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Nabila Abbas

Youth Activist

DERA GHAZI KHAN, PAKISTAN

Nabila Abbas is the young global change maker and the fighter shifting STEM stereotypes. She rose from a very underprivileged area, Southern Punjab, Choti Zarin District Dera Ghazi Khan, and marked her name on the International Congress of Youth Voices USA in 2019 being the first Pakistani girl. She has also been selected as a Country delegate at the Commonwealth. She broke norms that suppress rural girls’ rights and became the first generation to attain a higher degree education in aviation management from the University of Management and Technology, Lahore. She has the honor of innovatively leading a self-founded forum called “Aviation Literary forum” for at least four years during her undergraduate studies which later caught global attention and recognition from the National Business Aviation Association Washington DC. Her community services and struggle to raise awareness for girls’ rights won her the Diana Award 2020 which is the most prestigious award accolade for extraordinary social activists. Nabila’s prolonged advocacy for women’s empowerment and never giving up spirit led to her name being exhibited on the global change makers website entitling “women changing the world” as a special category from Pakistan. Her stance for rural women’s rights and being their voice (among 31%) around the globe has also led her in speaking at the UN 75TH ASSEMBLY EDITION. Nabila has not only fought for herself rather she is giving back to the community – raising her voice for the rural community, implementing a free education campaign for rural children, aiding rural areas during covid 19, aiding free computer lab infrastructure facilities at rural schools, aiding free Conversational English Language Programs for rural girls. She is internationally a spotlight activist at various organizations. She is also a lifelong member of the Women’s Economic Forum being the youngest member. She has also won a C-level executive award for her excellent performance both in academics and extracurricular. She is a true example of an emerging young woman leader in Pakistan. She is an international icon and spreading the right reputation of Pakistan.

Interests

On Social Media

It had been a very tough time for my area since the covid 19 break out. We are living in a remote area at the end of the border, south Punjab, Pakistan. We had merely been coming out of covid 19 outbreak when suddenly the flood hit the country across all cities. The most affected region is South Punjab along with Baluchistan. Even though the situation was devastating but the local people aiding each other on their own set a heartwarming example for standing the humanity. Today, this story writing contest and taking advantage of the power of writing itself will enable people across the world to witness the bravery and kindness of the people. On 22 August 2022, I walked through shelter homes with my father and my cheeks rolled down with tears seeing people homeless and flood washing off their years of crops, homes, and families. There was chaos among people. Rescue boats were in search of people yelling for help in the midway pouring water into their mouths. I couldn't help but wrapped a box full of a few clothes, shoes, and other necessary things, especially for women and children. The local government authorities though showed helplessness and fewer resources due to huge-scale devastation, but the local NGOs jumped into the field and their motivation was at its peak. This is where my motivation summoned up to never give up on my own people. I could hear my colleagues saying why I came back to my own area despite the fact my career was at its peak in a big city. I, the first generation, graduated from university in 2019 in the aviation field, but it was my ultimate life-changing decision to go back to my community and start from zero to set a new change for those, especially those who are underprivileged. I'm even back in that remote area where most of the time the rest of the world even couldn't know what happens to you. No technology, no freedom of expression for girls, and reluctant to change their mindsets. I even heard people saying there is no power in the pen which is why I deny it today by portraying fine examples of our work which we started for the young girls. Through the power of writing and the pen, I was able to communicate with a different organization where we started one of the most popular literacy programs for young rural girls, the conversational English language program. It is a kind of program that encourages young rural girls to participate by breaking language barriers. It not only teaches them a new language skill rather enables them to participate in different character and capacity-building activities. This is where we started to provide identity to those girls who were never knowing or recognizing their own skills. It was though difficult to resume such literacy programs in post-flood effects. We are grateful to organizations like “The International Alliance of Youth writing Centers” which provide a great collaboration for such literacy programs in such underprivileged areas. And it is equally important to let the world know how true determination and will to start from a little change can bring a greater impact on someone's life. Till now two batches comprising 60+ young rural girls have been passed out which depict fine quality environments for young rural girls and their remarkable journey to showcase their real talent. Such literacy programs shall be promoted to let girls stand on their own. And no doubt, it's the power of the pen which is enabling me to convey the real message across the world. We might be distant and apart, but writing plays a greater role in bringing new collaboration and people together. I have learned so many good lessons; uplifting others brings you joy in return, little change can lead to a big impact, and living in your own community enables you to find root causes and real solutions. CELP for young rural girls is one of its kind sole program we founded in order to smartly get rural girls into something which can easily break social and cultural barriers. CELP is originally running in a very remote area in Pakistan named Choti Zareen where the girls' participation in social and outdoor literacy activities was seen as taboo. This program enables young girls to develop their capacity and character building by engaging in healthy workshops and classroom activities. This program is one of the fine literacy programs for adults in order to polish their interpersonal skills and make them realize what potential they endowed. CELP isn't just a language program rather it promotes urban-rural cohesion and removes gaps in providing young rural girls an opportunity to connect with the world by breaking language barriers. Through this literacy program, young girls witness a new change in them; peer-to-peer learning, individual self-awareness, team building, connecting with world leaders, transforming mindsets, eradicating norms, and shifting stem stereotypes. CELP is one of examples that should be seen by the world.

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This is the true story of a girl who was born in an area where writing her diaries could only yield her happiness as the prevailing environment was that unhealthy for a young girl. She rose in an environment where the existence of being a girl was nothing more than marrying early or handing over her fate to the next strange man as her husband. Did she ever think? What! Writing her best wishes and those impossible dreams in hidden old diaries would make sense later? No, she hadn't thought of it that way but it always urged her to escape the entire negative aroma of writing her dreams to be saved into pieces of paper. What were the utmost goals for her at such young age? She always wanted to stay different. She was rebellious to those norms. She wanted to fight stereotypes. She never wanted to be one of the hundreds of common girls living one common life. She was different. She knew it from early childhood while counting far away in the sky stars in the sky. She was always determined to be one of those yet waiting to shine. She used to say to her diary; that she was born to fly as its main title. The girls would laugh at what heights she wanted to reach. She never minds it. Though the whole environment depicts the devastating picture of women and girls living no right to live hence she could only view it through her lens. She never understood why they were very fine with that scenery of their life which is painted by others – the canvas was always throwing the colors by circumstances. She wanted to fill her colors. She never wants to give ownership to others. She witnessed many young girls even her friends dropping school and then marrying at an early age with no resistance. She witnessed her school not allowing girls to join sports with so many useless norms which made no sense to her. On the other hand, she was telling her diary to remember that she would have to travel the world yet, she would have to study for for her higher education diploma yet, and she would have ther o raise voice for them yet, and so on. It is the story of a girl who kept believing in her words and made her diary her best friend. She pointed it out wherever she felt it needed to be changed. She joined sports and led a girl's team from a rural area to a big city on a national level. This happened for the very first time but she had to do it. She then enrolled in a higher degree education program for aviation management studies and led successfully four years of a forum called aviation literary forum. She became raising the first Pakistani voice for those 31% of rural women around the globe. She traveled to world-class conferences to speak and highlight women's rights. She is now a name just like a STAR. Do you know why her story matters the most? Because whatever she wrote in the diaries back in her childhood she is living most of these at her young age now. This is the power of words which should never be underestimated. She once yelled it saying: too loud to speak. Write them off!

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