Celebrities React to Sharmeen, AKUH Doctor Fiasco

Sharmeen Obaid images
Sharmeen Obaid images

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy needs no introduction – the illustrious film-maker made us proud by being the first Pakistani to bring an Oscar home.

She is a strong advocate of women empowerment; always taking the initiatives to promote the positive side of Pakistan. She rose to fame with her pioneering documentaries on social issues prevalent in our country and has made headlines since. Sharmeen has recently made even more headlines – however, they’re not for a documentary or an Oscar this time.

The oscar-winner has created uproar after she took to social media to express her disapproval of the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) ER doctor sending her sister a friend request on Facebook – labelling it as harassment, also adding that ‘Pakistan has zero boundaries’.

This resulted in the doctor being fired.

AKUH responded with a statement which read, “The Aga Khan University Hospital always maintains the highest standards of confidentiality, regardless of patient or employee status and will not release any information on its patients or employees. AKUH follows its policies and makes its decisioins based on facts, and not on any social pressures.”

This social media storm has the nation divided. Whilst some have backed the film-maker, others called her out in more ways than one. Pakistani actress Ushna Shah lended her support for Sharmeen through a Facebook post.

But on the other hand, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Nomi Ansari and Farhan Saeed view this incident from a completely different perspective.

Pakistani academic and columnist Ali Moeen Nawazish responded to Sharmeen’s tweets on his facebook page, “Sharmeen Obaid thinks sending a request on social media is harrasment:

RIDICULOUS. People get requests on social media all the time. Sometimes it is for networking and sometimes you just want to stay in touch with the person. People who are related to or close to public figures get it more. Specially because generally I don’t know about here, but they use that status to get special treatment. Hundreds of people add me on Facebook a day.”

He continued, “Now Sharmeen Obaid says that’s this is harassment. I am sorry but I not only fail to see it but also feel like throwing around such a claim is actually taking away from real victims of harassment. Sending a request on Facebook which you can accept or refuse is not really any form of harrasment. Is asking for someone’s number harrasment too? Which is going to be perfectly acceptable because it’s accepted in Western countries right?”

“Whats next, asking for a pen is harrasment, asking for a tissue would be harrasment. A picture in which someone accidentally comes in the background will be harrasment. Looking at someone for three seconds will be harrasment??? Please there were no wrong connotations and this is just ridiculous. Should the doctor have sent the request? No! Was it unusual? Yes. Was it unprpfessional? Yes. Was he harassing her? Oh please,” Ali concluded.

Actress Fatima Effendi took to Instagram to voice her opinion.

Her caption read, “Ok so on one hand you have spent your entire life making documentaries on the conservative aspects of Pakistan and getting awards for doing something anyone who is not patriotic at all could have done. And now, when you face some liberalism you start crying… what kind of drama is this?

If sending a friend request is equal to raping, then missy sorry to tell you that you have been raped by all the men on your Facebook friend list and all the people following you on Twitter. Condolences!” Sharmeen’s official Facebook page was taken down by Facebook for a couple of hours because a lot of people reported the page – but now it is back up and running.This fiasco has definitely created more than just chaos and hit people hard. – tribune


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