As we are nearing the end of 2021, if we look back, it hasn’t been a completely terrible year. From Covid-19’s vaccine roll-out to cinemas finally re-opening, we have bounced back stronger as a community. Not only that, Pakistanis are making their mark internationally, be it celebrities or activists. They have done our country proud. Today, we are listing below 6 Pakistanis who have made it to international lists for their outstanding contributions either through their talent, activism, or determination to give back to society & most of all, Pakistan.
BBC 100 Women 2021
1. Abia Akram
Abia Akram is a Pakistani disability rights activist. She is the forerunner of the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) which has been working for the rights of women with disabilities since 1997. Apart from that, she also formed the National Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan. Abia Akram is the leading voice for women with disabilities in Asia. Honoring her efforts, she was named in the BBC 100 Women of 2021 list.
“She is the first woman from Pakistan to be nominated co-ordinator for the Commonwealth Young Disabled People’s Forum. Akram is the founder of the National Forum of Women with Disabilities and has campaigned for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Inclusive Development,” writes BBC.
She is an inspiration to many as she is also making efforts to add disability in UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as well as its 2030 Agenda.
2. Laila Haidari
Laila Haidari, born in a refugee camp in Pakistan, is an Afghan activist and restaurateur. She owns a drug rehabilitation center called Mother Camp founded in Kabul in 2010, which she runs with the finances she gets from her restaurant, Taj Begum. According to BBC, Laila Haidari has helped around 6400 Afghans struggling with drug addiction.
Laila Haidari is a prominent voice when it comes to women’s rights. Being a former child bride, her struggles have been narrated in the 2018 documentary ‘Laila at the Bridge.’
3. Malala Yousafzai
Malala is a renowned girl’s education rights activist and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize ever laureate. She was shot by the Taliban when she was just 11 years old. Since then, her resilience and drive to work for girls’ education rights knows no bounds, which also led her to co-found the Malala Fund that works for the education rights of young girls worldwide.
Top 50 Asian Celebrities List Of 2021
Eastern Eye, a UK-based publication released its Top 50 Celebrities List for 2021 and it featured several Pakistani celebrities. The list features those who have reached great heights in their respective fields of work and have had a positive impact on their fans. Sajal Aly, Riz Ahmed, and Kumail Nanjiani made it to the top 10 of the list.
4. Sajal Aly
Sajal Aly needs no introduction. She is one of the most loved celebrities in Pakistan right now. Her roles in Alif, O Rangreza, Yakeen Ka Safar (& many more) will be remembered for years to come. We are currently watching her as Shanaya in Ishq E Laa & loving every bit of it!
Moreover, Sajal is all set to star in Jemima Goldsmith’s latest project ‘What’s Love Gotta Do With It?’. The film also stars renowned Bollywood actress, Shabana Azmi. According to Jemima, the movie is loosely based on her time spent in Pakistan. It already has our attention. What about you?
5. Yumna Zaidi
Yumna Zaidi’s talent knows no bounds! There isn’t a single character of hers that hasn’t resonated with us or didn’t have us in awe each time. She was ranked 35th on the list. People had nothing but praises for her performance in Pyar Ke Sadkay, Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi, and Dar Si Jati Hai Sila. We are currently watching her in Ishq E Laa and Sinf e Aahan – Need we say more?
6. Bilal Abbas Khan
Surprised? We certainly aren’t! Bilal quickly (and rightfully) rose to fame thanks to his laudable acting skills. Cheekh, O Rangreza, and the most recent Dobara, he never fails to rule every scene he is in!
Atif Aslam and Hadiqa Kiani were also included in the list.