These Pakistani women artists are using social media to #LeadChange
Updated 13 March 2019
Sabah Bano Malik
ISLAMABAD: In the past few years, social media, particularly Instagram, has emerged as the social media platform of choice for many contemporary Pakistani women artists who use it to promote their art and create a space for a meaningful exchange of dialogue and ideas about women’s rights and issues. Here are some Pakistani women artists and designers to follow on Instagram for their creativity as much as their activism on and offline. SHEHZIL MALIK
Did you see the Aurat March posters plastered around Lahore? That was the genius of Shehzil Malik. In 2015, Malik drew a viral comic inspired by her experience as a woman in public spaces in Pakistan, which gained her a large following. Her graphic, high-color saturated pieces have since captured the public imagination. Malik has also launched a fashion line with a feminist bent and her drawing of Meesha Shafi was used as stage art atPepsi Battle of the Bands. SAMYA ARIF
Karachi-based Samya Arif’s list of clients and collaborators reads like a drool-inducing menu of the who’s who of the Pakistani music scene: Junoon, Mooroo and the Mekaal Hasan Band, that small unknown indie band by the name of Coldplay, as well as mega brands like Coke Studio, Al Jazeera and Magnum. Arif, who teaches part time at her alma mater the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture uses visual art and illustration to make eye catching designs such as the cover arts of novels ‘Hijabistan’ and ‘Goodbye Freddie Mercury,’ and to celebrate womanhood. MALIHA ABIDI
Maliha Abidi paints colorful and arresting portraits celebrating Pakistan’s women icons. Based in the UK, Abidi compiled her illustrations, such as those of the late Asma Jehangir, Noor Jehan, Nazia Hassan, Malala Yousafzai and Pakistan’s first female firefighter Shazia Parveen, into a book called ‘Pakistan for Women’ showcasing 50 Pakistanis who have contributed to the fabric of the nation. Abidi has also used her work to highlight women’s issues like dowry abuse, domestic violence and child marriage. AREEBA SIDDIQUE
Areeba Siddique’s drawings on her Instagram page have the most clever detailing: A cell phone lit up with texts from mom next to fingers applying the words “Follow me on Instagram” in henna on another person; inside the intricate pattern of the mehndi design is this sentence: “no more boys name in our henna. ONLY INSTAGRAM USER NAMES.’ With nearly 67,000 followers, Karachi’s Siddique shares not only her feminist artwork and illustrations depicting the delightfully mundane happenings in the lives of mostly hijab-clad women but also presents glimpses of her own personal style and design process. She most recently collaborated with a homeware line that put her artwork on mugs and dishes. FATIMA BAIG
The beauty of the body, of diversity and of spirituality are the main stays in the art created by Fatima Baig. A native of Rawalpindi, she creates power-packed, color-saturated images depicting strong women of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, skin tones and body sizes. There are recognizable shout outs in her work to regional dress, jewelry, people (including her portrait of Abida Parveen) and a playful approach to incorporating the cosmos and the connection between women and the spirit. MAHOOR JAMAL
Combining the worlds of illustration, design and photography Mahoor Jamal has become a person to watch in both the art and fashion worlds. With a unique approach to artistry Jamal has worked with fashion campaigns and editorials in both photography and text. Her work depicts women both realistic and fantastical, incorporating desi aesthetics like jewelry and clothing with breathtaking control. HAFSA KHAN
US-based Hafsa Khan has grown a strong following across social media for capturing the beauty of South Asian women, drawn in pop art. When talking about her work on her website Khan said, “I want you to notice the regality of the women.” Hands wearing mehndi and decked out in rings and bangles, nose rings and teekas, and traditional dresses skilfully reimagine the classic pop art graphics of yesteryear and merge them with South Asian aesthetics. The images of brown skinned women and their hands contrast against neon pops of colors, bold backgrounds and even at times designer logos leave a lasting impression.
Saudi Arabia, UAE condemn attack on religious seminary in Pakistan
Tuesday bombing in Peshawar killed at least eight students and injured more than 130 others
UN office says shares in Pakistan’s “shock and grief” over attack on place of prayer and learning
Updated 28 October 2020
Arab News Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has condemned Tuesday’s bombing in Pakistan on a religious seminary in which at least eight students were killed and more than 130 others injured.
The bombing happened as a prominent religious scholar was delivering a lecture about the teachings of Islam in the main hall of the Jamia Zubairia madrassa, police told media, adding that initial investigations suggested the bomb went off minutes after someone left a bag at the school.
“We condemn and denounce the terrorist attack that took place in a religious school,” the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad said in a Twitter post. “We reiterate our rejection of these criminal acts that are inconsistent with all religious principles and all moral and human values.”
#اسلام_آباد | نُدين ونستنكر الهجوم الإرهابي الذي وقع في مدرسة دينية بمدينة #بيشاور شمال غرب #باكستان، وأدى إلى سقوط عدد من القتلى والجرحى بينهم أطفال ونُجدد التأكيد على رفضنا لهذه الأعمال الإجرامية التي تتنافى مع المبادئ الدينية والقيم الأخلاقية والإنسانية كافة.
In a separate tweet, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Islamabad also condoled with Pakistan:
“Shocked to learn the tragic blast in Peshawar city this morning, sincere condolences and sympathies to our brothers in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, wishing speedy recovery for the wounded, security and stability for the brotherly Pakistani people.”
Shocked to learn the tragic blast in Peshawar city this morning, sincere condolences and sympathies to our brothers in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, wishing speedy recovery for the wounded, security and stability for the brotherly Pakistani people