In a night of optimism, hope and celebration, the Azm Awards ceremony were held in Karachi and drew a diverse crowd of supporters, nominees, campaign ambassadors and past participants. Renowned performers, Strings, Arieb Azhar, Todd Shea and Lanny Cordola entertained the crowd with their inspiring music, although the stars of the night were undoubtedly those social, cultural and humanitarian campaigners who won the ten Azm Awards.
Taher Khan, founder of Azme Alishan, said: “To have Azm Award winners such as Qurban and Jehangir shows the ability and generosity of British Pakistanis. Both men prove that wherever you are in the world, you can promote true Pakistani values of tolerance, determination and humanity. Both men are an example for us in Pakistan, and their fellow British Pakistanis.”
As the UK Director of Islamic Relief, Jehangir works around the world helping others. Jehangir’s message to Pakistanis in Britain is: “Wherever you are in the world, be of benefit to others, bring light where there’s darkness; people will recognise that benefit and say that is a Pakistani.”
Qurban Ali set up ‘Qurban and Surraya Educational Trust’, an education trust for young girls in Pakistan. He believes that education is the best way to empower the future generations of Pakistan and his school now educates thousands of young people.
Other winners on the night were Rescue 1122, the Punjab emergency service that has worked tirelessly and bravely in the face of flooding disasters and terror attacks. Shabina Mustafa also received an award for her work in education. Shabina started a small school in her own garage for children in Karachi, and thanks to her efforts it is now a thriving educational institute producing top class doctors and engineers. Also among the winners was Major Tahir Wadood Malik, whose wife was killed in a terror attack and who now works tirelessly for victims of terrorism around the world.
The role of Pakistanis around the world is an important feature for the Azme Alishan, and the UK, home to the largest Pakistani community outside of Pakistan, plays a big part in the campaign. Azme Alishan has come to Britain before in the form of a documentary called Home from Home, which looks at the experience of three young British Pakistanis as they returned to Pakistan (see http://www.azmealishan.com/
Pakistanis around the world have had their voices heard. Out of nearly 100 entries, and a shortlist of 20 nominees, ten winners were finally chosen in this year’s Azme Alishan Azm Awards.
Visit www.azmealishan.com for a full review of this year’s winners, extended interviews with each winner including Qurban and Jehangir and to leave your comments. Check the website for broadcasting details.