Karachi High School: Founding principal Parveen Kassim passes away at 66

Published: June 9, 2012
Mrs Parveen Kassim. PHOTO: FILE

Mrs Parveen Kassim. PHOTO: FILE


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.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Jun 9, 2012 - 9:33AM



  • Aaliya Bondrey
    Jun 9, 2012 - 10:24AM

    I love you Mrs. Kassim. You have taught me so much in life. May Allah rest your soul in peace and give you a place in jannat.


  • rabia garib
    Jun 9, 2012 - 10:50AM

    “Incredible” also falls short of describing Mrs. Kassim’s strength and resilience. A one-track mind to ‘live life and share every bit with hundreds of thousands of children”, was always sure to give her illness and worries a backseat. We may tire of running around during the school day or during the ISEO Olympiads, but she never did. Always a spark in her eye and a smile that could ignite a hall, Mrs. Kassim kept us going.

    Her school was her life; the ISEO was her heart. Mrs. Kassim was always making those around her, laugh and learn. Respect, dignity, honesty, discipline – she was all of this and more.

    They say that Allah takes back those He loves the most. May He keep her close to Him, in His protection and keep her safely. While I am so heart broken at the loss, I know she is no longer in pain. I also pray that Allah give us the strength to continue her vision and legacy. As she always said, “Beta, there is much work to do.”

    Thank you for all your love, Mrs. Kassim. You will live on forever in the hearts of all the children you loved and cared for so dearly. I love you and miss you.


  • Hyder Ali Khan
    Jun 9, 2012 - 11:10AM

    I am saddened to hear of Mrs. Kassim”s passing. 12 years ago I took part in the first ISEO in 2000 as a member of St. Patrick’s High School”s Debate Team with Ali Iftikhar. The scale of it and the number of topics/activities contested was unheard in Karachi, probably even in Pakistan. I participated in the ISEO in 2001 as well as a member of Lyceum’s debate team. I am told it continued to improve and grow in prestige with every passing year.

    A truly great lady with many amazing contributions. My concoldences are with her family.


  • R. Khan
    Jun 9, 2012 - 12:29PM

    RIP! May many follow her foot steps.Recommend

  • Jun 9, 2012 - 12:30PM

    I am very sad. She was really a brave woman. I learned a lot from her and served her school for two years. Still remember her energetic attitude.


  • Danish Hanif
    Jun 9, 2012 - 4:29PM

    A great lady, a great leader.. She fought almost everyone for her students, no one can take her place.. We salute you Mrs. Kassim.. We cherish the time we spent with you and you will be remembered always, we heartily thank you for making us what we are today and we pray to Allah for having mercy on you and grants you to Heaven..
    She treated all her students as her own children, we would truly miss you maam… The word school for any karachi high student meant ” Mrs Kassim “.

    Rest in Peace Maam…


    Danish Hanif
    Karachi High School (batch 2000)


  • Raees Altaf
    Jun 9, 2012 - 9:52PM

    A woman that fought for all the students and a principal who use to know every student by name and by face. I salute for the contribution to all of us and salute you from deep of my heart. You are the legend i met and you are the best guardian i found. May Allah forgives you and keep you with His blessings.


  • Rabil Altaf
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Yew wil always will remembered Mrs Kassim…. v ol love Yew,u were a legendary lady ,who truly taught us wht education is,i feel proud to b brought up by a lady like u !! thanks 4 being a part of my life :)May Allah have mercy on you Maam and grants your soul to Heaven… You’ll always be missed…. Rest in Peace :'((( …. !!!


  • Maryam faisal
    Jun 10, 2012 - 1:10AM

    Mrs kassim was a great lady I always respected her n will always do may her soul rest in peace :(


  • Hunain Edhi
    Jun 10, 2012 - 12:56PM

    legends die and new legends are born….. but no one can replace a great legend like her….. may her soul R.I.P…. luv u mam……


  • -
    Jun 10, 2012 - 11:45PM

    i miss you so much :( people like you always live our hearts…you are one of the strongest person i knew… you are a legend for all of your students… i feel so proud to be graduated from your school.. love you a lot…


  • Imad Razzak
    Jun 11, 2012 - 3:35AM

    She was a great lady i use to meet her when i go karachi and she use to give me lot of prayers thanks to Allah that i spoke to her 1 month before … We all will miss you maam . My deeply condolence to all her family members …


  • mubeen
    Jun 11, 2012 - 10:58AM

    she was more then a principal to all the students of khs ,she loved us like sons,never feared anything.passed every diffuculty with ease she had the soul of a warrior despite her illness she always was there in the school dealing with everything she dedicated her whole life to the school and students no one can ever replace her she was the soul of khs .love you mam we all will miss you.you ll always be alive in our hearts


  • Zshan Ali
    Jun 11, 2012 - 12:25PM

    Mrs. Kassim, you will be deeply missed.


  • Syed Anwar
    Jun 11, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Mrs kassim was a great lady I always respected her n will always do may her soul rest in peace :(

    Syed Anwar Ul Haq Qadri

  • Hatim Akhter
    Jun 11, 2012 - 5:21PM



  • Faiza Ali
    Jun 11, 2012 - 5:48PM

    Courage dedication passion leadership and what not.
    Mrs Kassim you will be dearly missed.
    I am a student of batch 1993 from KHS. My school memories are engraved in my mind forever and that is all becuase of our principal Mrs Kassim. She was a dedicated and a passionate person who had the love for education as well as art. She was like a mother to me, she used to give me a big hug whenever I went to meet her. She made us children so confident, qualified and groomed with her teachings. A person with a unique personality,and a delightful smile.She made our school days so memorable that I used to hate college after finishing my school. There is so much in my heart to say, but I do not have words for my beautiful Mrs Kassim. I miss her dearly! I wish I could meet her one more time and give her a big hug.
    May Allah bless this lovely person with eternal peace and happiness. Ameen


  • Karim H
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:17PM

    We will always remember you in our thoughts and prayers….. we will for sure miss you…..


    Jun 12, 2012 - 4:22AM

    I Love you My mem (Mrs Qasim). You had thought me alot. With all you had teach me, today i can take every hard steps easily. I will never forget you and your love to me like my mother. God bless you.


  • Khurram Ali Shah
    Jun 12, 2012 - 4:45PM

    My name is Khurram Ali Shah batch 1994 K H School. When I think back of the person who has influenced my life in a more positive way, I can’t help thinking of you madam. Thank you for believing in me from you I’ve learned that courage, confidence & discipline.  May Allah bless you with a place in paradise and give your family and those close to you patience to get through this difficult time. Ameen


  • nadeem ahmed tunio
    Jun 12, 2012 - 10:34PM

    She was a noble lady whose services & contribution in the field of education will be remembered for the long time TO come . As a FATHER of my children studying at KHS , I think it not the loss of her children/family but ours too , May Allah rest her soul in eternal peace and give their family courage to bear this irreparable loss AAMIN.



  • zafar saeed
    Jun 15, 2012 - 12:21AM

    I am very sad. She was really a brave woman. I learned a lot from her and served her school for 10th years.Mrs kassim was a great lady I always respected her.She was really a brave woman.She was really a brave woman.I am very sad. I Love you My mother Mrs Qasim.A great lady,I will never forget you and your love to me like my mother. God bless you.Recommend

  • zunair zubair
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:09PM

    i have never seen principle like miss parveen kassim .she was vry brave women .. she thought us wat is ryte and wat in wrong… she thought us as her own daughter and son.. v love her alots… god bless you..!!!


  • khadija jawed 94
    Jun 18, 2012 - 10:43PM

    we will always miss u MAM….we r here just bcoz of u ……MAY ALLAH REST HER SOUL IN PEACE …AAMEEN.


  • Rahim Kassamali
    Jun 22, 2012 - 6:53PM

    May her soul rest in peace Ameen I owe her a lot since she played a pivotal role in my education


  • mariam yaseen
    Jun 25, 2012 - 6:07PM

    she was a great lady we will always miss her


  • mashal nadeem
    Jun 30, 2012 - 12:25AM

    we miss you ma’am :( :'(


  • mashal nadeem
    Jun 30, 2012 - 12:26AM

    miss you ma’am :'(


  • Murtaza Fazal Abbas
    Jun 30, 2012 - 12:55PM

    An examplary personality for every one to be proud of. May Allah grant her His eternal mercy.


  • Akshay Kumar
    Jul 2, 2012 - 5:16PM

    A great lady.A instructor,A great lady,She thought us wat is write and what in wrong


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