I knew three things about […]
Feb 6, 2012

Guilt by friend request: How the war on terror came to my facebook

My finger froze over the mouse as I squinted at a blurry photo of a young Pakistani man holding an AK-47 on my Facebook page.  “Confirm friend request,” the cheerful blue font suggested. I closed the window and sighed, saving the decision for another morning. The obvious answer here—the one I got from everyone I […]
Feb 27, 2012

Microsofties with global roots give back

The last couple weeks have seen one former Microsoft executive become the Prime Minister of Mali and another hatch an ambitious plot to mine asteroids. Expanding from our rainy cradle in the corner of the country, the reach of our massive hometown software company transcends borders (and even outer space apparently). But some Microsoft employees […]
Apr 30, 2012

Pakistani immigrant finds a taste of home at ‘Afghan Cuisine’ in Federal Way

When my friend Kathleen invited me to a Afghan Cuisine and Banquet Hall in Federal Way, the first image that popped into my head was of the ubiquitous Afghan restaurants in Peshawar, Pakistan, where I lived before I came to Seattle. Millions of Afghan refugees fled to Northwest Pakistan after the Soviet War in the […]
Jun 13, 2012

Seattle Muslims prepare for long Ramadan days

Fasting for 17 hours a day is no walk in the park. But it’s that much harder when the person sitting next to you is eating a cheeseburger, or a succulent slice of pizza. Or, for Mohammad Ismail, there’s that tempting looking Starbucks on the way to work. Born in Pakistan, this is the second […]
Jul 20, 2012

For Pakistani journalist, Seattle news scene is a breath of fresh air

Late last month, a bomb ripped through a train station in a small town near Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province in southwestern Pakistan where I started my journalism career. The loss was colossal: the blast killed eight people while maiming more than 25 others. But it was no big news for Pakistani media. Instead, […]
Jul 24, 2012

Karachi neighborhood shakes violent reputation to produce top Pakistani athletes

Lyari is the most notorious neighborhood in Pakistan’s largest and most chaotic city. But just like in poor urban areas in the US, young residents are looking toward sports as a way to escape from the violence and turn their neighborhood’s reputation around. Faris Kasim reports from Karachi on the real story behind Lyari’s bad […]
Oct 8, 2012

Will attack on child activist end Pakistani apathy about civil rights?

The name Malala Yousufzai was new to me until recently. But the power of her words wasn’t. Back in 2009, when her hometown in Swat Valley was virtually under Taliban control, Malala, using the pen name Gul Makai, wrote a diary that was published and broadcast on BBC’s Urdu language radio service. In it she […]
Oct 15, 2012

A long commute through Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

My friend and I squeeze in the front seat of the pickup. We’re lucky–others are stuck in the back without seats in the freezing winter, getting tossed in the air when the driver crests the hills. It was another one of those days when I would travel between my home in Dera Ismail Khan and […]
Jan 17, 2013

Why it’s harder to find a date in Seattle than in Pakistan

The Seattle freeze makes for a chilly Valentine’s Day for new arrivals from other cultures.
Feb 14, 2013

Tigers, tumbles and Taliban: Making sense of Pakistan’s election

Pakistan beat the odds last week and held relatively peaceful elections. But was the Taliban the real winner? 
May 19, 2013

News Roundup – Diversity in Tukwila, Soda Diplomacy and an Endless War on Terror

(Photo by Erika Schultz/THE SEATTLE TIMES ) Diversity Means Opportunity in Tukwila – From Somalis to Bosnians to Nepalis, Seattle Times photographer Erika Schultz put together a brilliant photographic tour of diverse immigrant communities in Tukwila.
May 21, 2013

The 6 big myths that turned us against drone strikes

The political tide in the US is turning away from drone strikes, as it did long ago in Pakistan. But are we giving up our best tool for fighting terror?
Jun 3, 2013

Archrivals abroad become fast friends in the Northwest

When people from rival nations meet in the Pacific Northwest, do their national grudges hold true?
Jun 11, 2013
Muatasim Qazi, a journalist from Balochistan, Pakistan, is seeking asylum in the U.S. The hearing for his second attempt is next week. (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Young journalist running from Pakistan’s “dirty war”

For asylum seekers like Muatasim Qazi, sometimes the threats they face are so horrific, they’re hard for the judges who decide their cases to believe. 
Sep 6, 2013
(Photo by Anthony Quintano via Flickr)

Top five South Asian stereotypes about the U.S. (and why they’re wrong)

Americans are all rich, white and promiscuous. At least that’s what Adnan Ali Syed thought before he came here and found out for himself. 
Sep 30, 2013
(Photo by Cool Revolution / DC Media Group)

Well this is embarrassing: Global perspectives on the government shutdown

Here in the U.S. it may feel like the sky is falling. But many people in the rest of the world are reacting to the government shutdown with a shrug of the shoulders and a chuckle at our expense.
Oct 7, 2013
Relief supplies are delivered to earthquake victims in Awaran. Pakistan's military is coordinating relief efforts but international funding drives have been lacking. (Photo courtesy Hina Baloch)

Powerful earthquake in Pakistan hits home for Seattle man

Crucial earthquake relief efforts in a long-neglected region of Pakistan have been hampered by internal politics and a lack of international media interest.
Oct 3, 2013
Seattle South Asian Film Festival founder Rita Meher. (Photo by Shikha Jain)

New crop of local South Asian filmmakers shine at Tasveer festival

Work in IT or development may pay the bills, but Seattle’s South Asian community has a growing passion for film.
Oct 11, 2013