Umera Ahmed (Punjabi, Urdu: عمیرہ احمد) is a Pakistani writer, author and screenwriter. She is best known for her novels and plays Shehr-e-Zaat, Pir-e-Kamil, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Alif, Durr-e-Shehwar, Daam, Man-o-Salwa, Qaid-e-Tanhai, Digest Writer, Maat, Kankar, Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan, Doraha and Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay. Umera Ahmed is one of the most widely-read and popular Urdu fiction novelists and screenplay writers of this era.[1][2]

Umera Ahmed
عمیرہ احمد
Born10 December 1976
NationalityPakistani
Alma materMurray College
Occupation(s)Fiction writer, screenwriter

Personal life

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Umera Ahmed was born on December 10, 1976, in Sialkot, 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 (in British held India) of 20th century, Allama Muhammad Iqbal. She enjoys a closely guarded private life and seldom gives interviews. Her only appearance onscreen was on the stage of Indus Vision awards to collect her first Best Writer Award in 2005. Despite being active on social media, and involved in showbiz, she leads a private life.

Education

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Umera completed her Master's in English literature from Murray College, Sialkot.[self-published source][3] Umera has remained an English teacher at Army Public School, Sialkot, where she taught middle school and High school students. However, Umera wanted to pursue her writing career fulltime, so she quit her job as a teacher and started writing for Urdu magazines.[3]

Career

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Writing

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Ahmed started writing at an early age. Her stories were often published in monthly Urdu Digest magazines. Soon she started publishing books as well. Umera has written more than 30 books in her career, some novels, and other compilations of short stories. Her most famous work, and the one that heightened her career was Peer-e-Kamil and Meri Zaat Zara-e-Benishan. Amarbail is also one of the most famous novel of Umera Ahmed. Umera started her writing career in 1998 when she started publishing stories in the monthly Urdu magazines. Her first story written for the digest magazine was Zindagi Gulzar Hai.[4][5] The story captured the interest of readers and Umera was soon asked to write a full-length novel. She was 21 when she wrote the story. In 2012, the novel was serialized into a popular drama with the same name.[6] The drama starred Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan as the lead actors.[7] In an interview Umera said that the character of the lead female, Kashaf in the novel is based on her own character. Umera's stories often revolve around men-women relationships, societal issues and pressures.[8] Her stories depict women as the central theme.[9][10] Ahmed is also the writer of many other novels that have been serialized into dramas. Her other popular works are Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan for which Ahmed has won the ‘Best Writer’ Award at the tenth Lux Style Awards.[11] The novel was also converted into a drama with the same name. The drama gained much popularity and in 2014, it was also aired in India under the name, Kesi Yeh Qayamat.[9]

Ahmed has also written novels on religion and spirituality. Pir-e-Kamil (2004), Shehr-e-Zaat (2012) and Alif (2019),[12] are some of her novels that focus on spirituality.[13] Her novel Alif, was dramatized into a popular series that starred Hamza Ali Abbassi, Sajal Aly and Kubra Khan.[14]Shehr-e-zaat was also a popular drama starring Mahira Khan.[15][16] Ahmed has written more than 35 books in her career. Over 22 of her books have been converted into drama series. Her books have also been translated into English and Arabic languages. Juggernaut books translated Ahmed's works into Hindi as well.[17]

Screenwriting

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Many of Ahmed's novels have been created into drama series. However, Ahmed has also written stories specifically for dramas and movies. She has collaborated with the director Mehreen Jabbar to produce drama serials that have gained widespread popularity. Recently, she collaborated again to bring a web-series called Aik Jhooti Love Story.[18][19] The series is a comedy revolving around a couple in Karachi.[20][19] It stars Billal Abbas Khan and Madiha Imam as lead actors.[21] Aik Jhooti Love Story was released on 30 October 2020 and was launched on ZEE5; a digital entertainment platform.[22]

Ahmed also wrote a screenplay Baaghi, which is based on the late Pakistani model, Qandeel Baloch.[23][24] The play starred Saba Qamar as the lead actress.[25][26][27] Ahmed has also worked on Netflix projects. Her recent work underway is a series about cyberbullying. The series revolves around a female detective investigating a crime. This was the first thriller series by Umera. In an interview Umera said, "This one comes straight from the heart, because I’ve seen so many people suffer because of it. I know how trolling can destroy lives!"[28]

Tumhare Husn ke Naam (2023) is another recent drama written by her in collaboration with Sara Qayyum. It is originally inspired by Hakeem Nayyar Wasty's novel Akhtar aur Salma (1930). Saba Qamar and Imran Abbas have played the lead roles in the drama.

Alif Kitab

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In 2016, Ahmed created Alif Kitab; a digital platform for budding writers to share their work and monetize it. The platform aims to provide editorial guidance to new writers by allowing them to interact with experts. The platform also allows them to submit their writings to media and production houses.[29][30]

Awards and recognition

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Lux Style Awards

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Ceremony Category Project Result
10th Lux Style Awards[33] Best Television Writer Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan Won
11th Lux Style Awards[34] Uraan Nominated
Qaid-e-Tanhai
12th Lux Style Awards[35] Maat
13th Lux Style Awards[36] Zindagi Gulzar Hai
20th Lux Style Awards[37] Alif Won

Selected work

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Books

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Dramas

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Telefilms and web-series

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See also

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References

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  1. ^ "10 iconic Pakistani TV dramas you should binge-watch this weekend". DAWN. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  2. ^ "20 Pakistani TV dramas that you should watch if you haven't". Daily Times. 20 July 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Umera Ahmed". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  4. ^ "An Interview with the Prestigious Umera Ahmed". Reviewit.pk. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Zindagi Gulzar Hai has the power to transform you". Daily Times. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  6. ^ "'Zindagi Gulzar Hai' reflective of problems and prejudices young people face: Writer Umera Ahmed". The Indian Express. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  7. ^ "'Zindagi Gulzar Hai' Reflective Of Problems And Prejudices Young People Face: Writer Umera Ahmed". News18. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  8. ^ "I give words to people's journeys: Writer Umera Ahmed". The Indian Express. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Umera Ahmed: The Queen of TV Dramas – Hareem Zafar – Youlin Magazine". www.youlinmagazine.com. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  10. ^ Saleem, Muhammad (4 March 2020). "'AAN' Upcoming Blockbuster of Haseeb Hasan & Umera Ahmed". Daily The Azb. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan is a tale of immense tragedy". Daily Times. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  12. ^ Nayyar, Nasir Abbas (22 September 2019). "FICTION: A BULWARK AGAINST SECULAR ART". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  13. ^ Haider, Sadaf (17 March 2020). "Alif is one of the most artistically pleasing dramas to grace our screens in years". Images. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Umera Ahmed's much-anticipated novel 'Alif' is all set to release this month". Something Haute. 20 April 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Shehr-e-Zaat and its misplaced knowledge of Islam". The Express Tribune. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Shehr-e-Zaat — a tale of obsession and pride". Daily Times. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Umera Ahmed". HuffPost India. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Umera Ahmed and Mehreen Jabbar re-unite for a web-series". Daily Times. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  19. ^ a b NewsBytes. "Mehreen Jabbar's web-series to be called Aik Jhooti Love Story". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Mehreen Jabbar & Umera Ahmed's Project 'Aik Jhooti Love Story' on ZEE5". FUCHSIA. 18 July 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  21. ^ Rehman, Maliha (30 October 2020). "Bilal Abbas, Madiha Imam's new webseries for Zee5 is not your average love story". Images. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  22. ^ "The lighter side of story telling | Instep | thenews.com.pk". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  23. ^ Hasan, Mehreen (28 July 2017). "Qandeel's family gave us complete creative liberty to tell this story, say Baaghi's writers". Images. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Is 'Baaghi' a disservice to the real-life Qandeel Baloch?". The Express Tribune. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Umera Ahmed's latest novel 'Alif' to release this month". The Express Tribune. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  26. ^ Desk, Entertainment (17 July 2014). "Zindagi Gulzar Hai: Pakistani drama serials win hearts in India". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sajal Aly and Kubra Khan to star in 'Alif'". The Express Tribune. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  28. ^ "Umera Ahmed gets into crime thriller mode". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  29. ^ "Umera Ahmed to launch platform for commercial writers". The Express Tribune. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  30. ^ "Umera Ahmed to launch platform for commercial writers | Pakistan Today". www.pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Pakistan's 4th Media Award Winner List". Events in Karachi. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  32. ^ "First Hum TV Awards Red Carpet : Winners List". ww.web.pk. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  33. ^ "Lux Style Awards 2011 Nominations | Rewaj - All About Women Lifestyle". web.archive.org. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  34. ^ "Lux Style Awards: A trip down memory lane". The Express Tribune. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  35. ^ "12th Lux Style Awards 2013 Pictures and Winner's List | DesiFreeTV.com". web.archive.org. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  36. ^ "Nominees announced for 2014 Lux Style Awards". web.archive.org. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  37. ^ "LSA 2021 winners: Bayaan and 'Pyaar Ke Sadqay' reign supreme". The Express Tribune. 10 October 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  38. ^ "Zindagi Gulzar hai: Liberating women in different ways". The Express Tribune. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  39. ^ "Zindagi Gulzar Hai". Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  40. ^ Isani, Aamna Haider. "Alif and its message". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  41. ^ "Kankar: Standing up for the abused woman". The Express Tribune. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  42. ^ "Zindagi Gulzar Hai". Netflix. December 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  43. ^ "Kankar: Standing up for the abused woman – The Express Tribune Blog". blogs.tribune.com.pk. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013.
  44. ^ "Umera's endeavour to promote Urdu among children – Daily Times". Daily Times. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  45. ^ "Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sajal Aly and Kubra Khan to star in 'Alif' – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  46. ^ "Umera Ahmed". IMDb. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  47. ^ HumTv. "Digest Writer".
  48. ^ "Jhoot". Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  49. ^ Awan, Fatima (16 April 2014). "Drama Of The Week : Durr-e-Shahwar". Reviewit.pk. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  50. ^ "Maat HUM TV Serial | HUM TV – Watch Dramas Online". 12 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  51. ^ "If Baaghi is based on a true story then Qandeel Baloch did not deserve this". The Nation. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  52. ^ "Mohabbat Subh Ka Sitara Hai Episode 14 HUM TV Drama | HUM TV – Watch Dramas Online". 18 March 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  53. ^ "Mohabat Subh Ka Sitara Hai: From The Pens of Umera Ahmed". Hum TV. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  54. ^ Irfan Ul Haq (9 July 2021). "Mahira Khan returns to our television screens after five-year hiatus with Hum Kahan Kai Sachey Thay". DAWN IMAGES. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  55. ^ "Usman Mukhtar to star opposite Mahira and Kubra in his next". Daily Times. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  56. ^ "Saba Qamar announces Umera Ahmed's 'Serial Killer'". The News International. 15 October 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  57. ^ "BEHADD starring Nadia Jamil and Sajal Ali, alongside Fawad Khan will be coming on 8th June on HUM TV". FUCHSIA weekly. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  58. ^ "Telefilm 'Laal' tugs at our heartstrings with its sheer brilliance". Daily Times. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  59. ^ "Nigar Johar promoted to Lieutenant General first female of Pakistan Army". EMEA Tribune. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  60. ^ Aijaz, Rahul (1 September 2016). "In memorium: 'Ek Thi Marium' takes flight". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  61. ^ "Haseeb Hasan shares details on Dhoop Ki Deewar". September 2020.