Wednesday May 22, 2024

Child from Peshawar wins global award

By Javed Aziz Khan
November 12, 2017

PESHAWAR: A local boy Essa Zaheer who is five-year old made Pakistan proud when his two-minute film won first prize in the “Peace in the Street Global Film Festival (PSGFF)” at the United Nations headquarters.

The short film by Essa Zaheer, “I will be your Spiderman,” stood first among the 320 movies made by young artistes from all over the world.

The film shows how a kid becomes Spiderman and spends all his savings to buy uniform and books for a young girl working in his house as a maid.

Essa Zaheer has played the lead role in the film that promotes education, particularly of the street children. “The competition had three different categories for age 8 and under, 9-13 years and 14-18 years. Essa won first prize for his 8 years and under category on November 8,” his father Zaheer Mukhtar told The News.

He said Essa Zaheer was presented with the prize in the United Nations Headquarters in New York while his family accompanying him was given tour of the UN offices and the United States State Department. Zaheer Mukhtar is a graphic designer and computer scientist.

Sonia Kubika, a child from Congo stood second in the same category while Raika Akamane belonging to Japan got third position. Two Japanese children shared the fourth position.

In the categories of ages 14-18 and 9-13, the first prize was won by the children from United States. Zaheer Mukhtar said all the credit goes to Essa who acted and prepared the whole movie in one day. “We want to tell the world that he belongs to the same part of the world which was ignored for over a decade and people had to face war and bloodshed. I am hoping that now the world would realise that Peshawar is about peace and it can win peace awards,” he argued.

He pointed out that they personally approached the Pakistan ambassador to the US, the consul general and country’s permanent representative to the UN and the organisers of the festival also invited all of them. “But they didn’t come to the festival and didn’t even reply to emails,” he lamented. “This is something people usually expect from Pakistan’s senior officials. In comparison, the runners-up from Japan couldn’t make it to the event but their ambassador was present there to appreciate the efforts of Japanese children,” said Zaheer Mukhtar.

“Zaheer Mukhtar is an outstanding graphic designer, computer scientist and producer. He and his son have made us proud by winning a global competition organised by the UN with participants from around the world,” Farid Khan, a friend of Zaheer Mukhtar, told The News.

He added that the federal and provincial governments must encourage the young boy who brought laurels for the country.