Truly triumphant

Published: March 22, 2011
Samina Ahmed . PHOTO: FILE

Samina Ahmed . PHOTO: FILE

(L-R) Aleem Dar for sports (cricket), Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Gullu for art (music) and Goshpi Byram Avari for sports (sailing/yachting). PHOTO: FILE Samina Ahmed . PHOTO: FILE

Many people get awards for any number of achievements and triumphs, so what is it like when one of your parents gets a big award. Well, it feels great. That’s the short answer. For all the readers who have the time, here is the long answer. It is great to see someone’s effort and success acknowledged. Especially, if you have been a witness to the adverse conditions under which the success was achieved.

As a child, I remember my mother was always at work. Having become a parent myself, I know now how hard it can be to raise children and work full-time, and that too at a job that has no fixed hours. For me the award is not just for her professional achievements, but also her great success as a mother.

She was not the perfect mother, because really, that mother exists only in our school textbooks — the sooner we can get rid of that clichéd woman, the sooner we will be able to appreciate the hard work our mothers put in to raise us. As a real person my mother was always there as a friend and ally. There was no topic too big or too small, that could not be discussed with her. Despite the hours, I never felt that she was not there for me.

She was often late for picking us up from school, till we got a school van to pick and drop us, and then she was often not home for lunch. If she was too tired in the morning, then we did not have to go to school. The afternoons and evenings were spent at rehearsals at the Alhamra Art Centre or at recordings at the PTV. Naps were taken on set, homework done (or not) sitting backstage. It was an exciting and excellent childhood for me and my sister, but I am sure it was hard work for my mother.

As a professional, she has worked as an actor, a director and producer for the stage and television, but perhaps her most under rated triumph is the setting up of the Alhamra Puppet Theatre in Lahore. With officialdom agreeing only reluctantly to the idea of regular puppet shows for children at a permanent venue at the Alhamra, the puppet theatre has now been entertaining children for over 25 years. She was the moving spirit behind the idea, getting people like Shoaib Hashmi and Salman Shahid to write the puppet plays, getting her friends (who just happened to be famous actors) to lend their voices, training the puppeteers and then being there every Sunday, with us in tow, for many years to make sure it all happened.

In a country where so many people give up so easily and chose not to fight the good fight, she has stood up for her principles and taken a stand to try and preserve some sanity and order in this increasingly chaotic country. She is a role model for me for her optimism and energy and desire to improve the situation we find ourselves in. She was forefront in the PTV actors strike for better pay and working conditions in the late 90s and she is a founder member of the United Producers Association of Television with the mandate to improve the state of the television industry in this country.

She has succeeded in her chosen profession without compromising her principles and, as her son, I am proud that her accomplishment is being acknowledged by the state of Pakistan.

This article has been written by the winner’s son. Zain Ahmed


The Pride of Performance awards are announced annually on Independence Day (August 14) and distributed to  the recipients every year on Pakistan Day (March 23)

Name Field

Gulzar Ahmed Sheikh                  Engineering (Underground Mining)

Muhammad Khalid Zahid                           Engineering (Electrical)

Dr Muhammad Arshad                                 Nuclear Engineering

Amjad Pervez                                                             Laser (Optics)

Ishan Ullah Qazi                                                        Chemistry

Muhammad Aslam                                  Engineering (Mechanical)

Javaid Ahsan Bhatti                              Vacuum Science & Technology

Syed Tajammal Hussain                                         Nano Technology

Sumeera Ikram                                                           Chemistry

Muhammad Nzar                                                        Physics

Iqbal Javed Khan              Engineering (Experimental Aerodynamics)

Muhammad Ahmed                                 Electronics Engineering

Dr Mubashir Ahmed                                Metallurgical Engineering

Dr Shafqat Karim                                     Science (Physics)

Dr Shahzad Mahmood                             Science (Plasma Physics)

Muhammad Afzal Arain                              Science (Agriculture)

Prof Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan                  Chemistry

Dr Khalida Inayat Noor                                           Maths

Saleem Akram Ansari                              Nuclear Engineering

Tajdar Alam                                            Information Technology

Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz          Pharmacokinetics, bioavailability &

bioequivalence of Drugs

Suhail Akram (Suhail Ahmed)                      Art (Drama Acting)

Wazir Afzal                                                            Music

SH Qasim Jalali                                         Art (Drama Production)

S Amjad Bukhari                                                        Art (TV Producer)

Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Gullu                                   Art (Music)

Khan Tehsil                                                               Art (Folk Singing)

Ustad Sharafat Ali Khan (Late)                     Music (Classical Singing)

Samina Ahmed                                                          Art (Acting)

Ustad Muhammad Alam                                          Art (Blue Pottery)

Habib                                                                           Film & TV Artist

SB John                                                                      Art (Singing)

Abdul Rahim Nagori                                     Art (Painting)

Zafar Kazmi late                                             Art (Painting/Sculpture)

Manzoor Akhter (Dr Tehsin Firaqi)                     Literature

Ishfaq Hussain                                                          Literature

Ghani Parwaz                                                            Literature

Ahmad Saleem (Muhammad Saleem Khawaja)    Literature

Hashim Nadeem Khan                                            Literature

Saifur Rehman Saifi                                 Literature (Poetry)

Shamsul Mulk (Late)                               Literature (Journalism)

Anwar Saleem Ahmad (Late)                                   Literature

Khalid Ahmad                                                            Literature

Shahid Pervaiz Butt                                                    Sports (Wrestling)

Goshpi Byram Avari                                                   Sports (Sailing/Yacht)

Naseem Hameed                                                           Sports (Athletics)

Aleem Dar                                                                      Sports (Cricket)

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (3)

  • A R Khan
    Mar 23, 2011 - 2:25AM

    Hats off for Samina Ahmed. I spent my childhood watching her on TV and she’s still there giving her best efforts. She’s truly a role model.Recommend

  • Asad Baig
    Mar 23, 2011 - 9:36AM

    Outstanding Artist and Truly Deserves This Award.Recommend

  • joinzaheer
    Mar 23, 2011 - 12:40PM

    One of the best artist/producer/director in town.
    Thumbs Up..Recommend

More in Pakistan