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Hey you.

you`re still a little kid and maybe you already think you`re mature, way more mature than kids your age. that is true, but there`s still so much you have to learn, understand and see for yourself. there`s so much that you still need to know.

this letter isn`t going to be another “this-is-what-you-have-to-be-aware-of”, because I trust you know to know that you`ll know when the time`s right. everything will happen when it`s meant to happen. what I want to tell you, is that a lot is going to happen to you, but don`t you dare give up. you`ll hurt. a lot. it`ll feel like your blood has run dry, but don`t you ever stop fighting for yourself. you`ll realise that love isn`t the same for everyone. you`ll learn that not everyone has the same heart but don`t stop believing in the good in people, because what would be the point to do great things in the world then? you`ll learn that not everyone will appreciate the things you do or notice the things you do for them, but that doesn`t necessarily mean there`s something wrong with you. keep standing up for yourself and other people that are treated in a way that`s not acceptable. keep raising your voice, stay engaged and know that someone out there is being inspired by you. there will be people in your life who will tell you to be a little more quiet, to not take so much space but let them know you deserve to do what you want to do and let them especially know who you really are. it might feel like being kind and sensible isn`t the right thing to do, but consider them your strengths because these are the two characteristics that will get you far in life. and remember to use them especially when you understand how life can be, when you understand more of what`s going in your life and how unfair humans can be. it`ll raise you up and make it easier for you to carry the heavy baggage. 

people will come and go, but do always stay kind and lovely and I know you`re not really worried about it now, but I still want you to know that one day you`ll meet someone who`ll truly appreciate you and everything you have in that beautiful heart of yours. and please; you`re carrying so much love in your heart, do not forget to give some to yourself. 

kind regards,

grown-up Iqra 


Honour killing in countries across is common, where a member of a family (or a community) believes the victim has brought dishonour upon the family, community or the society and take matters in their own hands by ending the victim`s life. That way, they`ll “regain” their honour and can move on with their lives. Qandeel Baloch was killed by her own brother at her parents` home. As some of you already know, I`ve been watching “Baaghi” recently, which is a Pakistani drama serial based on Qandeel Baloch`s life. She was a social media star. A free spirited soul, a rebel with a cause who set out in search of success and hope for a better life, a small town girl with big dreams, much could be said about her. She chose to live according to her own terms, terms which came with a heavy price.

I watched the last episode again today and cried as if I was seeing it for the first time. I`m not going to write a lot about how much I love the serial or what it has done to me, I just want to share some words. I want to share the epilouge which got me thinking and hopefully got thousands of others thinking, as well. Because the questions asked are so legitimately, they`re so vulnerable and they`re so honest. Like Mevish Javed said: “Baaghi ended with a soul gripping epilogue that questioned societies misjudgements, a real tear jerker for sure. It had me feeling numb, heartbroken and distraught. This is the society we unfortunately are part of, a society that judges without understanding, a society that points fingers not realising 3 point back to them, a society that fails to realise you should fault the sin not the sinner. Qandeels actions may have been wrong, bold and judged but her intentions were to use the platform her situations created in order to provide for her poor family, despite having 6 brothers she became the man of the house.”

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The epilouge was “Qandeel`s” voice, and here`s what she said (note that it`s my translation). Keep in mind that Qandeel was killed because she was, according to the society, bad and destructive for it:

“False honour and public frauds have taken the lives way too early of so many Qandeels like me. The right of handling and changing myself which God had given to me, was taken from me.  I was bad for the society, a threat to people`s ethics. Despite how I was, I`ve left your world.

Without giving any explanations and without defending myself, I just want to ask this: the evilness has come to an end now, right? I mean, people`s ethics survived. What about the society? What happened with it? Is the society alright now? Hmm?”



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“What is it?”, she says.

I`m sitting at the couch. The black couch. It`s not my first time here, yet it feels like it`s the first time. Everything has changed.

I`m looking down at hands. That`s the easiest thing to do. I didn`t know my nails look so weird. I tell myself to paint them red when I get home.

“I`m asking you something – what is it?”


There`s a lot I want to say, but I don`t want to. I guess the saddest thing is that sometimes it easier to say nothing. Not everyone knows how to fix something that`s broken anyways, so what`s the point.

“How am I supposed to know when you`re not telling me anything?”

As if you`re supposed to know anything, I think to myself. I don`t say anything. Of course I don`t. I trusted you once, I`m not trusting you again. I shared my secrets with you. Nobody knew them, but you weren`t nobody so I shared them with you. With fear and hope dancing with each other, I shared them. And oh, dear. I regret it too much.

“Don`t you trust me?”

“Would you trust someone who`ve broken your trust once?

I can tell my words hit her. Hard. She doesn`t know what to say. That`s what I wanted.

“I`ll tell you absolutely everything, I`ll share my secrets with you all over again only if you are able to break a plate and put it back together to exactly what it was. I don`t care how you do it, as long as it goes back to the way it was before. ”

She`s staring at her nails. Now it`s her time to study her nails. They look far better than mine, by the way.

“Do you get it now?”



Something that`s been annoying me for a while, is the beauty standard in the society. They say natural is the best, but the society makes fun of people without make-up, people who`re not wearing clothes that are trending now and people who don`t have the “perfect” body.

As if that`s possible to achieve.

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I believe each and one of us were given a brain so we could think. Think about our lives and the decisions we make. I believe we chose whether we want to get affected by the beauty standards in the society or not. That doesn`t mean it`s easy, but if we were to point fingers at other people for how we feel what we think of ourselves we`d be pointing forever.

Yeah, maybe someone made you feel bad about the way you look, but don`t give them that power and don`t allow yourself to dislike yourself. Don`t use make-up to look pretty in front of everyone else.  Don`t wear particular clothes just because you know it will make other people happy. Feeling bad about a comment is different than to actively make decisions based on what the society thinks of you. You can live with a stranger not liking you but you disliking yourself is much harder to live with.

I`m not going to say “be you, that`s enough” because we`ve all heard that a million times before. Instead I`m going to tell you this: you`re you and there`s only one of you in the whole world. There`s nobody on earth who`s just like you and nobody looks like you. Take advantage of that. Take advantage of your flaws and strengths. Of course we want to look pretty, we all want to be beautiful but bigger lips or the “perfect” body won`t make you happy. Imagine that you had a twin who looked pretty much just like you. Would you tell him or her “you`re ugly?” Or would you tell your best friend that they don`t look good? No? Then why do we keep scolding ourselves for not being good enough?

Do things that make you happy on the inside. Work on yourself. And remember to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Because if it`s true that we want others to love us for who we are, we should love ourselves harder and better.



Something I`ve put on my wall.

It`s easy to think that being kind and soft are two not that powerful characteristics, especially when most people take them for granted. When the world can be hard and cold. But honey, “be like water, flowing so beautifully and effortlessly, washing away all that is bad.” Be soft but strong, and you`ll be the one still standing.