It’s that time of the year when our chand sitaara flutters over every building, house and school. Though the definition of patriotism changes with every circumstance we face, we remain undeterred when it comes to celebrating the spirit of Independence.
Going down the memory lane, we bring you ten Pakistanis who struck our patriotic chords through their groundbreaking achievements this past year. Here is the list of the people who have made us proud:
1. Fawad Khan wins Filmfare award
In the quest of living their Bollywood dreams, many have crossed the border. But one person who came, performed and conquered was none other than Fawad Khan. The singer-turned-actor became the first Pakistani to bag the prestigious Filmfare award. He won the award in the Best Male Debut category for his film Khoobsurat. We bet many hearts would have melted when the heartthrob turned emotional during his acceptance speech.
2. Malala Yousufzai wins Nobel Prize
Malala Yousafzai became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner in October 2014. The Norwegian Nobel Committee bestowed the honour upon Malala for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. The 17-year-old got the nation glued to their TV screens as she accepted the award with a rousing speech. She has also received the Asian Game Changer Award by the Asia Society.
3. Samina Baig climbs 7 highest peaks
Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to summit the highest mountains on each of the seven continents of the world in July 2014. The 22-year-old hails from Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan and was on a mission to raise the Pakistani flag on these highest peaks. Previously, Samina had successfully climbed the Mount Everest on May 19, 2013 that also made her the first Pakistani woman to claim the title.
4. Laila Naim becomes Burberry model
The five-year-old Laila made headlines in the global fashion arena as she became the first Pakistani model for British luxury fashion house Burberry. Donning a signature Burberry trench coat, her straight thick black hair neatly falling over her forehead and her big black eyes glistening, Laila features on Burberry’s website, making Pakistan proud.
5. Sumail Hassan wins Dota2 International tournament
Sumail – who moved from Pakistan to Illinois chasing his dreams of being a professional gamer – made a history once again as he helped his team, Evil Geniuses, win the Defense of the Ancient (Dota 2) International 2015 tournament in Seattle. Earlier this year, Sumail won the Dota 2 Asian championship in China and bagged the $1.2 million prize money. The 16-year-old is set to become the youngest millionaire of Pakistan.
6. Baadshah Pehalwan Khan becomes professional wrestler
The 21-year-old, first Pakistani professional wrestler is trained in the Mexican style of combat Lucha Libre at wrestling academy APC Catch in France. Unable to make the cut for a reality show — WWE Tough Enough —Baadshah is still in high spirits and is hopeful of hoisting the Pakistani flag in major wrestling circuits like WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW).
7. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wins Asia Game Changer Award
Ever since becoming the first Pakistani to bag an Oscar, Sharmeen has been making the country reach new heights. The filmmaker received the first ever Asia Game Changer Award by the Asia Society at the United Nations Complex in New York. The award is bestowed upon individuals, organisations and movements that inspire and enlighten others on an annual basis. Sharmeen was honoured her for eye-opening films that give voice to the voiceless.
8. Ali Xeeshan impresses Rihanna
The designer was approached by Rihanna’s stylist to style her wardrobe after he showcased his collection at the Fashion Parade London this year. Ali is all set to become the first Pakistani designer to dress the Grammy award-winning singer. One of Rihanna’s favorites was the cheeky and high end eye-wear from his recent collection.
9. International Bulgarian Fashion Council nominates Deepak Perwani
The House of Deepak Perwani is set to become the first Pakistani design house to receive the International Bulgarian Fashion Council award. Deepak is among the 285 nominees from nine continental regions. The non-governmental organisation — which is authorised to represent the EU in fashion design worldwide — recognised Deepak as the sixth most innovative designer in the world. He is also expected to bag the “Fan’s Favorite Award”,“Unique Guinness Acknowledgement”, and “Charitable Initiatives”.
10. Sidra Iqbal receives GR8 Women Award
The TV host and journalist became the first Pakistani to be among the 16 women who were nominated from across the Middle East region at the fourth annual GR8 Women Awards. She claimed an award in the Journalism category by the Indian Television Academy for her outstanding achievements. Sushmita Sen and Karishma Kapoor are among the top names who have received the honour in the past.