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Honouring an Icon: Beaconhouse remembers Asma Jahangir News Story

Kamal Nawaz | Regional Manager Corporate Communications | ROC

Lahore: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, celebrated worldwide on March 8, Beaconhouse announced the permanent Asma Jahangir Scholarship to be awarded annually to an exceptional A Level student, who embodies some of the values and attributes of the late Asma Jahangir and is committed to making a difference in the society. This announcement was made by Mrs Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri, founder and chairperson of the Beaconhouse Group, at a special memorial organised on March 8, 2018, at Beaconhouse Liberty Campus, that celebrated the life of the legendary Asma Jahangir.

The memorial was attended by students, teachers and educational leaders, in addition to, renowned social activists and close friends, family and colleagues of the late Ms Jahangir. The event featured keynote speeches by lawyer Sulema Jehangir, daughter of Ms Jahangir, Ms Nazish Ataullah, former Principal National College of Arts, Ms Khawar Mumtaz, chairperson of the National Commission on Status of Women, Ms Salima Hashmi, former Dean of the School of Visual Arts at BNU/former Principal NCA and Mrs Nasreen Kasuri, founder and chairperson of Beaconhouse. Speakers shared anecdotes from Ms Jahangir’s remarkable life, highlighting key influences in her formative years and explaining how she came to be the Asma Jahangir that the world knew. Speakers also talked about Ms Jahangir’s unwavering commitment towards her family and friends.

Three exceptional students from Beaconhouse also shared their thoughts, through prose and poetry, on how Asma Jahangir’s struggle touched them at a deep, personal level.

Rumaisa Habib, Head Girl Beaconhouse Defence Campus, beautifully encapsulated the influence of Asma Jahangir and her resolve in a heart-felt poem:

‘As a woman I am expected
To be quieter than my footsteps
For my shoes are made of something dainty
And by someone whose name I can't pronounce

I am supposed to make my sentences as short as my stature
For the fear that no one will listen if I continue

As a woman
When I see someone 5 feet like Asma Jahangir
With an influence larger than herself
With sentences longer than I thought I could ever use
For the fear of being irrelevant
being 5 feet feels not so bad for me’

Asma Jahangir was Pakistan’s most prominent human rights activist who died unexpectedly on February 11, 2018 at the age of 66. The news of Ms Jahangir’s death shook the political, legal, social and media circles of Pakistan, as well as the youth who identified with her struggle. She and her sister Hina, were instrumental in forming the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that fights for the underprivileged and under-represented people of the society.

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