Weekly News Round-Up ( 18th – 24th April)
This week in the news, find out how Pakistani women are taking the world by storm, which Pakistani got nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2022 and more! Read on to find out all the news you’ve missed this week.
Pakistan Allotted The Second-Highest Quota Of Hajj Pilgrims For 2022
Saudi Arabia has allotted the second-highest quota of Hajj pilgrims to Pakistan after the Kingdom allowed one million people to perform the Holy pilgrimage this year. As many as 81,132 pilgrims would be able to travel to the Kingdom to perform Hajj in 2022. Saudi Arabia has allotted the highest quota of Hajj pilgrims to Indonesia. According to official sources, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony will start receiving the Hajj applications in the next few days through designated branches of the country’s scheduled banks and the distribution of Hajj quota between public and private Hajj schemes would be divided at the ratio of 60:40.
Dr Amjad Saqib Gets Nominated For The Nobel Peace Prize 2022
Dr Amjad Saqib, a Pakistani philanthropist and founder of the country’s largest interest-free microfinance programme –Akhuwat, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work in poverty alleviation. Launched 2 decades ago, Akhuwat has grown into the nation’s largest microfinance institution, distributing the equivalent of $900 million and boasting an almost 100 per cent loan repayment rate. In conversation with the media, Dr Amjad Saqib said, “My services are beyond such awards and they are purely for the sake of Allah”. He has previously been the recipient of The Ramon Magsaysay Award for his “first-of-its-kind” interest- and collateral-free microfinance programme that has helped millions of poor families. As many as 343 candidates from around the world have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 – 251 individuals and 92 organisations.
Former CEO Of PCB Wasim Khan Appointed As The New General Manager Of ICC
Taking to Twitter, The International Cricket Council has confirmed Wasim Khan has been appointed as ICC General Manager – Cricket and will take up his post next month. Wasim Khan has previously served as the CEO of the PCB and Leicestershire County Cricket Club and will replace Geoff Allardice. “I am honoured to be joining the ICC, I can’t wait to get started and work in partnership with our Members to strengthen and grow our sport. I’m particularly excited by the ICC’s commitment to the growth of the women’s game, and I look forward to playing my part in really accelerating that growth over the next decade,” Wasim stated in an ICC released statement
Pakistan’s Youngest Athlete Mahnoor Saleh Becomes IUCN Ambassador & Makes News Headlines
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-Pakistan) has appointed the country’s youngest athlete Mahnoor Saleh, a resident of Hoper Nagar, as the Youth Ambassador for Environment in Gilgit Baltistan, recognising her efforts to break the taboos and become a professional female winter sports player. Mahnoor Saleh made news headlines when, at the age of four years and seven months, she made the entire nation proud by earning a silver medal and becoming the country’s youngest athlete in the national winter sports, according to Country Director Mahmood Akhtar Cheema. Mahnoor’s father, Mr. Saleh, thanked the IUCN, the Italian Agency Office for Development Cooperation (AICS), and his family for their assistance in teaching his daughter to skate. He added that the journey was not easy and that social taboos caused strong opposition among the people.
Pakistan’s First Solo Female Founded Health Tech Venture Raises $1.8 million in Pre-Seed Funding
Dr Saira Siddique has become the first solo female founder of a Pakistani startup to have raised $1.8 million in pre-seed funding for her health tech venture, medIQ. medIQ is playing a critical role in redefining digital healthcare services by improving quality and convenience for patients, reducing costs for patients, healthcare providers and insurers, with a strong capacity to become a regional player. So far, mediQ has demonstrated track record with more than three hundred thousand patients served in eighteen months only. “We are thrilled to complete this strategic funding round, which is an endorsement of our holistic healthcare model by leading investors with robust healthcare and technology expertise,” said Dr Saira Siddique, Founder & CEO of medIQ. Women-led startups in Pakistan have only raised 3% of total funding for the startup ecosystem over the last five years, so this fundraiser is a trailblazing occasion for Pakistani women founders to highlight what they can achieve. Investclub, Cordoba Ventures (CorVCF), The US-based early-stage investor Seraph Group, Tajdeed Group, a syndicate of prominent physicians from APPNA (All Pakistani Physicians of North American descent Association), House of Habib, and leading health tech angel investors from Silicon Valley also participated in the round. It is the first direct investment for both NRD Capital and Seraph Group in a Pakistani startup.
Mahrukh Chohan Becomes The Youngest CSS Officer To Join Pakistan Customs
Mahrukh Chohan, a 23-year-old from Bahawalpur, has become the youngest Central Superior Services (CSS) officer to join the Pakistan Customs Service Group. She ranked seventy-third in the CSS examination 2021 and was allotted CSS (50 Common) Pakistan Customs Service Group. With this feat, she became not only the youngest officer to join the Customs service this year but in the history of Pakistan Customs. Chohan is the daughter of Major (Retd.) Muhammad Akhtar Abid Chohan, and is originally from Kharian Tehsil of Gujrat, Punjab.
Pakistani Sufi & Folk Singer Mehak Ali Gets Featured On Times Square
After Arooj Aftab, Pakistani Sufi and folk singer Mehak Ali has been featured in the New York Times Square by Spotify Equal Globally for the month of Ramadan. Spotify has selected singer Mehak Ali as their new ambassador for the ‘Equal Pakistan’ initiative. The new edition has updated its “Ramadan Destination for Pakistani listeners, curated for every Ramadan moment”. The decision to choose Mehak also has thought behind it since she has released a kalaam called ‘Sallay Ala Nabiyena’. Mehak will also be featured on Spotify’s digital billboard in Times Square later this month as Spotify continues to turn up the volume on local women creators.
Arooj Aftab Becomes First Pakistani To Perform At Coachella
After winning her first Grammy earlier this month for her song ‘Mohabbat‘ in the Best Global Performance category, Arooj Aftab became the first Pakistani to perform at Coachella Music Festival after its return from a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Arooj Aftab was spotted basking in the moment of recognition, and savouring her two performance dates at the premier Coachella festival.