After showing resilience and perseverance in a 17-year-long battle with cancer, the principal of the Karachi High School, Mrs Parveen Kassim, passed away on Thursday night.
“She used to tell people with pride that she had been fighting the disease for the last 17 years,” said her daughter, Faiza Kassim. “My mother used to ask Allah to help her fight cancer and not let it become the cause of her demise,” she added. “Her prayers were accepted – she passed away because of neuropathy, not cancer.”
Mrs Kassim was born on April 8, 1946 in Delhi, India and was the only child of Major Aftab Hashmi Suhrawardy and Begum Zeba Hashmi. Despite dedicating an entire lifetime to her school, which she nurtured painstakingly and lovingly, she introduced the concept of ‘Olympiad’ to educational institutions in Pakistan. This provided a platform for schools across the world to interact for peace and harmony.
In acknowledgement of her services, Mrs Kassim had recently won the global educators award at the 7th annual United Nations conference on ‘Teaching peace and human rights in a multi-cultural world’. Earlier this year, she also had the honour of receiving an award ‘Beyond Borders’ in Kolkata, India in the presence of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. The award was an acknowledgement of her efforts in strengthening the ties between the two countries. She was also nominated this year for the ‘Woman of Substance’ award by St Joseph’s Convent, where she had received her early education.
“She exuded a warmth that could melt the iciest of hearts with an endearing smile and a charm that few could resist,” said her colleague, Aaliya Bondrey. “Passionate to a fault, undeterred by obstacles with boundless energy and determination fueling her every gesture, educationalist Parveen Kassim was born to lead.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.