Kinnaird College produces women who are individuals in their own right . The graduates of Kinnaird continue to make a major contribution to the civic life of Pakistan. and to many communities abroad , where they tend to excel by virtue of their special grounding at Kinnaird. In this section we feature one such KCites.
Surayya Jabeen graduated from Kinnaird College of Women, Lahore in 1948, and continued a distinguished academic career at Universities of the Punjab & Karachi which includes a Gold Medal. M.A., University of Karachi.Studied Philosophy, Politics & Economics at St. Hilda’s College at Oxford.Diploma in Mass Communication for Family Planning, University of Chicago.Taught Political Science & English at various Colleges Vice Principal APWA College, Lahore.
Surayya is associated with a number of Civil Society Organizations including the Family Planning Association of Pakistan, The All Pakistan Women’s Association, The Women’s Action Forum, The Global Peace Initiative of Women Leaders and the American Association of University Women.
Initially Surayya entered the academic field but soon discovered that her true calling is in the development sector. She has participated in various national and international conferences on Reproductive Health and women’s development, a number of which she helped to organize. Her special field of interest is youth and women’s empowerment with a focus on the Girl Child.
Surayya’s career is a lifetime of service to social development in Pakistan, with dedication and devotion she has promoted a range of women’s issues and with unflinching commitment and much hard work has given leadership to the family planning movement of Pakistan.
Fawzia Afzal-Khan Professor
Fawzia Afzal-Khan holds a PhD in English Literature from Tufts University and is Full Professor at Montclair State University, NJ. She is author of several books of scholarly criticism: Cultural Imperialism and the Indo-English Novel : Genre and Ideology in the works of RK Narayan, Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai and Salman Rushdie (Penn State Press 1993),
The Preoccupation of Postcolonial Studies (co-edited with Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, Duke University Press, 2000), A Critical Stage: the Role of Secular Alternative Theatre in Pakistan Seagull Press, 2005), and editor of the recent best-selling anthology, Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out (Interlink Books 2005). She has published scholarly articles on Feminist and Postcolonial Theory and Criticism and Performance and Cultural Studies in NWSA Journal, TDR (The Drama Review), Social Text, Womanist Theory and Research, Wasafiri,
The Journal of South Asian Studies and other journals, and is on the Advisory Board of the South Asian Review. She has lectured all over the world, and is winner of several prestigious fellowships, including the W.E.B Dubois Fellowship at Harvard University, a Rotary Fellowship, an American Institute of Pakistan Studies grant and a Fulbright. She is a performance artist, working in the classical vocal North Indian tradition, and founding member of the theatre collective, Faim de Siecle, with whom she recently performed in the World Premiere of Five Streams at Asia Society, Manhattan. She is completing work on her memoir, Sahelian: Growing Up With Girlfriends, Pakistani-Style, set in Lahore and America. A chapter of it was just published in the anthology And The World Changed:: Contemporary Writings by Pakistani Women (ed Muneeza Shamsie, OUP, 2006). Fawzia is also a published poet, a finalist in the Annual Greenburgh Poetry Competition of 2000. Her most recent assignment was to set up a Postcolonial studies Graduate Program at Government College University, Lahore, where she was invited by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in Fall of 2005.
Ayesha Rabia Captain
Captain Ayesha Rabia became the first lady captain of a commercial airline of Pakistan when she did her first flight as a full fledged captain of Pakistan international airlines on 21st October 2005. She joined PIA as a cadet pilot in 1989.
She did her Matriculation High School from Sacred Heart Convent School, Lahore. She got interested in flying after her Intermediate and Bachelors from Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. In 1974, she started flying as a hobby at Lahore Flying Club, Walton and did her first solo flight on a Cessna 172 at the age of seventeen. She got her Commercial Pilot’s License and Instrument rating in 1977. Ayesha obtained her Assistant flying instructors rating in 1979. She obtained her Airline Transport Pilot’s License in 1998.
The atmosphere at home was very conducive. She was inspired by her father, who was a surgeon by profession but used to fly as hobby and had a Private Pilot’s License. Her maternal uncle was also a captain in PIA. Her brother also started learning flying at the same time when she was learning flying and is a captain in PIA.
Then in 1980 she was selected as a cadet pilot in PIA. Four batches of cadet pilots were selected out of which only the first three were called for training initially. She was placed in the fourth batch, due to which her training was delayed. However, during that time she got married to a civil engineer, had children, a daughter and a son, and took an air traffic controlling course at Civil Aviation Authority and even worked there for a short period.
In 1985 when they called her batch and the training started, the Government policy in the country was not very favorable for female e pilots. So she was trained for a marketing course by PIA and worked as a sales promotion officer in the Marketing department in PIA
Then in 1989 the Government policy was revised and she had the opportunity of being trained as a First Officer on f-27 aircraft. Her simulator training for this was conducted at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After flying the F-27 for 500 hours, she was promoted to the Boeing-737 for which she got the simulator training in Houston, Texas, America. Her next promotion came on Airbus-300 as a first officer. After successfully flying this equipment, she was promoted on the Boeing-747 Jumbo in February 1999 and became the first female pilot to fly the Boeing-747 in Pakistan. For this, he ground training classes and simulator training were both conducted at PIA Training Centre, Karachi.
In April 2005, she was promoted and was called to start her training to become a Captain on Fokker F-27 aircraft. Her ground training classes began at PIA Training Centre in Karachi. Her simulator training was conducted in Indonesia. She then flew under the supervision of the instructors of F-27. Then ultimately on October 21st 2005, she flew as a full fledged Captain of Fokker F-27. She flew from Karachi to Turbat then Gwadar and back to Karachi.
Captain Ayesha Rabia has more than 7000 hours of flying experience to her credit and has been flying with PIA for the last almost 16 years. She has flown on both international and domestic routes like America, Europe, Middle East and Fareast.
Captain Ayesha Rabia operated an all female crew flight on 25th January, 2006. Her co-pilot was a lady pilot and cabin crew was also airhostesses. Captain Ayesha along with her female crew members flew form Islamabad to Lahore. This was the first all female crew flight in the Aviation history of Pakistan.
Her hobbies are swimming, sightseeing, tennis, listening to music, watching informative television programs and movies, trying out different recipes and spending time with her family.
Captain Ayesha Rabia has recently been promoted on Boeing 737.
Captain Ayesha Rabia’s sister is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and another brother is doctor specializing in Pathology.
Captain Ayesha Rabia’s daughter Mahvesh Naveed is doing her Bachelors in Business Administration from Lahore School of Economics and son Mofeez Sheikh is studying in Grade 8 at Lahore School of Arts and Sciences.
Aneela Arshad Author
Aneela Arshad is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, Teacher and Healer. She owns and operates a Holistic Medical facility in New York where she has, by the grace of God, successfully healed many people suffering from stress, depression, sleep disorders and other related emotional illnesses. She is also an Author, Poet, Playwright and a Screenplay Writer aspiring to spread peace through her writings. Currently, the president of The Arch, a New York based Non-Profit, Cultural Organization; she hopes to reach out to the world through Art and Theatre, thereby bridging the gaps of diversity.
Her first book, The Bounty of Allah was published in 1999 by the Crossroads publishing company. She has written three screenplays, two of which, Where Spirits Soar and The Right and the Wrong, were bought by Nivelli International films. Nightmare at Uch Sharif is in the pre-production phase. She has also produced two plays, Mogul E Azam The Great Mogul and Amir Khusro in 2001 and 2003. She was nominated by the Sub-Continent Peace foundation to receive a proclamation and a Key to the City of Jersey City for her literary endeavors and the passion to address the crimes against women, particularly Muslim women.
THE SILENT LAMEN, her latest work, an anthology of which many poems have been published in various magazines, is a collection of poems based on the true stories of women whose voices have been stifled in a world where being a woman is a curse unto itself. This anthology lays bare the warped reality of women trapped beneath the rubble of a crumbling civilization. It voices the misery of tormented spirits crying out for help.
Neelam Muizzuddin, Ph.D.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Neelam attended the prestigious Convent of Sacred Heart High School, and Kinnaird College for Women, for her education up to her Bachelors in Science. She obtained a Masters in Microbiology (hons) from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, before immigrating to the United States, in 1986, where she started working for Estee Lauder Companies, as a Research Scientist. Always of a very active and energetic temperament, Neelam obtained her doctorate in Cell Biology while working full time.
During her thirty something years at Estee Lauder as a clinical research scientist she has worked on several skin care studies and has extensive experience in skin bioengineering with scores of publications and patents in these topics. She took an early retirement from Estee Lauder in 2018 and is currently consulting as a Clinical research and data mining expert.
Neelam is adjunct professor at SUNY Stonybrook. She is a Member of several Dermatological societies and is a reviewer of the journal of cosmetic sciences.
She is also an instrument rated pilot and an artist. Her art exhibitions have been displayed in renowned galleries in Soho, Manhattan, NY. At present she expresses her art in edible form as cakes of all shapes. She has a blog for her cakes: http://artnsciencecreations.blogspot.com/
Neelam has been an active member of the KCA since its creation in 1987; she has not missed any meeting to date. She served as president, treasurer and area representative of this organization several times.
Bapsi Sidhwa Writer
Bapsi Sidhwa is one of Pakistan’s most eminent writers. She has produced English novels that reflect her personal experience of the Indian subcontinent’s Partition, abuse against women, immigration to the US, and membership in the Parsi/Zoroastrian community. Born on August 11, 1938 in Karachi, and migrating shortly thereafter to Lahore, Bapsi Sidhwa witnessed the bloody Partition of the Indian Subcontinent as a young child in 1947. Growing up with polio, she was educated at home until age 15, reading extensively. She then went on to receive a BA from Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore. At nineteen, Sidhwa had married and soon after gave birth to the first of her three children. The responsibilities of a family led her to set aside her literary prowess for some time. However, she remained an active women’s rights spokesperson, representing Pakistan in the Asian Women’s Congress of 1975.
After receiving countless rejections for her first and second novels, The Bride and The Crow Eaters, she decided to publish The Crow Eaters in Pakistan privately. Though the experience was one she says, “I would not wish on anyone,” it marks the beginning of her literary fame. Since then, she has received numerous awards and honorary professorships for these first two works and her two most recent novels, Cracking India and An American Brat.
Bapsi, who was on the advisory committee to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Women’s Development has taught at Columbia University, Mount Holyoke College, Southampton University, and Brandeis University. She now lives in Houston Texas and teaches at St. Thomas University, Rice University, University of Houston, and The University of Texas.
AWARDS and RECOGNITION:
Bapsie was awarded Pakistan National honors of the Patras Bokhari award for The Bride in 1985 and the highest honor in the arts, the Sitari-I-Imtiaz in 1991.
A Bunting Fellowship from Harvard and a National Endowment of the Arts grant in 1986 and 1987 supported the completion of her third novel Cracking India, that was also awarded the German Literatureprei, a nomination for Notable Book of the Year from the American Library Association, and was mentioned as a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year,” all in 1991. She was also awarded a $100,000 grant as the recipient of the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award in 1993. Cracking India (a Quality Paperback Book Club selection) was also made into the film Earth by Canadian director Deepa Mehta.
Her latest novel Water is based on Mehta’s film of the same name. Bapsie’s play, An American Brat, was produced by Stages Repertory Theater in Houston March 2007. It played to full houses and received critical acclaim. Her play, Sock’em With Honey , played in London in 2003.
Her novels: (Water, An American Brat, Cracking India, The Bride, and The Crow Eaters) have been translated and published in several languages. Her most recent publication is an anthology: City of Sin and Splendour [aka] Beloved City.: Writings on Lahore, which was published in 2006.
You can check out more details at her website: www.bapsisidhwa.com
Mariam Chughtai Scholar
Currently at Harvard University, Mariam Chughtai is pursuing a doctorate in Education Policy and Leadership at Harvard University. Her PhD thesis focuses on the politics behind education reform and policy decisions in Pakistan. Mariam has two masters degrees, also from Harvard, in International Education Policy and Education Policy and Management. “This region is a tremendous laboratory for studying development through education,” she says.
Mariam founded Harvard Pakistan Student Group three years ago with a small community of 18 people. With over 600 members today, Harvard Pakistan Student Group is the first university-wide student organization recognized by Harvard University.
After she completes her doctorate, Mariam sees herself returning to Pakistan to run for political office working towards systemic social change. She hopes to engage youth in political participation and discourse on their right to quality education. Mariam says the increase in suicide bombings and global terrorism has hijacked her religion – a religion of peace. “It is my duty to be a catalyst for education reform in a country that has been both misused and misunderstood”.
Ms. Rafi is the President and Convenor of AirQualityAsia. Ms. Rafi is a consultant specializing in parliamentary diplomacy related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
From 1996 to 2013 Ms. Rafi was the Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). PGA is a non- profit, non-partisan organization of elected legislators from over 130 countries that leverage parliamentary processes to promote peace, international law, gender equality and reproductive health. PGA was founded in Washington D.C. in 1978 with a focus on nuclear non-proliferation and negotiation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Under Ms. Rafi’s leadership, PGA successfully promoted the Rome Statue establishing the International Criminal Court; played a critical role in the passage of the Arms Trade Treaty to regulate conventional weapons trade; built international consensus for progressive legislation on gender equality and reproductive health at the Cairo Conference and the Beijing Conference; clean air/clean water legislation focuses on urban environmental health and mediated in conflict zones from Azerbaijan to Cote d’Ivoire and Haiti.
Shazia Z. Rafi was PGA’s first female Secretary-General, first Secretary-General from the developing world, from an Islamic country, and its longest-serving chief executive. Under her tenure, PGA was transformed from an organization facing bankruptcy to a stable, growing and influential player in the worlds of diplomacy, international law and development; with established relations with the United Nations system, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and leading international NGOs.
Ms. Rafi joined Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) in 1993 as Director, Democracy and Development Programs. She was appointed Deputy Secretary-General in June 1995 and Secretary-General in June 1996. At PGA, Ms. Rafi developed projects on the Role of Parliamentarians in Conflict Management and Political mediation; the Role of Parliamentary Committees in Rule of Law and Good Governance; the Role of Parliamentary Leadership in gender equality and women’s empowerment; and the Role of Foreign Aid Committees of Donor parliaments in Development Assistance. Ms. Rafi is a contributing editor for www.womensmediacenter.com, Op-ed contributor, El Pais, www.dawn.com, www.khaleejtimes.com, Ahram Weekly, www.passblue.com. Commentator on ABC, Al-Jazeera America. Associated Press, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Urdu, CBS, Channel 11, the Independent, International Business Times, NTN24, Sky News, TRTWorld, the Fletcher Forum.
Ms. Rafi has a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (1983) and she graduated Magna cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College (1979) in Political Science, with junior year in International Relations from the London School of Economics and speaks five languages. Shazia was a Gold Medallist in her F.A.,1975 from Kinnaird College for Women and before that she did her ‘O’ levels from Convent of Jesus & Mary, Lahore.
Ms. Rafi was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to serve on the advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), in an individual capacity, for the period of 2012-2013. She also serves as founding Board member of WomanSG, inaugural board member for the Asian Women’s University, Malaysia; Senior Advisor, Transparency International Defense and Security Program, and advisor/annual speaker to the Women in Public Service Summer Institute of the Wilson Center, Washington D.C. Ms. Rafi currently serves as the UN Representative for the All Pakistan Women’s Association, the oldest and largest women’s organization in the country.
Navid, an alumna of Kinnaird College, was consistently rated the best athlete during her KC years in the late 1950s. After her marriage, Navid lived in Germany for a couple of years before migrating to the USA in 1992. She lived in New Hampshire, where she opened her business of supplying Medical Instruments. Navid was honored with the Best Business Woman award for 2003 by President George W. Bush in the White House, where she was a frequent guest of the President and the First Lady Laura Bush.
After transitioning her business to her son, Navid retired since 2011 and now lives in Southern California in the vicinity of Los Angeles. Navid would love to connect with the alumnae located in neck of the woods.
Eemaan Siddiqi is a senior technology digital consultant in the media and technology industries in the US, working with national and international clients. This is a field where very few women, let alone Pakistani women have risen to this level. Eemaan earned her ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level degrees from the London University, and then earned her Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology from Kinnaird College, Lahore. She got married right after her bachelors and moved back to Karachi where she successfully got enrolled at the Institute of Business Administration and acquired her MBA in Marketing and Finance.In her current role, Eemaan works with Fortune 500 clients to create their e-commerce work streams nationally and globally. Some of the clients include Samsung International, TimeWarnerCable, Hewlett Packard, Comcast, Harper Collins/NewsCorp,Barnes and Noble Education, Carnival Cruise Line etc. Eemaan is a certified Scrum Master and an Agile Coach as well and has led digital transformations at some of these clients. Prior to Accenture, Eemaan was Product Owner of the eBooks work stream at Scholastic – the largest publishing house in the US.
Eemaan loves to mentor the youth and makes it a priority to find time to help the young homeless adults at the Covenant House in New York City. They are taught skills such as resume building, interviewing, finance 101 so that these young adults are able to get jobs and sustain them and hence get a second chance at life.
Her way of giving back to the Pakistan community is by conducting free technology seminars and workshops at reputable universities when she visits Pakistan. She shares her global e-commerce experiences with the MS students and discusses various project methodologies and their application in real life situations with the students while providing them direction on technology careers worldwide. Eemaan is a global ambassador for “Emerging Pakistan’, an initiative taken by the Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan to promote a softer image of Pakistan.
In her free time, Eemaan loves to read and write. She is a free-lance contributor to major Pakistani publications such as the News, and Instep.
Currently living in New Jersey with her husband and 3 wonderful kids – 2 boys and 1 girl, Eemaan loves to travel with her family. Her sense of adventure and curiosity to try new things is fulfilled by her love of cooking, interior decoration, and new ventures – currently, she’s trying her luck at breathing new life into a beat up restaurant!
You can visit Eemaan’s linked in page https://www.linkedin.com/in/eemaan-siddiqi-56982b/ and Instagram account eemaanfaith and/or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to keep in touch.
A physician by profession, Isma Chaudhry is an interfaith advocate and a champion for the rights of Muslim women. She has been actively involved with the Islamic Center of Long Island for over 20 years, and in 2015 was elected the Center’s first female president, and after serving the community for 3 years in 2018 was elected as the first female chairperson of the center’s board of Trustees.
During her more than three decades of volunteering, Isma’s interests have focused on youth development programs, building bridges, celebrating ethnic diversity, and interfaith initiatives. Of particular interest are mentorship, career planning and developing leadership programs for young women. She is a champion for women’s rights and dedicated to empowering women by creating programs that enhance academics and develop practical skills.
A resident of Manhasset and mother of two, Isma has been in the forefront supporting interfaith initiatives by frequently presenting lectures and dispelling myths about Islam, Islamophobia and building bridges of mutual respect, understanding and moving beyond just tolerance. One of the most sought-after speakers on Islam on Long Island, her lectures focus on Interfaith Harmony, Ethnic and Cultural awareness in public, parochial and independent schools, as well as in libraries, community centers, houses of worship, colleges, and governments across Long Island.
In addition to her advocacy she has extensive public appearances and speaking engagements to her credit, including the United Nations conference on Islamophobia, United States Institute of Peace, United Nations office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, and Healthcare and Building Community Coalitions @ Engagement Institute.
Isma has pulled together in-service curricula, which are taught in several public school districts on Long Island, developed and taught several courses on cultures of Southeast Asia, and conducted seminars and town hall meetings on the rights of Muslim women, sharia and civil liberties. She has also represented the Islamic perspective in art, architecture, sharia, the women’s role in Islam and other topics in various interfaith forums and panels.
In addition to her dedication to the Islamic Center of Long Island, Isma has worked tireless with other organizations to support her local community. She is co-chair of the Board of Trustees for Long Island WINS, an immigration advocacy organization, a member of the Nassau County Anti-Bias Task Force, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Interfaith Alliance of Long Island, and an advisor to the Nassau County Council for Asian Affairs, and Council of Minority Affairs.
She is currently serving on the Board of Ethics Town of North Hempstead.
Isma has been listed in Long Island Press power list 2015, 2016 and 2017 among 50 most influential Long Islanders (Power 50). She has been inducted in the North Hempstead 23 Annual Women’s Roll of Honor list, 2016, and “Make a Difference Award” Town of Hempstead 2017. She has been honored by the National Center for Suburban studies, Hofstra University 2017, and by CARECEN for her work in building bridges of understanding and respect in an ethnically diverse world.
Isma is the Director of Public Health Programs at Hofstra University and a Professor in the Department of Health Professions and Department of Religion at Hofstra University. Her interests of study in Public Health are Healthcare Infrastructure in developing countries, Ethnic Barriers to Primary Care, Minority and Immigrant Health. She also works as a diversity & sensitivity coach and inclusion & cultural competence consultant at various government and private organizations.