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Fareeha Arshad
Scientist | History Nerd | Writer | Learner | Reader | | | Running my own race since ‘95.

But you don't listen

Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash

Every time I opened my favourite YouTube channel, I would see advertisements, one after another, about the writing MasterClass. I guess, Uncle Google always keeps his goggles on — snooping on my wants and needs— only to dangle those in front of my eyes like a piece of red cloth thrown in front of a bull. After painfully watching the writing MasterClass advertisement…

Tips to help you invest in your current friendships and foster new ones.

Photo: Victoria Quirk/Unsplash

Graduating from college and entering official adulthood is hard. That’s the thing about adult life — the hardships are unending. One such difficulty is the loss of friendships.

It happens to us all. School friends and college friends slowly drift apart as people move on to settle in different states, countries, and sometimes even different continents. After my school ended, I moved to India for my further studies, while most of my friends shifted to the States or China. When I returned to Saudi Arabia, my new college friends remained in India. If I ever wanted to hang out, it…

Because Urdu is more than a language.

Photo by Olivier Guillard on Unsplash

my father speaks Urdu
language of dancing peacocks
rosewater fountains
even its curses are beautiful.”

(Shailja Patel, Migritude)

No image could do justice to the emotion I wanted to convey to you while describing my mother-tongue.

Maybe its the woman in left, that reminded me of all those days I spent in India and spoke Urdu or the three abayah clad women behind seated with their children that reminded me of Urdu. …

Our ancestors were more badass than we assume

Our own species is a relative newcomer. | Image credits: Elisabeth Daynes/ Science Photo Library

As unbelievable this may sound, the humans that inhabited Earth thousands of years ago were not dumb. They did not just eat bananas and swing from one tree to the next. If anything our ancestors were smart and brave. Living in the wilderness sharpened their survival instincts. They knew when to fight and when to let go of the urge and live in peace. Our ancestors and their cousins were sophisticated, intelligent, and hard-working.

1. They owned inbuilt pesticide beds

Ancient humans didn’t have one of those fancy mattresses you own, but they were very clever in putting together a comfortable place to sleep on. Archaeologists…

The complete breakdown of the process I perfected over eight years to save maximum money on a tight budget

Photo: Melissa Walker Horn/Unsplash

Saving money happens with the culmination of two reasons: a sense of purpose, which answers the question of ‘Why save money?’ and motivation, which answers ‘How do I keep saving money?’. I imagine these two factors as the foundation on which money-saving habits are built on. When either one of these is missing, the habit falls apart.

When I first started saving money in 2013, I was really motivated to save money, but I had no sense of purpose. My motivation stemmed from my parents, and I saw how hard they worked behind us and how they cut down most…

#1 It’s not always about you

Photo by Camila Perez on Unsplash

It has been a long time since most of us have traveled anywhere. With the pandemic and global lockdown, we had no choice but to sit and cozy up at home, sip cold lattes that we prepared, and catch up with family members — something we had wanted to do for a long time.

If there is one thing that I have missed a lot and realized its importance only after I was denied to have the pleasure for, it is traveling. For me, traveling is not just about going to new places (or old ones) and visiting exotic landmarks…

The story of how Mongols blackened the river Tigris by dumping an entire ancient library into it

‘Bayt al-Hikmah’ or the House of Wisdom found by Caliph Al-Ma’mun in the 8th century | Image source: Wikipedia

Also known as Khizanat-al-Hikma or the ‘Storehouse of Wisdom’, this great library in Bagdad was initially a private library that belonged to the Abbasid Caliphs in the late 8th century. Much later, during Al-Ma’mun’s reign, this personal library was opened to the general public to encourage educational activities.

The manuscripts present in this place were derived or translated from other ancients texts available originally in other languages. The scholars worked on the preserved texts and furthered those works through more discoveries. Ancient works in Pahlavi, Syriac, Greek, and Sanskrit were translated to Arabic and documented. …

The naval tragedy that killed more people than the Titanic

The explosion of Sultana was the greatest maritime disaster in US history | Image source: Sultana disaster museum

The biggest maritime disaster in US history was overshadowed by President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the Civil War. The steamboat, Sultana, burst in flames on the fateful night of 27th April 1865, because of which 1800 innocent lives were lost — almost 300 more people were killed in this tragic incident than in the Titanic.

The boat was carrying Union soldiers released from the Confederate prison camps back to their homes. There were many reasons behind the unfortunate event, most of which had to do with the boat’s leaky steam boiler explosion. The massive blow-up lit up the night sky…

#1 Anglo-Zanzibar War: The war that lasted for 38 minutes

Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

History is filled with wars that were fought to gain the upper hand, a better land, or to establish a tyrant — each fought with a different purpose and varying durations. Most of the time, however, wars were fought under conflicting situations to conclude. Sometimes the war ended within a matter of minutes, and sometimes it took years to determine the winning side. Let’s have a look at some of the shortest wars in history and why they were fought.

1. Anglo-Zanzibar War: the war that lasted for 38 minutes

#4 Vestal Virgin: the committed virgin

A portrait of a Vestal Virgin by Angelica Kauffmann | Image source: Flickr

With the pandemic last year and the falling economy, millions of people around the world lost their jobs. Many considered alternatives that they never once thought of before. However, there were worse alternative jobs in history that, thankfully, cannot be pursued now. Most of them were disturbingly strange and are now unheard of. Let’s have a look at a few of them below.

1. Praegustator: the taster

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