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For My Family I Was Different Because I Was So Feminine

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When God created this world, He did not make a man or a woman, instead, he made human beings that were equally great being the most evolved of all the creatures. While, we all accept the harsh reality of having less or no opportunities for the transgender community, we all as human beings are
given the capabilities to change our lives and choose our own fate in the best possible way.
It is rightly said that you are the creator of your own destiny. This is what the immensely talented Kami Sid has done. Kami created her own ways of living a life of her dreams. She did not let her gender identity hinder her from achieving her goals. Not only that she helped herself, she has been
constantly working as an activist to work for the rights of trans community by also changing people’s narrative towards this group of people.
We had a chance to talk to this gem, first Pakistani trans model, and that is what we found out.

Tell us about your past?
Since my childhood, I was a very normal (At least, that is what I thought). But for my family, I was a different child because I was so feminine. In my school and college life, I faced so many difficulties coping with people’s weird comments and taunting stares. Before starting comedy and
music, When I started working, people did not realise that I was different. They would mock me or bully me. But, I never let my confidence shatter. This is the main thing and that is why I am here right now. In my opinion, it is not about who you were, where you were from. All that matters is what I am today. My confidence gave me all the strength.

What makes your story different from other people?
So, my story is different from other people. First, I come from a Muslim conservative family. Secondly, I am a trans-person. Third, being a trans in a muslim conservative family is quite different and full of hurdles at the same time. It is not like I am against my religion or any other religion but my beliefs are not as conservative as my family’s. Though, I am not a practicing muslim, I do believe in God and I believe that one day we all will stand in front of God. We are answerable for everything.

Being a trans-person, does this make you any different from other people in terms of your goals?
Although I am a trans person, I don’t believe I am any different. We get life for once. I want to do so much not for myself but for those who are unheard. I want to be the voice of people who are helpless and who nobody wants to listen to.

How did you start modelling?
I was not ready for this because I never thought somebody would help me or like to work with me considering I was unfit for the setup. But, there are so many good people in the industry that recognised the talent inside me and they loved my work. When I started modelling, some people from Depilex approached me for a trans-shoot. When the shoot came out on national television, my family called me and stopped me saying this is not a right job in our society. I convinced my parents that if I am having a career in modelling, I am not doing something bad.

When did you start modelling and is it the only thing you do?

I started my modelling career in 2016. Professionally, I am running an organisation “Subrang Society”. So, I am a social activist as well. Modelling is my part time job and I enjoy it a lot. I have recently done HUM Showcase and it was a wonderful experience.

Who you think has supported you throughout your journey?
When I started my career, I had friends, my companion and my partner, all of them helped me to become who I am today. If you have good friends and companions in your life, you can achieve anything. Apart from that, your confidence takes you anywhere you intend to reach.

How have you been impacting people’s life and how are you changing people’s stereotypical prospective towards trans community?
Through modelling, I changed people’s mindset. Now, Trans people get jobs in multinational companies, media house and this was all I wanted to do for my community i.e. to be loud and proud of who you are.

What is your message for people out there?
The message is all about respect and love. Please respect and love not on the basis of gender but on the basis of humanity.

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4 Facebook Groups with Great Initiatives that Serve Significant Purposes

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Old were the days when a review was not a “thing” and it was extremely difficult to get information about anything be it travel, food, medical issues or any problem related to everyday life. It was not common to have a forum where people would share their experiences directly with the public. Reading first-hand experiences was rare and forums like Quora and Yahoo Answers were considered the only reliable sources. 

Now, everything is available on the internet and is just a click away. But, should we rely on such sources to be authentic and true? It depends and varies from source to source. It also depends on who moderates the source and how.

When the trend of having groups on Facebook started, people only used it for fun, to gather at a place to talk and share jokes. At that time, a few were trying to utilize this source for a meaningful purpose and those people gave birth to some amazing groups that, now, have a huge following and are considered reliable sources for any information related to the subject matter of the group.

Now groups have become a popular and the safest space for like-minded people to congregate and discuss specific stuff- from hobbies to pets and celebrities.

If you are still living in the stone age or looking for answers to your riddles related to food, travel, pets, allergies, mental health, etc., these are the groups that are at your service with a meaningful purpose and a great initiative to help the masses through a direct communication and dissemination of information through various posts.

 

Foodies ‘R U 

Created in 2013, now this group has over 95k followers. This is the place where you will find reviews about any restaurant. You name it and people will share their experiences. If you are a foodie, this is surely going to be your favorite group as it has all the solutions to deal with your appetite. Not only the masses, but this has also helped a lot of restaurateurs and home-based chefs with their businesses.

The founder of the group, Asad Sheikh says “I started this group 6 years ago for one reason only and that’s the passion for food. I just want to tell and guide people on what’s good out there to try and what’s good that our country has to offer. I don’t write bad reviews of any kind but that doesn’t mean that I have not had my share of bad food. Always try to highlight the good while telling owners of the restaurant about things that need improvement.

We all are ambassadors of our city or country and others who see our posts or reviews create an image of where we are from. Over the years Foodies ‘R Us has helped many people living out of Siri or out of country to pick the trees when they visit Lahore Karachi or even Islamabad. The same passion was translated into encouraging home-based talent to post as much as they can and later encouraging them to turn this talent into a business.

Many small businesses have blossomed from this platform and we later encouraged them further to be part of our Coke Food Festival, giving them a face to face experience with their consumers.

We have never charged anyone to advertise on our platform and that’s the reason for the success of many small businesses.” 

Soul Sisters Pakistan

This group is home to 212K women who interact and share their issues and experiences related to health, relationships, feminism, networking, their moments of happiness, moments of suffering or any piece of advice related to the ongoing discussion. Not only this, through the group, women were able to find their long lost friends, online jobs, solutions to their problems and a lot more. This has become a safe place for them to talk about stuff they do not normally share publicly or are afraid to talk about. Anonymous posts have become the new trend to send your message across.

“In a culture where women are often silenced and their issues trivialized, I felt that we needed a space and people to talk to, other than their immediate family and friends; a space where we could give unbiased advice as a third person, for each other’s problems and a space where we could come together to share our stories, experienced and inspire each other.

And so in August 2013, Soul Sisters Pakistan was formed, and within months we were getting scores of requests to join the group as the concept of a safe space like this wasn’t so common back then! From discussing taboos to breaking stereotypes to providing legal aid and emotional support – the community has really made a mark and become a household name. It is also one of the 115 most impactful communities in the world, recognized, supported and trained by Facebook itself!- Kanwal Ahmed (the Founder)

The Travel Diary 

Earlier, it was extremely difficult to know about the experiences of people who travel. Now, you just have to post a query and hundreds will be there to assist you or guide you about a particular thing, food place, culture or about people of a certain country. All in all, this group is a complete package to know about anything related to a country. Founded in 2016 with more than 72K members, this group is a query-home for all travel enthusiasts.

 Mishaal Hashmi, the founder of the group says, “Traveling is something that is an innate part of me. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel, be exposed to cultures and people. As an adult, I’m even more fortunate to be able to share my passion with like-minded individuals, who share a similar passion. The idea to create the Travel Diary arose from my desire to share my travel experiences as well as gain wisdom from the experiences of others. Never in my dreams had I imagined my passion to take on such a gigantic form and for a forum such as The Travel Diary to exist is a humbling experience and a dream come true.”

Soul Brothers Pakistan 

Even though most of the posts are light-heart humor and user-generated content; the group generally talks about various topics including networking, recruitment, and counseling. Similarly, it talks about issues that surround the men’s ecosystem i.e. relationship, health, masculinity, and mental state. Moreover, It discusses these issues in depth through live talk sessions also known as #SBPGuyTalk, where group members from all walks of life come and discuss issues varying from Depression, Suicide, legal affairs, and health-related topics. Their popular segment #AnonymousSoulBrother is also widely used by members who seek suggestions and valuable insights on a variety of topics.

We identified a need where we could create a crowd-sourced platform for men which would offer a healthy support system for Pakistani brothers here and abroad.” – Danish Javed (Co-Founder) 

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Gawah Rehna: An Upcoming Film Glorifying The Past

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In dearth of enough content for the Pakistani Cinema and its audience, writer and director Tariq Mehmood, is ready to add something to make the numbers higher and give something different to the audience by going to floors with his first ever feature film Gawah Rehna in October this year.

Cast of this film includes Muhammad Qavi Khan, Ghana Ali, Emmad Irfani, Rabya Kulsoom, Rehan Nazim, Faisal Imtiaz and others. A Turkish actor Mert Sismanlar will also play a very important character in the film.

Talking at a presser in Karachi, Tariq Mehmood said that the film was based on a significant historical period of Khilafat Movement. The film depicts the era of 1920 when British rule was at its peak in the Sub-Continent while our forefathers defied the British rule and at the same time started a mass movement called the Khilafat Movement to help their Turkish brothers and sisters in their struggle against the imperial forces”

According to Mehmood, “Gawah Rehna pays rich tribute to the unsung heroes of our independence movement as well as to the brave Turkish nation. The film will be a source of further strengthening the people to people bonds between Pakistan and Turkey as it will tell Turkish audience what our forefathers went through while helping their Turkish brothers and sisters.”

Ghana Ali, one of the lead of the film said she could not tell much about her character but she loved the script that is why I couldn’t say no to it. She disclosed that her character in Gawah Rehna was the role that her father always wanted her to do that is why was more excited to be part of this film.

 She further said “I am very honoured to be the part of this film as I always wanted to do something that could educate our new generation. Gawah Rehna is a peep into the history and our youth will get to learn about the past struggles of the Muslims of Subcontinent.”

Ghana was sure that Gawah Rehna will give us an international recognition and will be appreciated because if its topic.

Emmad Irfani, another lead in the film, said, he felt lucky to be an actor and being an actor it was his responsibility to portray his character it its true sense.  

Talking about his character in the film Irfani said, “Gawah Rehna carries a very strong message. The film is about how to achieve your aim and to remain determine to get to your destination despite all challenges come in the way. My character is very challenging in the film which will go through many emotional and physical despair but will carry on his struggle to achieve the point (actually the ‘why’ of his life) that has been lost. The character will transform at that point.”

He further said that he was really looking forward to this project as he loved to take different types of roles for his professional growth.”

Veteran Muhammad Qavi Khan said we need more of these types of films where we can glorify our past struggles which further strengthens our  present cause like Kashmir issue and others where Muslims are oppressed and the target of violence.    

Gawah Rehna will be released in both Pakistan and Turkey as well as in other foreign markets in March next year.

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Five Things We Loved about Strings’ Latest Track ‘Hum Aaye’

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Iconic pop rock band Strings is an integral part of the fabric of Pakistan’s music scene. Over the course of the last three decades, Strings has established itself as one of the most massively followed bands that has produced one superb song after the other. The band’s songs range from soulful to heartfelt, rustic to nostalgic as well as earthy and contemporary. But it goes without saying that the band, which comprises of the dynamic duo of Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood, has aced the genre of pop rock music.

It’s latest offering ‘HUM AAYE’, a foot tapping, energetic number, was recently unveiled by the band, to add to their latest music album ‘30’. They performed it live at the grand finale of Pepsi Battle of the Bands and sent the audience into a musical frenzy. We loved the track, but let’s narrow it down to five things that stood out for us above everything else:

  • Electrifying Music: The first thing is the blaring symphony of musical instruments that breathe life into the song. Among these, Bilal Maqsood and Syed Adeel Ali’s electrifying notes on the guitar paired with Aahad Nayani’s beats on the drum outshine everything else.
  • Vocals: You can’t write about a song without talking about the vocals. We are trying to think of the last time Faisal Kapadia disappointed us with a song and we know the man can do no wrong when it comes to his music. He lends his deep, baritone voice to the track and infuses it with an energetic, passionate vibe that makes it an instant favorite. You can’t help but play it on repeat until you can sing along to the song. That’s how you know a song works: it grows on you and you can’t stop listening to it. Hum Aaye is one such song.
  • Inspiring Lyrics: The lyrics are the soul of a song; without the soul, a song can easily crumple on the ground. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Hum Aaye. The song talks about the energy and with which one must face whatever life throws at us. The song is about announcing your arrival in the face of challenges, difficulties and the adversities of life, and in conquering it all. It’s a song that fills you with fervor and charges you up with the zeal that you didn’t know you had in you. This can probably help you shed a few pounds while you are working out 😉
  • Rocking Appearances:  The styling for the song and the way it has been presented on the stage has true pop rock stardom painted all over it. Both Maqsood and Kapadia along with their band members portray their readiness to take on the world, thanks to their aviator glasses and their devil-may-care attitude.
  • Onstage Performance: The performance is befitting the vibe of the song. It’s loud without being noisy, bright but not blinding and full of expression without being in your face. It compels the audience and the viewers like to groove to the beat and tap their feet to the song
    Hum Aaye is yet another remarkable addition to Strings’ sprawling resume that has one memorable song after the other. Listen to it, add it to your playlists and watch as it becomes one of your favorite songs of the season.

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