US

You can count on Sameen

US
By US Desk
Fri, 05, 19

Sameen contributed regularly to Us during my time as editor there. Her work stood out from.......

COVER STORY

Us Star celebrates Us celebs. This week, we have Sameen Amer for you, who, however trite it may seem, needs no introduction. She is an integral part of Us – our all weather friend. Read on and discover how her family, friends and associates view her..

Asfiya Aziz (former editor, Us Magazine) Sameen contributed regularly to Us during my time as editor there. Her work stood out from the rest showing clarity of thought, background research, and simple and effective language.

On top of that, she was reliable as a contributor when I started assigning work to her. She always kept deadlines and presented latest information and story ideas herself.

She is a star performer as per my experience. I have stayed in touch with her even though I left Us magazine in 2005.

If she lived in Karachi, she would have been my permanent team member in all my editing and publishing work.

Sameen’s long-suffering parents :)

After having such a long association with her, I now think of her as my little sister - sweet, funny, talented, loving, and of course annoying at times! :-) I wish her the best in her career and life.

Fatima Zakir (former sub-editor, Us Magazine)

When I got a call from the Editor of Us asking me if I knew Sameen, I just laughed. Of course, I remember Sameen Amer. From the days when I started reading Us to actually working for Us, Sameen has been an important part of the magazine. She is not just a contributor, she is Us family. Sub-editors came and went but Sameen stuck to writing for The News. I am so glad to read her articles in other sections of the newspaper, too. She has truly grown as a thinker and a writer.

She is any sub-editor’s star because she is reliable. ‘Reliable’ is not just a word for us, it’s our complete work environment on which our lives are based. Sameen never misses a deadline, her articles needs zero to minimum editing, her style is engaging and she understands how a magazine works, so she does not give the editors a hard time in any way.

It’s been a pleasure to have known her in a professional and slightly personal capacity as well. She is not just a very engaging writer but also a great person to know. It’s always refreshing to see her byline in the newspaper and know it is something to look forward to. Good luck in all your future endeavors, girl and keep writing!

Rahma Muhammad (former sub-editor, Us Magazine)

Sameen is a sensitive writer who brings a lot of thoughtfulness into her work. I worked with Sameen for almost five years in which she wrote extensively on music, film and digital culture.

It was a joy to engage with her and her ideas.

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Things you probably didn’t know about Sameen

(i.e. the part wherein Sameen’s family and close friends embarrass the heck out of her!)

Nilofar and Amer (Sameen’s (long-suffering) parents)

You may expect all parents to say more or less the same thing about their child, but we are not exaggerating when we say that we think Sameen is the best daughter in the whole wide world. She is genuinely a very good person and cares a lot about the people and animals around her.

Since she was a child, she loved to read books, which might have been what drew her towards writing at an early age. She was never a fussy child, but has always been a very fussy eater.

Anne-Maree Sleigh (one of Sameen’s BFFs; also her impromptu therapist)

As well as being a great writer with a very dry sense of humour, Sameen is a real animal lover. I really admire the way she gets so passionate about helping the strays that live in her area and further afield. She’s very modest about it, but I’m pretty sure that the cats she helps appreciate her love and care. Cats apparently see us as on par with kittens, because we can’t hunt on our own, but I’m sure the cats around Sameen’s area consider her a super hero kitten. In fact, my nick name for her is Sammy Wammy Super Girl (and if she doesn’t edit that bit out I’ll be amazed!).

Hazel Nicholson (Sameen’s oldest – not in age! – friend; generous sender of Nirvana merch)

You may not have realised now (what with her long-term Nirvana obsession) but in the ’90s (a very young) Sam was a huge fan of the boy band Boyzone. She has an online friend in England – me – who she met because we were both fans. Neither of us can remember exactly how we met apart from it having something to do with us both being fans of the pop group.

Bushra Anjum (Sameen’s class fellow from uni; honorary big sis)

I have known Sameen since her teens. Though quiet and reserve on the outside, she is an entirely different person on paper. Her writing is fiery and sharp and at its best when she is writing commentaries. I believe she will be brilliant at writing satire too. She analyses thoroughly and writes beautifully, and certainly is ready for international prime time.

Daud Khan (former promoter of underground music; current friend of Sameen)

Sameen is incredibly kind and caring. Simply ask her cats, Jolly and Lucky; they are her darlings. Sameen is also a prolific and brilliant music and entertainment journalist. But most of all, she’s a wonderful friend, and in her I know that I always have someone willing to listen and care.

Excerpts

MMXVII

March

- Pippa Middleton’s wedding: The sister of a woman who married a man who is the son of the son of a woman whose ancestors somehow managed to convince their country that they were superior to everyone else … married some rich guy. This classified as news in 2017.

Also, the aforementioned woman who married a man who is the son of the son of the woman who just happened to be born into a posh family … conceived another child. This qualified as a noteworthy piece of information in 2017 (September).

Also, the brother of the aforementioned man who is the son of the son of the woman who heads an archaic and utterly irrelevant institution … got engaged to a subpar actress. This made headlines in 2017 (November).

All of which leaves us to wonder … maybe nuclear annihilation by North Korea wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.

Mastering the Art of Cooking

Meat pie

  • Ingredients:
  • 3.14159 kg boneless meat
  • 3.14159 cups flour
  • 3.14159 sticks of butter
  • 3.14159 eggs
  • 3.14159 teaspoon spices
  • 3.14159 teaspoon salt
  • 3.14159 teaspoon pepper
  • Method:
  • Take some veal. Stare at the veal. Think about where it came from. Realize this was once a baby cow. You can’t possibly eat a baby cow. Why did you even buy this in the first place? Put away the veal.
  • Take some beef. Stare at the beef. Could this have been the baby cow’s mom? Or dad, you don’t know the gender. You can’t eat someone’s mom or dad. Put away the beef.
  • Take some mutton. Stare at the mutton. Realize this was once a beautiful sheep or goat. Feel sad. Put away the mutton.
  • Take some chicken meat. Stare at the chicken meat. Think of how cute chickens are. Be upset. Put away the chicken meat.
  • Feed the meats to the cat.
  • Become a vegetarian.

The immaculate cat

Fur donor

Real fur is cruel and fake fur looks, well, fake. But don’t worry – the cat knows how weary you are of both fox and faux fur. That is why it very helpfully leaves a layer of fur on all your clothing. Now you too can be posh and trendy and proudly walk around with a real fur covered top or sweater, cruelty free and prepared for you with love by your very considerate feline friend. See? The cat gives and it gives…

Muse

The cat has been the muse for many artists, writers, and filmmakers, dutifully inspiring them to produce some iconic works that would have simply been inconceivable without the feline.

Just think about it.

Would people have flocked to the cinemas to watch That Darn Hyena? I think not.

What would have become of Puss in Boots? Dog in Clogs just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

The Cat in the Hat simply wouldn’t have worked without our furry friend, because The Dolphin in the Beret doesn’t even rhyme!

And Lewis Caroll would’ve been in a real pickle if it weren’t for the cat. The Cheshire Carp? Cheshire Caribou? Cheshire Cassowary? Cheshire Cormorant? Cheshire Chamois?! That’s just madness, I tell you, madness!

Paradox generator

Just ask Schrödinger.

Once Upon a Time

On an otherwise uneventful morning of an otherwise unremarkable year, a single-digit old me was busy throwing a tantrum over having to go to school. Usually a rather placid child, I only had two major sources of grievance in life: 1) socks, which were a plainly uncomfortable and ridiculously unnecessary part of day-attire in non-winter months, and 2) school, which made me wear socks as part of the day-attire in non-winter months. My parents, not the biggest fans of my periodic protests against these major inconveniences in my largely pleasant existence, understandably preferred the more agreeable version of their only offspring, and to calm me down on that particular morning, my dad offered me an incentive: if I’d stop whining and go to school, he’d get me a special present when he picked me up that afternoon.

I did, eventually, go to school that day and, quite predictably, had a thoroughly rotten time. And when dad came to take me home that afternoon, I was in total sulk mode and had completely forgotten about his promise, but turns out he hadn’t: waiting for me on the front seat of our car was an assortment of big, brightly coloured (and insanely expensive) children’s storybooks. The very sight of the grand bound-paper creations achieved their purpose: the brooding was immediately suspended, replaced first by the simple excitement of getting a present, and later by immense awe – for someone who was still learning to read, the whole concept of words coming together and opening doors to enchanting worlds of endless imagination was an entirely fascinating discovery. And that is how I fell in love with books.


Sameen – up close and personal

Favourite book: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Favourite author: Douglas Adams

Favourite movie: WALL-E

Favourite TV show: Breaking Bad

Favourite band: Nirvana

Dark humour or sarcastic humour?

All humour is awesome. Dark wit makes for terrific television. Sarcastic wit is brilliant.

Comedy is the best thing that has ever happened to humankind. Well, comedy and antibiotics. And chocolate. Comedy and antibiotics and chocolate.

Marvel or DC?

Marvel! MCU > DCEU. Fact.

Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?

One ring to rule them all!

Beyoncé or Madonna?

Not a fan of either; not my kind of music. But one of them is actually really talented, and the other one is Madonna.

John Grisham or P. G. Wodehouse?

Wodehouse, who is the very reason I fell in love with the English language in the first place.

Groot or Casper?

Groot! Groot! Groot! Always Groot! We are Groot!

Ludo or scrabble?

Candy Crush.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate please. Vanilla only when it’s sandwiched between chocolate and turned into an Oreo.

Cricket or hockey?

Whichever ends sooner. (Because we’ll lose either one so the torture might as well end quickly?)

Day or night?

What is this “day” you speak of? *rolls over and goes back to sleep*

Cake or pizza?

Pizza, followed by cake. And then more pizza. And more cake.

Happy birthday, Sam!