On World Art Day 2023, Syeda Alishba Amin-ud-Din, a Pakistani artist, launched her own unique Alishba’s Art N Cafe in the heart of Karachi.
Notably, she is the first Pakistani artist with Down Syndrome to own such an Art Cafe. We received an opportunity to talk to Alishba’s mother, Dr. Iffat Sultana about her daughter’s accomplishments.
Here’s what she had to say:
WOW360: What inspired Alishba to pursue this path?
Dr. Sultana: The main reason was to economically make Alishba independent and encourage other parents to do the same for children with special needs. While these children do get an education and are taught skills to an extent, it is also important to make them financially strong as well and empower them.
WOW360: Alishba has been active in arts, any plans on promoting her globally?
Dr. Sultana: Alishba is the first Pakistani to be recognized by the UN as an ambassador, and her artwork has also received international recognition. She has done shows as well as participated in international charity events where she has donated her artworks too. She promotes inclusivity and diversity through her art, and the plan is to do more shows and participate in more events to promote awareness.
WOW360: Why do you think it is important for parents with special children to promote their skills and help them achieve their dreams?
Dr. Sultana: This is very important, for parents of children with special needs to promote their skills because we are in their life for a limited time, so they need to be prepared to bare their expenses and learn skills, and education also matters here. They also have a right to get respect from society and live a happy, empowered and financially-stable life. Inclusion is a very important part of this, until we include them as a part of society, they will never be able to move ahead.
WOW360: Asides from arts & food, what other passion does Alishba have?
Dr. Sultana: Alishba loves music, and learning other languages, now that she is also a businesswoman she wants to empower others, she enjoys travelling, reading, and exploring new cultures, is a fashion enthusiast, she is enjoying her life the way a young girl of her age would love to.
WOW360: What is Alishba’s favourite item on the menu?
Dr. Sultana: She enjoys all kinds of good food, be it Italian, desi or even fast food, she is a foodie and loves food.
Alishba’s Art N Cafe’s Mission & Vision
The Art & Cafe aims to:
- Celebrate diversity through socially conscious actions.
- Embrace differences and express the beauty of uniqueness through heartfelt artwork.
- Portray a world of endless possibilities through various artistic techniques.
- Paint a unified world through art that speaks and resonates with people.
- Take artistic risks, drive change, and inspire action through impactful artwork.
The vision of Alishba’s Art & Cafe is:
- To become a creative hub that thrives on inclusivity, acceptance, and healing.
- To be a catalyst for social consciousness through creative expressions.
- To drive positive change through inspirational art.
- To raise awareness, foster empathy, and inspire action through vibrant artwork.
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Critics recognize Syeda Alishba Amin-ud-Din as an ordinary girl with extraordinary vision and determination. Apart from being an artist, she is a disability rights activist, a social entrepreneur, and a language enthusiast fluent in Urdu, English, French, German, and Italian.
Now, she embarks on her journey as an aspiring socially responsible businesswoman, with Art & Cafe as her first significant milestone towards inspiring a more harmonious, peaceful, and tolerant world.
Art nurtures creativity, fosters innovation, and celebrates cultural diversity among all people worldwide. It plays a crucial role in knowledge sharing, sparking curiosity, and promoting dialogue.
These inherent qualities of art continue to flourish when we create and protect environments that champion artistic freedom. By advancing the development of art, we also advance our pursuit of a free and peaceful world.
Alishba dreams of a world where every individual has the opportunity to believe in themselves, leading to a more receptive, inclusive, and appreciative society that values the unique qualities of the human race.
Alishba’s mother Dr. iffat Sultana is a highly qualified professional with an extensive educational background. She holds a PhD in Education from IQRA University, along with an M.Phil. in Environmental Education from the same institution. Additionally, she possesses a Master’s degree in Educational Administration & Management from the University of Karachi.
Since 2013, Dr. Iffet Sultana has been serving as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management Sciences, specifically the Department of Business Administration, at IQRA University.
Her doctoral thesis focused on “Girls’ Access & Equity in Primary Education in the Slum Areas of Karachi.” Before her academic role, she gained experience working for the Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Sultana has actively contributed to the academic community through her participation in numerous national and international conferences, where she presented research papers.
Her areas of expertise and interest revolve around Girls’ Education, Inclusive Education, Environmental Education, and Gender Studies.
In her teaching role, Dr. Iffet Sultana has been dedicated to stimulating students’ interest in various social science and developmental sciences subjects, including Education, Sociology, Psychology, and other contemporary disciplines. Beyond academia, she also serves as a Consultant for various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Kudos to you Alishba! We hope you succeed in everything that you do.
Stay tuned to WOW360.