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Ameena Saiyid awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz

Ameena Saiyid awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz

19 April 2018

Ameena Saiyid OBE, Chair of OUP Pakistan, has been awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Star of Distinction) for excellence and courage in the field of literature, by the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Mamnoon Hussain.

Ameena was commended for her services and contribution to education and publishing and her support of Pakistani literary writings through the Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals and book launches, and the citation read out at the ceremony noted:

  • She is the first woman in Pakistan to become head of a multinational company, and the first woman to become President of the Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) in its 150 years’ history 
  • In 2005 she was awarded an OBE by the British Queen for services for the promotion of Anglo-Pakistan relations, democracy, education, intellectual property rights, and women’s rights
  • In 2013, she was awarded the French Knighthood, Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the Government of France
  • In 2010 she founded and organized the annual Karachi Literature Festival, the first of its kind in Pakistan which has become a major cultural event of Pakistan
  • In April 2013, she co-founded and organized the first Islamabad Literature Festival of which the fifth was held in April 2017
  • Ameena is the co-founder of the Children’s Literature Festival of which 46 have been held in different towns and cities of Pakistan.

When speaking about the award, Ameena said: ‘I am delighted to be honoured with the civil award of Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan for services to education, literature, and Pakistani authors. To quote Rabindranath Tagore: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”’