Tae kwon do is the national sport of South Korea, and the world’s most popular martial art. It encompasses self-defence and combat techniques of different kicks, punches and blocks, and sometimes incorporates meditation. Traditional tae kwon do was established in the 1950s and 1960s in the South Korean military, but has since developed into another form known as ‘sport tae kwon do’, which is practised as an Olympic sport and overseen by the World Taekwondo Federation.
The Taliban is an Islamist militia group, which held power in Afghanistan between September 1996 and December 2001, when it was overthrown by Operation Enduring Freedom. Whilst in power, the Taliban enforced Sharia law and became infamous for their treatment of women, who were forced to wear the burqa, denied education and frequently faced public flogging or execution for even the smallest transgressions.
The Taliban is still active, operating as an insurgent group in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan, with a current estimated strength of around 36,000. They commit terrorist act against the people of Afghanistan; a United Nations report from 2009 held them responsible for 76% of the Afghan civilian casualties in that year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative body and internal intelligence agency of the United States. It operates within the United States and has attachés in US embassies worldwide. After 9/11 mistrust of Islam grew rapidly in the US, and there were rumours of raids on mosques and Muslim homes in search of suspicious persons – how much they are truthfully founded is indeterminate.
Underwood Samson’s motto, Focus on the fundamentals, essentially means focusing on the fundamentals of the capitalist system – money and business. It is suggested that Changez is not a ‘reluctant fundamentalist’ of the Islamist variety, but a ‘reluctant fundamentalist’ of the Underwood Samson sort – he finds it ultimately impossible to reconcile himself to focusing entirely on these capitalist fundamentals.
In the first three weeks of the war on Afghanistan, in October 2001, an estimated 3,000 bombs and missiles were dropped on the country. Civilian deaths caused by the war are unknown, but number amongst the thousands. The Guardian provides a detailed analysis of the bombing during these first three weeks of war.
Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film, directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whose film careers it helped to launch. The film is set in the post-apocalyptic world of 2029, where artificially intelligent machines are trying to exterminate the few remaining humans. Three sequels were made, the latest released in 2009.
The Shalimar Gardens is a Persian Garden dating back to 1642. Arranged in terraces, the garden holds 410 fountains and is inspired by various areas of Pakistan and Asia. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a popular tourist attraction in Lahore.
Also known as Shahi Qila, the Lahore fort is strategically placed along the ancient city walls, and acted as its defence. Built as far back as 800 AD, the fort was developed by every ruler since, and so displays a wide variety of astoundingly beautiful architecture and decoration. Along with the Shalimar Gardens, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.