April issue 2010
A celebration is nothing without people to share it with, and it was in this spirit thatNewsline hosted a lunch at Avari Towers on Saturday, March 27, 2010, to bring together its APNS award-winners and friends — writers, readers, advertisers, supporters, advisers — who’ve made their success possible. Over Chinese food and laughter, journalists mixed with newsmakers and their peers. Split into several tables, the guests intermingled and reminisced (about their firstNewsline article, the way things were) while looking ahead to the future for, as editor Rehana Hakim noted in her speech, many of the award-winners were part of Newsline’s younger crowd.
Imran Mir, the man (and friend) who designed the first Newsline look, Ardeshir Cowasjee, everybody’s favourite Sunday columnist, Najma Sadeque, the committed journalist activist who continues to give Newsline its cutting edge stories and Sairah Irshad, one of Newsline’s finest senior editors, were asked to present bouquets to the award winners Farieha Aziz, Salam Dharejo, Zainab Iqbal, Shimaila Matri Dawood and Beo Zafar (Ziad Zafar’s mom). Absentee award-winners Ziad, Ayesha Siddiqa, Mahir Ali and Ghulam Hasnain were much missed.
Ayesha Tammy Haq, Fareshteh Aslam, Shaheen Salahuddin, Sahira Kazmi, Nadia Naqi and Beo Zafar helped add glitz to the event, while Muneeza Shamsie, Asif Farrukhi, Naushaba Burney and Ameena Saiyid led a strong literary vanguard. Mohammad Hanif got caught in a traffic jam and arrived at the tale end. Surprise guests were Hameed Haroon and Ayaz Amir. (Thank you for gracing the occasion). Also there to join in the celebration were Dawn Editor Abbas Nasir, Express Tribune Editor Kamal Siddiqi, Geo’s Director, Current Affairs, Azhar Abbas and Hum TV bosses, Sultana and Duraid Siddiqui with Humsay Editor Shanaz Ramzi.
The mix reflected the variety of the magazine’s stories and appeal, while also making evident the uniting undertone: people who chose to do more than sit back and simply appreciate creature comforts.
As the guests trickled out after the sumptuous lunch (beautifully organised by the Avari team led by Mr Tawee Thongchai), it seemed as though a pact had been made. Just as the APNS awards recognised the need for the scoops and investigative reports Newsline is famous for, it seemed that the assembled crowd realised the importance of the magazine to their lives. And so face after face proudly declared: “Newsline will go on.”
Click on any photo to begin the slide show.
Akbar Shahid Ahmed is a Washington-based reporter for the Huffington Post, writing on U.S. foreign policy. He has contributed to Newsline since 2008.