Pakistan media hail first Oscar winner

ISLAMABAD — Delighted Pakistani newspapers on Tuesday fell over themselves to praise the young woman director who brought joy to the troubled, Al Qaeda-hit nation by winning the country’s first ever Oscar.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 28 Feb 2012, 11:55 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:13 AM

Pictures of 33-year-old Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy collecting her statuette in Hollywood were splashed across the front pages of every paper with headlines such as ‘Sharmeen brings Oscar glory to Pakistan’ and ‘Take a bow Sharmeen’.

She won in the short documentary category with her film ‘Saving Face’ about survivors of acid attacks and British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad, who returned to his homeland to help restore their faces and lives.

Liberal English-language daily The Express Tribune, which is based in Obaid-Chinoy’s home city of Karachi, called her win a victory and expressed hope that she will become ‘the face of a more liberal and tolerant Pakistan’.

‘Unlike politicians in our country who spend billions to improve Pakistan’s image in the international community, she has done so by her talent and hard work,’ the paper said.

The Oscar was ‘a boost for film-makers throughout Pakistan as it shows the talent that is present here’ but the paper also highlighted the need for much ‘soul-searching and reflection’ on how to counter violence against women.

Pakistan’s oldest English-language newspaper, Dawn, said Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar was a welcome break from the usual foreign coverage of Pakistan that focuses on Al Qaeda, the Taleban, poverty, corruption and nuclear weapons.

‘Seeing Pakistan being talked about in such a positive context in the international press makes for a welcome change, prone as the country is to being discussed for myriad errors of omission and commission,’ it said.

‘Ms Obaid-Chinoy’s success should inspire other Pakistanis, too, for the country has no dearth of talent’.

The Urdu-language press was also full of praise.

‘It seems like a dream to a Pakistani film to get the Oscar but Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has made it possible,’ wrote Nawa-e-Waqt in a special, colour supplement published to celebrate the win.

‘The whole of Pakistan prayed for her and impatiently waited for the award ceremony. Her victory made every Pakistani happy,’ the paper said.

‘She has done a wonderful job.’

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