Islamabad, – The Pakistan Four enjoyed another successful screening at the USEFP Islamabad office on Friday. The documentary film by Fulbright alumnus Shehzad Hameed narrates the account of four Pakistani-American women who have embarked on a journey in pursuit of professional and personal goals. The Pakistan Four explores the cultural and social challenges faced by these women as they take on the roles ranging from an award winning chef to a standup comedian.
Viewers are taken on a journey into the lives of four remarkable women; weight lifter Kulsoom Abdullah who campaigned and won the right for Muslim women to wear covered sports attire at U.S. national weight lifting competitions, Hareem Ahmad, an MIT graduate who left a career in Wall Street to become an award-winning professional saber fighter, Nadia Manzoor, a standup comedian and actor and award-winning Manhattan chef and winner of the reality cooking show Chopped, Fatima Ali. The documentary was entirely shot and produced in the U.S. by Shehzad while on the Fulbright Program.
“I felt it was quintessential that we as Pakistanis needed more brave examples for women who faced many barriers in different shapes and forms. Today, as we stand, I feel there is a dearth of heroes, especially for women. An ordinary girl in Pakistan has no clue who to look up to and say, ‘I can do it too,’ Hameed said. “There are many women working for change in Pakistan and I hope that this documentary inspires both women and men to do whatever they dream with confidence.” adds Hameed.
Speaking to an audience comprised of Fulbright alumni, filmmakers, students and journalists, USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar said, “It is overwhelming to witness how Pakistani youth is contributing to various spheres of life and to witness how Shehzad has highlighted the achievements of accomplished Pakistani women in the US. Shehzad is a great example of the value of the Fulbright Program.”
The Pakistan Four has received critical acclaim in the U.S. following its world premiere at New York University Film Festival in 2014. Exclusive screenings of the film also took place at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to the premiere in Lahore, several more screenings are planned for cities across Pakistan. ###
About Shehzad Hameed
A broadcast journalist and documentary film maker by profession, Shehzad, 29, launched his career as a reporter / producer with Pakistan’s first English language news channel, Dawn News TV in Karachi. Shehzad went on to graduate from New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute in 2013 with a concentration in News and Documentary Filmmaking. He is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship – 2012 to 2014.
For more information on upcoming screenings, visit: https://www.facebook.com/thepakistanfour
About USEFP and Fulbright
The Fulbright program in Pakistan is the largest and one of the oldest in the world. The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), now celebrating its 63rd year of operation in the country, administers the program. Since 2005, 1,255 Pakistanis have received Fulbright Awards for graduate degrees, of which 40 percent have been women.
USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States, is one of 50 Fulbright Commissions throughout the world. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the United States through educational and cultural exchange programs. Since its inception more than 60 years ago, nearly 5,000 Pakistanis and more than 900 Americans have participated in USEFP-administered exchange programs. In addition to the Fulbright program, USEFP administers a number of scholarship programs for undergraduates, teachers, journalists, and other professionals.