Mohiuddin Moderates Panel on Pakistani Identity at PAYPC Conference

November 20, 2013

Over the weekend, Marium Mohiuddin, MPAC's Communications Coordinator, moderated the opening session at the 2nd Annual Pakistani American Young Professionals Conference (PAYPC) in Los Angeles. Joined by screenwriters and producers Kamran Pasha and Sameer Gardezi, Mohiuddin, a Pakistani American, moderated a panel on "Exploring the Pakistani American Identity and Community Relations." 

Each speaker addressed the need for knowledge and understanding of the country and culture to be able to combat ignorance and assimilation. They also addressed discrimination they have faced in the entertainment industry, and how they quickly had to reconcile their identity and grow a thick skin to make it in showbiz. 

"I am a very loud person, and I address discrimination head on," Pasha said. "I like to challenge beliefs and counter narratives with other over-the-top ideas. However, I have to say all of this comes with a deep understanding of and relationship with God. As my mom would say, turn to God and He will turn to you." 

In addition to the panel conversation, the audience members asked questions and had a discussion among themselves about their identity and what they are going to commit to after the conference to further this dialogue and bring more awareness. 

One audience member asked about the negative portrayals of Pakistani women, and what can we do as a community to counter this narrative. 

"When I look around myself, all I see is strong Pakistani women," Mohiuddin said. "Pakistani women are known to be strong and dominating figures. We are not weak or feeble. We are educated, we are are headstrong and we get things done. Just look at today's conference; it was organized by eight women, only. We cannot let this narrative of weakness dominate the conversation. We need to show the world what Pakistani women really look like, and that begins with each of us committing to step forward and getting to know another non-Pakistani." 

PAYPC's goal is to inspire young Pakistani American professionals and help them build meaningful, powerful connections that will make a lasting impression on their lives and the Pakistani American community. 

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