2022 taught us a lot and our stars have taught us even more this year. The lessons were a mixed bag — we learnt the importance of giving, the importance of being quiet and a bunch of other lessons we’ll be taking with us into the new year.
Here are some lessons we learnt this year, thanks to our stars.
Iqra Aziz — Actions speak louder than words
Iqra Aziz pulled out of a project with Feroze Khan, an actor who was accused of abuse and infidelity by his former wife and who is fighting for custody of their kids in an on-going court case. As celebrities showed support to Syeda Aliza, Aziz took it a step further by bowing out of a project with Khan in a show of support for domestic abuse survivors.
Her decision taught us that it’s okay to break friendships if need be in order to lend support to what you believe in. She taught us that you don’t have to remain silent just because you work with someone person and that taking action is necessary.
Resham — Owning up to your mistakes is the best way to move forward
Resham unintentionally started a debate this year on whether trash belongs in rivers or in the bin. Her act of dumping food and plastic containers in a river was quickly criticised far and wide.
Often in showbiz, people have a hard time owning up to their mistakes and repenting for them. In this case, Resham apologised not once but every time she got the chance to mention how deeply sorry she was for the way she dumped the trash.
This year she taught us to own up to our own mistakes and apologise.
Hadiqa Kiani — Lend a helping hand to those in need
As the floods hit Pakistan this year, many people stepped in to help the 33 million Pakistanis displaced and affected by the floods. One of many people who organised funds and arranged everything from food and medicine to comfortable clothing was Hadiqa Kiani.
Under her charity organisation Vaseela, Kiani arranged funds for families hit by the calamity but as she promised to rebuild villages, she taught us that there’s nothing better than helping people in need and doing good for others when they need you the most.
She taught us that you don’t have to be a high profile official to help a village in need of support. You can be an average person who uses their platform for the best of reasons.
Syra Yousuf and Shahroz Sabzwari — Teach kids how to love instead of hate
One thing that Syra Yousuf and Shahroz Sabzwari taught us this year was to treat children like children, to teach them how to love instead of hate despite family dynamics changing after their parents have parted ways.
The co-parents appeared for many (separate) interviews this year but one set of interviews caught our eye. They were asked about how their daughter, Nooreh, has been reacting to her baby sister Syeda Zahra. In the separate interviews, both shared that Nooreh has always wanted a sibling of her own and now that she does, she shares a special bond with her.
This taught us that kids are innocent and they must be allowed to remain that way rather filling them hate and rage.
Meesha Shafi — Speak up for your fellow women
This year’s Lux Style Awards landed in controversy for many reasons, but one of the first was for having little to no female representation in the music award nominations. The snub was highlighted by Meesha Shafi who took to Instagram and tagged all other leading female artists to raise their voice against something that was unfair.
After the outcry, the award organisers issued a statement and extended the submission date to allow more women musicians to submit their work. This taught us to not sit back and take it when we see an injustice. Stand up for yourself, your friends and your fellow artists! She also taught us to never be afraid of using our platform for a cause.
Hasnain Lehri and Loujain Adada — Shoot your shot!
A lot of relationships shocked us this year but there was one that boggled our minds. We certainly didn’t see model Hasnain Lehri and Dubai Bling star Loujain Adada coming but it definitely taught us something — do not lose hope and shoot your shot at your crush!
Lehri and Adada’s relationship taught us to dream big even if our crush seems unapproachable.
Rabia Anum Obaid — Put your money where your mouth is when you believe in something
TV presenter Rabia Anum Obaid walked out of Nida Yasir’s morning show after she found out Mohsin Abbas Haider was also invited. He’s been accused of domestic abuse and she decided to announce on-air that without hurting anyone’s sentiments she’d like to exit the show because if she ever wants to take a stand for the women in the future she can’t share a screen with an abuser.
Obaid taught us to be brave and put our money where our mouths are. If you truly believe in something, act on it, don’t just sit there quietly.
Hira Mani — Don’t talk about sensitive issues without knowing the facts
If there was one thing Hira Mani taught us this year, other than some style no-nos, it was not to speak without having all our facts in order and definitely not to double down on our inanity and make excuses to cover it up. She said she didn’t want Dua Zehra — an underage Karachi girl who was reported as kidnapped in April but later found to have purportedly ‘eloped’ in Punjab — and her supposed husband Zaheer to part ways.
She later excused herself by saying that some clips on YouTube were enough for her to support Dua and Zaheer but found out about the real story when she was criticised for her remarks. Her excuse about being on vacation and being unaware taught us to just keep quiet if we don’t have all the facts. And remember everyone — facts shouldn’t be built up off random YouTube videos alone. She taught us that you’ve got to research before going off about any hot topic online.
Maria B — Stop making everything about yourself
If there was one person who taught us that it’s better to remain quiet, it was fashion designer Maria B. Not just because her ill-informed opinions were spread across the internet, but because she continually inserted herself in social issues that weren’t about her nor did they involve her.
It started when she clashed horns with transgender rights activist Dr Mehrub Moiz Awan after the academic was excluded from a TEDxISL panel in a move she decried as transphobia. Maria B of course lauded the decision. A month later, she went after the Transgender Act and the ‘effect’ it had on families in Pakistan. Two months after that, on the release of Saim Sadiq’s Joyland, she had issues with the film being screened in Pakistan as it featured transgender actor Alina Khan.
One thing was common in all these situations — Maria B inserting herself into situations that had nothing to do with her. The bill she opposed had no effect on her but she treated what should have been a nuanced conversation on gender and the struggles of gender identity in the country like an every day drawing room conversation, littered with the expert opinions of her not-so-expert sisters.
Maria B taught us to remain silent and that we should not become part of a conversation that has nothing to do with us, unless we’re amplifying the voices of those involved.
Fahad Mustafa — Do not mess with the BTS ARMY
Actor Fahad Mustafa really took it upon himself to unleash the wrath of the strongest and biggest army in the world this year — the BTS ARMY. These steadfast soldiers will haunt you forever if you get on their bad side and Mustafa landed on their wrong side when he poked fun at his daughter being a BTS ARMY.
He taught us that even if you don’t like BTS or you’ve never heard their music, keep your opinions to yourself because their fans won’t tolerate any disrespect!
Aftab Iqbal — Don’t hate the player, hate the game
If you’re a cricket fan and support Pakistan’s cricket team you’ll support them through thick and thin — through World Cup triumphs and World Cup woes — and you’ll probably remember when journalist Aftab Iqbal slammed captain Babar Azam for having an “ego issue” and teaming up with players.
The insensitive and rude remarks by the TV show host of Khabarnaak taught us that cricket and its commentary is best left to the experts. If you don’t like how a game is being played or the outcome, hate the fact that you’re watching a competitive sport that has to have a winner and a loser instead of hating the players.
Sana Javed — Do not belittle anyone
Actor Sana Javed was accused of misbehaviour in the beginning of 2022 by model Manal Saleem who claimed that Javed made belittling remarks ahead of a shoot. Soon, members of the entertainment fraternity rallied behind Saleem and shared their own stories and experiences of working with Javed. The actor sent each one a defamation notice and soon received several in return.
The commonality in all their stories was that they were not treated with respect, and that’s the lesson we learnt. Be kind, be respectful and do not belittle anyone!