Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy flies high with Ho Yaqeen

Published: May 5, 2012


The wonderfully theatrical and award-winning costume designer Cecil Beaton once said, “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against all the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” Fancy words aside, there are very few amongst us who actually dare to be different. Oscar winner Sharmeen-Obaid-Chinoy, known for taking on unique subjects with her documentaries, has been working on latest documentary series which captures her voyage to find and retell the stories of those lesser-known visionaries who are trying to bring a change in Pakistan.

The six-part documentary Ho Yaqeen, made by Obaid-Chinoy’s company SOC Films and in collaboration with Coca-Cola, will be shown across 16 TV channels in six months. Chinoy recently held an event to screen the first part of the film and announced details of her latest project.

What it’s about?

Talking about the details of the film, Obaid -Chinoy said, “The documentary series is about those people who fight against all odds and bring a positive change in society. It’s all about trying to make a difference in the lives of people despite facing various odds in life. Ho Yaqeen is about six lives. There are six documentaries about people belonging to six different cities of Pakistan — from Karachi to Muzaffarabad.”

With an Oscar win behind Obaid-Chinoy, anticipations and expectations for her latest venture ran high and this was most evident by a full house attendance by both local celebrities and the media. Photographer Kohi Marri, RJ Khalid Malik and fashion designer Safinaz Muneer were present to see the first part of the series.

Ho Yaqeen – Part 1

Ho Yaqeen’s first part captured a woman named Sabina Khatri, whose educational institute for residents of Karachi’s Lyari area called Kiran School, laid a foundation for education in the area. Within a span of five years, she had transformed 90 young lives. Khatri, who was present at the event, said, “Every child that I see on the streets of Lyari is practically like my own child. Pakistan has so much talent that if you turn a stone, you will find a diamond hidden in a rock — basically a child who is smart and intelligent, but lacks the support to turn hi or her life around. All we can do is to bring them in our hearts and homes and give them a chance.

Regarding her struggles, she said, “I really couldn’t have done this without the support of my children. And of course, my husband who has been my supportive, yet silent guardian angel.”


By the end of the screening, the entire ambiance had turned into one of positivity and patriotism. On her experience watching the film, President of Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT&ITES Jehan Ara said, “Sharmeen’s work excels in projecting a totally different side of Pakistan. A side that we should all celebrate and be proud of.”

Musician Zoe Viccaji, who also attended the event, said that there was never a dull moment throughout the documentary. “I was glued to it from start to end,” stated the musician.

Her look

Staying true to her tradition of supporting Pakistani female designers, Obaid-Chinoy stood in her green and white Sania Maskatiya outfit at the event. She accessorised it with a Pakistani flag-inspired bag by Maheen Hussain from the designer’s Independence Day collection.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • May 5, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Good luck miss Sharmeen!

    I admire you for reaching out to a broader audience and using your fame (and winning an oscar ;) ) for the greater good.


  • BLing Bling
    May 5, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Good work from her, really appreciate it and look forward to it.


  • Amer
    May 5, 2012 - 9:28PM

    keep up the good work Ms Chinoy….you really make us feel proud being a Pakistani


  • Hasan Awan
    May 5, 2012 - 9:49PM

    To be honest some people are over hyped. I have met tons of People in Pakistan with very impressive work but Our Pakistani media is silent on them as may be they are Paindus or somewhat else…..One of the examples is Master Ayub. He is giving education to children for more than 20 years and in 20 years no one cared about him.


  • May 5, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Master Ayub is helping Pakistan by doing what he does best. So is Sharmeen. There is no reason to draw comparison between the two. Why can’t you appreciate anything? At least Sharmeen is doing more for Pakistan than you. Be respectful.


  • Pungi
    May 5, 2012 - 10:51PM

    “Pakistan has so much talent that if you turn a stone, you will find a diamond hidden in a rock” Indeed very True..!


  • Hai Yaqeen
    May 5, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Dear Hasan Awan, there are many inspirational stories across Pakistan. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has simply picked six to showcase. Instead of whining like the average Pakistani try to appreciate her efforts. Or do something better than her. By the way Master Ayub is doing a fine job but is not necessarily the best example. Besides he was the subject of a Mobilink commercial, has been covered extensively in the press and gets good funding. The reason Sabina Khatri’s story is more interesting nit to mention topical is one) she’s achieved results in a short time, and b) she’s done it in Lyari. You know the place where gun battles rage every day. You have noticed it in the press recently.


  • Praja tantra
    May 6, 2012 - 12:34AM

    @Pungi: True lies. Arabisn takes story…


  • Ashutosh
    May 6, 2012 - 1:38AM

    One of the best thing to be done …Good Luck !!!


  • Lateef Khan
    May 6, 2012 - 6:05AM

    Our problem is that we haven’t been telling these stories and projecting only negative stories.
    While such stories encourage us to help those people or be a role model ourselves, negative stories are encouraging our young minds to go abraod!!!


  • sadaf
    May 6, 2012 - 11:59PM

    excellent work done by you all, especially “Sabina Khatri. (Saabi)”.


  • May 7, 2012 - 11:42PM

    Thanks to all….I was just lucky otherwise there is a humanitarian working silently at every corner of every street in karachi. Alhamdolillah


  • Minahil
    May 23, 2012 - 6:12AM

    Ms Sabina Khatri, you’re an inspiring individual. Thank you Ms. Sharmeen for beautifully capturing the story.


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