KARACHI: Women activists, intellectuals, media persons, friends and fans joined hands to pay tribute to senior journalist Zubeida Mustafa at a programme organised by the Women Action Forum at the Karachi Press Club on Friday evening.
The guest of honour, Zubeida Mustafa, who recently won the prestigious International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) Lifetime Achievement Award, was showered with rose petals by WAF workers as she arrived at the event.
Later, those who know her and have had the good fortune of having worked with her paid tribute to the journalist in their own way.
WAF founding member Anis Haroon said they had come out to highlight and stop injustices to women but they themselves ran into hurdles during the Zia-ul-Haq regime.
Another senior WAF activist, Nuzhat Kidvai, presented a narrative titled How we feel about you, comprising a tribute by several workers of the group that was printed on a scroll, later presented to Mrs Mustafa.
Sindhi poet and educationist Amar Sindhu said her work helped them in their struggle for women’s emancipation. “The recognition of Mrs Mustafa’s work at the international level now has made us even stronger,” she said.
Writer Dr Asif Farrukhi spoke of Mrs Mustafa’s journalistic contribution to the health and education sectors.
Ghazi Salahuddin, a former colleague, said Mrs Mustafa had made her mark in journalism even though she did not come from a journalistic background.
Another journalist Babar Ayaz praised her analytical approach to writing. “She builds an argument substantiated by facts,” he said. Fahmida Riaz read out her poem titled Zubeida Mustafa.
KPC Secretary Moosa Kaleem said they were very proud to have Mrs Mustafa as a member of the club. He also presented her with a KPC shield. Haseen Mussarat Shah from WAF Hyderabad presented her with an ajrak.
On the occasion, WAF also presented a documentary on Mrs Mustafa’s life and work that was prepared by Malka Khan and Atif.
Later, young classical dancer Suhaee Abro interpreted Mrs Mustafa’s struggle through a dance performance on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai’s raag Sur Moomal Rano.
In her speech, Mrs Mustafa said she dedicated her award to her team and her late mother. “You cannot do anything on your own so this award is not just for me but all of you as well. I also dedicate the award to my mother, who started driving when no one could imagine women driving cars in this part of the world. She was my very first role model,” she said.
Dr Haroon Ahmad, Sheen Farrukh and Dawn editor Zaffar Abbas also spoke on the occasion.