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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Wins Emmy for “Children of the Taliban” : ALL THINGS PAKISTAN
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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Wins Emmy for “Children of the Taliban”

Posted on October 2, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, >Faris Islam, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam and Faris Isam

ATP had first written about Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy back in January 2007 when the Toronto Star had named her as “Toronto’s Top 10 to Watch.” We had ended that post with the words, “Congratulations, Sharmeen… ATP will also be watching you in 2007 and beyond!” We have been doing exactly that. And we are delighted to report that Sharmeen has just won an Emmy Award for her gripping Frontline Documentary, “Pakistan: Children of the Taliban.

Congratulations, again, Sharmeen.



Amidst a sea of bad news and pessimism, the news of Sharmeen’s Emmy has come as a very welcome breeze of freshness. This is hardly the first milestone of Obaid-Chinoy’s career, as the journalist and filmmaker is also a TED Fellow and the first non-American winner of the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. (Watch Sharmeen’s Emmy winning documentary here).

Her documentary – which has only played to limited audiences in Pakistan because of security concerns – explores Taliban recruitment strategies, their effect on the youth and their methods to radicalize the country’s young and often dejected populace. (Visit Sharmeen’s website with details of this and other documentaries by her, here; watch Children of the Taliban, here).

But Sharmeen’s achievement also comes as a moment of grave personal loss and challenge for Sharmeen. TeethMaestro reports the details on his blog:

In a very touching moment, the day before, her father died of cancer in the UK where he was undergoing chemotherapy. Her message following the news of the death of her father on Facebook, posted practically 10 hours before the Emmy award ceremony, where she was in attendance, read “Only the good die young- you always said aba…love you” and later following the victory she dedicated her Emmy to her father by saying “Tonight’s Emmy win is dedicated to you aba…

We are moved by Sharmeen achievement, but even more by her loss. Our condolences to her at her father’s loss. We are sure her father was immensely proud of her. And we are proud of her too.

Our prayers are with you and your family in this time of loss. And our fond wishes to you for your achievement. As we had promised back in 2007, we will keep watching you and your work!

Thank you, Sharmeen.

39 comments posted

Comment Pages: [5] 4 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. Adnan says:
    October 8th, 2010 9:53 am


    Taliban have committed 298 suicide bombings, have already claimed 1114 lives and injured a total of 2681 people

    Hey Military dude, even if the numbers are correct then killing is just a micro fraction of people killed by your army in 3 countries. It’s better you preach your own govt NOT to talk with Talibans to save their own pants in Afghanistan rather than lecturing here.

  2. ShahidnUSA says:
    October 7th, 2010 1:09 am

    Ms Sharmeen, Good Job! I love women like you.

    @Adnan
    Without sounding mean just to let you know that I am sorry everytime I read your comments I get nausiated feelings.
    I really hope the feelings are mutual :)

    I “aint” mean to hurt your feelings.

  3. October 6th, 2010 3:11 pm

    Lahori, how does an award winning documentary from an accomplished and strong Pakistani woman derive such hostile allegations? Wouldn’t the proper response be to congratulate Sharmeen on exploring the non-ventured dark corners of Pakistani militancy and revealing this menace of underage exploitation and cowardice?

    This documentary achieves much success at revealing a side of Taliban that embarks upon Taliban’s recruitment strategies and the employment of impressionable youth into committing mass murder and suicide attacks for their personal propaganda. Please do perceive, that only within this year Taliban have committed 298 suicide bombings, have already claimed 1114 lives and injured a total of 2681 people. Often enough, maimed head of a barely fourteen or fifteen years old suicide bomber is found at the bombing site. Taliban, thereafter, call media and flaunt these attacks that were conducted by a young boy under insidious manipulation or crippling intimidation. Are the lives of these children any less important because they served some militant group’s half-truths? Despite these exploitive strategies, reasons are sought for Taliban actions and a documentary revealing their methodology is undermined. It is beyond comprehension that an interview from a young boy, who anticipates becoming a suicide bomber and killing hundreds of innocent civilians, can be semi-acceptable to any human being and is discarded as someone else’s responsibility. It’s rather obvious that Taliban’s intently kill anyone and everyone that stands in their way – Pakistani or not, weak or strong, rich or poor, nothing deters the havoc they wreak everywhere and they will use each and every single mean necessary to serve their skewed propaganda, even if it is at the expense of Pakistani youth.

    LCDR William Speaks
    United States Central Command

  4. Adnan says:
    October 6th, 2010 12:24 pm

    @FK: while you don’t know me(which I assume), you can’t conclude whether I am too concerned about Aafia only. On my blog i have covered various genuine incidents(unlike fake Swat flogging video) like Mukhtaran Mai,the lady doctor who got raped in Balochistan and others so assuming that I am creating hype for this case does not make sense.


    As far as drone attacks go, the drone attacks will go on until Pakistan does something about extremists using Pakistani soil to plan attacks.

    In our society this attitude is called “Beghairti”. Perhaps I am living in era where things like Izzat,Ghairat and self-respect does not make sense. However by your logic, Pakistan should start disturbing India because India had been creating trouble for us for decades and your ‘drone mantra’ will just work to teach them lesson. Pls don’t be more angraiz than genuine angrez that they even start humiliating you.


    that Afia was arrested because she was religious and wore hijab. Who exactly would belive this kind of childish and ridiculous argument (besides people like you)? Are you saying that she was the one religious person in all of Pakistan and she was arrested for that?

    If you quit following Fox/CNN like media then you will realize that there’s a world beyond us. No, Aafia is not the only practiced women who have been sent to USA. If you try to read up papers from 2007-2008, you will find that how Supreme court took suo moto action against Musrraf regime for missing people case. Infact that was the core reason Iftikhar Ch was sacked. Aafia came in news because Yvonne Ridley,a british journalist who was captivated by Talibans and who road famous “In the hands of Taliban” revealed about existence of Aafia in Afghanistan. Do bother yourself to read Riddley’s book and it might help you to get enlightened about things which you usually digest via Western media.

    Anyways, several hundred Pakistanis are prisoned in Gitmo and other jails and they are “terrorists” in the sight of USA because they give priority to the religion than this world which has to end one day.


    sending agents to Pakistan to commit honor killings or throw acid on womens’ faces.

    So your mighty mind is going to blame Talibans for that too? :-)

  5. F K says:
    October 6th, 2010 11:26 am

    Adnan,
    You are not understanding the point, perhaps you don’t want to. I’m not referring to any torture or evidence obtained from torture or whether the US justice system is fair or not. I am referring to what Afia herself stated in court in front of a judge, jury and media persons. Do you have anything to say about the women who are mistreated in Pakistan? Or is that an unimportant issue to you because you found a woman to protest for that you can blame the United States for instead of looking at our nation and the issues ignored by us?

    As far as drone attacks go, the drone attacks will go on until Pakistan does something about extremists using Pakistani soil to plan attacks. There is no country in the world that will sit by when people in Waziristan are planning to attack them and training for it without doing anything. While the tribal areas joined Pakistan under an agreement whereby the army would not be allowed in the region, the reality of the world is different today. As a nation, Pakistan is responsible for everything that happens on its soil. If Pakistan secures this area of militants, no country would have any need to come into Pakistan. Pakistan should take care of this problem themselves and not let other countries come in to attack within their borders, but until they do that, drone attacks will go on, whether we like it or not. If the Pakistan army cannot take care of these types of problems, then we seriously need to look at its funding, and divert more money to schools and hospitals. There’s not really any point of having an expensive armed forces who can’t fight and save all of their weapons for military parades.

    I’m not sure what part of my original post didn’t make sense to you. Maybe you should read it again slowly and try to understand what it means. It’s easy to say that “your post doesn’t make sense”, if it doesn’t can you refute any points I brought up in it? You’re trying to suggest that Afia was arrested because she was religious and wore hijab. Who exactly would belive this kind of childish and ridiculous argument (besides people like you)? Are you saying that she was the one religious person in all of Pakistan and she was arrested for that? Out of all of the practising Muslims who are active members of Islamic organizations, dawah programs and masjids in the United States, she was the only one the United States wanted to arrest?

    Keep in mind, defending burying women alive as a regional tradition and saying rape is a way to get a visa to the West were both said by prominent politicians in Pakistan. The former by a still serving member of parliament and the latter by the former president.

    Would you like to address any issue I brought up, perhaps without mentioning the United States, unless you think the US or RAW or Mossad has been sending agents to Pakistan to commit honor killings or throw acid on womens’ faces.
    If you have an intellectual repsonse, I would like to hear it. If you want to live in a delusional world where Pakistan has no issues at all and everything is someone else’s fault, go ahead. Just don’t be mad when journalists like Sharmeen point out the truth of what is going on.

  6. Adnan says:
    October 6th, 2010 7:10 am

    As Saira Khan’s claim about Sharmeen’s work against Indian and Israeli occupation of respective regions, I wish Ms.Khan would have made an attempt to Sharmeen’s official site(sharmeenobaidfilms.com) so that she would not have told lies on a public forum. How come Saira knows more about Sharmeen about Sharmeen’s work? or..am I missing something ms Khan? :-)

  7. Aisha Sarwari says:
    October 6th, 2010 12:28 am

    Congratulations Sharmeen!

Comment Pages: [5] 4 3 2 1 » Show All



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