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Umera Ahmad (Urdu: عمیرہ احمد) (born 10 December 1976) is a Pakistani author and screenwriter. She has received various awards including Best Writer Award in Lux Style Award for the drama serial Meri Zaat Zara-e-Benishan.
|Born||10 December 1976|
|Occupation||Author, novelist, screenwriter, entrepreneur|
|Education||Master's degree in English Literature|
|Alma mater||Murray College|
|Notable works||Meri Zaat Zara-e-Benishan and Pir-e-Kamil|
|Spouse||Arsam Aftab (m.2014)|
Umera Ahmed was born on December 10, 1976 in Gujranwala, Pakistan. She completed her master's degree in English Literature from Murray College, Sialkot, the same college that produced one of the most celebrated and gifted scholars and poets of the 20th century, Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
Umera Ahmed started writing from a very early age, while still at college. She describes the primary reason of writing her first novel as ‘to better [her] hand writing’ . That first novel, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, was published in a women monthly digest, Khawateen in 1998. The novel gained instant popularity within the digest readership. The female protagonist, Kashaf, was depicted as a plain looking, bright and hardworking student who is battling acute financial hardship in her personal life. Her father had taken up a second wife when her mother failed to produce a son, and later left his first wife and three daughters on their own. The story dealt with some powerful themes and contained a message that launched Umera Ahmed as a visionary writer. Her later works cemented this early diagnosis of her talent.
Before taking up writing full-time, she also taught at Army Public College, Sialkot's Cambridge wing . During that time, she continued writing for Khawateen and Shua, two of the most prominent monthly digests in Pakistan. Her stories like Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Be-Nishan, Imaan Umeed aur Mohabbat, Amar Bail, Haasil, and La Haasil, gave her a distinct position among her peers. In popular fiction genre, an area dominated by female writers, Umera Ahmed emerged as the radical who had her own views on everything, and she used her writing to convey those views to the masses. Faced with initial criticism over her depictions of role of women in society, the nonconformist approach her female protagonists always take, and her own insistence of writing on some very sensitive topics in Pakistani society, she did start gaining loyal following and readership eventually.
Though she enjoyed success and recognition from the very start of her career, it was her 2004 bestselling novel, Pir-e-Kamil that launched her as one of the most successful and influential writers of this era in Pakistan. This novel is also responsible for making her a household name not only in Pakistan, but overseas too, wherever Urdu is spoken. In 2005, she also won her first best writer award for her serial Wujood-e-Laraib, an original screenplay for Indus Vision . In 2006, she won the TV One popular Choice award for The Best Young Talent in Scriptwriting. In 2007, she went to England for her enrollment in a few creative writing and scriptwriting courses at Arvon Foundation's Totleigh Barton Centre. She then proceeded to write Man o Salwa, another one of her trademark literary work that further elevated her among her peers. Her novel Aks deals with the horror and stigma of sexual abuse against children and how demons of the past can haunt the strongest of us, and how they can be dealt with.
Writing For TVEdit
Sakina Samoo, a prominent TV actress was among the early fans of Umera Ahmed's works. For her directorial debut in 2004, Sakina Samoo asked Umera Ahmed to write the script for her first drama serial. Thus, Wujood e Laraib got aired on Indus Vision and earned many awards, including best writer for Umera Ahmed. She then proceeded to adopt her novel, Darbar e Dil into a telefilm, and a play of the same name aired on PTV in the same year, for channel's drama festival . Between, 2006 and 2009, Umera continued writing many original screenplays as well as adaptations of her novels into dramas and telefilms for TV. These projects included Amar Bail, Wapsi, Thoda Sa Aasman, Malal, La Haasil, Man o Salwa, and Doraha. Man o Salwa got Lux Style Awards’ best serial award for 2006. Her novel turned drama Thoda Sa Aasman earned her the best serial award in Lux Style Award in 2007. She again received a best serial award for Malaal in 2009 and the best writer Pakistan Media Award for Malaal in 2010. She describes scriptwriting not as nearly enjoyable as writing novels . Despite this, her novel-turned-drama serial Meri Zaat Zarra e Be Nishan proved to be the most popular drama serial of the year and earned her another best writer Lux Style Award in 2011. Her 2013 project, another novel-turned-drama serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai, topped the charts with each passing episode and the finale of the drama set new rating records when it earned a whopping 9.5 TRP.
In 2013, Umera Ahmed launched an online book store, UA Books, where people could place online orders for books for home delivery at discounted prices. UA Books delivers globally and also has a brick-and-mortar store in Kalma Chowk, Sialkot as well as a franchise in Gujranwala, Pakistan.
Alif Kitab Publications Pvt Ltd.Edit
In 2016, Umera Ahmed, along with her core-team of UA Books, ventured further into her role of an entrepreneur by launching her content-development company, Alif Kitab Publications. Intended as a launching platform for aspiring Urdu writers, it immediately started branching out to better serve new writers with their individual publishing dreams.
The first endeavor of Alif Kitab Publications was Alif Kitab - the digital-publishing platform. It started out as a monthly digital Urdu magazine where new writers could get their works published. It has now developed into Pakistan's first digital Urdu self-publishing platform where writers can take control of their own publishing needs. Since its inception in 2016 till now, it has published more than 200 new writers, held regular annual writing competitions, introduced a number of screenplay writers, and works as a training ground for up and coming Urdu writers.
Under the umbrella of Alif Kitab Publications, Alif Nagar is a publishing enterprise where ‘we create and develop interactive Urdu content for kids, along the lines of edu-tainment Alif Nagar was launched a year after Alif Kitab and works under direct supervision of Umera Ahmed. She has also contributed to Alif Nagar as an author. Her collection of books, titled ‘Harf Series’, is a series of fables where each story represents a different letter of Urdu alphabet, so 37 stories for each letter. Alif Nagar also publishes a monthly magazine of the same name directed for the kids between ages 7–14 years. In addition to publishing a variety of entertainment and educational books for children, Alif Nagar has also published a training and awareness text, titled ‘Shaoor’ series, aimed at preventing and combating child sexual abuse.
Umera Ahmed has also been working as a script consultant for many years. She has worked with all major TV channels and production houses in Pakistan. TV serials and plays written under her guidance have gone on to win awards, achieve critical acclaim, and accomplish commercial success. She has helped launch TV careers for many new screenwriters. Some of the major successes under her belt have been Baaghi, Baji Irshad, and Digest Writer.
Daraar was a serial written by Qaisera Hayat under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2014 on Ary Digital.
Digest Writer was a serial written by Madeeha Shahid under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2014 on Hum TV. It was a huge hit.
Dooriyan was a serial written by Sumaira Hameed under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2015 on Hum TV.
Abroo was a serial written by Qaisera Hayat under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in last quarter of 2015 on Hum TV.
Jhoot was a serial written by Reema Ali Syed under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2015 on Hum TV.
Khot was a serial written by Imran Nazir under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2016 on Ary Digital.
Baji Irshad was a soap serial written by Sarah Qayyum under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2016 on Express Entertainment.
Saanp Seerhi was a serial written by Yasir Shah under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in last quarter of 2016 on Express Entertainment.
Baby was a soap serial written by Maimoona Sadaf under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2017 on Express Entertainment.
Amrat aur MayaEdit
Amrat aur Maya was a soap serial written by Sidra Sahar Imran under supervision and guidance of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2017 on Express Entertainment.
Baaghi was a serial written by Shazia Khan under guidance and supervision of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2017 on Urdu 1. It was quite popular among public. It was loosely based upon life and events of Social Media celebrity Qandeel Baloch.
Naulakha was a serial co-written by Reema Ali Syed and Sana Shabbir under supervision and guidance of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2018 on TV One.
Ishq Mein KaafirEdit
Ishq Mein Kaafir was a serial written by Dilshad Naseem under supervision and guidance of Umera Ahmed. It was on aired in 2018 on A Plus.
- La Haasil (2000)
- Imaan, Umeed aur Mohabbat (2001)
- Haasil (2001)
- Amar Bail (2004)
- Pir-e-Kamil (2004)
- Darbar-e-Dil (2005)
- Thoda Sa Aasman (2006)
- Man o Salwa (2007)
- Aks (2013)
- Aab-e-Hayat (Sequel to Pir-e-Kamil) (2017)
- Harf Kahani Series (A Story Series for Children) (2017)
- Alif (2019)
Compilations of Novelettes and Short Stories:
- Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan (2000)
- Sehar Ik Ista’ara Hai (2001)
- Main ne Khawabon ka Shajar Dekha Hai (2002)
- Hum Kahan K Sache Thay (2003)
- Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2004)
- Husna aur Husn Ara (2005)
- Harf se Lafz Tak
- Mere 50 Pasandeeda Scene
- Kankar (2017)
Translations Published in English:
- The Perfect Mentor (Translation of Pir-e-Kamil) (2011)
- Hollow Pursuits (Translation of Lahasil) (2011)
- Amarbail (2014)
- Man-o-Salva (2015)
- Aks (2017)
Translation Published in Arabic:
- Wujood e Laraib (2004)
- Amar Bail (2005)
- La Haasil (2006)
- Husna aur Husn Ara (2007)
- Man-o-Salwa (2007)
- Thoda Sa Aasman (2008)
- The Ghost (2008)
- Doraha (2008)
- Malaal (2009)
- Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan (2009)
- Daam (2010)
- Qaid-e-Tanhai (2010)
- Uraan (2010)
- Maat (2011)
- Durr-e-Shehwar (2012)
- Shehr-e-Zaat (2012)
- Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2012)
- Kankar (2013)
- Jaan (2017 Animated Children Series)
- Wonderland Of Alif Nagar (2019)
- Alif (2019)
- Darbar e Dil (2004)
- Muskura K Geo (2006)
- Bus Ek Love Marriage (2006)
- Hazar Ka Note (2010)
- Hai Lau Zindagi (2007)
- Daam - e - Mohabbat (2006/2007)
- Shrine (2005)
- Sauda (2005)
- Libaas (2005)
- Pari Kahani (2009)
- Aakhri Parinda (2009)
- Mutthi Bhar Matti (2008)
- Noor Ka Maskan - FM 101 Islamabad, 2002
- 5 Rupees - Dubai Indian Film Festival, 2017
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Best Writer - Wujood e Laraib - Indus Vision Drama Awards - 2005
- Best Young Talent in Scriptwriting - Sauda - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2006
- Best Telefilm - Sauda - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2006
- Best Serial - Amar Bail - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2006
- Best Director - La Haasil - Lux Style Awards - 2006
- Best Serial - Man o Salwa - Lux Style Awards - 2007
- Cash Prize of Rs. 50, 000 - Telefilm: Hai Lahu Zindagi - Geo Telefilm Festival - 2007
- Best Serial - Thoda Sa Aasman - Lux Style Awards - 2009
- Best Serial - Malaal - Pakistan Media Awards - 2010
- Best Writer - Malaal - Pakistan Media Awards - 2010
- Best Director - Doraha - Lux Style Awards - 2010
- Best Scriptwriter - Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan - Lux Style Awards - 2011
- Best Scriptwriter - Shehr-e-Zaat - Hum Awards - 2014
- Best Telefilm - Darbar e Dil - PTV 786 Festival - 2004
- Best Serial and Best Director - Wujood e Laraib - Lux Style Awards - 2005
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actress - La Haasil - Lux Style Awards - 2006
- Best Writer - Amar Bail - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2007
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor - Man o Salwa - Lux Style Awards - 2008
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actress - Thoda Sa Aasman - Lux Style Awards - 2009
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress - Doraha - Lux Style Awards - 2010
- Best Serial, Best Director - Malaal - Lux Style Awards - 2011
- Best Serial, Best Director - Daam - Lux Style Awards - 2011
- "Lux Style Awards Winners". Daily Times. 2011-09-20. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2011-10-25.