Why Aisam Is The Real Winner


So Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is the name being uttered about by almost every Pakistani these days. Though he has been playing since an early age all on his own without any financial support from the Government or other authorities and has tennis in his genes (having his maternal grandfather, Khawaja Iftikhar was the All-India champion before partition and his mother Nousheen Ihtesham had won the national women title for 10 years and also represented Pakistan in Fed Cup.) – but him becoming the first Pakistani in history to reach any Grand Slam event Final brought him to the light and attention he deserved long ago.

And though he and his partners lost both US Open Mixed Doubles’ Final and Mens’ Double Final to, Aisam turned out to be a hero. After him and his partner Rohan Bopanna were beaten by the Bryan Brother, he delivered a speech which was concise yet was, in short the voice of 180 million Pakistanis:

 

“Every time I come here, I feel there’s a very wrong perception of Pakistan as a terrorist country. I just want to say we are a friendly, caring and peace-loving country and we want peace as much as you all. God bless us all.”

 

 

 

As New York Daily News writes:

“As a Muslim from Pakistan playing in the U.S. Open doubles final, he said New York needed his words the most, as post-9/11 counsel. So the 30-year-old grabbed the microphone and addressed the estimated 15,000 at Arthur Ashe Stadium – probably the biggest crowd to watch a Grand Slam doubles final – and made sure the moment wasn’t lost.

Prize money and rankings were never a motivating factor, Qureshi said, only good news for his flood-stricken countrymen and a platform to express his message of American misunderstanding.

He also defended the decision to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site.

“For me, as a Muslim, that’s what makes America the greatest country in the world – freedom of religion, freedom of speech,” Qureshi said.

“If the mosque is built, I think it’s a huge gesture to all the Muslim community out there in the world. I would really appreciate it.”

Qureshi said he’s been stopped at airport immigration “every time” in New York – three hours at a time – including after his latest flight for the Open. And on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, he wanted to defend his country’s masses.

“There are extremists in every religion, but just because of them you cannot judge the whole country as a terrorist nation. I just wanted to get this message across as a Pakistani.”

These simple yet bold words were spoken by him, made the hearts of Pakistanis swell with pride and joy for not only was their true representation done but they were lit up in a time crowded with despondency as the cricket-crazy nation feels ‘betrayed’ with their three top cricketers being embroiled in a shameful spot-fixing scandal and being immersed in floods while trying to fight internal cancers.

Also him, voicing his opinion about the Mosque being built near Ground Zero and his rational reasoning behind why he thinks that way, displays his level of maturity and political awareness.

The message he conveyed was one that hasn’t been given out by many of our so-called leaders and diplomats. He chose the moment to defend his country on American soil with billions, probably, as international audience all over the world. It was a silent declaration of his pure patriotism and love for Pakistan.

Years back in the World Super Junior Championships, he beat Andy Roddick and while Roddick was noticed bythe authorities in his country (despite his defeat) to polish, sponsor and prepare for bigger events , our player was ignored so this event provides us the chance to realize who we should honour and value as national heroes rather than the brazen-faced who lack a conscience when putting a price to their country’s pride.

 Aisam had been playing for ages yet he was never appreciated or encouraged as those in cricket. He made the flag of Pakistan flutter on the courts in a time when we are in an abyss of dim and darkness. He may have not won the matches but he surely won the respect, admiration, support, regardful ness and above all, the hearts and minds of the Pakistani nation.

Pakistan and the world need people like Aisam to bring people together and heal the world with their thoughts of peace.

Aisam, we are proud of you!

Surely you are the winner!

 

– Hafsa Khawaja

Fickle and Mausami Pakistani Cricket ‘Fans’, Take A Hike!


After Pakistan lost the Semi-Final of the T20 World-Cup to Australia, majority of Pakistanis started updating their Facebook statuses abusing and cursing our Team while blaming Afridi for the loss. While anger or depression is natural when you are such a nation that sees the face of depair as much as the rising of the Sun every morning and this game is a single reason for us to smile  but what was surprising was the sudden capricious change in the words and emotions of the Pakistani ‘fans’ who showed their despicable attitude of hurling harsh words at our Team players when only moments ago they were showering them with praises until the tide of the game turned against us.

Our people should have accepted the defeat with grace, remembering the blazing performances by the Akmal brothers and the excellent bowling of Muhammad Amir and Abdul Rehman.

As far as Saeed Ajmal’s bowling in the last over is concerned, then I believe he was the right person at the wrong time. Ajmal is being constantly being censured and being held responsible for the ‘win turned defeat’ at the hands of Australians. Let me also remind all those hurling insults at him to revive their amensia-striken brains about his fantabulous performance as a world-class spinner and an exceptional player, proving to be a lethal weapon for us in previous matches to be used against other teams.  He was the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan in this tournament and the 3rd highest wicket-taker for the T20 WC 2010. He himself was considerably heavy-hearted and dysphoric in disbelief at the end of the match.

In my opinion and for me, Team Pakistan is and will always be the centre of my pride and adoration. Yes, our Team may not have performed upto our expectations in this Tournament and they did make mistakes that could have been avoided but no win is forever. Our team did not put up a fight with the Aussies but a battle. They fought like lions and tried their best. No one would ever want to lose on purpose and it should be realized by now that they are all humans and making mistakes is a component of a mortal’s life and so is loosing and winning entwined with a game as are two sides of a coin. We should all acknowledge their efforts and appreciate their attempts on trying to capture the place in the Final.

At the Presentation Ceremony, it was evident that all our players were crest-fallen and dispirited especially our Captain, Afridi. They have alot of mental pressure on them currently and as a nation we should back them and welcome them home warmly.

As for those mausami fans who rarely watch cricket and criticise the Team just for the sake of showing their involvement in the game and their analytical ability, assail national players with insults and those who have too much of an attitude of scornful or jaded negativity infused in them that they can’t take a defeat or appreciate the positive aspects of a picture, I say, take a hike because Pakistan has had enough of pessimists and cynics.

I admit our Team needs restructuring and organizing to be close to what we want them to be but at the end of the day, Team Pakistan will always represent us and at one time or another, be the source of joy and pride for this nation as it has been in the past. What was never meant to be by the will of the Creator can not be ascribed to people. Cursing or humiliating them means we are deriding our own country and our own selves so support your Team in every situation!

Team Pakistan forever!

– Hafsa Khawaja

Updated : Pakistan lost its first match in the Cricket World Cup 2011 today to New Zealand by 110 runs and all of a sudden, all the aforementioned Mausami ‘Fans’ began to pop up like popcorns. Just a few days before when Pakistan won from Canada, Sri Lanka and Kenya – they were screaming with support and this is a shame.

Fans aren’t those who appear when their team is winning but those who support their players in the worst and best of times. All the rest are those who watch the game for sheer entertainment or time pass.

I say, its not the end of the world that they lost. Our Team did not come into the WC with the guarantee of winning every match, we needed this loss to realize that we need to still be working hard. We already lost the World Cup Hosting rights and in just months saw a runaway wicket-keeper along with 3 players guilty of spot-fixing.

We should be proud of our Team who have struggled and performed well despite all the demoralising incidents.

Our Team needs US now!

BLAME KHATMAL BUT SUPPORT YOUR TEAM!