Karachi Slum Girl Goes to Harvard Business School

Anum Fatima, a resident of Ibrahim Goth slum located near Karachi's Steel Town, is making history; she is going to Harvard  Business School this summer as part of a student exchange program.

Anum's father is employed as a driver and her mother works as a maid. The slum school she attended is run by The Citizen's Foundation (TCF), a private foundation. From 5 schools in Karachi in 1995, TCF has expanded to 910 purpose-built schools with 126,000 students in 97 towns and cities across Pakistan.

Institute of Business Management (IoBM) Karachi


After graduating from the TCF school located near her slum, Fatima has completed her BBA in Human Resource. She is currently attending College of Business Management (CBM) of  the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), a private Business School in Karachi.



Anum is breaking many stereotypes about Pakistani women, particularly poor women, by studying business management at top business schools in Pakistan and the United States. She told a news reporter that when she broke the news to her father, he did not know what Harvard was. “When he went to work that day, he asked his boss, who told him what a tremendous achievement it was,” she said.

Although it's the first time that a TCF grad is going to Harvard, the Foundation schools have had many success stories of its graduates from poor families who have gone on to attend professional schools to become doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers and business executives.

In spite of its many failings in adequately funding human development, Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility
to its citizens than neighboring India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle
class had expanded by 36.5% and India's by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And ...

New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise described the rise of Pakistan's middle class in a story from Pakistani town of Muzaffargarh in the following words:

For years, feudal lords reigned supreme, serving as the police, the
judge and the political leader. Plantations had jails, and political
seats were practically owned by families.

Instead of midwifing democracy, these aristocrats obstructed it, ignoring the needs of rural Pakistanis, half of whom are still landless and desperately poor more than 60 years after Pakistan became a state.

But changes began to erode the aristocrats’ power. Cities sprouted, with jobs in construction and industry. Large-scale
farms eclipsed old-fashioned plantations. Vast hereditary lands
splintered among generations of sons, and many aristocratic families
left the country for cities, living beyond their means off sales of
their remaining lands. Mobile labor has also reduced dependence on
aristocratic families.

In Punjab, the country’s most populous
province, and its most economically advanced, the number of national
lawmakers from feudal families shrank to 25 percent in 2008 from 42
percent in 1970, according to a count conducted by Mubashir Hassan, a
former finance minister, and The New York Times.

“Feudals
are a dying breed,” said S. Akbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based fellow with
the Carnegie Foundation. “They have no power outside the walls of their
castles.”




GeoTV is illustrating  this welcome phenomenon of upward social mobility in Pakistan with a series of motivational "Zara  Sochiey" videos on young men and women who have risen from humble origins to achieve significant successes in recent years. Each individual portrayed in the series has overcome adversity and  focused on acquiring education as a ticket to improve his or her economic and social situation.

GeoTV videos feature a number of young men and women, including Saima Bilal, Kashif Faiq,  Qaisar Abbas and many others, to inspire and encourage other Pakistanis to pursue their dreams against all odds.

Contrary to the incessant talk of doom and gloom, the fact is that the level of educational attainment has been rising in recent decades.  In fact, Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster
rate since 1990 than India, according to data compiled and reported by Harvard University researchers Robert... . In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs
51.6% of Indians in 15+ age group who had had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2%
Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced
it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.
 

As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis
age 15 and above
who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673
Indians) who
enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing
primary school, and
the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465
Indians) out of every 1000
Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians)
completed secondary school  while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out.
Only 55 (vs 58 Indians)  made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31
Indians) graduated with a degree.




Education and development efforts  are beginning to bear fruit even in remote areas of Pakistan, including Federally Administered Tribal AreasThe Guardian newspaper recently reported that FATA's Bajaur agency alone has 616 school with over 60,000 boys and girls receiving take-home rations. Two new university campuses have been approved for FATA region and thousands of kilometers of new roads are being constructed. After a recent visit to FATA, Indian journalist Hindol Sengupta wrote in The Hindu newspaper that "even Bajaur has a higher road density than India"

 Prior to significant boost in public spending on education during Musharraf years, the number of private schools in Pakistan grew 10 fold from about 3000 in 1983 to over 30,000 in 2000. Primary school enrollment in 1983 has increased 937%, far greater than the 57%
population increase in the last two decades.

With current public education funding at just 2% of GDP, the Pakistani government is clearly abdicating its responsibility of educating poor children. Fortunately, there are a number of highly committed individuals and organizations like The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and the Human Development Foundation (HDF) which are very active in raising funds and building and operating schools to improve the situation in Pakistan. It is important that all of us who care for the future of Pakistan should generously help these and similar other organizations.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Must Fix Primary Education

Pakistan Human Development Since 1980s

Working Women in Pakistan

Pakistan's Out-of-School Children 

Pakistan's Human Capital

Status of Women in Pakistan

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Teach For Pakistan

Business Education in Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Resilient Pakistan Defies Doomsayers

Views: 1892

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 22, 2013 at 11:23pm

Here's an ET report on allocation of UN's Malala Fund for Pakistan:

Up to 70 per cent of the $10 million ‘Malala Fund for Girl’s Right to Education’ throughout the world and Pakistan, announced by President Asif Ali Zardari in December 2012, will be used in Pakistan, whereas the remainder is earmarked for Afghanistan. With the support of the international community, Pakistan and Unesco signed the historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish this fund with $10 million as seed money.
Qian Tang, assistant secretary general (education) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) met Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Balighur Rehman on Monday and discussed the modalities for the operationalisation of the fund.
The MoU was signed earlier between the then education minister Sheikh Waqas Akram and Unesco director general Irina Bokova at the UN’s Paris headquarters.
The Malala fund will be disbursed in two categories: special fund and fund in trust. The special fund of $7 million will be used in Pakistan and the remainder $3 million will be used by Unesco in Afghanistan under the fund in trust category.
80 per cent of the special fund in Pakistan would be used for formal education whereas the remainder will be used to support non formal education like Basic Education Community Schools and National Commission for Human Development....

http://tribune.com.pk/story/580660/malala-scheme-70-of-education-fu...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2013 at 7:16am

Here's a Gulf News story about Anum Fatima:

Dubai: Anum Fatima, a first-year MBA student at the College of Business Management, Karachi, has been selected to attend a seven-week programme in English for Professional Purposes at the Harvard Business School Summer Exchange Programme on a fully funded scholarship. What’s more, Anum has already been offered a one-month internship at a Washington DC firm, Conversion. Clearly, Anum is looking forward to her eight-week stay. “I am absolutely thrilled and my entire family is excited,” says the 23-year old in a phone interview to Education. Anum, the eldest in a family of five, was able to realise her education dreams thanks to scholarships through grade 9 to undergraduate study in Business Administration and now for her MBA by The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF), a Pakistan-based non-profit organisation dedicated to the field of education that helps students from impoverished background achieve their dreams.
For Soheil and Nasreen Akhtar, Anum’s parents, the news of Anum’s Harvard stint came as boundless joy. Soheil, who works as a driver in a Karachi-based organisation, was able to complete just his matriculation while his wife never had formal education. The two therefore always dreamed of their daughter achieving milestones in education. With a meagre income, Anum’s father could barely manage the family’s basic needs. Paying for the schooling fees of his children was a stretch. But Anum’s performance at school came to her rescue.
“I was very keen to study and always stood first in class even in the private Urdu medium neighbourhood schools I studied in upto grade 9,” she says. “My parents were very supportive. I must thank TCF which has been my motivating force by supporting me with scholarships as well as logistical guidance at every step. They offered me a scholarship to complete my studies after grade 9, by giving me admission at the Yousuf Goth TCF school. I became the first girl in my family to complete matriculation,” she says.
TCF did not stop at that. They offered scholarships right through college and graduation and now post graduation. “When they asked me if they could nominate me for the Harvard Summer Exchange programme, I was only too happy to consent. I was selected from a group of three nominations based on my academic qualifications and answers to the questions I sent across,” says Anum.
Her father, she says, had no clue about what Harvard, or her acceptance to it, meant. “People at his office explained to him and he was overjoyed telling our friends and extended family about it,” says Anum. Once she is back from the US, she is determined to complete her Masters, find a job and help her siblings do even better than her. “I want to help my brothers and sisters and motivate them never to give up on studies. My youngest sister, Samreen Kauser, and brother Tayyib-Ur Rehman, are enrolled in first year college. Another sister, Tayibba Kauser, is studying in the second year and a brother older than Tayyiba, Haisham Soheil, is in third year at the Szabist University. I want them all to achieve their dreams and I will do everything I can to help them,” says Anum, who is already supporting her family by tutoring at least nine girls at home, during her free time.
.....

http://m.gulfnews.com/life/education/karachi-girl-anum-fatima-goes-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 11, 2013 at 5:07pm

From The News:

After finishing school, she received a scholarship to attend the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), first for her Bachelor’s and then her Master’s. And when she applied for a US State Department programme for women, she was selected for spending three months at the Harvard University.

“It was an advanced learning programme for English. There were 15 students from all over the world. I topped my class and received a certificate, and a book signed by the Dean,” she said.

The three-month long trip to the US opened new avenues for her. She met a classmate of Benazir Bhutto, she spoke at the state department and interned at a US-based think tank.

“People in the West think that girls in Pakistan are not allowed to study. In all of the presentations I made and all the people I talked to, I told them that parents wanted their girls to study, but it was the lack of resources and awareness that held them back.”

They were also interested about knowing the state of education in Pakistan. Fatima patiently explained to them the public-private divide, and how the civil society was sometimes able to bridge the gap. She attended a fundraiser for the TCF. “I met a lot of Pakistani Americans. They were very interested in where I come from. What problems my community faces. With one of them I am currently working on a micro-finance project for Ismail Goth.”

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-212619-From-Ismail-Goth-to-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 31, 2014 at 9:05am

The school was run by a family who strongly believed in providing quality education for children from low-income backgrounds. Adil Soomro whose family set up the school tells me “Waris paid the fees for Fazal for a few months but after that when he could not afford to, we sponsored him.” Fazal was a keen learner and adapted easily to the school.

As the years passed, Fazal went to school in the mornings and helped his father at the fruit stall in the afternoons. He often bought his books along and would do his homework there. “My colleagues at school would see me at the fruit stall,” he says. “Some of them were accepting of me, others didn’t want to study with the son of a fruit vendor.” He says. “In fact, there came a time, when some of my father’s regular clients stopped coming to our stall and we heard that they were telling people that my father could afford to send me to school because the fruit he sold were so expensive.”

In the years that followed, Fazal’s younger brother also joined school and continued in his footsteps. When the O level results were announced, Fazal received a scholarship at the Lyceum School. His parents were overjoyed, Waris Khan could see the years of hard work paying off.

“Years ago my father’s cousin’s wife had taunted him and told him that he would never amount to anything and that his children would also remain uneducated labourers,” Fazal tells me. “That really hurt my father to the core. When I got into A levels he felt vindicated!”

Fazal fit into Lyceum, playing sports, participating in extra curricular activities. He slowly made a few friends. “Even though I wore the same uniform as them, somehow they knew I wasn’t like them,” he says. But many of his classmates accepted him with open arms and helped him settle in. When the time came to apply for college — ­­­ he didn’t even consider it an option given his financial constraints — until Adil and his mother who had been guiding him since his early school days encouraged him to.

And then a miracle happened … he got accepted with a partial scholarship to McGill University.

“I remember telling my father that I had been accepted at one of the best universities in Canada. I had gone to the his fruit stall to break the news to him, but I knew there was no way that I would be able to afford to go.” Fazal remembers that he had tears in his eyes and for the first time he felt helpless.
-----------
Fazal has just finished his first year at McGill and his younger brother has also been admitted there!

Waris Khan is a proud father.

Why is Fazal’s story important for Pakistan today? Why is it important for me? It shows that in one generation, education can transform a family’s life; it shows that dreams do come true and that Pakistan may be hard and unapproachable from the outside but it is soft and caring on the inside.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1128844/fruits-of-labour

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 27, 2015 at 7:25pm

Going from an inner-city slum to an Ivy League university is an incredible journey for anyone. But for a girl in Pakistan, a country where the female literacy rate is 38%, it is an almost unheard-of achievement.

Anum Fatima made international headlines when she won a summer scholarship to Harvard. She grew up in a Karachi slum but attended a school run by The Citizens Foundation (TCF), an education charity which has opened 1000 schools teaching more than 145,000 underprivileged children. TCF schools are built in deprived areas and are open to all faiths and ethnicities. They also focus on giving both girls and boys equal access to education - 46% of their pupils are female.

Now 23, Fatima was one of TCF’s first graduates. The daughter of a maid and a driver, she completed her undergraduate degree and has started a Masters Programme from CBM, a leading business school in Karachi, with a TCF scholarship. Fatima says: “I want to be the CEO of a leading company but before that I want to spend a few years at TCF to pay them back for all they have done for me."

Anum has given presentations on the challenges girls face

While she was delighted with the news that she would be jetting off to Massachusetts, her father had a slightly delayed reaction. Fatima said: “He had not heard of Harvard. When he went to work that day, he asked his boss, who told him what a tremendous achievement it was.”

Fatima came first in her class at the Harvard summer school. She says: “It was an advanced learning programme for English. There were 15 students from all over the world. I topped my class and received a certificate and a book signed by the Dean.”

During the three-month trip she also spoke at the US State Department and interned at a US-based think tank. She was able to give people an accurate description of the educational challenges in her country.


Fatima said: “People in the West think that girls in Pakistan are not allowed to study. In all of the presentations I made and all the people I talked to, I told them that parents wanted their girls to study but it was the lack of resources and awareness that held them back.”

The need for education to be made a priority in Pakistan is clear - 26 countries that are poorer than Pakistan send more children to primary school and one in 10 children worldwide who are not in primary school live in Pakistan. TCF believes its model is a Pakistani solution to a Pakistani problem.

Ateed Riaz, Co-Founder of The Citizens Foundation, said: “Everything related to education is a step forward; whether it is under a tree, in a garage or in a tent. However, we felt that since we ourselves are a product of formal education, we will build our institution along the same lines. We will create schools which are properly built, and not in a tent or basement. We were confident about our decision and there was never any hesitation or doubt regarding the path we had chosen.”

http://www.aworldatschool.org/news/entry/anum-fatima-on-amazing-jou...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 19, 2015 at 8:36am

A kulfi seller from #IBA. #Sindh's poor village kid graduates from top management school in #Pakistan

http://tribune.com.pk/story/994032/a-kulfi-seller-from-iba/

According to Zulfiqar, students from rural Sindh usually go through a ‘zero semester’ at IBA Sukkur before their formal programme starts so they can be brought to the same level as other students. Two weeks before the finals of the zero semester, Zulfiqar’s brother, who was managing the shop in his absence, passed away. Zulfiqar thought of giving up his studies and going back to the shop. But his friends convinced him and his father otherwise. Around eight of his friends started depositing money in Zulfiqar’s account to support him every month, telling him that they had found an anonymous sponsor for him. Fortunately, Zulfiqar won an actual scholarship at IBA Sukkur soon after, which was able to fully support him.

Zulfiqar went on to become the vice-president of the student body at IBA Sukkur and flourished in his academics as well as extra-curricular activities. He even raised money for furniture, stationery and other resources to refurbish a school for street children near the university. After graduating from IBA Sukkur, he moved to Karachi for an internship and is currently looking for a job. His father recently asked him to approach the village wadera to help him find one but Zulfiqar refused. “I’ve only asked God for help all my life,” says Zulfiqar, his face beaming with confidence which comes from being a self-made man in the making. “I am the most educated man in my village today. Once I have enough resources, I’m going to open a school in my village. Why should I ask my wadera for help? If you believe in yourself and work hard, opportunities will knock on your door.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 10, 2016 at 12:26pm

Upwardly Mobile #Pakistan: #TCF & #IBA Alum Nadeem Hussain's rise from #Karachi slum to #WorldBank consultant. http://tribune.com.pk/story/1062613/extraordinary-pakistanis-nadeem... … …

This is a moving story about a young man from a katchi abadi in Karachi, who graduated from IBA, Karachi despite his father working as a mazdoor in a wire factory for 35 years. Today, Nadeem Hussain works as a World Bank Technical Assistant to the Government of Sindh and after his office duties are over for the day, he helps children from katchi abadis secure admission into top tier universities like IBA, so they can experience the same life transformation that he did through the power of education. What’s even more striking about Nadeem’s story is that the daughter of the owner of the factory where Nadeem’s father works studied at IBA, at the same time as Nadeem.

“I’ve personally experienced how education removes the barriers of class and privilege,” shares Nadeem. “There was a time in my life when I went to the factory to help my dad sometimes. Later, when I secured admission into IBA, the owner of the factory was so proud that he hugged my father. My father was the proudest dad in the world at that time. Two years later, the daughter of the factory’s owner also got admitted into IBA and we actually took a course together. Now, I want other children from katchi abadis to have opportunities like this.”

Extraordinary Pakistanis: the mama and baby fund

“My father migrated to Karachi from Naushahro Feroze when I was a young boy,” shares Nadeem. “He started working in a wire factory and we got a house in a katchi abadi near the industrial area. There was no school in the area and I was an out of school child until The Citizens Foundation (TCF) opened up a campus in my area. My mother got me enrolled in grade four because she had studied till grade five and was able to teach me the Urdu alphabet on her own. I did my matric in 2007 and later applied for a fully funded National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) scholarship in IBA. At IBA, I got the opportunity to visit the United States as part of an exchange programme and visited places like MIT, Harvard and the US Senate. In the US, I realised that no other child from my TCF school or katchi abadi would get the opportunity to see what I’m seeing unless I could help them in some way.”

In his senior year at IBA, Nadeem and a friend, Farheen Ghaffar, created the TCF Alumni Development Programme (ADP) together with a group of volunteers, to help TCF students find placements and funding for top tier universities like IBA, LUMS, NED, FAST-NU and Habib University. Here’s how their team works: first, the team collects data from TCF, of their graduates. These graduates are then educated about the different top tier universities and their programmes. For example, the application process to a top university is in itself so complicated and the application fee so high that it becomes a barrier to the application. The ADP’s team of volunteers mentor the TCF alumni and guide them through the application process while convincing university management to drop the application fees for such underprivileged children. Through their honest work and advocacy, Nadeem and team were able to convince Dr Ishrat Hussain at IBA to waive the application fees for all such students and recently, five students mentored by Nadeem’s team are successfully studying at IBA, fully funded by scholarships.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 27, 2016 at 4:23pm

Remote northern #Pakistan village Gojal transformed by #education , #CellPhone, #Internet, new highway http://on.natgeo.com/2dPriY5 via @NatGeo

PASSU, Pakistan—Sajid Alvi is excited. He just got a grant to study in Sweden.

“My Ph.D. is about friction in turbo jet engines,” Alvi says. “I will work on developing new aerospace materials—real geeky stuff!”

Alvi’s relatives have come to bid him farewell as he prepares to leave his mountain village and study in a new country, some 3,000 miles away.

“We will see you again,” one of them says as they hang out in the potato field in front of Alvi’s house. “You know you won’t get far with a long beard like that. You look like Taliban!”

Alvi, dressed in low-hanging shorts and a Yankees cap, is far from a fundamentalist: He’s Wakhi, part of an ethnic group with Persian origins. And like everyone else here, he is Ismaili—a follower of a moderate branch of Islam whose imam is the Aga Khan, currently residing in France. There are 15 million Ismailis around the world, and 20,000 live here in the Gojal region of northern Pakistan.

I’ve been visiting Gojal for 17 years, and I’ve watched as lives like Alvi’s have become more common here. Surrounded by the mighty Karakoram Range, the Ismailis here have long been relatively isolated, seeing tourists but little else of global events. But now, an improved highway and the arrival of mobile phones have let the outside world in, bringing new lifestyles and opportunities: Children grow up and head off to university, fashions change, and technology reshapes tradition. Gojal has adjusted to all of this, surprising me every time I return by showing me just how adaptable traditions can be.

With these photos, I hope to add nuance to our understanding of Pakistan, a country many Westerners associate with terrorism or violence. People have suffered from this reputation, and many feel helpless in trying to change it. The Pakistan I’ve seen is different from that popular perception. I returned there this summer with my family and focused my attention on a young and forward-thinking community in Gojal, a place I know well.

I first came here in the summer of 1999. I was 25 and my girlfriend and I bought one-way tickets to Pakistan. We were looking for inspiring treks (the Karakoram Range has the highest concentration of peaks taller than 8,000 meters). Back then, we were among the roughly 100,000 foreign tourists to visit northern Pakistan each year.

We stayed for months, opening new passes, learning the language, and exploring the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and Pamir. I kept returning, but over the years, I saw the number of fellow hikers plunge. The tourism department now records only a few thousand foreign visitors each year.

“Following the terrible September 11th attacks, anyone involved in tourism had to sell their jeeps or hotels; no tourists dared to come here anymore,” says Karim Jan, a local tour guide.

With each return visit, I noticed other changes. While outsiders were rare, the improved Karakoram Highway, now able to host vehicles other than Jeeps and 4x4s, brought in local tourists from south Pakistan, and southern cities became more accessible to the Wakhi.


Young men and women began leaving to study in these cities, and they came back for summer holiday dressed in new, hip fashions. Shops multiplied along the road, selling new spices, sugary snacks, and sodas. Biryani rice, a favorite dish from Punjab, now often replaces the traditional turnip soup or buckwheat pancakes during celebrations.

But despite what I’ve seen change on the surface, the spirit of Gojal is very much the same. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 6, 2016 at 8:46pm

From Slums to Universities Abroad – 5 Most Inspirational Stories

http://www.parhlo.com/from-slums-to-universities-abroad-5-most-insp...


Every once in a while, 1 out of the 23 – 32 million people living in slums in Pakistan, manages to surpass all the obstacles that come their way, to the extent that they break all barriers right to the very last…

1. MUHAMMAD SABIR

One such inspiration to all students, (regardless of their social background) is Muhammad Sabir, a 28 year old activist that is now running the organisation called ‘Slumabad’ that aims to focus on social issues like promoting education and hygiene in kids from slum areas, since these topics are of least importance in such places.

Having completed his schooling from City District Government Boys High School, Township Lahore and graduating from Pakistan’s Chartered Institute of Management Accountants by doing side jobs such as teaching tuition, Sabir was selected as a 2012 fellow for the Emerging Leaders of Pakistan (ELP) programme run by the Atlantic Council, a development program empowering future Pakistani leaders. For his training, Sabir was sent to United States of America. There he met with policymakers, civil society leaders and such, to help further his efforts in Pakistan.

2. ANUM FATIMA

From Ibrahim Goth, (a slum area in karachi) this TCF student has completed her B. A from CBM and is now being sent to Harvard Business School for a Summer Exchange Programme on a full scholarship.

3. SHAH FAISAL

Shah Faisal, is a dedicated student that lacks the funds for further education though he has managed to secure the first place in 12th grade (inter) exam’s all over Pakistan. Though this samosa vendor has appealed to be given a scholarship in Peshawar University’s System Engineering program, he hasn’t received confirmation as of yet.

4. HARAM ZULFIQAR ALI

A similar success story – a star student who managed to secure amazing grades in matric is the daughter of a vegetable seller. After school she and her sister sell vegetables with their father or manage their own ‘gola ganda’ stall. Be it power break downs or a shortage of gas, she lets nothing deter her from her aim of being the best. One day she wishes to gain admission into a medical college to pursue her family’s dream.

5. FAZAL WARIS KHAN

Son of a fruit seller with a vision; this man let nothing stand in his way to success and certainly did not let this label define him negatively. Instead, today he stands proud of having made it to where most people can only dream of being, a partial scholarship to McGill University, in Canada. Being funded by a good soul, Fazal graduated from one of the most reputable A level institutions in Karachi, again only on merit, and not on source. Today his brother is following his footsteps with many people supporting them in their efforts to improve their lives and those of their to -be families.

These are just a few cases that we know of. There are hundreds more that are only restricted by such circumstances that don’t allow them to excel beyond what they have been exposed to. We strongly believe, being granted the right opportunities does wonders for lifetimes to come. If anyone of you possesses the means to help not just these kids, but the likes of them, sponsoring their education is potentially the best way to not only secure the future generations of this nation, but also to give back to the society in which we spend such privileged lives.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 8, 2017 at 7:22am

From Ibrahim Hyderi Fishing Village Near #Karachi to U of Michigan, there’s no stopping this #TCF alumna. #Pakistan


http://tribune.com.pk/story/1286347/ibrahim-hyderi-michigan-theres-...


Iqra Saleem is no ordinary girl — the first person to attend Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) from her fishing village — Saleem has just returned from an exchange programme in the United States and aspires to work in the public sector to give back to the society.

Saleem, a resident of Karachi’s Ibrahim Hyderi, said her school had played a pivotal role in shaping her life. With no educational institution in the disadvantaged neighbourhood, Saleem said it was her good fortune that The Citizens Foundation (TCF) decided to build a campus in the area.

Student by day and tailor by night, Saleem strived hard. That is what she said took her where she is today. “I believe everyone can achieve their dreams with hard work and consistency,” Saleem said.

After acing her matric and intermediate exams, Saleem set her eyes on the LUMS scholarship programme. With the help of mentors from TCF-Alumni Development Programme, Saleem prepared for the university admission test and was eventually awarded a full-merit scholarship to study at LUMS’ Suleman Dawood School of Business.

“I don’t think I would have had a future if there was no TCF in Ibrahim Goth. I might have remained unaware of what I could achieve like many out-of-school children. I would have never realised my dream for higher education without the support of my mentors,” Saleem said.

For the young who lead challenging lives Saleem said, “Always dream high and never give up. “No one gets anywhere without hard work. Some people just have to struggle more.”

Saleem’s urged the privileged to help the less fortunate. “Never settle for less. Help others if you come across opportunities. Scores of children still remain out of school and and they have little idea of what they are missing out on,” she emphasised.

Having just returned from Michigan after studying a semester at Saginaw Valley State University on scholarship, Saleem said she wanted to attend graduate school abroad before returning to work in the public sector.

“I want to particularly deal with education as it is something very near to my heart. I want to devote my time and money to revamp the sector to such an extent that exclusive access to education becomes a thing of the past,” Saleem said.

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    Pakistan-Origin Muslim Actor Riz Ahmad Leads Campaign to Make Hollywood More Inclusive

    “With all my privilege and profile, I often wonder if this is going to be the year they round us up, if this is the year they’re going to put Trump’s Muslim registry into action, if this is going to be the year they ship us all off,” Riz Ahmad said back in 2019 at Creative Artists Agency's Amplify Conference. “The representation of Muslims on screen — that feeds the policies that get enacted, the people that get killed, the countries that get invaded.”…

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 12, 2021 at 10:00am

    Did Pakistan Help China Access American Stealth Helicopter Technology?

    American Defense publication "The Drive" claims that Pakistan has helped China get access to American stealth aircraft technology. Specifically, the American website alleges that the Pakistanis gave Chinese access to the wreckage of the US stealth helicopter destroyed during the American raid to kill Usama Bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011. Chinese experts have called the accusation "groundless", according to Global Times. …

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 8, 2021 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

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