Welcome to Pakistan, Oscar!


Accustomed to being the focus of bad news, the Pakistani nation celebrated on Monday after a filmmaker from Karachi won the country’s first Academy Award, for a documentary about the victims of gruesome acid attacks.
The film “Saving Face” by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy follows survivors among hundreds of people attacked every year, and focuses on British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad, who returned to his homeland to help restore their faces and lives.
“Daniel and I want to dedicate this award to all the heroes working on the ground in Pakistan, including Dr Mohammad Jawad who’s here with us today,” said Sharmeen, referring to her co-director Daniel Junge. Jawad was the plastic surgeon “working on rehabilitating all these women” including Rukhsana and Zakia, “our main subjects of the film, whose resilience and bravery in the face of such adversity is admirable”, she added. Sharmeen paid tribute to “all the women in Pakistan who are working for change,” saying: “Don’t give up on your dreams. This is for you.”
Twitter followers in Pakistan erupted with joy at news of the Oscar, falling over themselves with praise for her win and delighted that Pakistan was making headlines for something other than al Qaeda, Taliban and bomb attacks.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was quick to congratulate Sharmeen, and said she would receive “a high civil award” without specifying which one.
FAMILY PROUD: Sharmeen’s mother Saba spoke of the family’s delight and called on parents to support their daughters in a country where women can be treated as second-class citizens. “She is very happy. I am proud of my daughter. She has brought happiness for the family and the entire country. It is a great honour,” she said.
“We all supported Sharmeen in her endeavors and she has made Pakistan proud… I have a message for all fellow Pakistanis to support their daughters because our daughters have immense talent to the country.”
In a message read out by her mother, Sharmeen said she hoped to screen “Saving Face” at schools, colleges and in communities across the country “to spread awareness and promote dialogue in Pakistan”.
Her 12-year-old brother, Hamza, said he had been up all night watching the Oscars ceremony with the rest of her relatives in Karachi, telling reporters simply that he was “extremely thrilled”.
Sharmeen was born in 1978 and raised in the southern port city. She received a bachelors degree from Smith College and went on to complete two masters degrees from Stanford University.
Fellow Pakistani documentary filmmaker and multi-media expert, Musadiq Sanwal, said the prize was recognition of the fact that Pakistan was gaining a voice of its own in international culture.
“Sharmeen’s documentary and its winning an Oscar shows Pakistan is creating its own narrative and gaining its own voice internationally,” Sanwal said.
“Earlier, Pakistan had no voice at all to describe its strength and weaknesses, but now such efforts give it emancipation and power.”
Marvi Memon, a former lawmaker, who campaigned for tougher penalties for the perpetrators of acid attacks and played a role in the documentary, congratulated the director. “I congratulate her. So proud of her,” she said simply. Across the country, people were happy, in particular women. “It is great to see we are full of talent. Every Pakistani should be proud,” said Shumaila Azmat, 29, an executive in a private Karachi firm.
“What is even more heartening is to see that a Pakistani woman has won an Oscar.”


  1. Bravo ! Bravo !

    The brave lady, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, has made the whole nation proud. Her documentary-SAVING FACE brought one of the pressing and critical issues related to women’s right. Nodoubt, her sincere dedication of her OSCAR AWARD to the women will boost up confidence of oppressed ladies. Moreover, this will help to empower women. Utimately, it shall improve their overall practical status in our male dominated society.

    Women are equally important as men in the making of a strong and prosperous nation-state.

  2. Men and women likeJawad, Sharmeen, & Parveen Saeed (Khana Ghar) prove that we can find rays of hope in the most horrible situations.

    Alhamdolilah there is a lot of good news in Pakistan, letUS change the image of OUR country and stop waiting for others to change OUR SELF IMAGE, it is OUR job

  3. Pakistan is full of potential & can do anything at any time. We congratulate to Sharmeen & her tem on this occasion. Pakistan Zindabad.

    M. Azim Baig

  4. Congratulation to Sharmeen n her team on the effort n award .GOD Bless all of u,keep it up.Pakistan Zindabad.

  5. Hope this removes the tag of 'Visit Pakistan….u'll have a blast!!!'………..
    Hope this removes the impression 'Pakistan is the most dangerous nation more-so than Iraq and Afghanistan'
    Hope this removes the perception 'Pakistan is harboring Terrorists'

    But I like many Pakistanis know that this wont do anything……the west will remain critical of Pakistan just like it has of Turkey with its Ottoman Past denying it an EU membership since the past 4 decades or so………

  6. SHARMEEN u made us proud i have tears in my eyes … hands off to u and to mr. Daniel to congratulations …. Bless u

  7. Thank you Sharmeen for making us oncee again feel We are proud nation of Pakistan… Pakistan Zindabad! Message From: Sahir Lodhi Team

    • Actually this movie doesn't put Pakistan in Good light…but still Pakistan Zindabad…you are not moron…your country is…Welll I wish Congo to Chinoy…

  8. Heartiest Congratulations Sharmeen!! You make us proud!! Thanks for continuing to show the world that Pakistan has much more to offer. Your efforts are commendable!

  9. I was really emotional when she stood there holding her Oscar & dedicated to the ladies of Pakistan! Indeed dreams come true.

  10. Pity, we had to go to the Oscars to be heard…..pity, we have hearts which are frozen (as Madonna puts it) we have corruption all the way through the system, we have discrimination on all issues…..but we still have hope and chinoy has strengthened our hopes….God bless you and the beautiful hearts that reside within us, holding our hearts.

  11. Bring more women into the workforce…its time for Pakistan to move forward! Let's see how far we can get!
    So proud. On such a big stage, in front of so many people across the world, today Pakistan was represented in a progressive and hopeful light. I was so proud, I started crying.
    There is so much more to do. LETS DO IT Pakistan!!!

  12. wow.. amazing.. unbelievable…. great great great…
    many many congratulation Sharmeen…
    May Allah give u more success…
    kindly also do something for pakistani film industry.. we need you…

  13. woohoo! great job, Sharmeen. Now let's hope the message of your film is heard and something is done to stop these incidents and help all those unfortunate women!

  14. There is hope till there are people like you Sharmeen! May you shine again and again , your country is proud of you!

  15. Congratulations Sharmeen for bringing pride to Pakistan. The moment the news of your winning Oscar reached Pakistan in the morning, I sent out sms to all my friends and relatives informing them about your achievement. I felt as if I had achieved something. Great work. May Allah bless you with good health and more successes in future.

    M. [email protected] Zakaria

  16. congratulations PAKISTAN!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you shiremme !!! you did a fantastic and adorable job in upbringing the reality hatsoff to you and your team for this great acheievment and HURRYYYYYY!!!! im in hurry and leaving from office n just seen this link somewhere over msn and didnt stop myself to congratulate you

  17. awesome! this shows that Pakistan does not just offer Zardaris & Gillanis, it has such talented people such as Sharmeen too! Way to go Sharmeen!!

  18. fakhre pakistan sharmeen obaid ——-ALLAH ap ko our zyada kamyabeaan aatta farmae our ap issi trha PAKISTAN ka naam roshan karti rho—————————-

  19. Heartiest congratulations from India!

    Your efforts are sure to help the cause of those unfortunate girls in India who suffer likewise.

    Wishing you all success in your future ventures. May God bless you.

  20. Pakistan have got talent. Keep up good work. The whole country is proud of you.

    Naeem Butt
    Dammam, Saudi Arabia

  21. You are Proud for our Nation ..Allah Bless you…God luck in feature..
    ye ap ki manzal nahi ha ..Ap ki manzel both agey ha….

  22. Thank you, due to you now i can raise my head and be a very proud Pakistani, keep it up and see you next year with another one Inshallah

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