Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary films and projects, which focus on inequality among women, have received international recognition, earning her two Academy Awards, six Emmy Awards, and a Lux Style Award.
“We are honored that Ms. Sharmeen, a person of great distinction and achievement will speak at the 2018 graduation,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO. “Her accomplishments connect the values and interests of all students at NU-Q, and her life and work will be a source of courage and inspiration for all of us.”
In 2012, TIME Magazine included Obaid-Chinoy in their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In that same year, the Pakistani journalist received the Hilal-i-Imtiaz award, the second highest civilian honor awarded by Pakistan. In 2013, Canada awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field of documentary films, and in that same year, the World Economic Forum honored her with a Crystal Award at its annual summit in Davos.
Obaid-Chinoy was selected to speak by a graduation speaker committee, composed of NU-Q faculty, students, and staff who researched and identified candidates for the 2018 graduation ceremony.
“Ms. Sharmeen is a filmmaker and activist who has challenged societal and cultural obstacles to pursue what she believes in,” said Noof Al Sulaiti, a member of the graduation speaker committee and president of the NU-Q Student Union. “Her films tell stories about injustice and inequality, especially among women, which is something very important to me given the region I live in and the issues surrounding it. I am very pleased and honored that she is coming to speak at our graduation.”
In the past 16 years, Obaid-Chinoy made a dozen multi-award winning films in more than 10 countries around the world. Her films include Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Song of Lahore, Saving Face, Peace Keepers, Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret and Pakistan’s Taliban Generation. Her work has aired on international channels including, HBO, CNN, PBS, Channel 4, CBC, Arte, SBS and the Discovery Channel.
NU-Q’s previous graduation speakers have included columnist and commentator Rami Khorui, author and filmmaker Sophia Al Maria, filmmaker and Oscar nominee Jehane Noujaim, social entrepreneur Shiza Shahid, award-winning BBC anchor and correspondent Lyse Ducet OBE, and best-selling author and magazine journalist Derek Thompson.
About Northwestern University in Qatar:
Northwestern University in Qatar draws from its parent organization, Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), a distinguished history, famous programs and an exceptional faculty. Founded in partnership with Qatar Foundation, NU-Q provides a framework through which students explore the world and, ultimately, shape its future through its distinguished schools of communication, journalism and strategic communication, and liberal arts.