Terms of Endearment in Pashto

Below are the many different ways to address the person you love – in Pashto. Needless to say, I’m missing many words, so please free to suggest more. These are the ones I use with my nephews and niece. Yes, they’re not necessarily or only for someone you love romantically. They can apply to anyone. My personal favorite one to use with my (girl) friends is “jaanaan”; my personal favorites to use with Kashmala and her brothers (my little niblings) are jaanaan, qurbaan, zarrgi (plural), da zrra sar.

To address them directly (e.g., “you”):
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Doing Feminism: on self love and raising a feminist niece

Here’s how a conversation between me and 5-year-old Kashmala, my niece, went a few weeks ago.


Kashmala ❤

Kashmala, as we were face-timing: Let’s watch Youtube songs! Can you pleeeeeeeeeeeeease put on that song “Beautiful”? It’s my faaaaaaveeerite!

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One Month After the Peshawar Attack – a song celebrating Pakistani children

Our smiles are stronger than your guns

The FB Cover Photo of one of the children killed in the Peshawar attack. Rest in peace, beautiful soul … rest in peace.

It was exactly one month ago (December 16, 2014 – #NeverForget!) that well over 170 children were killed in the attack in a Peshawar school called Army Public School. (I know the media, including Pakistani media, is claiming that 130 kids were killed in it, but sources I trust say the number is way, way higher than that. So I’m sticking to at least 170. May they all rest in peace, and my God bless their families and loved ones with strength and love in this impossible time. And may Peshawar heal soon! Aameen.)
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On female friendships – and death to patriarchy

The last several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships (and love and stuff). I’ve grown to love my friends, I’ve gotten closer to the ones I was already close to–’cause life and shit teaches you to keep the good people in your life closer to you because they’re a blessing; good friends and a good friendship are great excuses to be happy … not that you should ever need an excuse to be happy, though, but more on happiness another time. I don’t have as many male friends as I’d like (I believe in being friends with people of all genders and sexes, all races, all colors, all language groups, etc.), and the few that I do have brighten my day whenever I talk to them.

But this post is specifically about friendships among women. Because the image that the media keeps throwing at us about female friendships is that all girls/women are deep inside jealous of each other, all are in a competition with each other, all hate each other, all want the same things, and so on. This is a dangerous, misleading, and unfair image of us – we’re not like that. That’s not to deny that I’ve had some bad experiences with a few female friends I’ve known, but that’s also not to deny that I know plenty of males who’ve been terrible to their male friends as well.

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Nail Polish and Make-Up Daddies and Granddaddies


This topic has come up a couple of times in the past week or so. Especially because I would agree with anyone who says we need to see more men like this in the media; it needs to be pointed out more publicly and widely that nail polish and make-up daddies (or, heck, non-parents, too!) are totally cool, and that their masculinity is not so delicate as to be annihilated through this “feminine” act. Especially when it’s for the love of their daughters or granddaughters. (Okay, for simplicity’s sake, I am going to just use “daddies” instead of both “daddies and granddaddies.”)

Now, I think a new criterion needs to be set for all husbands/potential fathers: That they be willing to be nail-polish and make-up daddies (and/or husbands – but let’s focus for now)

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