Becoming by Fouad Azim

Story Summary

This is a story of blooming love and betrayal, about children coming of age, of conscience and the sociopaths who lack it; it is a story about trust and how true love empowers and heals us. In the end, it is a story about humanity and the eternal struggle between good and evil.

Nyla and Junaid are classmates learning about the world around them and in the process discovering themselves. They must endure and survive a path fraught with confusion and peril if they hope to emerge victorious, though not necessarily unscathed. They will learn of innocence and its loss, about how budding love can be snuffed out if not cared for and its formidable power when nurtured and protected. They will become closely acquainted with evil, with its insidious presence in plain sight and how it mangles and corrupts those it touches. They will have to confront and defeat it if they can. If you think you recognize some of the characters described herein, it is only because the human experience around the world and in the different cultures is not unique, and we all share some of the same burdens and the joys of similar emotions and trials as we go about learning to find ourselves.

The setting is the foothills of the Margalla Mountain range, a part of the lesser Himalayas, north of Islamabad in Pakistan, during the 1990s.

Find it on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2xwmgHB

Pacific Book Review

Author Fouad Azim has written Becoming, an emotionally gripping novel about young love in the1990’s Pakistan which will enthrall readers.

Becoming tells the story of classmates Nyla and Junaid. Junaid is a shy young man who comes out of his shell once he falls in love with the intelligent and independent Nyla. Their fledgling romance is threatened by the jealousy of Jahal, an emotionally unstable boy who is determined to break them up. Nyla and Junaid must overcome Jahal’s wicked actions and other obstacles to discover true love.

This book is a unique coming-of-age novel about young love in a land far away from the United States, which is still a universal story. Junaid’s sensitivity and devotion to Nyla is admirable and makes him a relatable protagonist. Nyla is a strong character that isn’t just a passive love interest for Junaid. She’s a self-sufficient young woman that is brave throughout Becoming as she fights the cultural traditions that try to keep her from Junaid. Jahal is the perfect antagonist as the psychologically disturbed villain of the novel. Though he commits horrific acts, Azim’s writing doesn’t limit him to a one-dimensional monster. Jahal is more of a wounded soul than a soulless anti-hero.

Azim’s writing is evocative and poignant. The hills and caves of Pakistan are described so vividly that readers can imagine they are in the rugged terrain of the South Asian countryside. He also easily captures the complicated social lives of teenagers and how fraught young relationships can be in Becoming’s dialogue. Though there are some cultural differences between Western and Eastern culture in the book, the universal themes of the novel comes through to the readers. Azim also expertly handles sweet romance and dangerous drama throughout the novel. This story has exciting and suspenseful moments which will leave readers wanting more.

Becoming would be best for fans of the Kite Runner and Khaled Housseni. The novels both have similar stories about friendships in South Asian countries and both authors write masterfully about love. This book would also be good for fans of historical fiction, especially of fiction set in countries outside America. The novel would be perfect for readers of all ages. Becoming could would be great for young Pakistani or South Asian culture in general will learn a lot from this book as well. Fouad Azim’s novel shows how love can conquer hate, making Becoming an unforgettable novel which all readers will love.

http://www.pacificbookreview.com/becoming/

African-American university students offended by cotton

The president of Lipscomb University issued a public apology after an untold number of African American students were offended by a dinner table centerpiece made from stalks of cotton.

Yes, good readers – a group of college students was triggered by the fabric of our lives.

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Randy Lowry, president of the Christian university based in Nashville, had invited African-American students to his home for dinner last week.

One student who attended the gathering posted a diatribe on Instagram – along with a photo of the “offensive” centerpiece.

“We were very offended,” the student wrote. “My friend … asked why there was cotton on the table as the centerpiece. His response was that he didn’t know, he seen it before we did, he kind of thought it was ‘fallish’, THEN he said, “it ISNT INHERENTLY BAD IF WERE ALL WEARING IT.”

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Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary. His latest book is “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” Follow him on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/09/16/african-american-university-students-offended-by-cotton.html

Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices as Much as 43% on First Day

Amazon.com Inc. spent its first day as the owner of a brick-and-mortar grocery chain cutting prices at Whole Foods Market as much as 43 percent.

In a sign of how the retailer is changing, the Amazon Echo, a voice-activated electronic assistant, was also for sale, for $99.99 – a sharp pivot into electronics for a company known for kale and quinoa. The Echo Dot, a smaller version, was advertised for $44.99.

The tech giant’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods has sent shock waves through the already changing $800 billion supermarket industry. The wedding between Amazon and the upscale grocery promises to upend the way customers shop for groceries. Cutting prices at the chain with such an entrenched reputation for high cost that its nickname is Whole Paycheck is a sign that Amazon is serious about taking on competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp.

How Amazon’s Price Cuts May Not Solve Whole Foods’ Problems: Gadfly

At the store on East 57th Street in Manhattan, organic fuji apples were marked down to $1.99 a pound from $3.49 a pound; organic avocados went to $1.99 each from $2.79; organic rotisserie chicken fell to $9.99 each from $13.99, and the price of some bananas was slashed to 49 cents per pound from 79 cents. The marked-down items had orange signs reading “Whole Foods + Amazon.” The signs listed the old price, the new price and “More to come.”

Discounts were comparable at other Whole Foods stores in San Francisco and Seattle. Amazon declined to comment.

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In the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, Catherine Oshiro, a 33-year-old product designer, said lower prices may make her change her shopping routine.

“I usually buy my staples like toilet paper and paper towels at Target and Safeway,” Oshiro said. “If I see the lower prices at Whole Foods, I would start buying those basics here.”

Katie Bennett, 24, was one of many customers who said she hoped Amazon would offer delivery of Whole Foods items. She picked out a rotisserie-cooked half chicken for lunch at the New York store.

“Last time I came in, I was thinking about getting the rotisserie chicken, but it was too expensive,” she said.

Organic Foods’ Premium Prices and Uncertain Benefits: QuickTake

Rivals Adjust

Some rivals have already reacted to the kickoff of what could become a new era of selling food in the U.S. 

Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, has already invested billions into lowering prices across the board over the past year or so, and has revamped the produce section at its U.S stores, improving sight lines, adding more fresh-cut fruits and even creating a sweeter bespoke cantaloupe. That, along with an aggressive rollout of curbside grocery order pickup, helped the company record its best food sales growth in five years in its most recent quarter.

Costco, meanwhile, has a full slate of organic items that are priced about 30 percent cheaper than the same products at Whole Foods, according to Sanford Bernstein. It’s able to price lower thanks to a business model that charges membership fees, focuses on selling a limited assortment of bulk-sized goods and features a treasure-hunt experience in the stores.

Maarten van Tartwijk, a spokesman for Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch retailer that owns the Stop & Shop chain in the U.S., said the company has invested heavily in its online operation. And Germany-based retailers Aldi Stores Ltd. and Lidl, touting lower prices, continue to expand in the U.S.

Investors React

“We have the human connection, assets, scale and expertise to win with customers and we are leveraging our deep expertise in data to provide value and build loyalty — so we can continue to serve customers anything, anytime and anywhere,” Kroger spokeswoman Kristal Howard said by email Friday.

After falling 37 percent this year on disappointing sales and investor concern over the Amazon-Whole Foods union, Kroger stayed essentially unchanged on Monday in New York.

Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., an upscale grocer that competes with Whole Foods and is cited by analysts as a possible consolidation target, decreased about 10 percent. Shares of Wal-Mart fell 0.8 percent and Target Corp. was down about 1 percent. Costco increased less than 1 percent. Amazon shares rose 0.08 percent.

“Goodbye, Whole Foods as we know it,” Karen Short, an analyst at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York, said in a note. “The conventional supermarket has not evolved much in decades. But Amazon will likely drive drastically different shopping behavior in grocery. The survival of the fittest has begun.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-28/amazon-cuts-prices-at-whole-foods-as-much-as-50-on-first-day

    10 Cats That Need You To Put The Book Down And Love Them

    • 1

      “Lovz Me!”

      Via: Imgur


    • 2

      “Whyz needz to read when you haz gotz meh?”

      Via: Imgur


    • 3

      “Mine”

      Via: Imgur


    • 4

      “Love meh, hooman! I iz right here!”

      Via: Imgur


    • 5

      “Don’t Turn That Page”

      Via: Imgur


    • 6

      “No More. You will not need this once we rule”

      Via: Imgur


    • 7

      “Yes, I’m the new bookmark, and I iz telling youz to stopz!”

      Via: Imgur


    • 8

      “Pwease don’t study no morez”

      Via: Imgur


    • 9

      “Excuse meh, Hooman, Youz forget meh!”

      Via: Imgur


    • 10

      “This Hooman, is would Iz Rulz”

      Via: Imgur

    Read more: http://cheezburger.com/3142661/10-cats-that-need-you-to-put-the-book-down-and-love-them