How this calligraphy artist finally met PM Imran | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

How this calligraphy artist finally met PM Imran

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD:Pakistanis living overseas always have a desire to somehow contribute to the nation. Some do this by investing back home or offering their services pro bono. Some others use their talents to do something unique.

This is what Pakistani-origin Briton Sonia Nisa did as she made a calligraphic portrait depicting Prime Minister Imran Khan while using the lyrics of the national anthem. Last week, she was granted an audience with the premier to present the painting to him.

“My parents hail from Pakistan but have been living in London for a long time,” Nisa told Daily Express at the Punjab House in Islamabad during an exclusive talk over the weekend, adding that she had completed her higher studies from London.

Asked about how she took up calligraphy, a wholly eastern tradition while living in England, she said that she was quite passionate about the craft and had left no stones unturned to pursue her passion.

“Calligraphy is a complicated art form wherein you play with the arrangement of words and letters,” she explained, adding that it was hard work. Asked about how she came to present her work to the prime minister, Nisa starts narrating the long tale which culminated into the meeting in Islamabad.

She says that she had drawn calligraphic portraits of Allama Iqbal and the Amir of Qatar in her studio.

Teaching at an international school in Qatar along with her husband, she said that when she learnt that Imran was going to visit the Gulf emirate last month, she worked incessantly for around 10 hours straight to finish it so that it could be presented to the prime minister.

“Prime Minister Imran enjoys a large and passionate fan base outside of Pakistan,” she said, explaining her choice for the portrait.

However, her attempts to meet with Imran or to present the portrait did not materialise.

But when a video of her drawing the portrait went viral, the situation changed. Nisa noted that she later contacted Imran’s office and expressed a desire to meet with the premier to present him with the portrait. When she mentioned the video, which had gone viral by then, seemed to click and the doors for a meeting opened.

Meeting the premier

Nisa and her husband, with a full-size portrait of Imran on canvas in tow, set off for Islamabad.

Last week, she was given a time and met with the prime minister at his sprawling Bani Gala mansion in the federal capital.

“The prime minister met me with humility,” she said, adding he came across as a simple man.

She added that Imran appeared to be impressed with her work and advised her to work harder to further refine her skills.

“’Your work is impressive’ are the words that are akin to the highest award [from a respected patron] for an artist,” she gushed.

With her heart still inundated with love for Pakistan, Nisa called for backing Imran to cope with the current set of challenges in the international arena and urged the nation to play their due role in the progress of the country.

The Express Tribune