Pakistani woman wins Oscar for acid attack film
HOLLYWOOD A PAKISTANI director won her country’s first Oscar on Sunday for “Saving Face,” a short documentary about acid attacks on women and those who help them recover.
The film 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 Obaid-Chinoy, 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.
Obaid-Chinoy 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 Yousuf Raza Gilani was quick to congratulate Obaid- Chinoy, and said she would receive “a high civil award” without specifying which one. Her 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 endeavours 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, Obaid-Chinoy said she hoped to screen “Saving Face” at schools, colleges and in communities across the country “to spread awareness and promote dialogue in Pakistan”.