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 responses to “Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Wins Emmy for “Children of the Taliban””

  1. F K says:

    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.

  2. Adnan says:

    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( so that she would not have told lies on a public forum. How come Saira knows more about Sharmeen about Sharmeen’s work? I missing something ms Khan? :-)

  3. Aisha Sarwari says:

    Congratulations Sharmeen!

  4. Adnan says:


    I really enjoyed your e-Fatwa and your “godly” talent that you prophesied she “Is” a terrorist. I wonder while US media itself is saying that evidence presented against Aafia were not concrete enough, I wonder how a woman who is rather shot by soldiers became all of sudden. She has *not* been proven at all. Thanks for letting me know that you are taking your american friends and court more holier than anyone else.

    Thanks for letting me know you wear Hijab but that does not convert you automatically a god or a prophet. I have came across some crackpots hijabis and bearded men in life who turned out to be more worst than typical liberals.

    @F.K: trust me you ain’t making any sense. I don’t get what kind of attitude, I wonder how US courts are bein taken so godly here? You have not come across such torture she have faced otherwise you wouldn’t have made such comment

  5. Beena says:

    You are a brave woman, Sharmeen. And this is very well deserved. Congrats.

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