Arbab is 18, deaf and the second eldest of 5 siblings. She has a sister who is also deaf. Arbab loves crocheting, helping her mom with chores (but not cooking), going out, hanging with friends and aspires to do a cosmetology course in the future. Arbab is always smiling and giggles most charmingly when nervous.
Farhat is 25 years old, deaf and carries a very happy disposition. She loves getting dressed up, going out, and indulging her sweet tooth. Farhat enjoys embroidery, stitching, crocheting, but not knitting. Farhat says she really wants to get married.
KUBRA FAZAL RAHMAN
Kubra is 16 years old, deaf, and the eldest of 4 siblings. Kubra says she comes from a strict household and can't go out much so she enjoys watching TV at home. Despite dealing with other health issues with her kidneys, Kubra aspires to become a sewing teacher.
Sonia is 26, deaf, the eldest of 4 siblings and enjoys contributing financially at home. Sonia likes getting dressed up and putting on make-up but is too afraid to get her eyebrows done. She says her mom wishes her daughter could hear and speak but she's happy. Sonia doesn't want to get married because she is afraid if she gets into a disagreement with her husband or in-laws, she won't be able to stand up for herself due to her disability.
Rimsha is deaf and is not sure of her age. She looks about 18 . Rimsha would rather draw, colour and watch TV rather than do chores at home much to her mother's chagrin. In fact, she's a talented artist of cartoon characters. Rimsha says she likes going out and likes making her own money to spend.
Rubina has a physical disability as a result of contracting polio. She relies on her crutches for independence in mobility. Rubina started studying at Darakshan at 20 years of age and now contributes financially to her large family with 10 siblings. Rubina says she loves learning, spicy food and time with her family.
Rimsha is deaf. This 18 year old has very little education but enjoys creating things with the sewing skills she has learned at Darakhshan. She is the second eldest of 6 siblings and says she loves her family and loves her country.
Qamar was a newlywed learning to make fire in her adopted village when she felt a burning sensation in her eyes from the smoke. She asked her in-laws for rosewater to soothe her eyes, but either by malicious intent or arrant ignorance, was instead given something akin to acid. Qamar has continually defied cultural norms since: As a blind working single mother, she also financially supports her aging, ill parents. When she isn’t working, Qamar is at home, cooking & cleaning with her daughter’s assistance.
Some of the wonderful people who have been assisting the Aasra project
The beautiful team of Darakhshan
The wonderful team of Dast'Khat
Melanie Maria, sewing teacher and consultant from The Littlest Studio
Saadia Niazi: Fashion Professor at Iqra University
Shamim Shah: Consultant and kind soul
Fatema Dada, Photographer, Lawyer, Director of SMILE