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Ms APRIL 6, 2014

ISSUE NO. 94

Summer Romance

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The Woes of Immigration

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inside dress for success —

Suit up for your next interview

domestic goddess — Fish in banana leaves

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Section In-Charge: Sarah Munir Sub-Editor: Amna Hashmi

Up close and personal with Humaima Malik


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Ms

the buzz

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014

A journey across the world may not always be as easy as it seems by Teenaz Javat

Travelling has always been a strong human instict. People would move across huge swaths of land, as cave dwellers and hunters, in search of food and water to sustain themselves. The ancient Bedouins parked their camels near oases and prompted small settlements that later developed into cities. The Inca, Mayans, Aztec and Sumerians all nurtured grand city-states near bodies of water. Closer to home, we have the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation to prove that the prehistoric man was never stagnant. And neither are we. While the quest for sustenance led the early men across the world, the promise of a better life has sparked a similar trend in the current generation, commonly referred to as immigration. Among the top feeder countries, developing nations like China, India and Pakistan lead the pack as thousands of natives migrate to the West every year in the quest for a better standard of living. “One of the main reasons people shift to a foreign country is to live a better life and get more opportunities that are impossible in their home countries,” explains Rayomand Dubash, a Toronto-based, former immigration consultant. “Good pay, job security and sound living facilities are huge motivational factors especially when third world natives manage to secure jobs in first world countries. In my experience, skilled people are readily welcomed when their skills are sought by the host country and when supply meets demand; it’s a win for both the immigrant and the host country.” New land, new challenges Unfortunately, not every immigrant gets the happy ending they hope for. In a career spanning over 10 years, Dubash — who migrated from Karachi to Toronto himself — has witnessed firsthand how assimilating into a foreign country can be fraught with tension. “Suffice it to say not all who immigrate get what they want,” he warns. With countless documents to fill and requirements to meet, that too after years of waiting for your call, it is clear that the process is hardly a piece of cake. “We got our call for immigration 11 years after we filed for it,” shares American green card holder Sara Hashim*. “Then there were thousands of hurdles to cross, trips to the embassy, forms to present, etc. It’s quite a daunting task, especially if you have to do it for your entire family.” What is even worse is that paperwork and waiting out your turn whilst living ‘in transit’ are just the start; there is a whole other set of problems one has to overcome upon reaching the desired destination. Many like 55-year-old Shahida Ahmed Khan had to build a whole new life from scratch. “I moved to Toronto in 2004, alone with my three children so I had a very rough time,” she admits.

“My husband stayed on in Pakistan to keep his job and we were left at our own devices. Even small things like figuring out the subway routes or locating halal restaurants would frustrate us,” she says. “So you can imagine what it was like overcoming the bigger ordeals, like housing, finding the right schools and landing jobs. Not one of my children looks upon that time in our lives happily but it’s been 10 years now. We pulled through and wouldn’t want to live anywhere apart from Toronto.” Shahida and her husband are just one example of a couple consciously deciding to live apart for the benefit of their children. Oftentimes, one or more members of the family are denied an immigrant visa or given it on a later date, breaking the family up. “My brother had to wait for almost two more years after the rest of our family got our green cards,” says Hashim. “We had almost given up but thankfully, it came through.” But perhaps the most pertinent issue perpetrated by the trend of immigration is that of immigration fraud and trafficking. One of the largest categories of immigrant are those that qualify under the ‘family class,’ especially young women from developing nations who hope to join their husbands in the foreign country they reside in. “It is unassuming, new brides from the subcontinent that get the short end of the stick as their immigration status is dependent upon their spouse,” explains Deepa Mattoo, a staff lawyer with the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, Canada. Many of these young girls are forced into marriage by their parents who are promised immigration in exchange for the girl — a promise which often does not materialise. “I have seen countless young women in my practice who have been victims of forced marriage,” shares Mattoo. “They are promised a happy, prosperous life in the new country, for themselves and their families, but instead are subjected to abuse by their in-laws and when the abuse gets out of hand, they end up on our door.” “These young girls are used as immigration mules,” explains Amandeep Kaur, an Indian-Canadian nutritionist who came to Canada under similar circumstances herself. “Their maternal families pay large amounts of dowry for a groom located abroad, with the caveat that the daughter will soon sponsor her brother for immigration and so on. The in-laws happily accept the dowry but go back on their promises once the bride has arrived.” After having escaped an abusive marriage after 22 years, Kaur now works as the chief operating officer of the panjabi community health services in Toronto, helping men, women and senior citizens recover from such immigration scams. “This is when the tension between the families starts fermenting. I actually know of people who have died in the


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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014

process,” adds Kaur. Illegal immigration, deportation, fake marriages and document fraud are other major problems associated with the process. The grass may be greener on the other side This is not to say that the process of immigrating is all doom and gloom for everyone. There is a strong sense of community amongst immigrants regardless of where they live. “I must admit, I could not have survived relocating had it not been for the Pakistani friends we were lucky enough to make in our apartment building,” admits Khan. “They helped us with everything from furniture to food and even my daughter’s s first job! And then we did the same for a newly married couple that moved in from India soon after I did. There is a great sense of brotherhood amongst people of similar backgrounds living abroad. Everyone comes together for each other.” It is advisable to seek professional help from an immigration lawyer to navigate around the pre-migration process. “The lawyers are trained to cater to the different needs of different applicants,” suggests Hashim. “And if one can’t afford a lawyer, they should seek out others who have undergone the same processes as only they will be able to guide them properly.” Many immigrants are content struggling in a developed country as it offers a better alternative to struggling in their own. “My husband and I had good jobs in Karachi but our daughters couldn’t enjoy the same amenities in Pakistan as they do here in Canada,” argues Mehra Hansotia, who has been living abroad for over 20 years now. “It was a gamble, leaving Karachi, but it paid off cause of the hard work my husband and I put in. Upon arriving in Canada, we studied for local diplomas, landed jobs in our respective fields and remained committed to our family,” says Hansotia. 58-year old housewife Sultana Tahir and her husband agrees. “We have grown old here in Pakistan and would continue living here if we could,” she says. “But my daughter and grandchildren are in the UK and want us to join them. How can we possibly say no?”

d as e s u e r a ng girls Their maternal u o y e s e h T mules. unts of dowry n io t a r ig imm ge amo oad, with the r la y a p s familie ted abr ill soon a c lo m o for a gro at the daughter w igration caveat thher brother for imm sponsor n iand n I o n a o , s r u and eep Ka nutritionist d n a m A — Canadian

ood h r e h t o r b nse of e s t a e r g There is apeople of similar Everyone amongst nds living abroad. her.” backgrou gether for each ot comes to tani is k a P , n a ed Kh o Canada m h A a id h t — Sha immigrant


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Ms

dress for success

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014

by Amna Hashmi

FOR

DRESS SUCCESS In a time when CEOs are sporting jeans and sneakers with turtlenecks and hood-jackets, it can be challenging to dress for a job interview. To help you out, Ms T asked professionals from a range of industries to share some top tips on how to dress for your big day and how it could help jumpstart your career Our clothes and how we perceive ourselves bares a great impact on our confidence. Whether you are hanging out with old friends, meeting new people or trying to leave a lasting impression on colleagues, the right outfit can be a huge confidence booster. Bright ideas accentuated by a professional look can go a long way, especially in a job interview. For your assistance, Ms T consulted human resource professionals across the corporate world for the new do’s and don’ts of office attire. Follow these tips and you are sure to sail through this recruitment season!

Clothes

Blow-dries, excessive gel and styling aren’t required. A simple, sleek look is what one should go for. If you have curly hair, it should always be tied. Also, your hair should never cover your face. It makes the interviewer think the candidate is hiding.

Hair There is a fine line between being underdressed and overdressed. Most girls in Pakistan opt for elegant shalwar kameez but if you choose to wear pants, make sure they are slacks, not skinny ones lest you look too casual. Nothing too revealing, of course. Loud prints and bright colours are never a good thing at an interview. Elegant and sober does best. Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan

Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan It is extremely unprofessional, not to mention distracting, to play with your hair while you talk so it is best if you tie it up in a neat bun or pony. Humaira Ahmad Talent Acquisition Manager GSK Pakistan

In my opinion, understated is the way to go as it allows the interviewer to focus on your content and not your appearance. Humaira Ahmad Talent Acquisition Manager GSK Pakistan

Jewellery A common mistake female candidates make is wearing too much or too eyecatching an article of jewellery which can distract the interviewer. Once again, simple and chic is the look you want. No dangly earrings or chunky pendants.

Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan

Some female candidates walk in wearing multiple earrings on each ear lobe or a ring in every finger which looks extremely tacky. One pair of earrings and a ring in each hand is much more professional and if not rings, then I would suggest a watch or a thin bracelet.

Shahla Surhyo Senior Manager Recruitment, Bank Alfalah


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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014

Make-up Less is more. The point of makeup is to enhance one’s features, not make them look like cartoons. Personally, I think one swipe of eyeliner is enough. It gives off the impression that the candidate is conscious of their grooming but also respects the interviewer. Girls with too much makeup appear narcissistic and no one likes that. I am particularly averse to the current trend of flashy, neon nail polishes as these can ruin your entire outfit in a second.

Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan

Smell Wear deodorants! Interview anxiety makes you perspire more.

Momina Javaid Corporate Recruitment Manager, Nestlé Pakistan

Anything you would wear to a wedding must be avoided. Say no to golden, silver or smoky eyes and dramatic eye shadows.

Momina Javaid Corporate Recruitment Manager, Nestlé Pakistan

Accessories

An interview can be a nerve-racking experience that can send one’s sweat glands in overdrive. Therefore, take precaution and a keep a bottle of your nicest smelling perfume in your bag. It should be a light, flowery scent — nothing too fruity or musty that will announce your arrival before you even show up.

Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan Apply a soft-smelling perfume at least an hour or two before your interview so that it dissipates a little before you enter the room. Strong fragrances can throw the interview off guard.

Shoes

Shahla Surhyo Senior Manager Recruitment, Bank Alfalah

These days, I see a lot of young girls lugging around large handbags which they do not need cause the interviewer probably has all the required documentation already. Small handbags are fine so long as they match the rest of your outfit. One other thing a lot of female candidates do wrong is leave their sunglasses on their heads once they are indoors when they should take them off and put away. It is an interview, not a coffee party.

Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan I’ve seen some youngsters leave their headphones around their necks upon entering the office premises. They must make sure all appliances and hand held items are put away in advance to avoid a last-minute rush.

Shahla Surhyo Senior Manager Recruitment, Bank Alfalah

It is advisable to keep your toes covered with clean, polished pumps for a more professional effect.

Heels add grace and purpose to one’s walk which gives off an aura of confidence, especially when the candidate walks in. That said, the shoes you choose shouldn’t be more than two inches high or too flat. Flip flops may be in fashion, especially considering the warm weather, but they simply aren’t apt for a corporate setting.

Shahla Surhyo Senior Manager Recruitment, Bank Alfalah

Leon Menezes Former GM Human Resources Shell Pakistan

Joggers and trainers are okay only if the interview includes a site visit to the factory or farm. Momina Javaid Corporate Recruitment Manager, Nestlé Pakistan

Words of advice A candidate must comprehend the culture and environment of the organisation they are applying to and then work on their dressing. You see, some firms are more formal in nature while others are more relaxed. But above all, you should be comfortable with whatever you are wearing as only then can you perform at your peak!

Sumika Farooqui HR Manager, P&G Pakistan

In an interview, small things matter and create an impression. Therefore, don’t be chewing gum when you walk in or sport flashy accessories — they give off a negative vibe.

Humaira Ahmad Talent Acquisition Manager GSK Pakistan


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Ms

en voge

Summer Saunter

Coordination: Umer Mushtaq Hair & make-up: Saba Ansari @ Sab’s Salon Designer: Vaneeza Ahmed Prêt Wear Photography: Haseeb Siddiqui Location: Red Emperor Karachi Model: Fouzia Aman

Welcome the heat with Vaneeza’s latest semi-formals

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014


domestic goddess 7

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014

Recipe

Patra ni Machhi

(Fish wrapped in banana leaves)

Tantalise your taste buds with this signature Parsi delicacy. It is succulent, healthy and loaded with zesty flavour

Gulnaz Mondegarian is an expert in Iranian cuisine who has co-hosted Food Diaries alongside Zarnak Sidhwa to celebrate Community Food Week

Method • Wash the fish thoroughly. Once clean, marinate it with vinegar and salt and set it aside. • Prepare the green chutney by mixing the ingredients into a smooth paste. • Apply the chutney on both sides of each fish fillet, wrap them in banana leaves and tie a thread around each to keep them tight. • Fry the fish in oil and serve hot.

Ingredients: For the fish:

Boneless fish fillets 6 pieces

Vinegar

Oil

Banana leaves (washed and dried)

Thread (for tying)

Salt to taste

For the chutney:

Small coconut Coriander leaves (freshly grated) 1 2 bunches

Mint leaves 1 bunch

Garlic cloves 4

Green chillies 6

Sugar 1 tsp

Cumin seeds (crushed) 1 tsp

Small lemons (juiced) 2


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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, APRIL 6, 2014

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The Express Tribune hi five - April 6