Sonia Ahmed

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Sonia Ahmed
Born Sonia Iqbal Ahmed
(1980-08-23) 23 August 1980 (age 34)
Sharq, Kuwait
Residence Toronto, Canada
Education University of Ottawa Bachelor of Business
Occupation President, Miss Pakistan World Mrs. Pakistan World Mr. Pakistan World
Years active 2003-present
Known for Creating Pakistan's Pageant Industry
Website Official Sonia Ahmed Site

Sonia Ahmed (Urdu: سونیا احمد) (born 23 August 1980), is a Kuwaiti born Pakistani and founder of Miss Canada Pakistan Inc., also known as Miss Pakistan World,[1][2] Mr. Pakistan World and Mrs. Pakistan World.[3][4] She is a pioneer in the international beauty and talent pageant industry for Pakistan. Ahmed started the pageant industry for Pakistan in 2002 in Toronto, Canada.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Sonia Ahmed was born in in Kuwait City, Kuwait to Pakistani parents. She spent her childhood in Kuwait, Karachi, Pakistan; Toronto, Canada; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Ahmed [2] attended Carmel School (Kuwait) convent in Kuwait after which her family moved to Ottawa in Canada, where she attended Notre Dame Catholic High School. Always an academic, Ahmed was awarded a medal for being ranked in the top 10 academically at her high school in Canada and also received a $8,000 scholarship to attend the University of Ottawa where she earned a degree in Business. Ahmed continued in CGA[5] (Certified General Accounting) up to the 4th level and then left it to pursue the pageant as full fledged business. Ahmed, grew up in Kuwait and learnt many languages which included written & spoken Hindi, Arabic, Urdu & French besides English.

Founder of Pakistan's pageant industry[edit]

Early work (2002-2006)[edit]

Ahmed was the first person to established a pageant industry for Pakistan. She created all three pageants and gave a strong structure to all competitions. Living in Toronto, Ontario, Ahmed[6] considers herself a driving force for the "progression"[7][8] and "liberation" [9] of Pakistani women on a global scale.[10] Working through her pageants, Ahmed aims to build cultural connections to showcase the beauty and talent of what she considers a new Pakistani generation.[11] In 2002, Ahmed had announced the first pageant for Pakistan in the world, called Miss Canada Pakistan, and for three years Ahmed continued the pageant in Canada for Pakistani girls residing in Canada only. In 2006, Ahmed changed the pageant name to Miss Pakistan World, and carried on the pageant internationally and hence established the first official pageant for Pakistan. Ahmed consider's these events as a sort of civil rights[5] movements,[12][13] through which it is hoped that the young and married women of Pakistan are able to gain a voice on the international stage.[14][15]

Success (2007-2011)[edit]

In 2007, Ahmed established the Mrs. Pakistan World[16] pageant for married Pakistani women from around the world. Winners were crowned from countries like USA, Canada and Norway. It was unimaginable for married Pakistani women to be seen in beauty pageants, and Ahmed made sure that married women[17] of Pakistani descent were given an opportunity. Though the pageant was small, it did not go unnoticed, and took part in major international pageants like Mrs. World, Mrs. Universe and Mrs. Earth.

In 2011, Ahmed went ahead with the Mr. Pakistan World event, a male competition for Pakistan to generate more youth to participate in areas where a lighter side of Pakistan could be shown.

Stability (2012-present)[edit]

After the inclusion of the Mr. Pakistan World competition, the community participation increased with less resistance. Pakistan's entertainment industry began changing as well and hence there was more stability in the acceptance of beauty pageants by Pakistan. This led to more scope for the competition out of Canada. In 2014, Ahmed moved the Miss Pakistan World and Mr. Pakistan World pageant to the USA[18] and the 12th Miss Pakistan World an 4th Mr. Pakistan World took place in New Jersey,[19] USA.

Miss Pakistan & Mr. Pakistan[edit]

In March 2014, Ahmed began the search for Pakistan's own Miss Pakistan and Mr. Pakistan contestants.

Debut as a Director[edit]

In 2014, Ahmed filmed a her first documentary, "I Shall Dance,[20][21]" under her production company, Touchgate Global Inc., which is set to be released in September 2014[dated info] in Toronto, Canada.[22]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2014 I Shall Dance[20][21] Director/Producer/Writer This is Ahmed's first documentary film on a Pakistani male dancer.
2014 Lollywood Alive Director/Producer/Writer Filming
2014 TBA Director Filming

Other works[edit]

Ahmed has been active part of charities around the world. In November 2011, Ahmed was invited to India,[23] where she took part in various schools in regards to speaking[24] on India Pakistan relations[25] and on women's issues.[26][27] Ahmed has also been an avid supporter of President Pervez Musharraf and has always shown her appreciation in the media.[28][29]

Since 2012, Ahmed has started writing for publications in Canada[26] and India[30][31]

Controversies[edit]

In 2003,[32] Ahmed[33] was facing issues[14] with holding the pageant as some conservative sections[34] of the community were against the existence of Miss Pakistan World. As time went on, the controversies fizzled out.[35]

In August 2010, Ahmed was criticized[36] for going ahead with the 8th annual Miss Pakistan World,[4][37][38] when Pakistan was hit with floods 3 weeks prior to the actual event.[39][40] Ahmed stood her grounds[41][42] and said that the plans for holding the event would go on regardless. The other controversy surrounding the event was that it was held in the month of Ramadan. In an interview, Ahmed stated that the event was held after the fasting hours, and that Ramadan is a celebration not a mourning period. Ahmed has also always spoken very openly about her opponents who were mainly the conservative Pakistani community around the world.[43]

Ahmed[44] has also backed controversial[45] Pakistani actress Veena Malik[46][47] on cover shoot for an Indian magazine FHM.[48] Ahmed also came on Indian live news channels, Tez Khabarain and Aaj Tak[49] and defended Malik, against a local Mufti, actress Dolly Bindra and actor Raza Murad.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Pakistan May Not Be Ready For Its Beauty Queen". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "DIVERSITY WATCH - Media - 2003 Archive". Diversitywatch.ryerson.ca. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Porter: This beauty queen has brains and bite". thestar.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Pakistani beauty pageant aims to celebrate womanhood". Indianexpress.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Miss Pakistan World". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Pak beauty pageant organiser sick of hypocrite Pakistanis". Zee News. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Pakistani beauty queen opposes deal on Shariah law". Mid-day.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  9. ^ IANS. "Stop Sharia laws, kick out Taliban nomads: Miss Pakistan World". siliconindia. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Crowning glory for ‘Miss Pakistan’ beauty pageants". Theasaintoday.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Celeb talk: The world at her fingertips". Khaleejtimes.com\Accessdate=15 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Pakistani Canadian kills daughter over hijab". dna. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ a b "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - The Tribune Lifestyle". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Desixpress.co.uk - No .1 For Asian Entertainment". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ "Farah mahmood - Pakistan gets its Mrs. Pakistan World 2013 - Farah Mahmood". Newswire.ca. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "2014 Miss Pakistan World Pageant Coming to Edison". The Alternative Press. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  19. ^ [4][dead link]
  20. ^ a b [5][dead link]
  21. ^ a b "I Shall Dance (2014)". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  22. ^ [6][dead link]
  23. ^ "HugeDomains.com - PakistanExaminer.com is for Sale (Pakistan Examiner)". Pakistanexaminer.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  24. ^ [7][dead link]
  25. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Chandigarh Stories". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Why India and Pakistan cannot live like Canada and US, and call themselves `HinPak’ or `Pakind,’ asks Miss Pakistan World boss Sonia Ahmed". Newseastwest.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  27. ^ [8][dead link]
  28. ^ "I love you Musharraf and will always do". Indianexpress.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "South Asian Observer - Top Story Indian Girl Wins Spelling Bee Contest In Ghana". Southasianobserver.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  30. ^ "Miss Pakistan pageant founder Sonia Ahmed on why Musharraf is facing all these problems in Pakistan today". Newseastwest.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Mistreatment of artists in Pakistan bothers me". Newseastwest.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Tehelka.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Miss Pakistan Comes To India". Hindustantimes.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "DIVERSITY WATCH - Media - 2003 Archive". Diversitywatch.ryerson.ca. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  35. ^ "Crowning glory for ‘Miss Pakistan’ beauty pageants". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  36. ^ "Miss Pakistan World pageant's timing causes dismay". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  37. ^ "Miss Pakistan World pageant's timing causes dismay". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  38. ^ "Is a Miss Pakistan Pageant Appropriate Right Now?". Care2.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  39. ^ "Organizers criticized for running Pakistani pageant in wake of flood disaster". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  40. ^ [9][dead link]
  41. ^ "Pakistani beauty pageant to go ahead". thestar.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  42. ^ "Few Flood to Miss Pakistan". The Motts Sound Off. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  43. ^ "Miss Pakistan World president Sonia Ahmed slams her opponents". Newseastwest.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  44. ^ "Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Tehelka.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  45. ^ [10][dead link]
  46. ^ "Print :Where’s the fatwa? Veena Malik strips, Pakistan yawns". Firstpost.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  47. ^ "Miss Pak World prez backs Veena Malik". Indiablooms.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  48. ^ "Video - msn". Video.in.msn.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  49. ^ "वीना के स्‍वयंवर पर दो देशों में बरपा हंगामा । हसीनाओं का जलवा और भी". Aajtak.intoday.in. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 

External links[edit]