Monday, September 18, 2017

British-Pakistani Actor Riz Ahmed Makes History by Winning Emmy

Emmy award wins this year by British-Pakistani Rizwan Ahmed and Indian-American Aziz Ansari make the duo the first South Asian men to win the prestigious television academy award . It's the equivalent of Oscars given each year by the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA).

Riz Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed, an actor, rapper and activist also known as Riz MC, won his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for HBO’s The Night Of.  The show tackles issues of racism and Islamophobia in the United States.

Riz has seen a meteoric rise starting with films like 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist', ‘Four Lions,’ ‘The Road To Guantanamo’ and more recently the Star Wars Anthology film ‘Rogue One’. In April 2017, Ahmed was featured on the cover of Time magazine as one of its 100 most influential people in the world.

Riz was born in London in 1982 to British Pakistani parents who had migrated from Karachi in 1970s. He is a great grandson of Sir Shah Muhammad Sulaiman, the first British Indian to become the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court during the British Raj. He is a graduate of Oxford University with a degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics). He later studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

“It’s always strange reaping the rewards of a story that’s based on real world suffering,” Riz said in his acceptance speech at the Emmy's award ceremony. “But if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our society, Islamophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that’s something.”

In addition to Riz Ahmed and Aziz Ansari as award winners, the Emmy Awards show also featured Pakistani-American Kumail Nanjiani, the star of "The Big Sick", on the red carpet.

Although Riz has begun “inching towards the Promised Land,” he still gets stopped and searched before boarding a plane every time he flies to the U.S., he wrote. One person’s win does not fix “a systemic issue of inclusion,” Ahmed told the Washington Post backstage after the Emmys. “I think that’s something that happens slowly over time.”

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Mohsin H. said...

He's so darn good! I dont watch shows on TV but my daughter who's currently completing her last year at Georgetown Law, was interested as it's about the judicial system in the country, and she has a vast interest, being a conscentious budding legal professional, with tons of compassion! So, during her last couple of weeks off, I was able to catch a few of the episodes woth her and he was great!

I am so glad that these young men and women of the country of our origin are making waves! Kudos to them.......there's hope!!

On another note, check this out:

Fantastic achievement! The Hult Prize is sponsored, in partnership with Clinton Global Initiative, by Hult Intl Business School, a truly global university with campuses in Shanghai, Dubai, London, New York, Boston and San Francisco, where I teach Finance related courses as an adjunct. In addition, they now own the prestigious Ashridge Exec Education Center in the U.K. where I had the privilege of being a guest speaker earlier this year.
Congrats to the young Pakistani group of students! Proud moment, indeed.

Pakistani-American students win $1 million award for Roshni Rides - The Express Tribune

Vishal said...

He is a really good actor. If you haven't watched the 8-part TV series, I totally recommend it.

Majumdar said...

Brof sb,

This is offtopic but I have disturbing news for you. India has beaten Pakiland in the multidimensional poverty index.

Pakistan's score as per OPHI2017: 0.230, percentage of poor 44%, intensity of poverty 52%
India's score: 0.191, percentage of poor 41%, intensity of poverty 46%


Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "Pakistan's score as per OPHI2017: 0.230, percentage of poor 44%, intensity of poverty 52%"

Here's an excerpt of UNDP MPI Pakistan report published in 2016:

"Applying this (OPHI MPI) measure to data from the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey for the 2014/15 period, we found that the country's Multidimensional Poverty Index stands at 0.197. This indicates that poor people in Pakistan experience 19.7% of the deprivations that would be experienced if all people were deprived in all indicators. Secondly, it must be noted that the MPI is a product of two essential components: the poverty “headcount” and the “intensity” of deprivation. Using the same data from the 2014/15 PSLM survey, the country's multidimensional poverty “headcount ratio” was estimated at 38.8% of the population. This means that 38.8% of the population of Pakistan are poor according to the MPI. The average intensity of deprivation, which reflects the share of deprivation which each poor person experiences on average, is 50.9%."

"Over Time Since 2004/05, multidimensional poverty has continuously declined in Pakistan. The MPI fell from 0.292 in 2004/05 to 0.197 in 2014/15, while the poverty headcount ratio fell from 55.2% to 38.8%. The intensity of deprivation also declined over the same period, falling from 52.9% to 50.9%."

And from 2017 report that you cite, income poverty (7%) and destitution level (20%) in Pakistan is significantly lower than in India (22% income poverty, 23% destitution) :

Ravi K said...

i see that even bangladesh has beaten pak in poverty elimination.

Riaz Haq said...

Ravi K; "i see that even bangladesh has beaten pak in poverty elimination"

Bangladesh's income poverty level of 20% is about 3 times Pakistan's 7%.

Still, Bangladesh has done better than India.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq said...

Five Pakistanis Who Have Taken Hollywood by Storm

1) Kumail Nanjiani
From stand-up comedian to actor, Kumail has already got a few designations under his belt.
The Silicon Valley star took it to the next level and carved more than a mark by writing and acting in The Big Sick – a biographical account of his love story with his (now wife) Emily Gordon. He recently appeared on SNL too – and man, what a speech!
If that wasn’t enough, he will be starring alongside professional wrestler John Cena in his next venture. What more could you want?
2) Faran Tahir
Son of veteran Pakistani actor Naeem Tahir, Faran may not be considered a household name yet but he is definitely familiar to millions around the world. You may recognize him as Raza in Iron Man (2008) or Captain Robau in Star Trek (2009).
The international artist has been a Hollywood insider for over 25 years now and has guest starred in many TV series and films. His debut appearance was in Disney’s The Jungle Book in 1994 as Mowgli’s father. You can currently watch him in the hit American TV Series Scandal.

3) Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, this charmer needs no introduction. She’s earned a couple of Oscars and six Emmys for her work as an activist and film-maker, shedding light on profound issues surrounding women inequality.
She is all set to add another feather to her cap as she recently announced her next project, Look But With Love – Pakistan’s very own reality film series directed by herself.

4) Sameer Asad Gardezi
You can thank this man for the hysterical one-liners in the Emmy-winning hit series, The Modern Family.
The Pakistani-American screenwriter has worked for many big networks including Universal, Nickelodeon and ABC, and is also the recipient of the Writers Guild award for his exceptional writing skills. Sameer is currently writing for his next project, The Goodwin Games.

5) Dilshad Vadsaria
Troublemaker Rebecca Logan in the much-admired TV show Greek, is played by Pakistani actor Dilshad Vadvaria. The Karachi born star was also part of the regular cast of hit TV series, Revenge. Way to go girl!