By Asbah Umais
Sidra Iqbal, a youth icon, development activist and youth ambassador for international forums, rose to eminence with her distinctive win at the prestigious International Public Speaking Championship in London. Aside from hosting numerous talk shows on both television and radio, Sidra is currently hosting a one-of-its-kind morning show, Aaj Pakistan on Aaj News. Her show is distinctive as it does away with the usual trend of dancing and puerility, and focuses more on serious social, political and economic issues. Given her professional prowess and knowledge, her show is rapidly gaining popular success.
Using her popularity as a medium, Sidra is running several campaigns to bring about a positive change in the society, with breast cancer awareness topping her list for which she recently invited Mrs Samina Alvi, wife of the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, on her show to discuss and elaborate the growing issue of breast cancer. Playwright Asma Nabeel and Dr Abida Sattar, head of breast surgery at AKUH, were also present on the show. The show ended on the notion of being self-determined and confident as a woman, while overcoming the fear of being judged and body-shamed and highlighted the issue of breast cancer, which is prevalent at an alarming level in the society.
Sidra Iqbal is one of the very few Pakistanis who are actually putting their efforts into making Pakistan better and contributing towards the development of the society. Her graceful presence and her signature style in Aaj Pakistan is definitely setting a new trend for morning shows. Her focus on bringing forward sensitive issues through engaging discussions, amidst light humor is like a breath of fresh air.
The only Pakistani to have received the GR8 Women Award for Journalism, Iqbal is making intelligent use of her morning show to raise issues related to economics, politics, youth development and national security in Pakistan. Sidra has previously invited renowned faces such as Hamid Mir, Waseem Badami, Ansar Abbasi and Saleem Safi to discuss the economic and political situation of the country. Her command over the subject, and her positive outlook is what appeals to the audiences, who then voice their appreciation on social media.
Sidra is a great advocate of women empowerment, promoting unsung heroes of the country on her platform. These include Humaira Bachal, a young education advocate; Maliha Ali, the young chess champion; Maham Tai, internationally acclaimed mixed martial artist and Zenith Irfan, the motorcycle girl. Iqbal’s mantra is that women should take pride in their personalities and pursue their passions without falling prey to the demotivating factors around them.
Being a development activist, Sidra is determined to spread positivity, using her show to do the same. She aspires to promote determined, inspirational and passionate Pakistanis on her show in order to present a positive image of Pakistan to the rest of the world. The success of her distinct morning show is an undeniable proof of her determination, hard work and commitment to the collective interest of the society.