“From Chaiwallah to Playwright: The Rise of a Pakistani American Writer”

This is the full video of my recent Google Talk where I recount my unexpected, surreal, ridiculous, hopefully amusing journey from an overweight, shy, dorky Pakistani American kid who spoke 3 words of English to becoming a paid writer and storyteller. Hope you enjoy.

10 Most Famous Pakistanis – Do you agree?

Check out the List at DEEVANI

By: Sabeen Ahmad

As children of the South Asian Diaspora, actors, actresses and musicians of Pakistani descent are becoming far more visible in American and European media. Television, once homogenously white and black, now has a sprinkling of other cultural colors. Recent music has long evolved to more of a multicultural beat than simply the Beatles’ use of sitars and tablas in the 60s.

As part of our Top 10 theme this month, we at Divanee thought we’d explore the world of pop culture and see which celebrities add a little ‘Pakistani’ to the mix. How many did you know about? Any surprises? Who else can you add to the mix?

Jessica Lucas

This 24-year old, half-Pakistani/half-Haitian Canadian actress is currently playing the role of Riley Richmond on the revamped series, Melrose Place. Playing a hot-to-trot elementary school teacher with commitment issues, Lucas isn’t new to the scene of tween-television. She had a recurring role on the new 90210 as an undercover cop posing as a student, and prior to that she starred as Bekka Lawrence in the Canadian-based teen show Edgemont. CSI fans may have seen her play Ronnie Lake for a four-episode arc or perhaps you may remember her as Lily Ford in the 2008 JJ Abrams film Cloverfield. Lucas’ dream project is “something in the musical realm.” Having achieved box-office success on the big screen and now small, the only place left for this artist to breakthrough is on Broadway.

Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes)

Who is “Bats for Lashes?” I’ll admit, I wasn’t too sure myself. This 29-year-old British rocker is actually Natasha Khan, the London-born daughter of former pro-squash player Rehmat Khan and niece of squash-amazing-great Jahangir Khan (ask your parents).  A Marine biologist-hopeful turned self-proclaimed rebel, Khan avoided xenophobic classmates ripping her to shreds by delving into the world of music, ultimately leading to her studying Music and Visual Arts at the University of Brighton. Khan dropped her first album, ‘Fur and Gold’, in 2006, garnering enough attention to get an invitation from Radiohead’sThom Yorke, for whom she opened during his 2008 European tour.

Imran Khan

Perpetually sunglassed and sporting giant blingin’ chains, Imran Ul-Deen Khan is Holland’s latest export. Holland? Yep, The Hague, Holland is where Pakistani-born Punjabi singer/rapper Imran Khan was raised and started his music career. After little success in album production in both the Netherlands and Pakistan, Khan, 25, was later picked up by Prestige Records which launched his first big single “Ni Nachleh” in the United Kingdom. Under the direction of his new label, his debut song became a hit sensation on the radio and in clubs throughout the UK, eventually leading to larger exposure on television and eventually on a worldwide level. Last July he released his much-anticipated album Unforgettable, from which tracks such as “Amplifier” and “Bewafa” shot to the top of the charts. [Check out Managing Editor Sabrina Siddiqui’s interview with Imran Khan earlier this year] Continue reading