This is the first time a Ms. Pakistan World has been crowned, so you are making history as this gives hopes for many women wanting to compete in this category. How does it feel to represent single non married women over the age of 29 years?
First of all, I feel honored to be given this opportunity by the President of Miss Pakistan World, Sonia Ahmed and the organizers of Miss Pakistan World to represent Pakistan 2020/2021 on a global scale. This is the first time a Ms. Pakistan World has been crowned and I must say I feel privileged to be the woman that changed the course of history in this category of the only Pakistani beauty pageant recognized worldwide. I am aware of the responsibilities I carry for the next year and I am very conscious about it, that is to represent a community where female emancipation is compromised to a very considerable extent. I feel like it’s a dream come true. I am very happy about it and will give my best to society now, in the coming year and after. Highly motivated and I got my sleeves rolled up and ready to take up on all challenges. I’m looking forward to having an amazing time and doing good for others by supporting certain organizations and raising awareness on a topic, which is important to me, mental healthcare.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My family is from Islamabad and Abbottabad. I have spent a lot of time in Pakistan and I’m very familiar with life over there. I grew up and lived in several countries, like the US, Guatemala, Italy and Australia. A third of my life was spent in Saudi-Arabia for example. My home is in Frankfurt, Germany. I was brought up here in Germany.
I am fluent in Urdu and my Punjabi and Pashto (which is spoken at home) needs to be a little polished. German is my first language. I have done my Bachelor of Education and have always been teaching and tutoring since an early age, now working on my Masters. It’s all about personal growth for me. I started tutoring when I was 13. Being a teacher has forever been a dream of mine and I take my responsibility of shaping the future generation very serious. I also teach German as a secondary language to people who are new to Germany and I did a lot of translation work wherever I could during the refugee crisis we had here in Germany. Working with children and teenagers is very rewarding and challenging at times but whenever you do something passionately the outcome is great. My main focus has always been on children and teenagers with disabilities. I also started working as a Life Coach and Meditation Teacher about two years ago. Yoga, for example, was introduced to me by my father in about more than a decade ago which led me to start working as a Meditation Teacher. I design unique lampshades with great passion. Basically, whatever I do, I will do wholeheartedly. The success motivates me even more, next to the beautiful smiles I get back from the people I meet.
My clients keep encouraging me to setup a foundation about mental healthcare. They see me running a foundation or institution in this field. I can see it in my future so that’s one thing I’m aiming at. I’m very much inspired by women who believe in making a change. Fatima Jinnah is one of those powerful women I am very much inspired by. I stand behind her when she famously said: “Remember it is women who can mold the character of the youth of the nation.”
Why did you decide to compete?
I used to watch beauty pageants on TV and always looked up to every contestant. It’s very challenging to compete and I thought I could never do it although in some corner of my heart I always wanted to. Let me be honest. I always knew that it is a great opportunity to speak your voice and bring that change for a good cause on a larger scale. But I never told anyone that I wished to take part in a pageant. As I was growing up, my family and friends saw in me a person who is suitable for this role. I would hear someone say, you should enter a beauty pageant contest, beauty with a purpose. It suits you. Here I am, never thought I’d win the title. And once again I learned to never say never in life. I thought about it intensively and the answer was always clear. I wanted to be on a platform where I can support others and have an influence when it comes to community service. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something I secretly wanted. Probably also because my mother always said she sees me winning a crown one day. She meant a beauty pageant combined with a selfless service to others. Besides all this, nothing is impossible in life I thought, if you have the vision, dedication. Age, color, gender cannot bound you. You can achieve anything with hard work, it takes time discipline and time to get where you want.
What does winning the title of “Ms. Pakistan World,” mean to you?
Winning the title means when I work hard for something and remain focused, not giving up, dreams can actually come true. I learned that whatever you do in life, it is a preparation for something greater. I believe in personal growth and this experience will teach me a lot. At the same time, I will give my best to my community. Pakistan is considered a conservative, close minded, intolerant and patriarchal society where men are the primary authority figures and women are subordinate. Which is not true to quite an extent? Women are leading many institutions. We have leading women and pilots in the military, in politics in every field you see. To give a softer image to Pakistan I decided to compete in this pageant.
Winning always encourages you to do better and better. Set your goals maybe even higher. It gives you confidence. I have learned a lot about self-improvement and every win lifts you up to believe even more in yourself.
Every beauty queen has a platform in regards to promoting a cause, what is your platform?
The platform I see myself on is around mental healthcare issues. I thought about it for a long time. What really moves me is the rise of mental health issues around us. I believe you should have goals, whether they are small or big and therefore one of my big goals is to setup an institution for anyone dealing with mental health issues, anxieties, depression and a general restlessness in life. Much needed in the time we are living in. The pandemic has changed life in many ways. It is difficult to adjust to this new reality for certain people. Which is fine. Which is why I am very much engaged in helping my clients find that inner peace and balance again. We are facing a situation we have never faced before. Life can be scary and there is so much going on in our subconsciousness that we are not even aware of. I have spoken to many people who are dealing with difficulties they never had before. Financial instability, unemployment, sickness, trauma, insomnia etc. there’s an uncertainty around the globe. What will happen next? People are living in fear. The mood in some families has changed. People who never had depressions are now dealing with depressions. I would like to learn more about what I can do and who I can team up with to introduce anyone dealing with problems to the beautiful technique of meditation and prayer, along with professional psychological advice, of course. I would like to be on a platform where I can bring hope and joy to people who are suffering in life and help them learn how to cope with difficulties. I have a set of tools that works for most people who are seeing life as a struggle. Obviously, I can relate because we have all faced difficult times in our lives. Life is beautiful, even tough times make us stronger and there is definitely a way to come out of it stronger than before. Sometimes you just need a helping hand. The topic of mental health is still very much stigmatized in our society and I would like to already say one thing to everyone: It’s ok to not be ok sometimes.
Will you be going to international pageants after the Covid-19 situation calms down?
When the situation has calmed down, I am ready to go to the international pageants, yes. I would like to represent Pakistan as an ambassador of my country. My organization Miss Pakistan World I would like to represent in the best possible way. It is my responsibility to live up to the expectations of the beautiful people of Pakistan. Until I head off to the international pageants, I would like to remind anyone reading this interview to be aware of your responsibility as well, as to wash your hands regularly, keep the social distance as advised so we can all tackle the virus and hopefully return to the times we lived in before the pandemic. When this is taken seriously, I’m sure the situation will calm down. We are all in this. Then I’m sure I will be going to international pageants making the people of my country even more proud.
Any charities that you would like to support?
I am looking at charities and foundations in Pakistan and I have contacted a few. Wherever I can volunteer and bring a change, I will. Right now, as I have mentioned before, I would like to support trauma patients, people affected by crime and traumatic events and so on, people affected by the pandemic (mentally). Once I find the suitable position, I will start right away. There is a big foundation in Pakistan called the Transparent Hands or the Children, Youth and Families Foundation in Islamabad. I hope to support them in the future. We have a lot of charity work to do in Germany for Pakistanis. A lot of Pakistanis don’t have access because of the language barrier. I would like to support these people and escort them to doctors, psychologists or help them organize their healthcare. A lot of these patients avoid seeking treatment or don’t understand what is really going with their health because they simply don’t understand German.
What advise do you have for other women who are single working women and who aspire to become beauty queen like yourself?
I would advise them to never give up on your dreams. If you want to become a beauty queen and make a change, do it! It’s never too late. If you are single, look at self-care, personal growth & about being the best version of yourself. Do keep in mind that being a beauty queen also means you are on a platform and give selfless service to your community. You can do it while you are working on your career. It’s all about time management! I don’t believe in stagnation. Life is about growth. You can always pick up a new hobby, travel to a new place or simply pick up a new book and read about how others have achieved their goals. You will get inspired. There are days when the going gets tough, when life seems to be hard. Find strategies to deal with those days. Be your own best friend and be kind to yourself. Pray to Allah, be patient and don’t give up. Work on your confidence and will power which is a very quintessential ingredient when entering a beauty pageant contest.
Don’t let anything put you under pressure. You don’t have to get married at a certain age; you don’t have to have children at a certain age. It’s ok to get married after you have achieved your goals. Listen to your inner voice. Pay attention to what you really want and stay focused. It’s climbing a mountain. Once you’re on the top, you breathe differently. I am sending you a huge portion of boldness, fearlessness and love.
In German there’s a quote: Hinfallen. Aufstehen. Krone richten. Weitergehen! (Translated: Fall. Get up. Fix your crown. Keep going!) Carry yourself gracefully through life.