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Sunday, August 19, 2018

17th Young Leaders Conference Pakistan - 2018!

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The Young Leaders Conference is a six-day, five-night residential conference hosted by School of Leadership where 300 rural and urban promising young leaders stay and learn together from the wisdom of 50 top social, political, business, and art leaders as well as from the engagement of the country’s foremost facilitators. YLC is an experiential journey geared towards positively engaging the youth over a period of 6 days in a rigorous training program comprising of panel dialogues, thematic exploration sessions, powerful leadership simulations, personal story-telling, capacity building pieces of training and empowering team support.

This year I had the pleasure of attending the 17th Young Leaders’ Conference held in Lahore from 1st to 6th July. The theme of this year was #ITSTIME!

Credits: Carving Memories

I applied for Asia Foundation’s NEXUS programme, according to which the applicant had to submit an idea that could help in solving the prevailing water-food and energy crises in the country. Luckily my application got accepted and I was sponsored by the Asia Foundation for the conference which covered my entire conference expenses!

Excited, I packed my luggage and headed towards the School of Leadership (SOL) office on 30th June’s morning as I was leaving for Lahore by road with a chunk of SOL team. It was a perfect road-trip from Karachi to Lahore. We left at 8 am in the morning and reached by around 10 am, the other day. It was a mesmerizing experience.  It was 26 hours tiring yet an unforgettable journey.

The guys were to stay in Hospitality Inn hotel and girls were to stay in Faletti’s hotel, while all the events were held in Faletti’s Hotels halls. Upon entering the Faletti’s hotel I was welcomed by the polite volunteers who not only guided us to the registration desk but were kind enough to help us carry our luggage too. All the participants were allotted teams and given YLC id card, 2 t-shirts, a bag and a diary.
YLC BAG

Participants were divided into groups and each group was allotted a room or suite and after all this process we literally rushed to our rooms and got ready.

Day 01 (officially begins): Wearing my tees and ready to start the day, I entered the hall where there were games laid out for the participants. It was a networking session where everyone played different games and made some new friends.
Soon the inauguration ceremony started, and Shireen Naqvi with Kamran Rizvi, the founders of SOL welcomed us with great zeal.

Kamran Rizvi and Shireen Naqvi – Inauguration ceremony.

Kamran Rizvi
Credits: Carving Memories
Shireen Naqvi
Credits: Carving Memories

We had lunch and then back to back sessions with evening tea and dinner in between. The day finally ended at 12 at night.

Day 02 – Officially the first morning of YLC in Faletti’s. We were woken up at 7 by sharp knocks on doors by the YFs and were told to reach the breakfast hall by 8 am. The day started at 8:30 am and the theme of the day was: Context Setting –Pakistan: Philosophy, Psychology, Possibilities. We had some creative challenges that day. The first one was Sooper Hai Pakistan in which every team had to prepare and present a unique video highlighting the positive image of Pakistan.

Credits: Carving Memories

Later in the evening there was a puzzle challenge where every team were given two verses of Allama Iqbal all jumbled up, and we had to put them together correctly in shortest possible time.

The thrill of the day reached its peak when Shuja Haider arrived to rock the show! He shared his life story with the audience also rocked the stage with his magical voice.
            

The prominent speakers for the day were: Justice Nasira Iqbal, Faisal Sherjan (Director NIC Lahore), Yusuf Hussain (CEO IGNITE), Junaid Iqbal (CEO Careem Pakistan), Dr. Umer Saif (Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board).

Day 03 - The highlights of the day were: “Generation Z” – A panel discussion, “You are fired” – an activity to see which skill set are market-demand and which are outdated, “IlmPossible: Take A Child To School” and “The Chopstick Challenge” – where we had to eat our dinner with chopsticks only! The day ended by an amazing session of Umair Jaliawala where he explained the importance of overcoming failure to the participants.

Umair Jaliawala during the session
Credits: Carving Memories

Day 04-The theme of the day was all about promoting cultural diversity. Day 4 offered us something truly exciting – the field trips! The participants were free to choose from 4 places presented.  Thrilled, we all lined up to get tickets for our chosen places. I chose to visit The Walled City of Lahore. This was the day we had to leave Flatties and move to The Chandbagh School to spend our last two days there. After few sessions and lunch in between, we bid farewell to Flatties and headed to our trips.

        Part pants who visited Walled city of Lahore. (Wazir Khan Mosque)
Credits: Carving Memories

After spending pleasing times in our trips, we left for the Chandbagh school located in Mureedki. We reached Chandbagh at 8 pm. We hurried to our allotted houses and dorms and got ready for The Cultural Night where everyone represented their culture. Believe me, the diversity was mesmerizing!


Cultural Night – Day 04

Cultural Night – Day 04

Day 05 - The day started with Yoga. Lovely weather, lush green fields of Chandbagh and yoga -  tell me a better combo! Next, we had something exciting waiting for us – DIY breakfast! We were presented raw stuff and prepared our own breakfasts out of it.


The mesmerizing Chandbagh school
Credits: Carving Memories
The highlights of the day were: MHM campaign by UNICEF, NEXUS Matters session by The Asia Foundation, concert at night and guess who were there?

Credit: Carving Memories

Day 06 -  The Last day! Day 6 was all about good byes. The day started with a throw-back by Umair Jalilawala. We revisited the last 5 days, made posters about our experiences and bid farewells. Waqar Ali, one of the trainers at SOL introduced Social Action Plans according to which every participant has to create one in order to attain YLC certification.

We left Chandbagh in the evening and came back to Flatties from where everyone left for their destinations and with all of this, #YLC2018 FINALLY came to an end!
They say YLC is a life-changing experience and now that I have attended it, I can assure you it certainly is! If you have any queries while applying for YLC next year, hit me up!

And hey here’s the official video of YLC 2018, Enjoy!



Authored By Muneeba Anwar
"Muneeba Anwar is a Built-In-Geek ; Tech Enthusiast who finds solace in reading and writing about latest technologies. She keeps a close eye on happenings in the world of technology and absolutely love to write on tech-related and geeky stuff. You can reach her out at hunain.shah@hotmail.com"

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Water crises in Cape town is the wake-up call for the whole world!

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Cape town has currently experienced a severe drought! But fierce restrictions on the usage of water have pushed back Day Zero until twenty nineteen. Day Zero will occur when the combined level of Cape Town’s dams will reach the level of 13.5 percent. In order for the dams to reach sufficient levels again, officials in the city will take full control over water supplies on this day by switching off all the taps in the city – and when they say all taps they literally every single tap! The residents will then have to queue at a water collection point for their reduced quota of 25 litres a day to obtain water! The current dam level is 21.9%. Day Zero was expected this April, but now according to officials the day is likely to occur in 2019.  

Water crises in Cape town is the wake-up call for the whole world!


The important question is what caused the water crisis?

One of the major reason is a drought caused by insufficient rainfall over the last three years, and low water level in dam. Another prime reason is the rapidly growing population and heavy agricultural usage.

Cape Town has its history of droughts, yet what appears to have played a role in making this one much longer this time is the climate change! And this factor is likely to play a part in future droughts too, both in South Africa as well as around the world.

Future isn’t just Cape Town’s!

The point to ponder is that future isn't just Cape Town's.  Water crises in Cape Town is a wakeup call for the whole world. It’s a scenario that isn’t just limited to Cape town, yet cities around the globe may face the same and should prepare for running out of water according to the experts.

It might be difficult to comprehend exactly how cities around the globe could be in danger of a water shortage when nearly 70 percent of the world is comprised of the resource. The obvious reality, notwithstanding, is that the percentage of fresh water most likely just adds up to around 2.5 percent. And even then, a critical amount is locked up in the form of ice and snow, which implies that only 1 percent of all freshwater is effectively accessible to the worldwide populace.

Imbalance in access to water is also rapidly turning into an issue. While the affluent can discover approaches to gain admittance to in-built tanks or in water—through deliveries — poorer populaces are left to their own devices. This circumstance periodically prompts water burglary — for survival, for profit, or for both.

It is critical that water scarcity is recognized as a global problem because cities should begin working on unique solutions to this problem now. In recent years, California went through a drought that lasted years, Sao Paulo faced a water shortage crisis in 2015  and Australia survived the millennium drought. At the moment, India is facing its worst ever water crises - all due to both drought and inefficient infrastructures.

Possible solutions to be adopted?

Diversifying water sources - Expanding distributed, or decentralised systems is a possible solution that can be adopted. It allows people to reduce the distance between collecting and using water. Rainwater tanks are the best example. 

Limiting water usage in households  Dr Meenakshi Arora who is also part of Hydrology and Water Resource Group recommends that houses should have two different water streams.

1-  Drinking water - that can be used for cooking and showering
2-  Non-drinking water – including harvested rain and storm water and treated waste water that can be used for tasks like laundry, toilet flushing, garden irrigation.

Changing the water quality to suit the task would reduce the risk of floods, lessen the demand for clean drinking water, and reduce the amount of contaminated rain water draining into rivers. Because, at the end of the day, EACH HOUSEHOLD MAKES A DIFFERENCE!


Authored By Muneeba Anwar
"Muneeba Anwar is a Built-In-Geek; Tech Enthusiast who finds solace in reading and writing about latest technologies. She keeps a close eye on happenings in the world of technology and absolutely love to write on tech-related and geeky stuff. You can reach her out at hunain.shah@hotmail.com"

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Hashem Al-Ghaili - A man from Yemen, studied in Pakistan and Germany and became science super star Now!

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It takes courage and confidence for an eighteen-year-old to resist his parents’ requests to not to apply for scholarship abroad and work on the family farm instead, but the teenager had other plans for his life. He, despite all the resistance, went abroad to get a degree and forged a new path. Today, that teenager is a well-known science communicator and has a Facebook page running with a fan base of 22 Million! If you still haven’t guessed it yet, then here you go; we are talking about none but, the great Science Super star of Facebook Hashem Al-Ghaili.

Hashem Al-Ghaili


Hashem Al-Ghaili hails from Yemen. He is a video producer and science communicator. Back from childhood he had immense love for science but sadly for him in Yemen, a child’s fate is decided by his/her parents. It wasn’t easy for Hashim to convince his father that he wasn’t interested in farming, yet his passion lied in Science and h wanted to pursue a career in it.

He chose the hard way and decided to apply for scholarship. He traveled to the capital, Sana to fill out the paperwork to apply for a scholarship from the Ministry of Education. He didn’t let this father become aware of this act as he recalls,

“If I’d told my father about it he wouldn’t have approved, so I just went.”

The endeavour proved worth the risk. He earned a scholarship for bachelors of biotechnology at the University of Peshawar in Pakistan from government. Though it was a move which wasn’t supported at all by his parents!
After graduation, he decided to return to Yemen where he briefly worked in the government’s quality control organization. A few months later he applied for a master’s degree at Jacobs University in Germany. He won the scholarship again and went to Germany. After graduating from there at age 25, he became the vice president of content for the Arabic version of Futurism, (a publication that is centered around the technological and scientific innovation).
A professor of biotechnology at Jacobs University, Roland Benz, who happens to be Al-Ghaili’s supervisor as well, says it was clear from the start working with Al-Ghaili that he was a skilled communicator. According to him,

“He’s able to summarize and present complex data in an excellent manner. When we discuss science it’s on an equal footing. It doesn’t feel like a student and teacher talking.”



Authored By Muneeba Anwar
"Muneeba Anwar is a Built-In-Geek & Tech Enthusiast who finds solace in reading and writing about latest technologies. She keeps a close eye on happenings in the world of technology and absolutely love to write on tech-related and geeky stuff. You can reach her out at hunain.shah@hotmail.com"

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Our thoughts on Pakistan Super Kabadi league 2018

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Pakistan just hosted a fully-fledged international kabaddi league and it was AMAZING! Super Kabaddi League (SKL) began on 2nd of May, 2018 in Lahore and came to an end on 10th May. Sponsered by Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF), the league featured around 10 city-based teams. The teams consisted of both 116 nationals as well as 16 foreign players from Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, Iraq, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

SUPER KABADDI LEAGUE - PAKISTAN 2018

Teams participated were:

Karachi Zorawars
Peshawar Haiders
Faisalabad Sherdils
Gwadar Bahadars
Gujrat Warriors
Multan Sikandars
Islamabad All-Stars
Sahiwal Bulls
Lahore Thunders
Kashmir Janbaazs.

In Asia, especially Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and Iran, kabaddi is considered a popular sport. Pakistan has a rich history in terms of sports as, on many occasions, it has not only participated in Asian games, South Asian games, and Kabaddi World Cup but also has won several medals. Kabaddi’s global popularity has grown considerably over the years with the number of Kabaddi playing nations surpassing forty!

The game is played by two groups of seven, spinning around pretty basic skills. A 'raider' enters the other portion of the court to tag or wrestle opponents before returning 'home' while holding his breath and chanting 'Kabaddi, Kabaddi'.

Pakistan has a deep-rooted connection with kabaddi. It is a traditional Punjabi game. SKL is a significant step taken for the revival of this traditional Punjabi game. Not long ago, Kabaddi was extremely popular among citizens and it was enjoyed by people of all ages alike. But it is a sad reality that in years past, due to the increasing popularity of other sports, Kabaddi lost its significance! Still, Pakistan might have the best kabaddi players in the subcontinent. Even though they don’t get much encouragement to do so, people still like to play kabaddi.



The formal opening ceremony of the league took place at Alhamra Cultural Complex on 1st may. Owners of the teams and various notable artists were presented at the ceremony.  Several artists displayed their performances and it was a night of joy and entertainment. The unsaid theme of the night was patriotism and the tagline of Season 01 is “Damm Hai Tu Saamnaye Aa” (daring other to compete). During the performances the Super Kabaddi League trophy was also unveiled.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

How to Optimize Your Content for Google's Featured Snippet Box?

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Let’s be fair guys, winning the Google’s featured snippet box is a dream for every SEO person. It gives your website more authority; more visitors, clicks, exposure and above all, it put you on top before the first ranking. You sit on a position zero, so you definitely experience more sales.


Google’s featured snippet box

However, getting up there is not easy as it seems. The thing is that you cannot mark your page as featured snippet nor there is an official procedure provided by Google to apply for the featured snippet. So, how to get your page up there?
Well the fact is that  while there are no specific guidelines, there are best practices that have proved and deliver results. Google featured snippet box is a form an organic content and can be availed by anybody who knows to optimize their content accordingly. Once you get the things done as per norms, you’ll have to wait and cross your fingers while Google takes it time to crawls on the content.

In this article, we are going to highlight seven best and proven practices to create content pages that can help you win Google featured snippet box.

  1. Do a Good Keyword Research
Several studies reveal that descriptive and long tail keywords tend to boost featured snippets. This is a common observation that when you type more words into the search box, there are high chances that you will see a featured snippet in the result. This clearly indicates that you need to begin with thorough keyword research otherwise you may end up doing a lot of efforts without seeing the actual results.

The key to begin with more of the question-type search investigation and your headings should include words like What, Why, When, How, etc. These keywords are most comfortable to detect. According to a not too long ago article (2015) by Eric Enge at Stone Temple Consulting, almost 19% of searches using a question result in the featured snippet on the first SERP. Generally, these inquiries fall into the following categories:

        How does
        Why Does
        How do
        How can
        How to
        What is

  1. Format The Content Artistically
The next thing is to format the content the way Google likes it and the first thing you can do is by making sure that your heading tag is an entire search query. Having that being done, format your content in a user-friendly way and your answers should include.

        Texts
        Points
        Graphs and tables
        Numbered lists
        Bullet points
        Steps
        Charts
        Good Images

A Well formatted content may make it less demanding for algorithms to decide if your content is fit for the feature. In addition to that, take the most important part of your content upfront so that visitors get the basic understanding right there.

In the example below, a popular B2B company, FME has got its product featured in the snippet against the keyword, Magento layaway partial payment. FME has briefly described the product in the snippet box which makes it more prone to clicks and sales.



  1. Work to provide the best answer
There is absolutely no chance that you win a featured spot without providing the best possible answer to the question. Google’s algorithm is pretty smart and you cannot get away with irrelevant information. Moreover, the content needs to be fresh and updated.

Some marketers try to be over smart and create content pages irrelevant to their niche in an attempt to land on the snippet. This is a totally wrong approach. The best thing is only to focus on few questions first, and with the things, you know.
In order to ensure that your content goes the distance and ranks well in featured snippets across the web, you need to step in the users shoes and understand what exactly he is looking for. Use buyers’ persona research, focus groups and communities and engagement analytics to analyze how to create content that is relevant to your theme and target audience.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Army Museum Lahore "A must visit place"

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Army Museum Lahore
The Pakistan Army Museum in Lahore opened its doors to the public in September 2017. The museum has been built with the aim to portray the glorious heritage and history of Pakistan. The museum depicts the history and struggles of Pakistan Movement titled ‘Rebirth of a Nation’. Besides this, the museum has several other fascinating sections displaying the Quaid, Armed Forces of Pakistan, the war history of Pakistan including the army’s fight against terrorism. Let us discover more about the museum now!

As you enter the museum, the first place to visit is the Shuhada Gallery - an epitome of sacrifice. There you will see a huge list of names (almost 20,000 Pakistan Army's Shuhada’s names) recorded year wise and in alphabetical order - so many of them, line after line of the names of the brave-hearts who have laid down their lives for this country. It is such an emotional moment for every Pakistani to see all these names, as we could not even imagine that so many of them died so that we could live our lives as free people. It is one of the most sacred places of the museum where the martyrs of my beloved land are paid tribute.

Shuhada Gallery


List of some 1965 WAR Heroes

The second major gallery is about the History of Pakistan - a marvelously displayed 9000 years of settled existence of our people and the major military related events of thousands of years. It is marvelous piece of research, history and art. An accurate depiction from ancient Pakistan to modern Pakistan. A journey from 9000 years BC to today. A gallery titled “The Rebirth of a Nation” is one of the most emotional displays that is dedicated to depicting the struggles behind how we reclaimed our freedom and the difficulties that we have encountered since 1947. The gallery also displays Military history from 1948 to till now, about Freedom fighter 1948 war, 1965 and 1971 war. In the gallery of 1965 war, there is a command post of Major Aziz Bhatti Shadeed displayed in the form of interactive art. The sculptures and the dioramas that are on display are indeed world class. This is a real some effort with no doubt!

CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF - PAKISTAN

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars


ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars Items

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - History

Famous Muslims Rulers of India

ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - History
ARMY MUSEUM LAHORE - Historical Wars
Indo Pak - Migration

Indo Pak Migration

Qauaid-e-Azam  Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah, Lord Mountbatten and Lady Mountbatten
Different types of weapons details

1965 Indo Pak War

1965 Indo Pak War

 Indo Pak War

 Indo Pak War

Lanc Naik Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed - Nishan-e-Haider

 Indo Pak War

Major Shabir Shareef Shaheed - Nishan-e-Haider

Hur Mujahideen