KARACHI: After a long time I felt proud to be a Pakistani! Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar victory, after the one and only Nobel Prize that our nation once won, is a beacon of hope and pride for the thousands of unsung and unknown heroes who keep the lights of Pakistan burning and manage, occasionally, to keep us in the right headlines of the world’s media. I believe I speak for at least a significant number of Pakistanis in extending felicitations and gratitude to her and her team for this great recognition.
With the pride comes shame. The prize-winning documentary, Saving Face, is testament to the unchecked, accepted and almost-lauded, torture, disfigurement and mutilation of our women that is seemingly ingrained in our society. It is also testament to the goodness in some of our own people, in this case Dr Mohammed Jawad’s, the now British plastic surgeon, who have freely given of their time, efforts and skills to help make a difference in the lives of these miserable women.
As we drove our Nobel Prize winner away will we also relegate Sharmeen’s film to the celluloid trashcan? I sincerely hope not.
Dr Mervyn Hosein
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.