Taking my mom Shireen’s birthday as an opportunity to talk about her work, writing and creative sessions. I have always known Mama as an author ever since I was a child.
She has not only been an outstanding writer, but also an amazing artist, educationist and counsellor. I am honestly not saying it because I’m her daughter. Even if I wasn’t, I swear I would’ve chosen her as my friend as she is so full of energy and inspiration. I really admire her counselling skills too. If you have any problem, she will get you out of misery in no time and guide you towards the road to self enrichment.
This post is about an overview of her writing and creating awareness about her ongoing creative initiatives. Let’s go.
1. Tulip of Sinai
Allama Iqbal’s Tulip of Sinai ‘A Message from the East (Payam-i-Mashriq) has been illustrated and published by Shireen Gheba Najib which is her latest publication. This book is to bring Iqbal’s message to the youth in English so it’s easy for them to understand. It’s a great effort from her side to understand the message of Allama Iqbal. He was called ‘Poet of the East, The thinker of Pakistan, Artist of Pakistan and the Sage of the Ummah’. The Pakistani govt officially named him as our National Poet. She believes it is vital for us to be able to understand his writing as its beautiful and our young generations can benefit from it. This book is dedicated to the youth of Pakistan and to the English speaking world. Following is a video and photo tour of this book via Instagram:
It is available in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. You can order it from Saeed Book bank in Islamabad. It can be delivered anywhere in Pakistan. It’s price is $12 or Rs. 1200 and is available worldwide. You can message this page for orders/details.
Her interview by PTV World on this book
2. My Life, My Stories
This book written by my Shireen was published in USA by Rose Dog publishers. It is a collection of her selected articles which she wrote between 1990-2011. This book is available on Amazon here. This book is also available for online reading here. The response of this book has been amazing and it is a must-read.
3. Fun Cookbook
This is one book which I personally cannot live without. I have tried almost all the recipes in this cookbook and honestly it makes cooking so much fun. Some of the recipes from this book are my favourite which I have made at least a hundred times and they still taste delicious. This is an ideal companion for every kitchen and a must-have for everyone who runs a home.
4. Kitchen Management
This book is really handy and contains excellent tips on how to manage your kitchen efficiently. It covers a vast range of important topics like:
- Kitchen planning
- Kitchen safety
- Food & Budget
- Selecting the right gadgets
- Menu planning (my favourite)
- Table setting
- Deep freezing
- Work simplification
- Organizing kitchen
It has been published by Ferozsons and is sold for only Rs. 99.
5. Entertaining Your Guests
This is a really handy book which gives the perfect guideline on entertaining our guests. Its a great book which promotes hospitality. It contains excellent tips on both entertaining guests and spreading wellbeing through food. Following are its really exciting points:
- Basic checklist for entertaining
- Dinner for different no. of people (from 2-70)
- Arranging One-Dish, BBQ, Childrens, Picnics and musical evenings
- How to make meal times special
- Saying it with food
- Awareness on negative eating habits (I think this is very important these days)
- Dealing with criticism about food and cooking
- How to be a good guest
It has been published by Ferozsons and is also sold for only Rs. 99.
6. Her website
Her website is out of the world. She writes beautifully and covers a whole range of subjects on her blog. If you haven’t yet checked it out, you absolutely must. Its amazing how she is passionate about so many things. (I always wondered where I got that from).
Try talking to her about random subjects (like changing your car tyre, fixing your water pipe or how to get a bad tenant out of your house), she knows it all. She’s been through it. One way or the other! She is definitely my Go-To person in life as she is so solution-oriented and has the best answers. Following is what her website looks like and you can click on it to visit it. It still amazes me how technically advanced she has become now Mashallah. Can’t believe she was someone who was against mobile phones when they first came out! Take a tour of her website here. I know you’ll love it!
7. Her Facebook page Shireen’s Studio
Mama is currently managing a studio in E-11 Islamabad which is her dream come true. She hosts workshops and creative sessions there. Regular speakers like Abbas Hussain also visit it from Karachi to conduct spiritual sessions and workshops.
Shireen’s Studio is an excellent platform for creative minds where they get together regularly for activities together. The focus of this group is educated and creative minds. Shireen is a great believer of Synergy as she believes great things can happen when creative minds get together. She has art, writing and counselling classes and lessons there.
Workshops conducted in Shireen’s Studio cover a range of topics:
- Writer’s meet ups where authors, poets and scriptwriters read out their work to the group (Coverage here & here)
- Charity work (e.g. Ramadan campaign where gifts were collected & distributed at a CSS school E-11)
- Time management presentations
- Spiritual wellbeing sessions conducted by Abbas Husain
- Photography sessions by Waliya Najib.
- Painting workshops
- Singing/music sessions
- Home management
- Developing reading habits etc etc
If you are passionate about art, books and are enthusiastic about life, why not join the liveliest group of intellectual and likeminded people who have fun things to talk about. They are not into typical Pakistani drawing room talk like committee parties, shopping, clothes, kitchen or politics. They talk about creativity, art, change and try to make a difference…together.
P.S. Mama I’m not with you to celebrate your Birthday this year, but I thought I would give you an unconventional birthday gift in the form of an article. Mama you are wonderful. To me you are perfection. May Allah always keep you happy, healthy and this enthusiastic about life! Love you forever.