Our very own young squash player, Noorena Shams, will appear as a panellist at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council social forum, being held at present in Geneva from October 1st to 3rd, 2018.
At the three-day forum, the focus will be on “the possibilities of using sports and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them.”
Noorena, who belongs to one of the most socially under-developed areas of the country – Lower Dir – has made a name for herself both, in the local and international sporting arena, at the tender age of 21. She ranks 127th in the international squash arena and has reached this position in a very short span of time.
She also holds the honour of being the first-ever international female sports person from Malakand division in the past century and has represented Pakistan internationally in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia.
People took to social media to congratulate the young sportswoman for her nomination at the UN social forum:
While others said that she will be an inspiration to many and called her the ‘pride of Dir’:
When asked how she felt about appearing at the UN forum as a panellist, she said that she saw it as a great opportunity to highlight the issues faced by Pakistani athletes and that she intends to do so in a positive way.
“I strongly believe my participation will bring light to many problems we athletes of Pakistan face. I do not wish to highlight these issues to portray a negative image of my country but rather to be able to sit with amazing minds from around the globe and work towards bringing back the lost glory of Pakistan,” she said.
People appreciated this maturity of hers and for clarifying that she did not wish to defame her country or portray it in a negative light but only wished to highlight the issues of Pakistani athletes in a positive, constructive manner:
She further clarified, “Furthermore, participating in this event shows that my rights as an athlete are not only valued globally but are also valued in our country.”
When asked about the issues faced by Pakistani athletes, she said, “Our society is socially and economically oppressed. Yet despite that, our athletes are able to showcase their skills internationally with the limited resources available to them.”
She further opined, “Both local and international investors should seek to invest in sports in Pakistan without discriminating between the type of sports. If we invest in sports, we invest in a future for our youth. That is how a nation wins.”
Noorena calls herself a dedicated opponent of sexual harassment, discrimination and inequality against women in Pakistan and across the world in all domains of life and specifically in sports. She also appeared as a speaker at the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2017, in New York, USA.
Indeed, this young woman is the ‘Pride of Pakistan’ for achieving so much at such a young age and against all odds. We hope that she continues to shine her way through to even bigger achievements and continue to be an inspiration for young Pakistanis!