#WomanCrushWednesday: All the women you need in your life

Join us in celebrating these incredible women who are crushing it in life and we're crushing on them


KARACHI: Join us in celebrating these incredible women and following their journeys on Instagram. This article originally went up on International Women’s Day but we will continue to update this list so keep a look out!

Presenting, in no particular order, our list:

71. Sheherzade Noor Peerzada: Social media sensation

Better known as ‘Baji Bombastic’, she is taking social media by storm through her hilarious videos targetting problematic opinions that Pakistani society may have about people. In an interview with Mangobaaz she claims that Baji’s character is  meant to “probe the audience to rethink how they see things, to rethink how we label and categorize people around us every day. Her progressive view on accepting oneself without any altering according to society is what we need to see more of in this day and age. We love her message to all Pakistanis to stop judging, to accept your own mother tongue and be proud of yourself regardless of what language you can speak and how you can speak it!

70. Namira Salim: Explorer

A  Pakistani explorer who is the first Pakistani ever to have reached South Pole in 2008 and the North Pole in 2017. She is also the first Asian to skydive over Mount Everest during First Everest Skydives 2008. It doesn’t stop there! She is also a founder of Founder of SpaceTrust which is a non-profit initiative that aims to promote Space as the New Frontier for Peace. Due to her adventurous and strong spirit she was also appointed by the Ministry of Tourism to serve as Honorary Ambassador of Tourism for Pakistan. Namira, the incredibly impressive woman that she is, is also the first and only Pakistani member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial space liner and proceeded to be short-listed to travel into space. The news of her being the first Pakistani to visit space became viral online last week and we couldn’t be more proud of her!

By Farhadally – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46858035

69: Biryani Brothers: Musicians

A Pakistani band comprising of the duo that is vocalist Natasha Noorani and guitarist Zahra Paracha. These women have revolutionized Pakistani music by exploring an alternative route with music. Their lyrics are relevant to the modern Pakistani woman and the harmony of their tracks mimics an 80’s vibe that we love. The visuals of their music video spark nostalgia as they recreate vintage PTV programming. These women are also the founders of Lahore Music Meet (LMM) that is a festival intended to teach, discuss and practice music. They really are showing us how retro music is done in the modern Pakistani music scene and we’re here for it!

Check out their hit debut song “Ikisvi Sadi” at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC95F06jkZI

68: Khalida Brohi: Entrepreneur, activist and author 

Khalida Brohi is a force to be reckoned with. She is the founder of Sughar Foundation, a non-profit that aims to empower tribal and rural women in Pakistan by providing them with opportunities to start and sustain businesses. The powerhouse has been named among Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and NewsWeek’s 25 under 25 Women of Impact, as well as several other national and international awards and recognition. She has also spoken at TEDGlobal, Davos, World Affairs Council and more. As if that wasn’t enough, Khalida has authored the book, ‘I Should Have Honour’, a memoir of her life and her journey for women’s rights in Pakistan. Crush is an understatement. We are in awe of the 29-year-old. More power to you, Khalida!

67. Dr Erum Sattar: Water and law policy expert 

Dr Erum Sattar is a Harvard Law School graduate. She is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Asia Quarterly, the journal of the Harvard Asia Center, and co-founded the Water Law Study Group at Harvard Law School. She has attended several conferences such as the recent “Code Blue Conference” in Habib University and “Pakistan’s Lifeline: Management and Regulations of Indus Water” event at IBA.  She actively speaks about the Water crisis in Pakistan and highlights issues relating to water rights and the distribution of water within the country. We are so proud of her extensive research into such a significant sector of change and applaud her efforts to deliberate solutions collectively, through her impressive academic achievements and by inspiring academic youths within Pakistan to study as well as to work on this issue.

66. Sara Saeed Khurram: Doctor-preneur 

Sara Saeed Khurram is CEO and Co-founder of Sehat Kahani, a telehealth startup that is focused on connecting female doctors (who gave up their careers due to marriage or having children) back into practicing their careers from home. These home-based doctors can hold video conference calls with patients that are unable to physically meet doctors. This initiative by Sara has achieved noticeable recognition; she has won an APTECH Young Entrepreneurs award and has also been featured in a BBC documentary. She is also the first woman in Pakistan to receive a Rolex Award. We are so proud of her for reviving female doctor’s careers through Sehat Kahani that also holds female empowerment training-wow!

Check out their Instagram page for more updates: https://www.instagram.com/sehatkahani/?hl=en

Source: UNICEF

65.Ismat Raza ShahJahan: Political/social activist

Ismat Raza ShahJahan is a Deputy General Secretary of the Awami Workers Party that was founded in November 2012. Through this party she aims to provide aid to the ignored societies in Pakistan by unifying their struggles. These include the struggles of workers, peasants, students, women and ethnic religious minorities. This year she launched her own feminist-socialist magazine by the name of “Narivaad” that details the importance of looking after the rights of women. We love her initiative to help support the minorities of Pakistan!

64. Azima Dhanjee: Business owner/social activist

Azima Dhanjee is bridging the communication gap for the deaf community in Pakistan. She started her own company called ConnectHear in 2017 which provides sign language interpretation services. She is one of the first members of the youth in Pakistan to take this step to connect the minority with the rest of society. Her motivation for this start-up was none other than her parents who were both deaf. She narrates her story: “Growing up, I saw my parents struggle with communicating with the outside world. I saw raw talent go unrecognized because of the barrier that is language.” We are so proud of her for acting as the voice for a sector of society that goes ignored and is providing them the opportunity to express themselves and have their concerns heard in times of need. Check out their website here: http://connecthear.org/.
They also offer sign language classes. Details on their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/connecthearofficial/

63. Iram Parveen Bilal: Filmmaker

Physics Olympian turned filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal is first female filmmaker of Pakistan to make it to Cannes. Her film Wakhri, based on a social media star in Pakistan, was selected at the 2019 Cannes L’Atelier and was part of the 2018 Locarno’s Open Doors Hub financing market. Raised in Nigeria and Pakistan, Iram has a long list of films to her name. For obvious reasons, she’s our woman crush this week but mostly for paving the way for women in the film industry in Pakistan! Check out her website here: https://www.iramparveenbilal.com

Le Livre des Projets de #LAtelier2019 | Chapitre 10WAKHRI, réalisé par Iram Parveen Bilal (Pakistan)« Wakhri est une muse virtuelle pour les foules en manque de sexe. »#Cinéfondation2019

Posted by Cinéfondation on Sunday, May 19, 2019

62. Naiha J. Eiman: Blogger/influencer

Naiha J. Eiman is your body-positivity, anti-shadism, brown-and-proud dream come true. She blogs on Instagram as ‘Rebellious Brownie’, and lives up to the name, quite honestly. She often puts up beautiful posts of her beautiful self, encouraging her followers to shun problematic beauty standards in our society such as our obsession with fair skin. She also has killer style and is always supporting other women who blog. Embrace your true selves people, because as Naiha puts it, fair isn’t the only kind of lovely.

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If there was one brand I could save the world from it would definitely be the brand that states being fair is the only kind of lovely. I am so sick of it, it’s not even funny anymore. What adds to the sickness is these so called educated and ‘woke’ celebrities endorsing this brand and similar brands to convey the message; if you’re fair you’re lovely and if you stand on any shade that is not ‘fair’ on the strip you have a problem and you need fixing. By endorsing these products you are literally polluting the minds of the younger lot and adding to their insecurities. You’re shattering their confidence by openly stating that ‘being fair = being lovely”. It must be lovely but that’s not the only kind of lovely that exists in the world. All shades of the spectrum are lovely. Stop focusing on one and belittling the others. I’ve grown up hearing insensitive jokes about being dark and these jokes came from sensible, well educated people. How will we progress as a nation if we don’t stand together and eliminate the wrong in our society? Why don’t we question people who choose to endorse a product that has literally caused girls, including myself, feel unworthy of love and unworthy of everything good that comes our way? Will this kaala, gora debate ever end? Will we ever be able to make it through the day without having someone tell us a totka (remedy) to get a lighter skin tone that would help us ‘adjust’ in the society and make us more rishta material?! #Darkisbeautiful #rebelliousbrownie #darkandlovely 🖤

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61. Kanwal Ahmed: Founder of Soul Sisters

In the span of a few years, Kanwal Ahmed has garnered a huge name for herself. Back in 2013, she started a Facebook group called Soul Sisters Pakistan wherein she encouraged women to share their problems as well as things that make them happy. She also offered anonymity to women who choose not to name themselves and provide them a safe space to present their concerns. Her efforts were proven fruitful when she was invited to the US by Facebook under the Facebook Community Program. They later gave her funds to initiate a program that would help her Facebook community. Kanwal then started a digital talk show called Conversations with Kanwal, highlighting the stories of some of the women from Soul Sisters Pakistan and helping those stories reach a wider audience and hopefully bring a positive change in society.

60: Shumaila Shahani: Lawyer

Here’s a phenomenal and passionate woman, Shumaila Shahani, every girl should look up to! Shahani is a lawyer based in Karachi. She is a queer feminist, who has been taking on many battles to disrupt the patriarchy in the system. Be it rattling sexism in the court, or galvanizing action for feminist policies or grassroots support, Shahani is doing it all. It goes without saying that women like her are a need of the hour for the Pakistani society. We’re rooting for you, Shumaila! Keep speaking and fighting the patriarchy as you are!

PC: Shireen Asa'ad

Posted by Shumaila Hussain Shahani on Sunday, March 25, 2018

59. Natasha Japanwala: Writer & Teacher

This week we’re crushing on uber-cool and incredibly smart Karachi-based writer and teacher Natasha Japanwala. She is an Ivy League graduate and is now making an impact in the lives of children in Pakistan. Through her writing classes, she takes children and teenagers on adventures within themselves, exploring their complex emotions and thoughts. An avid book reader, Natasha encourages people to pay attention to words to build a better world. Follow her, if you want reviews of the books she’s been reading. Natasha has written extensively for local and international publications and is also behind ‘Wayfinding‘, which is an online newsletter.

58: Baemisaal: Illustrator

If your art is not political, is it even art? This illustrator and lifestyle blogger based in Lahore who goes by the name Baemisaal is busy disrupting the toxic beauty standards set for women. She runs an Instagram blog called “Baemisaal”, where she describes it as the “Diary Of A Crazy Dysfunctional PlusSized Artist”. She is an inspiration for every girl and every woman that struggles in her body. Her work will not only make you fall in love with her, but it will also empower you to fall in love with yourself. Three cheers for you!!!

57: Yusra Amjad: Poet/Comic

She will make you laugh and she will make you cry, all in one go. Yusra Amjad is a Lahore-based poet, writer and stand-up comedian. She organises and performs with the Auratnaak Lahore troupe — which she co-founded. Amjad’s feminist comedy and poetry is edge and relatable for every desi woman out there. This mighty feminist also teaches at a girls’ college in Lahore.  She is empowering Pakistan’s future, and her hard work makes it look very, very bright.

56. Tooba Syed: Political activist/Teacher

Tooba Syed is hope for this country, and hope for the left in this country. She is a member of the Women Democratic Front, and is involved in grassroots activism where she engages with people, organises and mobilises them to take action. She is also visiting faculty at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Writing frequently and speaking up on different social issue, she is a true catalyst for change.

55. Anita Karim: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Athlete

Anita Karim is Pakistan’s first MMA athlete. In February 2019, she defeated her Indonesian opponent Gita Suharsono in One Warrior Series held in Singapore. Her south-paw strike against her opponent earned her a winning through a unanimous decision of three judges. Hailing from Hunza, Anita has also previously bagged two gold medals at Pakistan Grappling Challenge (PGC). Still considered a very male-dominated sport, Anita is setting new precedents in martial arts and making Pakistan proud. Go break them, Anita!

54. Aradhiya Khan: Trans Activist

This week we’re rooting for Aradhiya Khan for her relentless struggle for transgender persons’ rights in Pakistan. At the age of 20, she is among the youngest human right activist in Pakistan. At a time when inclusion of trans people in mainstream workforce is still hard to find, she is working as an assistant coordinator at Akhuwat, a non-profit that works to empower economically marginalised families. Aradhiya frequently visits schools and universities and introduces gender-based conversations. She’s breaking many stereotypes for trans people. More power to her!

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❤❤❤

A post shared by Aradhiya Khan…😘😘 (@firstone_20) on

53. Shahana Khan Khalil: Actor

Artist Shahana Khan Khalil has a theatre and production background. Khalil launched her acting career by debuting in the internationally acclaimed ‘Slackistan’. Staying true to her passion, she co-founded “Kuch Khaas – Centre for Arts, Culture & Dialogue” in her hometown Islamabad, which is a popular go-to spot for expression and art in the capital. Khalil has also worked as the International Production Manager for Pakistan’s biggest television production – Coke Studio in its sixth season with the production running in seven countries. This artist is a powerhouse!

52: Amna Abbas: Artist/ Illustrator

We’re in awe of Amna Abbas’s animations and illustrations on her Instagram account. He illustrations are clever, quirky and carry a strong message. Abbas’ art is a combination of design, skill and observation and she really hits the nail in the coffin by speaking for digital audiences. May your art take you to newer heights, Amna! Keep inspiring us!

51: Samina Baig: Mountaineer, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

This week, we’re looking up (quite literally) to Samina Baig, who became the first Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest in July 2013. She is also the first Pakistani woman to have scaled all seven highest peak in the seven continents! Meanwhile, we can barely make it out of our house. Baig was appointed as the national goodwill ambassador by United Nations Development Programme a year ago. She will soon be leading the first ever Pakistani women’s expedition team to scale Mount Everest. May you keep reaching higher and higher grounds, Samina! We’ll be cheering on the whole way.

50.  Laaleen Sukhera: Writer, Consultant, Media Professional

This week we are looking up to Laaleen Sukhera for her relentless struggle for herself and her kids. Sukhera has been fighting for her right to divorce for months and we can’t help but be in awe of her struggle to get justice.  Laaleen is also editor of Austenistan, a collection of seven short, witty and inspiring stories on contemporary Pakistan set against the backdrop of Jane Austen novels. A truly creative take on Pakistani society, the book is an amazing read. Here’s to Laaleen’s resilience, talents and her amazing energy. You go get them, girl!

49. Imaan Sheikh: Writer

Fierce, unapologetic and rib-ticklingly funny, Imaan has struck a chord with many young desis with her relateable stories and viral memes. She started her career in Pakistan and moved on to BuzzfeedIndia, reaching a global audience, all in a short span of time. Courtesy: her hard work and sharp wit. She’ll praise you when you deserve it but shut you up if you are a complete moron. If you want a real review of the latest Bollywood flick or to know how complicated brown families are, Imaan is your go-to person. Heck she’ll even decode all the 90s movies for you and prove how problematic some of they are in this day and age. Plus point: She’s a feminist. We’ve been crushing for a long time and won’t stop any time soon.

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feeling like a chutney-dipped momo today, wbu? 🥟

A post shared by Imaan Sheikh (@sheikhimaan) on

48. Amna Raheel: Motivational speaker

This young achiever knows no bounds. Amna Raheel was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was two years old. But with the support of her family and her own resilience, she is now a gold medalist from IoBM and is pursuing an MBA from the same university. Raheel lives her life to the fullest. She has swum with dolphins, ridden an elephant in Thailand and bicycled on the roads. There’s no stopping her!

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To the mothers who are raising kids with special needs. To the elder sisters who are playing the role of mothers in their siblings lives. To the single mothers who are trying to give their kids the love of both kids and support them financially. To the unmarried girls who are constantly being taunted by people that how they are in mid 20s and still unmarried. To the women who are publicly body shamed because of being overweight. To the women who are anorexic and struggle to eat enough everyday. To the mothers who stay up all night so their sick kids can sleep peacefully. To the women who are divorced even though they give up their own dreams to support a man’s dreams. To the girls who are silently suffering abuse and have been a victim of rape/sexual harassment. To the women who are heartbroken and soak their tears inside their pillows because it hurts too much. To the women who are giving up everything to make their own dreams come true. To the women who are depressed and suffering from mental illnesses. To the women who have unfaithful spouses but they don’t take stand because they’re too afraid. To the women who make sacrifices just to keep everyone else happy. To the women who have lost their husbands and are grieving. To the women who are lonely but still standing strong. To the women who are silently praying for a miracle. This is for you ❤️ You’re not just a woman. You’re a superwoman. There is not limit to what you as a woman can accomplish 🔥 #superwoman #womenempowerwomen #bestrong #beyourself #beyourownhero #superheroesdontwearcapes #womeninspiringwomen #dreamer #dontgiveup #beatrendsetter #fightlikeagirl

A post shared by Amna Raheel ✨ (@the.girlwith.wings) on

47. Hajra Khan: Football player
Captain of Pakistan’s women’s football team Hajra Khan is the first football player from the country to have been signed by an international football club. She has also been named in Forbes list of Women in Sport to Watch 2019. The star footballer recently garnered attention when she courageously spoke about her struggle with depression. We want to be her! #Goals

46. Fareshteh Aslam: CEO

Journalist-turned-PR guru Fareshteh Aslam is a powerhouse in herself and a force to reckoned with. She is currently leading Talking Point, a PR and Communications company, as the CEO. She has also been working as an award manager for Lux Style Awards. In short: she keeps numerous feathers in her cap. We couldn’t be more in awe of her! Follow her on Instagram here:

45. Shireen Zafar: Teacher

This week we are rooting for Shireen Zafar, co-founder Hasan Shireen Foundation. Fifteen-year-old Shireen together with her brother Hasan, started teaching kids outside Cafe Clifton two years ago. They then expanded to Qayyumabad and Zamzama and were joined by two more teachers. Students themselves, the duo offer Rs.50, biscuits and juices to every kid who comes to them to study. We couldn’t be more proud of her!

44. Wasma Imran: Founder

Wasma Imran, co-founder of Recircle Cup, is a trailblazer, pioneering Pakistan’s first menstrual cup company. Wasma, with her partner Mahin Khan, is breaking barriers and normalising conversations around menstruation. The duo is doing so by reducing waste and improving menstrual hygiene via the menstrual cup, a healthy, pocket-friendly and eco-friendly alternative to pads, tampons and cloth etc. Now, who doesn’t love an eco-friendly, millennial, feminist, woman entrepreneur? Get it, girl!

43. Saba Khalid: Founder/writer

This week, our #WomanCrush is Saba Khalid, a journalist, blogger and founder of Aurat Raaj, which is a digital content platform for Pakistani women. Khalid has initiated a campaign called #RAAJIBAAJI, where an AI-infused bot will be addressing myths, confusion and questions on women reproductive health and hygiene in developing countries. We’re blown away by her social innovation! More power to you, Saba. Make us proud!

 

42. Dr Alina Nasir: Dentist

Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist Dr Alina Nasir. We love a woman who’s incredibly passionate about what they do and given her presence on social media as a #dentfluencer, you can tell dentistry isn’t just a job for Dr Alina! She’s made it her life’s mission to make everyone smile (literally) and we can’t help doing so ourselves!

41. Sana Mir: Cricketer

The world is finally catching up! Our favourite cricketer and the former captain of Pakistan women’s cricket team just became the top-ranked ODI bowler. Mir serves as inspiration for women and girls all over the country not just on the field but off it as well. She often speaks about gender disparity and double standards, and we are here for it! Lead the way, cap.

40. Nida Kirmani: Professor/Sociologist

A feminist sociologist, Nida Kirmani teaches sociology at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and is a badass political analyst on social media. Kirmani has also authored a number of books on gender and other subjects.

39. Alizeh Valjee

We can’t even begin to list down everything Alizeh Valjee manages to do in a week. She is the co-founder of Care For Health and Taskeen, two organizations working on creating a dialogue around the importance of mental health in Pakistan, runs her private practice as a therapist, teaches yoga and offers dance mandala workshops regularly!

Photo: Facebook.com/taskeenteam

38. Hiba Thobani: Lawyer 

A lawyer by profession, Thobani is co-founder of Qaaf Se Qanoon, a not for profit legal aid initiative by lawyers and law students of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, and provides pro bono legal assistance to victims of sexual harassment. Way to go!

That feeling when you realise it's Sunday 💃

Posted by Hiba Thobani on Monday, December 11, 2017

37. Sara Malkani: Lawyer

Sara Malkani is a Sindh High Court advocate, the advocacy advisor for Center for Reproductive Rights in New York and a writer. She has written on topics such as child marriages, honour killings as well as the Meesha Shafi-Ali Zafar sexual harassment case. She’s fighting the good fight on behalf of all women and we salute her for it.

36. Aneela Darbar: Neurosurgeon

She is Pakistan’s first US-trained female neurosurgeon who currently works as an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Agha Khan University. She specialises in minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, and what can we say? She’s totally taken over our hearts and minds (read:brains)!

35. Naween Mangi: Journalist

Naween Mangi is a journalism guru in Pakistan. She has served as Pakistan bureau chief of Bloomberg News and spent a decade covering companies, markets and the economy; reporting on issues, conducting interviews with top officials and writing profiles and features.

Naween also founded Ali Hasan Mangi Memorial Trust to provide deserving families with health, education and basic necessities in Sindh. More power to you, Naween!

34. Syeda Anfas Ali Shah: Activist

Syeda Anfas Ali Shah is a social activist who runs the Ocean Welfare Organization that aims to provide free of cost education to underprivileged children. She’s responsible for the famous Footpath School that has so far taught hundreds of street children.

33. Aisha Gazdar: Filmmaker

Aisha Gazdar is an award-winning filmmaker who has produced documentaries on women and gender in Pakistan. She is a researcher and a journalist whose work revolves around women development. She is currently associated with the Films d’Art production house. Her documentary on ‘honour killings’ titled The Honour Deception has received international recognition. She is our latest crush for obvious reasons. Here’s to women who empower other women.

32. Mahwash Ajaz: Writer

She’s one of the most badass writers of our time. She describes herself on Twitter as “Purani Pakistani. Feminist liberal fascist writer, YouTuber, Supermom & biryani connoisseur.” Her political commentary is so apt it puts all else to shame. The truth is she’s crushing it in real life and we’re crushing on her.

31. Zehra Khan

Well for starters, she leads the Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) that makes thousands of women in Sindh aware of their due rights. Moreover, Zehra is said to have engaged a number working class women who passionately participated in a massive Aurat March rally held in Karachi this year. Her work also led the Sindh government to pass the Sindh Home Based Workers Bill (2018) in May. The bill not only protects female workers and their rights but also extends to home-based workers, ensuring they are considered equal employees with all rights, maternity leaves and other basic facilities. Kudos to Zehra and her organisation. Seriously, what’s not to crush over?

30. Mandana Noor: Director/Designer/Actor

She’s a director, photographer, graphic designer and actor. Although Ali Noor is the one who steals the limelight most of the time, we can’t help but crush over his better half.

29. Amna Mawaz Khan: Dancer

She is a classical dancer who specialises in Bharatanatyam and a really good one. Did you know that Khan began training at the age of 11? Yep, that’s right. That’s some dedication. She now performs and teaches dance and is also a left-wing political worker and activist. What’s not to crush over?

28. Amtul Baweja: Comedian/Blogger

She’s a theater artist, social activist, comedian but mostly importantly a terrific travel blogger. She and her better half run a blog called ‘Patangeer’ and call themselves the travel couple. And we can’t stop staring at her breathtaking photos.

27. Fauzia Zafar: Blogger

A blogger by profession, Fauzia Zafar has taken over Instagram with her very relatable blog, called Rants of a Desi Bride. It started in 2016, when she was about to get married and her followers now read about her very relatable posts that shed light on what married life is all about. Through her Insta account, she documents her travels, gives advice to her followers and shares snippets of her adorable relationship with her husband.

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One thing that I've learned in my life is that no matter what you do you can't please everyone. Starting from the most basic choices like what you decide to wear for the day or more significant ones like majors to pick in college (someone will always wish you will grow up to be a doctor). If you are unmarried at a certain age people start judging you k oh she is too career oriented/koi masla hoga/koi chakkar hoga, if you are unhappy in your relationship and decide to do something about it, someone will judge you. If you are married and decided not to have a child right away suddenly the entire world starts suggesting fertility clinics. I get too many messages from girls telling me such instances and how it mentally impacts them in a negative way. Too many time in my life too I had to face such fazool ki input. Sometimes it hurt. Sometimes it bounced off me without any impact. Point being, there will always be people around you giving unwanted advice. Whats important is knowing what you want and then taking a stand for yourself. Stick to your choices. I have made it a rule in my life so now I live with no regrets. Good decisions or bad, if they are yours – you learn to make peace with it. Listen to everyone but pay attention only to people who give you constructive criticism and good, genuine advice. Take control of your life. You only live once. Its the only time you will get in this world. Might as well make the most of it. I want to hear your stories. How you made your own choices despite people telling you otherwise. @zarifaisaldesigns, @amtulbaweja, @beetravelista and @2coffees.2go I want to hear all about your adventures. Tell me your stories. #RantsofaDesiBride #Pakistan #PakistaniBloggers #WeddingBlogger #WeddingBlog #LifestyleBlog #InstaBlog #InstaBlogger #JoMeinChahoon

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26. Mehreen Jabbar: Filmmaker

She’s one of the most successful filmmakers in the country, known best for her 2008 film Ramchand Pakistani. Among her other award-winning short films and TV dramas are Daughters of the Late Colonel, Beauty Parlor, Laal Baig (Cockroach), Harjai (Betrayal) and ‘Doraha‘ (Crossroads). She is also part of the advisory board of The South Asian Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Television. We are in awe and couldn’t be more proud!

25. Anam Abbas: Filmmaker

She’s an independent filmmaker, best known for a Pakistani webseries Ladies Only, which she directs and produces. Not only that, she’s also founding member of Documentary Association of Pakistan (DAP). And in the midst of it all, she finds the time to maintain a very hip Instagram presence. We’re loving her feed, what about you?

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Who gwan rescue me

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24. Natalia Gul Jilani Baghdadi: Dentist/Actor

She’s a dentist and a theatre actor. Wow, talk about diversity. She’s fabulous at stand up comedy and performs with the popular Khawatoons. Her Instagram bio also tells us that she’s a writer, voice over artist and a rotarian. Is there anything she can’t do?

23. Ayesha Tariq: Comedian/Author/Illustrator

She’s a comedian, an illustrator and the author of Sarah: The Suppressed Anger of the Obedient Pakistani Daughter. We’ve seen her perform with the Khawatoons and we’ve seen her artwork as well. She’s brilliant!

22. Quratulain Binte Khalid: Photographer

Reason: She’s a commercial and lifestyle photographer. Also, a lover of books, dogs, food and all things amazing. We love how she does portraits and self-portraits. Recently, the travel bug in her took her to Baku and we were wowed.

21. Rehmat Ajmal: Model/designer

She’s a textile designer, model and theatre performer who has studied from the National College of Arts. Also, her Instagram bio says she’s a ‘smasher of patriarchy’. So basically everything about her is making us go like: “Preach sista!”

20. Amafah Mubashir: Yogi

Reason: It would be an understatement to say that her Instagram is breathtaking. Need any guidelines on yoga? Mubashir should be your go-to person. She’s just so good at what she does. Seriously, it makes us want to enroll in her yoga classes.

19. Mariam Saleem Khan: Actor

She’s an actor and writer, which is a terrific combination. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to scroll through her Instagram, just do it now. Her videos are hilarious.

18. Madeeha Syed: Journalist

Reason: She’s not only a journalist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker but possesses many other talents as well and her Instagram account proves it. Don’t believe us? Go check out for yourselves. You’ll be in awe.

17. Natasha Zubair: Photographer

Reason: Her Instagram bio states that she’s a lover of 35mm film, and tbh we are lovers of her photos. Zubair is a photographer and entrepreneur who also makes the coolest stationary with recycled paper. What’s not to love about her?

16. Alycia Dias: Singer

She’s the girl with the golden voice. Remember the official soundtrack (OST) from the Sanam Jung and Sarwat Gilani starrer drama Dil-e-Muztar? Yup, Dias sang that and a bunch of other melodious OSTs for various Pakistani television dramas. At the age of 17, she participated in a local reality show and became a semi-finalist. Pretty cool, isn’t she?

15. Nausheen Dadabhoy: Cinamatographer

How many cinematographers in Pakistan are women? Nausheen is one of a kind. We’ve all seen her work in Mehreen Jabbar’s Jackson Heights, Iram Bilal Perveen’s Josh and Oscar-nominated short film La Femme et le TGV [Railroad Lady]. More power to you, Nausheen.

14. Huma Mobin

Remember the real life ‘Queen,’ whose solo honeymoon took the internet by storm? Not only that, she also modeled for a local clothing brand while she was pregnant. You go girl!

13. Eman Suleman: Model

Reason: The model is part of Auratnaak troupe and was involved in the bloodied pads project in BNU Lahore to raise a discussion on periods. Brains, beauty and a sense of humour, what’s not to like?

12. Natasha Baig: Singer

Reason: Natasha’s strong voice sets her apart from all the new and upcoming singers in our industry. Plus, she sang for the #MeinBhi campaign which makes her pretty damn awesome.

11. Faiza Saleem: Comedian /Actor

Reason: Faiza is Pakistan’s first social media entertainer. We love how much she stresses on the fact that she was her own inspiration and how essential it is to be original. Also, she makes us laugh till it hurts.

10. Zenith Irfan: Traveler

Reason: Well, because she’s a total badass. Who else aspires to travel the world on a bike? We have trouble aspiring to get out of bed the next day, tbh.

9. Sanam Maher: Journalist

Reason: Because she’s hilarious and smart. She’s a journalist and a soon to be published author. Sanam is currently working on a book on the late Qandeel Baloch and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.

8. Ayesha Chundrigarh: Founder, ACF

Reason: Ayesha is a champion of animal rights in Pakistan – a job not many would be willing to take up. She is successfully running the most well-known animal shelter in Karachi. Follow them here: @acfanimalrescueofficial

7. Sadia Khatri: Activist

Reason: Part of Girls at Dhabas, Sadia is partly responsible for the recently revived movement of reclaiming public spaces for women, and continues to be a strong and loud voice in the movement for gender equality; a force to be reckoned with.

6. Saheefa Jabbar: Model

Reason: Model of the moment, Saheefa has a girl-next-door look but she’s not your conventional “Pakistani model”. She is confident, edgy and effortlessly pulls off a haircut not many would dare to get.

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#saheefajabbarkhattak

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5. Noorulain Ali: Photographer

Reason: Hands-down one of the coolest wedding photographer in Pakistan. Would get married just to have her take photos. Just kidding, don’t have the budget. Follow her @noorulainali and prepare to be wowed.

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"The aftermath of obliteration of eternity." #YayoiKusama

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4. Shehzil Malik: Illustrator/Designer

Reason: Just check out her Instagram to see what we’re talking about. *Drooling while browsing*

3. Samya Arif: Illustrator/Designer

Reason: Even Coldplay, yes as in Yellow, as in Chris Martin, is a fan. Samya has swiftly risen as one of the country’s best graphic designers. Follow her now.

2. Haya Fatima Iqbal: Documentary film-maker

Reason: Haya has worked as a producer of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar and emmy winning documentaries and has quickly become a role model for aspiring film-makers. We couldn’t be more proud.

1. Zainab Abbas: Sports journalist

Reason: Definitely the most popular sports journalists these days, Zainab’s performance never disappoints. She makes us interested in matches we weren’t even planning on watching.

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When you love your job! 💕

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