Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a Pakistani journalist, filmmaker and activist. She is mostly known for her works based on inequalities and the social issues related to women in Pakistan. Born and bred in Pakistan, she moved to the United States for higher education.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy acquired Bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2002 from Smith college. Afterwards, she enrolled for a double Master’s degree in International policy studies and communication, which she completed in 2004. She also bore abilities for film making in her, which provoked her to make her first film ‘’Terror’s Children for New York Times. Her most prominent works were in’’ Children of the Taliban, The Lost Generation, Afghanistan Unveiled, 3 Bahadur (animation), Song of Lahore and the Academy Award winning ‘’Saving Face’’ and ‘’A Girl In The River’’.
Furthermore, she earned numerous other Awards such as ‘’Academy Award for Best Short Subject Documentary (2012 and 2016)’’, ‘’Emmy Award’’ in the same category (2010 and 2011) and ‘’One World Media Award’’ for ‘’Broadcast Journalist of the Year (2007)’’. Her films have been aired on international channels including PBS, CNN, Discovery Channel, Al-Jazeera English and Channel 4. The 2015 animation ‘’3 Bahadur’’ earned her the prestige of being the first Pakistani to make a computer-animated feature-length film. In 2007, she helped founding the ‘’Citizen Archive of Pakistan’’, which serves for the preservation of Pakistan’s cultural and social heritage. She also has the honor of serving as an ‘’Ambassador for Blood Safety’’ for Pakistan’s national Blood Safety Program.
In honor of her work in ‘’Saving Face’’ the Government of Pakistan awarded her with ‘’Hilal-e-Imtiaz’’, the second most prestigious Civil award of Pakistan. She was also named in the Time magazine’s annual list of ‘’The 100 most Influential people in the world’’ for 2012. Her first commercial undertaking ‘’Sulagta Sitara” was aired on ARY Digital in 2015, featuring the hardships faced in cities of Pakistan and how people managed themselves through these daring conditions. Her latest endeavor is the launching of a foundation for women, creating awareness of mental health Issues in Pakistan.
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A Controversial figure
From “Saving Face” to “A Girl In The River”, Sharmeen has been a center of controversy. She has been accused of representing the social issues in her movies not for pointing out for betterment but to bring the Pakistani values in vulnerability for criticism. General public is divided on her stance, some thinking of her presented issues as ‘’Inspiring’’ and others are of the view she is merely a puppet of the western culture, criticizing the essences of Pakistan’s socio-cultural heritage.
A recent Controversy about her is the point of discussion the electronic and social media is of a Tweet she posted about a Doctor who in her view harassed her sister.
“My recent tweets about a doctor’s inappropriate behaviour has drawn much comment and controversy. The conversation has unfortunately steered far from the safety of women, unchecked unethical practices & harassment.”
As in previous cases , the view is divided among public. Some support Sharmeen’s point of view and others accuse her of exaggeration. Which one stands true?…….. Only time will tell..!!
Waqar Younas Peerzada