5 Pakistani women we envy

Published: August 14, 2012
Here are five women who inspire us to try harder, better and never give up on our dreams. PHOTO: FILE

Here are five women who inspire us to try harder, better and never give up on our dreams. PHOTO: FILE

Almost every straight girl harbours a girl crush every now and then. Before you launch into your “Haye Allah, how un-Islamic!” diatribe, let me explain that we’re not talking about a crush per se.

The girl crush describes how the image of a particular female incites a toxic combination of insane jealousy for their talents, terrible envy for their looks and an infinite amount of admiration for their life.

And of course, we crush from a distance and if we were ever face-to-face with her — we’d never be able to tell her how cool we really think she is —because that would totally uncool, right?

Here are five women who inspire us to try harder, better and never give up on our dreams.

1- Mahira Khan — Actor

No one really needs an introduction to Mahira Khan — she brought Khirad to life in “Humsafar”, dropped jaws on the runway in that gorgeous Feeha Jamshed red coat and made us all believe in the power of Nestle Nesvita.

With her looks, we assume that she’s the kind of girl who never, ever had to try or work hard in her life. And yet she does, according to our sources. Even when she played the plain Khirad, in a simple shalwar kameez, duppata perched on her head and no makeup, she looked stunning.

2- Sharmeen-Obaid Chinoy — Film-maker

So we admit, we had no idea who she was and what she did before Saving Face…but ever since then, we can’t help but hate her life. She hobnobbed with A-list actors at the Oscars, has multinational brands backing her projects and is actually making a positive difference in this world.

She’s a woman, working for the betterment of women. She brought forward a subject that had long been buried and forgotten by our masses yet its victims continued to pile up in numbers. How many of us Pakistani working women can claim that?

3- Frieha Altaf  — Event Manager

You know a woman is going to be interesting, when enough people hate her already. And that’s the deal with ex-model and CEO of one of the most popular event management companies, Frieha Altaf. She’s a one-woman fashion force, often called unapologetically rude and cutthroat by some of her peers, but still, even they’d all agree that she’s one woman who knows how to get the job done — and done well.

You can see her swinging her perfect long hair at every fashion-related event, barking orders at her team, and charming audiences with her dimpled smile. The fact that she singlehandedly handles her business and kids is inspiring enough for us to want to be her.

4- Nadia Ali —  Singer

One look at the thirty-one-year-old Nadia Ali and you’d think she’s one of those exotic international models whose ethnicity is hard to place. But she’s a singer, who was brought up in Queens, New York and gained attention as the frontwoman of the band iiO, after their 2001 hit “Rapture” reached No 2 on the UK Singles Chart. She was discovered at 17 at an office Christmas party.

Her music videos have her showing off her killer fashion sense, her toned body and a sultry face that could get men to fall in prostration.

5- Hina Rabbani Khar — Politician

No matter where she goes, what she wears, and what she says, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar always gets everyone’s attention. Not only is she the first female to head the Ministry of Foreign affairs, she’s also the youngest. We love her signature style Jackie O glasses, monotone shalwar kameezes, and of course, her Hermes bags.

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, August 12th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (95)

  • Super Star
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:29AM

    ET you forgot the great Madam Veena Malik !


  • IM the Dim.
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:40AM

    envy? i want to get them.


  • ayesha azeem
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:19AM

    I have great respect for Sharmeen Obiad & Mahira…Both are my inspirations…Love them :)


  • Tooka
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:53AM

    incomplete without Veena Malik


  • Shining Star
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:56AM

    oh really ?? @ayesha azeemRecommend

  • Med school student
    Aug 14, 2012 - 2:49PM

    There are thousand other women to envy !
    And my inspiration are
    hazrat khadija,
    Fatima ,
    The ladies of paradise ,may Allah make me enter the jannah with them!!


  • Tony Singh
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:06PM

    Where is Maya Khan?


  • Dilawer Ali
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:10PM

    Saba, who is we? Or is it you?:)


  • Farhan
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:32PM

    All praise for Mahira and Sharmeen. Why? because these two carved their way themselves. Hina is good too, but she is filthy rich from the first day. I dont know much about the other two, excuse me for this. God bless.


  • mkz
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:48PM

    @Med school student:

    It said “PAKISTANI” women. Please at least read the headline of the article before commenting.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:13PM

    @Med school student:
    I have an innocent question. What do these ladies of paradise do in jannah?


  • Farrukh Zain
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:16PM

    @Med school student:
    I strongly believe stupidity and irrational religious fundamentalism does not have any boundaries. It can and does affect any and all feeble minded self proclaimed religious morons. The title of this article is “5 PAKISTANI WOMEN WE ENVY”. Where do all the names of these great women come from?? Are they Pakistanis? You will not enter heaven by envying them but would by practicing what they preached and how they lived their lives. You know religion does not necessarily be dragged into every discussion. You do not become a stouter Muslim by doing that!!


  • Huzaifa
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:20PM

    I appreciate their efforts but to be successful and being envied i would like to see their martial life. If they are divorces then as per social standards they are not successful as in one and most important aspect of their life they are lacking, isn’t it????


  • King Kong
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:45PM

    Film star Reema should have been on this list. Over the years she has wowed us with her charm, grace, and behavior and continues to do so. What’s Pakistani about Nadia Ali, except for her parents? Although, I’m a fan of Nadia Ali, I don’t think she represents Pakistani women in any way, form, or shape.


  • saadya
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:49PM

    i love hina rabani her style sense z awsome


  • saadya
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:51PM

    hina rabani looks gracefull yet fashionable and never let her dupata slip off her head that s why i like her so much


  • Sanity
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:51PM

    LOL Why are they all so attractive? What about the unattractive ones?


  • JUNI
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:52PM

    i cant understand why i should be proud of hina rabani khar ………….

    she is a land lord ….. she doesnot give her tax … i cant be proud of her

    maira khan is a new actress …. she is a ok actress but nothing to be proud of

    shirmen obaid got a oscar… so she is something to cheer for

    nadia ali???

    friha altaf what did she do extra ordinariry

    the writer should see pakistan full of inspirations

    eidhi wellfare programme

    imran khans skmh …. these are the things that make me proud of pakistan


  • Saad Durrani
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:22PM

    It is a shame that Pakistan never gave Nadia a chance to perform live here. We got Akcent, we got Edward Maya but no Nadia or any other DJs who have a link to Pakistan.


  • Aug 14, 2012 - 5:24PM

    Mukhtara Mai hello?


  • Hirra
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:33PM

    How about women who actually did something good for society? I don’t see anyone on the list besides Sharmeen Obaid. How about Bilquis Edhi? I envy her for being so kind hearted / selfless and living very simply inspite of having money, because i wish i could have that in my life. Envying someone because they happen to have a Birkin or because they’re pretty is just plain shallow.Recommend

  • Rheb
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:33PM

    Nadia Khan Pakistani??? She was born in Libya brought in USA, how come she is a Pakistani, oh please do not try to link success to Pakistan even when it does not belong to the country


  • Awans
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:40PM

    Nadia Ali is not a Pakistani anymore. She dont want to be associate then why you want some connection with her. We try to defame any women in media and paint them as devils and when they got famous we say look they are Pakistanis. We are master exploiters and are masters to get fame on behalf of someone else’s shoulders and that is what is going on here. Nadia Ali is American and she was not even born in Pakistan and she repeatedly told that she is Proud American so stop taking some credit on someone’s else success.Recommend

  • Xceed
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:53PM

    HahahahahahHaha except Hina Rabani never heard otherwise names, who they are???Recommend

  • Fan
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:05PM

    Iman Ali ?


  • Karachi
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:10PM

    @Med school student:
    Don’t mix religion with patriotism, we are not Saudis and there could be role-models outside religion too. Depends on what aspect of life you are looking at, come out of your religious obsession.


  • zafar
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:18PM

    title should have been 5 pakistani woman we shouldnt envy of them


  • Complex
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:33PM

    as always ET will never talk about any woman who has done a lot wearing a Hijab. Recommend

  • FDR
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:43PM

    So just off the top of my head, Bilqis Edhi and Nargis Altaf don’t even make an entrance?

    I’ll let you TV shocked boys and girls go Google those names first.


  • Karachi
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:53PM

    Nadia Ali, a Pakistani? excuse me, my parents were born in India but they aren’t Indians!!! And Nadia wasn’t even born in Pakistan!! Just because someone’s parents are from a certain country, that alone does NOT make them native to that country!!! She has never lived..visited Pakistan ans she is a Pakistani??!!! She is an American and that is it. Has she even acknowledged any link with Pakistan other then that her parents are from Pakistan and they migrated a long time ago!!?? then why do we by ourselves want to claim she is Pakistani??? I am sure we can find thousands of other women to be our role model then her.


  • girl
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:59PM

    the writer has confused girl crush with women she admires.
    a few women i admire are

    bilqees edhi?
    mussarat ahmadzeb?
    sultana siddiqi?

    girl crush is – if i were to be with a girl o would be be with:
    iman ali
    hira tareen etc


  • Samina
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Just because you and a bunch of people envy them does not mean we envy them. Recommend

  • sam
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:20PM

    are you trying to feed us your personal opinion??


  • Len Aziz
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:24PM

    5 Pakistani Wo-men, who has contributed nothing to improve the life of the ordinary people (Majority) of Pakistan!!!!!, especially Hina Rabbani Khar, she is appalled and she is amassed, how but more importantly why she got this Job, was it due to her bran or brain?

    If you know batter, then please give 3 examples with evidence?


  • Dilbar Jahan
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:25PM

    Veena Malik should top the list. How can ET–or for that matter anybody–can ignore her?


  • buraq
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:34PM

    What a childish article.


  • buraq
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:37PM

    please dont use ‘we envy’ in your title.You might envy them, good for you.Dont speak on behalf of us.


  • Complex
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Just because pseudo liberals ency them and they are forcing on all of us to take them as role models..


  • Fahad Zia
    Aug 14, 2012 - 8:45PM

    who is nadia ali???Recommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Aug 14, 2012 - 8:56PM

    My vote will be for Asma Jahangir, Marvi Sarmed and Veena Malik. They are the ladies of some substance and have the real guts.


  • Faiza
    Aug 14, 2012 - 9:41PM

    The article depicts shallow or may be immature thinking:) but don’t mind please as you wrote what you thought and I am sure you will learn as you get more experience in life- your priorities to ENVOY will change. Good try though!


  • Nadia T
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:02PM

    Please remove Nadia Ali from your list, that’s a huge mistake you made. Her parents were from Pakistan and that’s the only connection she has with Pakistan.


  • gt
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:46PM

    Asma Jahangir, Marvi Sirmed, Ayesha Siddiqua, Faiza Mirza (Dawn), Ms. Lone (Dawn)., Zubeida Tariq.


  • Hafsa
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:19PM

    Frieha and Mahira? Seriously??! And Nadia Ali? Shes not even a pakistani! Lives in NYC and just has pakistani parents. At least a little research would have been better before writing this piece.


  • Sherghazi
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:25PM

    Nadia Ali, One and only amazing and unique looks with attractive smile with a bunch of support by eagle type eye balls, marvelous. Hats off for her Mother and Thanks to Al-Might Allah for a creation of such a beautiful gift for earth.


  • M_ALI
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:37PM

    Whose Nadia Ali???? And do men really know Mahira Khan???


  • Goran
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:05AM

    Yes they have all achieved success in their respective careers. How about also inspiring women like scientists, lawyers, social workers, e.g. first Phd in Astrophysics Mariam Sultana, lawyers, human-rights activists Asma Jahangir & Hina Jilani.


  • Nusrat Haleema
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:18AM

    I can see Pakistani men foaming at the mouth as Pakistani women are taking the initiative to boldly go to the next boundary. Pakistani men miss the typical stereotype of women they were promised by their culture that would be submissive but always play a second role. Instead women are screaming…..”I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR” they are advancing in academia, social-media, politics, arts and Pakistani men are left in the dust screaming by trying to downplay their achievements and making light of their physical appearances.
    So the message is clear men help us woman achieve our dreams or get OUT OF THE WAY!


  • Ulrike from Germany
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:31AM

    What an amazing selection of admirable women! I miss two women who really give a good name to Pakistan n the international community for their courage and cleverness: Sherry Rehman and Asma Jehangir. These two women you Pakistani can really be proud of!


  • Anum
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:38AM

    Aafia Siddique is a woman I admire! And it’s not for the looks or glamour which you think a woman envies another woman. For me, its the sheer patience and belief in Almighty that inspires me. Despite unspeakable tortures for so many years, she only had a message of peace for all after being sentenced for 84 years in prison. May Allah ease your sorrows soon, Aafia.


  • Farrukh
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:59AM

    I dont think that Nadia Ali would have ever visited Pakistan in her life. why are you considering him a Pakistani?


  • psychedelic
    Aug 15, 2012 - 1:35AM

    Frieha Altaf??

    That reminds me of the local “nai wala” who also has “CEO” on his business card.


  • 1984
    Aug 15, 2012 - 2:07AM

    @Med school student:
    The ladies of paradise ,may Allah make me enter the jannah with them!

    Honestly,I dont know if you’re a troll…Because this verse reeks of double meaning which is close to blasphemy….(If you know what i mean)


  • Aug 15, 2012 - 2:51AM

    For once Benazir is off the list


  • Ahmed Khan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 4:47AM

    ET it is time for you to select the new analyzer.The dumpiest list i have ever seen.


  • Bilal
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:03AM

    It seems like most people just read the title and the list, no one went through what the writer – Saba Khalid, is talking about. Come on guys, give her a break, it’s a good piece to read. On the other hand, haters will always hate :) HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY.


  • Sunny
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:13AM

    Hanna Rabbani khar is best !! the analyzer missed some names i.e Reema, Fatima Bhutto ( Liberal & Secular face of Pakistan )


  • Ishaq Khan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:51AM

    Thank God Reema is not here.


  • Shaista
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:55AM

    come guys take it easy – its jsut writer’s own choice to flatter her peers and acquintneces !


  • Ali
    Aug 15, 2012 - 9:11AM

    Med School Student:

    Correction, Ayesha RA is not among the The Grand Ladies of the Janah; its only the four and the leader being Hazrat Fatima Tuz Zehra a.s

    Overall, a pathetic attempt to further misguide the masses and choosing for them heroes/heroins which will lead them no where. By following such role models, set by the main stream, you guys further push down the masses into an abyss of confusion and inferiority. Open your eyes, these ladies are dangling in between the west and the east yet remotely being middle eastern.

    Exactly these are the likes of Veena Malik or Nargis.

    I wonder why you never mentioned the wife of Edhi, Fatima Jinnah, or even Khanum Tayyiba.. perhaps they are not cool enough..

    High time to correct your preferences!


  • Nasamajh
    Aug 15, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Ummm for me the list of Pakistani women that I envy goes like this:

    BIlques Edhi
    Namira Salim
    Zahida Kazmi ( the female Taxi Driver)
    Parveen Saeed (the owner of Khanna Ghar)
    Naseem Hameed
    Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy ( yes we can include her for she has done something really constructive on her own to bring a soft image to Pakistan)
    Kishwar Naheed

    and you can add hundreds and thousands of names in the list..


  • SJ
    Aug 15, 2012 - 9:34AM

    My Top 5
    Bilqees Edhi
    Mai Mukhtaran
    Abida Parveen
    Sharmeen Obaid
    Asma Jahangir


  • A
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:26AM

    I wish someone come forward to cover 5 Pakistani men we envy also.


  • Funny guy10
    Aug 15, 2012 - 11:00AM

    I think most of the readers missed the point —— this article is written in lighter vein, Take it easy guy/gal, lighten up ! we don’t have to be serious all the time.


  • ChitraliYouth
    Aug 15, 2012 - 11:01AM

    Only two things are common in all these woman. a) all are hot and attractive and b) none of them has any achivement to envy (except Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy).

    So if you envy them, either you are not straight or you need to grow up. If you want to envy Pakistani Woman, then Envy Malalai Yousufzai of Swat, A woman of Dir who has been educating the girls of her region in the wake of terror and taliban.


  • Zain Bhatti
    Aug 15, 2012 - 11:28AM

    Nadia Ali is not Pakistani and does not consider her self to be one… How can you do that for her? Could find one woman from sooo many who have accomplished sooo much!!!


  • DevilHunterX
    Aug 15, 2012 - 2:14PM

    Hina Rabbani Khar? LOL!


  • Hegel
    Aug 15, 2012 - 2:32PM

    I was here only for the comments its fun to read and to see them all fighting


  • Jag Nathan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 5:44PM

    I am a fan of Hina Rabbani. She is one of the best Foreign Ministers I have ever seen. The challenges she faces are tremendous and cannot be mitigated by her wealth or beauty. She is smart, intelligent, very well spoken and unlike the previous FM, she does not run her mouth. She has won the hearts and minds of many Indians and I have a feeling the Indian cabinet trusts her. Her stint as the FM has gone a long way in helping reduce tensions between our countries and if she stays on long enough, things may be very different for all of us in future.Recommend

  • maryam
    Aug 15, 2012 - 7:17PM

    @King Kong:
    cant agree more!


  • Faizan Afzal
    Aug 15, 2012 - 7:34PM

    Well i am jealous of MAHIRA KHAN’s HUSBAND (Ali Askari)


  • zahid
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:13PM

    Nadia Ali & Hina Rabbani Khar Admire me most. I am true fan of nadia ali songs. GOD bless her. Ameen


  • Salma
    Aug 15, 2012 - 9:23PM

    is this blogger OK?


  • Giri
    Aug 15, 2012 - 11:55PM

    Is that a separate group of 72?


  • Louman
    Aug 16, 2012 - 12:56AM

    “eidhi wellfare programme” and “imran khans skmh” surely does not qualify to be PAKISTANI WOMEN from any aspect.


  • Louman
    Aug 16, 2012 - 12:59AM

    ‘eidhi wellfare programme’ & ‘imran khans skmh’ surely doesn’t qualify to be PAKISTANI WOMEN from any aspect.


  • dr j tipu
    Aug 16, 2012 - 1:44AM

    wrong choices!!! as a guy, id go for women with substance, not the likes of Our Fm who has just got the office for the wrong reasons, Mahnoor Baloch all the way!


  • awk
    Aug 16, 2012 - 2:02PM

    Where are the following PAKISTANI women we should really ENVY

    BI Amma
    Mohatarma Fatima Jinnah
    Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto
    Little Sis Arfa Kareem Randhwa
    Aafia Siddiqui
    Bilquise Edhi

  • TED
    Aug 16, 2012 - 2:40PM

    I think these are the women who only writer envy or want to become like. None of these ladies have done anything extra ordinary with the exception of Ms Sharmeen.


  • Zaheer Waheed
    Aug 16, 2012 - 4:18PM

    Would have love to see the names and praises to

    Fatima Jinnah
    Rana Liquat Ali Khan
    Parveen Shakir
    Khusbakht Shujat
    Banu Qudsia
    Naseem Hameed
    Bilquis Edhi
    Zubaida Jalal
    Roshaneh Zafar, who left World Bank and setted up Kash Foundation
    Aafia Siddique
    Abida Parveen
    Noor Jehan
    Shamshaad Akhtar… now runnign MENA operation
    Tina Sani
    Veen Malik / Meera / Reema

  • faizan
    Aug 16, 2012 - 5:20PM

    @Super Star:
    @Med school student:
    lol veena malik


  • Mard-e-Haq
    Aug 16, 2012 - 7:13PM

    What about Jemima Khan?


  • rizwan saleemi
    Aug 17, 2012 - 12:16PM

    @Med school student:
    why dont u go back to 7th century then ??..


  • Khari baat
    Aug 18, 2012 - 1:05AM

    Fatima Jinnah, Ra’naa Liaqat Ali khan (of the partition period), Benazir Bhutto , Fehmida Mirza, Bilquis Edhi, Arfa kareem (not a woman but a strong example of feminism still), Mukhtaraan Maai, Kamila Shamsie, and last but not the least all the hardworking middle and lower-middle class women are the pride of Pakistan Saba ji. If you eny them,OK coz it’s your choice. But madam these women you mentioned don’t even come close to the above mentioned (and these names i only remember at the top of my head), as there contributions elevate the stature of our society day-in, day-out. These are our real heroines and our pride; our Pakistani heroines.


  • Khari baat
    Aug 18, 2012 - 1:13AM

    @Zaheer Waheed:
    Yar it’s a very good list, kindly replace Veena/Reema/Meera with BB, Fahmida Mirza, Kamila Shamsie, Arfa Kareem, Naseem hameed.


    Aug 18, 2012 - 1:11PM

    @Med school student:

    SUBHANALLAH ! dil khush kr dia . . . real rightly guided women !


  • Marium
    Aug 18, 2012 - 10:41PM

    Apart from Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, no, I do not envy any of these women. They stand for glamour and glitz and have nothing else to show. Which one of these women has an inspiring story to tell to motivate the youngest generation? How utterly ridiculous of ET to run this piece. I’m glad Bina Shah wrote what she did in response to this piece, too bad people didn’t understand the sarcasm. Please, write about motivation. write about how strong and wonderful women are around Pakistan, about their commitment, about their struggles…Why must we only look at the glamour that these ladies bring to the table? Recommend

  • ZaheerMir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:29AM

    What a waist of time.you


  • Knotty
    Aug 26, 2012 - 7:43PM

    Where is Sherry Rehman??


  • Rehan
    Aug 28, 2012 - 2:32AM

    shermeen chinoy should not only be the envy of women but envy of everyoneRecommend

  • The Truth
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:00AM

    @Karachi… if he likes them , let him like. You can’t put restrictions on someone thinking. Biased comments.


  • zafar
    Sep 2, 2012 - 6:25AM

    Well you can get impressed with their fashion sense, etc; but I wonder do they really are a source of inspiration for us? And why women be feeling envious from these ladies?


  • Alia
    Sep 24, 2012 - 2:13PM

    What about these outstanding women?

    Hina Tahir
    Maria Toor Pakay
    Farhat Hashmi
    Ruth Pfau
    Carla Khan
    Bapsi Sidhwa
    Bushra Aitizaz
    Kulsoom Nawaz
    Roshaneh Zafar

    and many many more….


  • Rani
    Sep 26, 2012 - 4:52PM

    LOL. Watch her interview in which she said that she is representing Pakistan, and said that all of us are not into politics. I was not born in Pak but my parents are Pakistani and that’s enough to make me Pakistani.


  • Raheel
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:24AM

    This is really a very false claim. There is a women from Pakistan named Tayyaba Zafar who had done her PhD in extragalactic astrophysics from Copenhagen in 2011. One must correct facts.


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