Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Feminist Icons

Last week my parents told me via email that one of their friends Mohini Hameed, had died. My parents have been friends with Mohini and her husband for years, ever since they immigrated from Pakistan. So I've been thinking about Mohini, and it occurs to me that she's something of a feminist icon, although she herself would never claim that title. As the first female broadcaster in Pakistan, and a well-loved staple of Radio Pakistan for years, she had quite the career. However, after converting to Christianity, they left Pakistan for the US, and I always got the impression that Mohini's life was never the same. In her later years she lost her sight and became rather reclusive. Here's her story as it's been covered in the news:

ISLAMABAD (Online) - The country’s first woman broadcaster “Aapa Shamim” of Radio Pakistan, Mohini Hameed, passed away in Seattle, Washington, after a brief illness. The most popular and distinguished voice of Radio Pakistan for more than three decades, she became a legend in her lifetime. Titled the “Nightingale of Broadcasting,” she was especially known for children’s morning shows, and musical rendering of famous Urdu poets for children, besides being the most popular drama voice of her time. She was the recipient of numerous national awards including the lifetime achievement award. Her most famous rendering was “suno pyaari bacho idhar ao tum, batayen jo tumko wo sun jao tum”.

She leaves behind her husband Hameed Ahmed, a daughter Kanwal Naseer and son Ize Hameed. A wide cross section of television and radio artists, producers and media personalities visited the house of her daughter to condole the death of the broadcasting legend. The country has lost an icon in the field of broadcasting whose services to Radio Pakistan shall be remembered forever, the mourners said as they paid glowing tributes to late Mohini.

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