Late Pakistani Singer Awarded With Honorary Degree

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Nazia Hassan’s Son Presented with Late Mother’s Award

A stranger overhearing the gentle, almost noiseless cry of a new born baby girl in the Hassan household ( 3rd April 1965 ) would have been forgiven for not realising the voice being heard was not of any conventional baby. Indeed the voice being heard was one that in years to come would rock the status quo, both home and abroad.

 

An angelic voice which would cement the foundation stones for a constructive pop music scene in Zia-ul-Haq’s conservative, and Islamic culture of Pakistan. A voice which would create a tsunami like effect in the International culture scene, as evidence by the fact that Pakistani TV, which initially displayed reluctance to broadcast the pop videos on PTV, but later faced humiliation in the face of growing demand began to regularly broadcast her pop video’s.

 

To this end, this voice was responsible for engendering an environment of change, breath of fresh air, mastering a mandate for melodic tunes. The occupier of this voice will always be crowned as the rightful pioneer of pop culture in Pakistan, raising the spirits of the country. Empowering men, women, youth and strengthening the voice of the marginalised members of society.

 

Nazia Hassan , the undisputed queen of Asian Pop was the rightful owner of that unequivocal voice. A singer who as a pop duet with her brother Zoheb Hassan became a phenomena, with their album charting in 14 countries and becoming the bestselling Asian pop record of that time. Nazia’s voice stole the heart of masses.

 

 She will always be remembered as an artist with a heavenly sent voice, who in life gave hope to so many but in death left something much larger to the world.

Like Princess Diana, she experienced a very short yet constructive and memorable life. Leaving behind a legacy that will continuously remain a testimony to her mission of caring beyond boundaries.

The pop princess was a champion in civic duties, a responsibility wholeheartedly and religiously pursued by her eloquent mother Mrs Muniza Baseer, through the widely acknowledged charity Nazia Hassan Foundation Trust.

 

‘ On Thursday 15th May 2014, at Cadogan Hall, Chelsea Richmond, the American International University in London, hosted its Graduation Ceremony. The ceremony conferred upon the graduating class of 2014 the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts degrees.

 

During the ceremony honorary degrees were conferred on Ms Nazia Hassan (posthumous) by The Chancellor, Sir Cyril Taylor.

 

Ms Nazia Hassan was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa, posthumously. The award was collected by her son, Mr Arez Hassan. Commenting on the award the respective University stated “ She was an alumna of Richmond, recognised for her influence, at an astonishingly young age, on Asian pop music. Ms Hassan also donated much of her energy and earnings to a number of charities including the Inner Wheel Club and BAN (Battle Against Narcotics). The Nazia Hassan Foundation was established by her family after her tragic passing in 2000. By awarding the honorary degree Richmond recognises her work and the continued influence of the charity that carries her name”. ‘

 

The award was a clear endorsement of a unique soul that was not only a pop sovereign adored by millions, but was also an acknowledgement of an exceptional mother, an inimitable daughter, a matchless sister and a philanthropic soul. A beacon shedding light on the lives of so many underprivileged. The latter point perhaps being best illustrated by the fact that she donated her entire proceeds to charitable causes.

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