Burka Avenger set to go global

By AFP
Published: August 5, 2013
Email
Burka avenger. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Burka avenger. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan’s new cartoon superhero who fights bad guys disguised in a flowing black burka is set to go global, her creator told AFP, with plans afoot to broadcast the show in 60 countries.

The Urdu-language animation Burka Avenger, showing the adventures of a mild-mannered teacher who uses her superpowers to fight local gangsters trying to close down the girls’ school where she works, hit Pakistani TV screens last month.

The kids’ action-comedy struck a chord in a country where Taliban militants have prevented thousands of girls from going to school in the northwest and attacked activists campaigning for their education.

The man behind Burka Avenger, pop star Haroon Rashid, said he had been overwhelmed by the response.

“The reception has been absolutely phenomenal, beyond our expectations,” he said.

“We were making this little animated TV series for Pakistan but it seems like the whole world wants to know about the Burka Avenger.”

A TV distribution company in Europe has been in touch with a view to translating the show into 18 languages, including English and French, and screening it in 60 countries, Rashid said.

The issue of girls’ education in conservative, militant-plagued northwest Pakistan hit world headlines last October when Taliban gunmen shot teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.

Malala, who campaigns for the right of girls to go to school, survived the attack and last month delivered a powerful speech at the UN in New York.

Rashid said Malala was a “real life superhero” for her courage and said the attack on her had come as they prepared an early episode of Burka Avenger.

“We were all stunned because we were working on the exact same story about a little girl who stands up to the bad guy who tried to shut down her school,” he said.

“I had never heard of Malala before then — it was like life was imitating what was on our screen while we were developing.”

Nearly half of all children in Pakistan and almost three quarters of young girls are not enrolled in primary school, according to UN and government statistics published late last year.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (22)

  • san
    Aug 5, 2013 - 3:52PM

    Lal Mosque babes goes global. Amazing

    Recommend

  • Dr. Khalid
    Aug 5, 2013 - 4:16PM

    Congrats to the Burka Avengers team! Interestingly no one posted comment here. If it was something about Imran Khan, all his opponents and admirers would be at offense and defense with 10s of comments….. Khak taraqi hogi, khak achi tabdeli ayeigi.

    Recommend

  • Zahir Cheema
    Aug 5, 2013 - 4:53PM

    @san Why the trolls of our neighboring Country destroy every forum with their so called witty but cheap remarks.
    Also ET why you approve such comments. ?. Kindly make every forum a non troll forum where only Productive discussion will prevail rather than such comments that give you fidgets of insanity.Recommend

  • observer
    Aug 5, 2013 - 4:55PM

    **Burka Avenger set to go global**

    OK.

    And when she gets to Saudi Arabia,

    Is she going to protect the women from the Mutaween?

    or,

    Is she going to Join the Mutaween?Recommend

  • zainulabadin
    Aug 5, 2013 - 4:57PM

    Good job guys…we can find our fun within out limitations. +1 burqa avenger

    Recommend

  • shahid
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:00PM

    I think the animal in the picture is for EID celecration

    Recommend

  • Ahsen
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:02PM

    Well this could be so good that Children will have an option instead of Chota Bheem and Dora-the Explorer.

    Recommend

  • Falcon
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:07PM

    I looked at the trailer yesterday. Looks like a great piece of work, specially since it might be the first true social issue focused anime of Pakistan. As Huffington post put it recently, it is one of the unique, creative, and respectable attempts to promote education across the globe.

    Recommend

  • Ahsen
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:08PM

    Great !! children have new choice and very much there own among Dora-the Explorer & Chota Bheem.

    Recommend

  • Khurram Aziz
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:16PM

    Good going Burka Avenger … we are proud of u

    Recommend

  • ahsan baloch
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:27PM

    awsum..brilliant effort..

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:41PM

    Oh god see the picture…its a terrorist
    Now pakistanis child also directly involve in terror activities with their own interest.bad and sad.

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 5, 2013 - 5:47PM

    Nice step this…………it helps broaden the debate, showing it as something more than just ‘ wearing your religion on your sleeve ‘. Hopefully it would also help people who label themselves as liberals to do a bit of introspection.

    Recommend

  • Hajirah Naseer
    Aug 5, 2013 - 6:16PM

    Will kids want to watch this after all the availablity of western shows on the TV? Lets see.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 5, 2013 - 6:41PM

    First of all to compete in the world, it should be technically at par with other commercially successful movies. The hype it has created is dangerous for this movie, because more disappointment will follow after the release. It could end up like a TV serial “Little Mosque on the Prairie”, which very few people remember now. Secondly, world would be interested only if its main theme is to fight terrorists and their ideology. So far from commercials, its story shows burka lady’s fight against corrupt politicians and struggle to save schools. I could be wrong but there is no mention of Taliban who are destroying schools. Is this usual Media Hypocrisy to divert attention from real terrorists or Media has changed its direction is yet to see?

    Recommend

  • Asif Butt
    Aug 5, 2013 - 7:28PM

    I saw the first episode.

    Haroon took lot of time to publicize himself.

    And they had over done the philosophical dialogues assigned to the kids.

    It cud have been mush better had they worked more on character development and details.

    I hope some original directors/producers are triggered by this show to make their own quality alternatives.

    Recommend

  • Aug 5, 2013 - 7:40PM

    As a British Pakistani I’m immensely proud of Burka Avenger and of my ancestral homeland. The Burqa is not Islamic but is a cultural iimport from the Middle East . I don’t care how people dress but it is important not to confuse culture with religion. Like the majority of people of Pakistani origin, I am confident that Pakistan will move forward on all fronts. Burqa Evenger is a step in the right direction. I would like to remind our Indian brothers and sisters that a strong, progressive Pakistan is very much in their interest.

    Recommend

  • BP
    Aug 5, 2013 - 7:56PM

    got it! this is how country promoting terrorism.each and every child must consider above picture as a either ghost or terrorist. this will insist children about terrorism and encourage for the same.

    Recommend

  • kumar
    Aug 5, 2013 - 8:07PM

    cheap copy of the indian animation BHEEM

    Recommend

  • A. Khan
    Aug 5, 2013 - 8:25PM

    What’s all the hoohah about ? West has its own buka avenger aka Batman.

    Recommend

  • rk from ny
    Aug 6, 2013 - 2:52AM

    the cartoon character needs to first lose the burkha, symbol of oppression, before attempting to stand up for women’s rights..!!

    Recommend

  • Another Pakistani
    Aug 6, 2013 - 5:55AM

    @kumar //cheap copy of the indian animation BHEEM//
    copy? we are not talking about Bollywood here :S

    Recommend

More in Pakistan