How Learning Languages Can Help the Brain?

Learning a foreign language doesn’t always have to be a necessity or something that you must do to make your portfolio shine. Many people enjoy the art of becoming multilingual just because they can. This educational passion not only can be pretty useful, but it’s also a good booster for your brain. Not sure how? Let me break it down for you.

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Experts have studied that adults who are bilingual or learning a new language have higher than average intelligence levels, better cognitive functions, and a sharper memory. These might seem like pretty obvious benefits of learning a new language but it can also affect your mental health at a deeper level.

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Take for example debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that people who invest their time in learning a foreign language have a decreased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Brain scans of bilinguals have also shown enhanced and larger language centers in the hippocampus of the brain that is responsible for memory building and storage.
There is a substantial amount of evidence on how learning a new language can improve your mental flexibility and the overall functioning of your brain. So if you were considering learning a new language, that’s enough motivation for you to start right now!

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Who’s your City?

 

Quite a few people have asked me this question in the last year, ‘what is your home town?’ or `which city do you come from?’. An innocent enough question, very simple and obvious when you meet a new person, but not for me, I could find no easy answer to this seemingly straightforward query. Should I say Abu Dhabi, the beautiful island city where I grew up and lived in the longest, who’s geography is still etched clearly in my mind but whom I left a long time ago. Or should I say Multan, which is my city by paternal rights, the city which I can never get tired of, the city I got married in and remains my husband’s home city, but I have never lived in it for too long. Should it be Sargodha, a city I have never really liked but still holds a year’s worth of precious memories for me one of which is it being the birth place of my firstborn. Should it be Lahore, the city in which I was born and in which I gave birth to my daughter and in which my parents currently reside, a city worth its name but unbelievably crowded, a city which is mine and who’s alleys I have walked and walked until my shoes became worn and yet once again I have never really resided in it for long. Or should I say Kamra. Kamra is not even a city, just a collection of ugly commercial plazas on the either side of the incredibly long Grand Trunk road almost half way between Rawalpindi and Peshawar, with a strange Dove shaped gate somewhere between the noise and the bazaar, from which one can take a road towards the city of Attock, formerly known as Cambellpur, and along this road now closed off from the general public are a collection of gates. Each of these gates leads into either a small town like colony of its own or an aircraft factory, several of which along with an Air Base make up an aeronautical complex. This was my home for thirteen or so years, from when I was no longer a carefree innocent girl and yet had still not been really exposed to the world at large, because Kamra was not really a city it was a world of its own. In between there is Sahiwal which was formerly known as Montgomery, my maternal grandparents lived here and it remains my most favorite city ever, home to one of the most beautiful houses ever, a house that still holds my best childhood memories and quite a few after I had grown up, it was a place for refuge for a little more than half a year after a sudden move from the UAE to Pakistan. Or should I say Ahmedabad, not strictly a city but the home of my grandfather and many generations of Majoka’s before him, the place where blood takes us every time, the once tiny village on the banks of the River Jehlum, it has kept changing its locations over the years with the flow and ebb of the river and whatever the weather brings with it. Situated  some twenty miles west of Khushab, in this village is our farmhouse and has been our home for quite a few odd months and a holiday home for the last eighteen years,  as well as my father’s retreat from where he runs his farms.  Or Toronto, where I have lived sporadically in bits and pieces and where I find myself once again, a city that holds my own youthful memories and is slowly becoming memorable for my own children.

So where does a body belong to? What actually is a hometown anyway? Is it a town, a city, a collection of houses and roads or just a place in which your heart or body resided for a while so when you move away it is carried in that heart and body forever? Do I have a single hometown or am I destined to find a new one in every phase of my life, but which one should I really refer to as my hometown, my city, the one I have lived in the longest or the one that lives in my heart the most; or all of them. So I just say the name of the city which comes up the quickest on my tongue, people around me still don’t know for sure where exactly I come from but then I myself am not sure which is my city, or rather which is not my city.

 

 

 

Must have wardrobe staples every girl should have

“Buy Less, Choose well, Make it last” Well quoted

Have you ever wondered what makes a girl fashionable? Is it an endlessly stocked wardrobe? Or is it the excess of money? But I believe both things doesn’t matter at all, one need to understand the tactics to wear them rightly. Girls with incredible styling employ a few hacks on daily basis to completely change their outlook.

Here I am sharing some affordable pieces that would simply enhance your appearance in no time!

Oversized Turtleneck Sweaters:

Looking for a chic way to upgrade your cold-weather style? Then it’s the best idea to buy an oversized turtleneck sweater. Get an instant style & comfort in just one go!

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Turtle neck sweaters are also commonly known as roll necks or polo neck sweaters. This modern style is easily blended with jackets to cope up with the cold weather.

Grab Tuxedo Trousers:

Tuxedo trousers are an ever green fashion, so the perfect time to grab them is the Christmas Festive. The vast color palette can really make a statement while peeping out over knitted tops. Tuxedo trousers are always a part of my glamorous and flirtatious pieces but you can’t pair with heels in such cold weather. You can go for long leather boots to cover up your legs.

Go For Ankle Boots:

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Ankle boots are the ultimate destination for style-minded girls and the versatility in these boots are endless.  These boots goes with almost every type of closets like jeans, maxis or even shorts. Ankle boots comes in wedge-styles, heels, laced and buckled. One of my favorite looks is when I pair jeans with half cuff booties.  This effortless style contributes in giving girls a perfect stylish weekend look.

Stay tuned for our next blog posts to learn more about girls styling!

 

5 Lessons To Be Learned From Traveling

Avid travellers have garnered years of experience in exploring the world, meeting new people and discovering foreign culture. Although travelling is often equated to a luxury activity (and perhaps it is!) and boasted about but there’s a lot more to learn from it than just posting pictures on Instagram.

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Here are 5 life lessons that expert travels have to share:

#1: Planning is great but spontaneity can be better
If you’re a type A personality or just a really organized individual, you probably can’t go out without a proper plan in your head. When you travel, though, this has to be minimized. Sure, you don’t want to head out to foreign lands totally unprepared but leave some things for discovery and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

#2: Don’t believe the media; there is good and bad everywhere
We’re often led to believe that places like Iran or Pakistan are ‘dangerous’ but that’s really not how it is. You’ll always find compassionate people everywhere and your best approach should be kindness and respect as well.

#3: Respect the culture
Every community has its own set of values and traditions; when you’re travelling to a foreign land where culture is important you need to respect that. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go all out and follow the traditions but respecting and acknowledging them is pivotal.

#4: Travelling alone isn’t lonely
People who travel alone are often questioned whether they feel lonely in their trips. Solo travel experts believe that when you’re exploring new places, you’re never really alone.

#5: Distance can speak volumes for your relations
When you’re travelling a lot, you usually don’t see your loved ones back home that often than you otherwise would. Long distance and travelling can reveal the true colors of your relationship with people and help you realize who respects your interests and is willing to stick around even beyond the miles.

5 Things You Should Never Google

The power of Google search is indispensible in this time and age but is it really safe to search for all your answers online? Not really.

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Google is a gateway to breaching your privacy or even supplying the wrong information; with certain things, this web search platform may not be the best way to find your answers.

1. Don’t Google your symptoms!
Have you ever had a mild fever and cough and Google told you that you might have a nasopharyngeal cancer? Not only is Google a highly unreliable source to diagnose your clinical symptoms but it can also be a major source of stress. Instead, go to your physician the normal way!

2. Don’t give off your location
When you use Google you’re automatically giving it access to your private information including your location. This can be pretty risky and breach your privacy. The best way to deal with it is not to search for things that give a clue to where you’re living.

3. Don’t give off your true identity to Google
As with the location, you shouldn’t be giving Google too much information about your real identity. Making obvious searches that clue into your identity can be dangerous.

4. Don’t Google your insecurities
The internet is notorious in making you feel bad about yourself and asking Google questions about your insecurities will only feed into the issue at hand.

5. Don’t search for shady items
“How to make a bomb at home” might sound like a fun search to do but it’s also pretty suspicious and can land you in serious legal trouble. Steer clear from shady Google searches like these because curiosity killed the cat. Besides you really don’t need to know the recipe of a bomb!

BOOK REVIEW: Malala-My Story Of Standing Up For Girl’s Rights

Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner remains controversial in Pakistan’s social media.  A majority of the people praise her sacrifices for girls empowerment while others blame her for destroying the country’s image to a great extent.  Whatever views people hold regarding her, she remains an inspiration for many!

Malala wrote her first book in 2013 by the name “ I am Malala”. The book got intense popularity as it was the only way to get an insight into the real life of Malala. After the success of this best-selling memoir, Malala kept on writing more books and “We are Displaced” is the latest edition releasing on 8th January 2019.

Here I will share a review of Malala’s Book- My story of Standing up for girl’s rights released in October 2018.

Malala’s journey begins from her appetite of education where she even risked her life to go to school.  Malala unfolds her stories of bravery and sacrifices in her initial books while this book is dedicated towards her efforts for standing with girls rights despite receiving many threats. The basic purpose of Malala’s book it to encourage girls to speak for their rights in a patriarchal society. The book is written in a simplified language that is easy-to-read for even children.

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I really found it a good read for this year as the book truly identifies the core issues of a conservative society. Malala features the book by sharing her own personal stories along with highlighting the importance of speaking against violent and intolerant behaviors of a majority of the people. On the other hand, some stories that were narrated by Malala seem to be extremely fictional and self-created. It might be a tactic to grasp the Western Publication as any opinion imparted against a Pakistani society is always highlighted worldwide for destabilizing the country.

Lastly, I believe that Malala’s book holds up a mirror to the darker side of a country while neglecting many positives of the country. A patriarchal society is not just a menace of Pakistan, this mindset is found globally. Malala do motivate girls to speak up for their rights but she must also provide them with a secure platform to share their stories as many girls end up with their lives while speaking for the truth!

How Can Pakistan Become A Semi Rich Country Like Malaysia?

The past few months have seen a flurry of activity in both the political and economic sphere in Pakistan. The new government has yet to deliver its promise of a Naya Pakistan primarily because of the problems it has inherited. From the price of the dollar reaching new heights and the burden of debts refusing to cease, Pakistan is currently in deep waters in terms of economic stability.
Despite the ever-growing list of problems, there might still be hope for Pakistan to emerge as a semi-rich country like Malaysia.

Although many speculate the CPEC program would help in this process, critics disagree. The truth of the matter is that the success of a country doesn’t hinge on a single factor and definitely not on foreign reliance.

Take Malaysia for example. Mahathir Mohamad played a major part in the part in the development of his country without reliance on Chinese projects although being offered them. Instead, the government devised ways to use the resources available to them (palm oil and tin in this case) and focus on the export of them.

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At the end of the day, it isn’t foreign projects that can help our country flourish economically; it is the government economic and education policies. Pakistan is a country that is blessed with resources and the only way to rise to a semi-rich status is to adequately utilize them for export and trade.