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Female car mechanic from Multan hopes to drive change in patriarchal Pakistan

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Since picking up a wrench as one of the first female car mechanics in Pakistan, Uzma Nawaz has faced two common reactions: shock and surprise. And then a bit of respect.

The 24-year-old spent years overcoming entrenched gender stereotypes and financial hurdles en route to earning a mechanical engineering degree and netting a job with an auto repairs garage in the eastern city of Multan.

“I took it up as a challenge against all odds and the meagre financial resources of my family,” Nawaz told AFP.

“When they see me doing this type of work they are really surprised.”

Hailing from the small, impoverished town of Dunyapur in Punjab, Nawaz relied on scholarships and often skipped meals when she was broke while pursuing her degree.

Her achievements are rare. Women have long struggled for their rights in conservative patriarchal Pakistan, and especially in rural areas are often encouraged to marry young and devote themselves entirely to family over career.

“No hardship could break my will and motivation,” she says proudly.

The sacrifices cleared the way for steady work at a Toyota dealership in Multan following graduation, she adds.

Just a year into the job, and promoted to general repairs, Nawaz moves with the ease of a seasoned pro around the dealership’s garage, removing tyres from raised vehicles, inspecting engines and handling a variety of tools — a sight that initially jolted some customers.

“I was shocked to see a young girl lifting heavy spare tyres and then putting them back on vehicles after repairs,” a customer Arshad Ahmad told AFP.

But Nawaz’s drive and expertise has impressed colleagues, who say she can more than hold her own.

“Whatever task we give her she does it like a man with hard work and dedication,” said coworker M Attaullah.

She has also convinced some of those who doubted her ability to make it in a male-dominated work environment, including members of her own family.

“There is no need in our society for girls to work at workshops, it doesn´t seems nice, but it is her passion,” said her father Muhammad Nawaz.

“She can now set up the machinery and can work properly. I too am very happy.”

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Entertainment

CATWALK CARES SEASON 2 RETURNS TO THE RAMP TODAY

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With the Covid-19 lockdown slowly easing but not enough to host audience-packed live shows, Catwalk Cares’ Virtual Fashion Show Season 2 was recorded with a proper ramp format at Net Set Studio Karachi.

The three-day Fashion Show will be aired on ARY Zindagi TV and ARY digital (YouTube) starting from this Independence Day i.e. August 14, 15, &16 at 9:00Pm (PST).

Organized by ‘Catwalk Event Management & Productions’, the show, keeping its spirit alive, promises to be filled with a cadre of pioneering and popular designers, leading fashion brands, and four graduates from AIFD (Iqra University).

The 17 finalized showcases inclides; Faiza Samee, Umar Sayeed, Nilofeer Shahid, YBQ, Sadaf Malaterre, Zainab Chottan, Maheen Karim, Zara Shahjahan, Shamsha Hashwan, Rozina Munib, Nauman Afreen, Arsalan Iqbal, Lal Karam, Lawrencepur, Kayseria, Diners and AIFD Graduates.

The theme set for Virtual fashion Show Season 2 is, “Sustainability of the Pakistani Fashion Industry with the incentive and inspiration of;: ideals of hope, resilience and positivity”

This Virtual Fashion claims to showcase so many diverse designers, multiple brands and fashion graduates together under one platform and representing the universality, inclusivity and communal spirit of the Pakistani fashion industry after a long while.

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Hussain Rehar’s New Collection: An Amalgamation of Tradition and the Contemporary

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Dipped in sophistication and grandeur, Hussain Rehar has tried to recapture the essence of Eighteenth-century with his new clothing line; “Nizam Begum” showcasing the out-of-the-world aesthetics and design philosophy, that takes you on a ride back in time to that same era; with royalty oozing out of each ensemble. The whole collection is a testament to the finest craftsmanship, careful designing and hard work that’s reflected in the exceptional attention to the details. Apart from the astounding intricacy, Hussain Rehar has used the finest fabric available, to provide an amalgamation of both royalty and comfort in his outfits.

History: The Nizam Begums were the wives of the Nizams; rulers of the princely Hyderabad state. Nizam begums; queens of the Nizam dynasty, led extraordinarily lavish, posh and royal lifestyle, which was reflected in their unique, timeless attires, adorned with intricate embellishments and designs, openly expressing their royal stature, style and taste in dressing.

 

The ‘Nizam wives’ can be seen here, photographed in Hussain Rehar’s new Eid collection, reminiscent of that same glorious era, where he has tried to recreate the same great style and timeless fashion, by introducing and infusing a contemporary touch and creating a masterpiece that’s both sophisticated and outstanding; a stellar addition to one’s wardrobe, a piece of clothing that’s a must-have, timeless and making the one wearing it stand out as if draped in finesse.

What’s more interesting, is the fact that this intriguing piece of clothing, although affordable, is a limited edition range. Hussain Rehar has attained his inspiration from the Nizam Begum, so the collection is named after them, as a tribute to their timeless, sophisticated style and breathtaking dressing sense. The elegant pieces create a balance between the traditional and contemporary, and the final result is an outfit that is too tempting to resist.

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Catwalk Cares Season 2 Recorded Amid Strict SOPS

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Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2 was recorded amid the setting, perfectly similar to any other fashion week outside of the Covid-19 pandemic except there was no engaging audience present and instead the side rows were eerily filled with empty wooden benches. The show was recorded at a grand and modern set comprising a sizable runway for ramp and desired lighting at Net Set Studio Karachi.

The show that was successfully recorded in the first week of August, for later virtual transmission, will be aired on ARY Zindagi TV worldwide into three-day format and on ARY Digital for its YouTube transmission under the aegis of ARY as the Official Media Partner on this Independence Day.

Frieha Altaf, CEO of Catwalk Event Management & Productions on the occasion thanked and gave credit to his friend Asad-ul-Haq (ace advertising filmmaker) for suggesting to present Catwalk Cares Season 2 on a ramp.

“Those who were in attendance though were a selected number of Media, came to the recordings at different time slots in order to follow the strict SOPs. Likewise, designers and brands along with their models were also assigned separate intervals so as to avoid crowding,” explained Frieha.

She added that participants were instructed to wear masks, keep a social distance and using hand sanitizers when off camera and continuously urged to remain safe.

At the show, singer Ali Tariq of ‘Bekha Na’ from ‘Parey Hut Love’ did the world premiere of new song “Chaho Na” while popular Folk- Rock singer Natasha Baig performed the song ‘Kaseria’ for one of the participating brands Kayseria.

SABS Salon is the official Makeup and Hairstylist of Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2 while Samiya Ansari of SABS, a trained wardrobe stylist and fashion editor helped in guiding and oversee looks.

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