Looking at ourselves and around us, all we do is find complaints or excuses for not becoming what we could have. For being unsuccessful or stagnant, there are countless reasons that we can give to ourselves and our peers. To strive for success, just hunger and courage can be reasons enough, yet we never take that route. If we dare look, there are also some examples of success around us – laying out the template for pursuing your passion and dream, allowing nothing to come in the way.
Today, amidst all the negativity, pessimism and excuses for inactivity, we will look at four lesser known individuals from our country who have put all excuses to rest with their journeys. Having battled societal constraints and personal calamities, these four have reached the top of their fields by simply not giving up.
Our first mention here will be of a very talented photographer, Fatima Haroon, popularly called Ms. Fatography, after the company she formed. Her successes include walking the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 and working with leading names from all over the world. By looking at her accomplishments, it would come as a surprise that Fatima had to struggle against multiple cognitive disabilities. She had always been in trouble during her academic years and faced all the social pressures that come with it. Failing her 8th standard was a turning point for her, as just after that she became friends with her DSLR – capturing the world with it and finding that she loved doing it.
Since then, there was absolutely no stopping her. It was at the age of 20 when she was diagnosed to have dyslexia, dyspraxia and Ankylosing Spondylitis (a type of arthritis). But by then, her photography career was in full flow and she was at the Cannes Film Festival just one year later. She has done photography stints with many Pakistani stalwarts, including Shehzad Roy, Momina Mustehsan and Amna Sheikh along with international stars like Marc Anthony, Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Siddharth Malhotra. Just recently, she has completed the photoshoot of Turkish heartthrob Cengiz Coskun. Her journey is an inspiration for all who are currently bogged down by their situation.
The second journey to look at today is that of Yumna Majeed and her aspirations for space exploration. Today the mention of space exploration might bring Elon Musk and his passion for space travel to our minds – while in our own country, we have an individual who is striving to pave way for potential astronauts and space explorers. She was often discouraged from pursuing her space dream from the very beginning, being pushed to graduate from Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore and become a medical lab assistant. But that did not stop her from going after her dream either, and she has set an example of excelling on two fronts simultaneously.
Yumna has founded an organisation named Exploration to enable space aspirants get the right guidance and affiliations to pursue their dreams. She is also appointed as the National Point of Contact of Pakistan for the Space Generation Advisory Council, an NGO that works in coordination with NASA and other top space exploration agencies. With all this, Yumna aims to ensure that other young students interested in space exploration don’t face the same hurdles that she has done. We wish her all the best and hope she achieves the goal of making space studies a realistic option for Pakistani children.
Now, let’s take a look at a lesser known yet inspiring personality on our list. Salman Sabir is a media professional and an immensely skilled web developer. Though not a public figure, his journey is yet another testimony to what an individual can achieve through perseverance and passion, no matter if the odds are stacked against you. Salman today is one of the most known professionals within the digital marketing circuit, but the way this industry is wired, his accomplishments are yet to meet the public eye.
Coming from a humble background, Salman had to struggle with financial crisis and depression, as he found it difficult to fund his education. Today, Salman is the Founding Partner in a growing digital enterprise named Impecto. He started his career by joining a well-known IT company in an initial capacity, and then through continuous hard work and learning, rose through the ranks and got to the position of Department Lead and Presidential Layer at a young age.
Ayesha M. Ali
Another inspiring woman on the list, Ayesha M. Ali is a rising star in the domain of digital arts. Hailing from Lahore, she completed her Bachelors in Fine Arts from IVS in 2018 and has her worked exhibited at various prestigious platforms, getting immense praise everywhere. Her list of awards includes the Sher Asfandyar Khan Award for academic excellence in Fine Art, the Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq Award for Best Drawing Portfolio and the Abu Shamim Areff award for the best research paper.
She is currently taking her career forward as a digital artist, offering her work in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), one of the very few Pakistanis to do so. Having multiple talents and aspirations, she is also the Founder of Oshii Brownie, an entity striving to develop Phygital Wearable Art and Fusion-Tech. In her early years, she has faced a lot of opposition for indulging in arts instead of the usual and more accepted professional fields. She is yet another example for us of overcoming the hurdles and making her talent count.
By looking at these journeys, we can redraw our plans and put all the negativity to rest.yu