Umera Ahmed (b. December 10, 1976) is a bestselling Pakistani author of over a dozen Urdu popular fiction novels, with __ million copies of her works in print. She has won numerous best writer awards from some of the most prestigious media houses and organizations in Pakistan. Her most celebrated work that gave her international recognition and astounding success is Peer e Kamil (The Perfect Mentor), which she dedicated to Prophet Muhammad, and his legacy that is still mentoring lives. She is most known for her unorthodox approach towards some very sensitive issues in Pakistani society that deal with both the religion and culture of the country.
Umera Ahmed was born on December 10, 1976 in Gujranwala, Pakistan. She completed her master’s degree in English Literature from Murray College, Sialkot, the same college that produced one of the most celebrated and gifted scholars and poets of 21st century, Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
Umera Ahmed started writing from a very early age, while still at college. She describes the primary reason of writing her first novel as ‘to better [her] hand writing’ . That first novel, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, was published in a women monthly digest, Khawateen in 1998. The novel gained instant popularity within the digest readership. The female protagonist, Kashaf, was depicted as a plain looking, bright and hardworking student who is battling acute financial hardship in her personal life. Her father had taken up a second wife when her mother failed to produce a son, and later left his first wife and three daughters on their own. The story dealt with some powerful themes and contained a message that launched Umera Ahmed as a visionary writer. Her later works cemented this early diagnosis of her talent.
Before taking up writing full time, she also taught at Army Public College, Sialkot’s Cambridge wing . During that time, she continued writing for Khawateen and Shua, two of the most prominent monthly digests in Pakistan. Her stories like Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Be-Nishan, Imaan Umeed aur Mohabbat, Amar Bail, Haasil, and La Haasil, gave her a distinct position among her peers. In popular fiction genre, an area dominated by female writers, Umera Ahmed emerged as the radical who had her own views on everything, and she used her writing to convey those views to the masses. Faced with initial criticism over her depictions of role of women in society, the nonconformist approach her female protagonists always take, and her own insistence of writing on some very sensitive topics in Pakistani society, she did start gaining loyal following and readership eventually.
Though she enjoyed success and recognition from the very start of her career, it was her 2004 bestselling novel, Peer e Kamil that launched her as one of the most successful and influential writers of this era in Pakistan. This novel is also responsible for making her a household name not only in Pakistan, but overseas too, wherever Urdu is spoken.
In 2005, she also won her first best writer award for her serial Wujood-e-Laraib, an original screenplay for Indus Vision . In 2006, she won the TV One popular Choice award for The Best Young Talent in Scriptwriting (confirm from Umera the list of her awards).
In 2007, she went to England for her enrollment in a few creative writing and scriptwriting courses at Arvon Foundation’s Totleigh Barton Centre. She then proceeded to write Man o Salwa, another one of her trademark literary work that further elevated her among her peers. Her most recent novel, Aks, deals with the horror and stigma of sexual abuse against children and how the demons of past can haunt the most strongest of us, and how they can be dealt with.
Writing for TV:
Sakina Samoo, a prominent TV actress was among the early fans of Umera Ahmed’s works. For her directorial debut in 2004, Sakina Samoo asked Umera Ahmed to write the script for her first drama serial. Thus, Wujood e Laraib got aired on Indus Vision and earned many awards, including best writer for Umera Ahmed.
She then proceeded to adopt her novel, Darbar e Dil into a telefilm, and a play of the same name aired on PTV in the same year, for channel’s drama festival . Between, 2006 and 2009, Umera continued writing many original screenplays as well as adaptations of her novels into dramas and telefilms for TV. These projects included Amar Bail, Wapsi, Thoda Sa Aasman, Malal, La Haasil, Man o Salwa, and Doraha.
Man o Salwa got Lux Style Awards’ best serial award for 2006. Her novel turned drama Thoda Sa Aasman earned her the best serial award in Lux Style Award in 2007. She again received a best serial award for Malaal in 2009 and the best writer Pakistan Media Award for Malaal in 2010.
She describes scriptwriting not as nearly enjoyable as writing novels . Despite this, her novel-turned-drama serial Meri Zaat Zarra e Be Nishan proved to be the most popular drama serial of the year and earned her another best writer Lux Style Award in 2011. Her 2013 project, another novel-turned-drama serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai, topped the charts with each passing episode and the finale of the drama set new rating records when it earned a whopping 9.5 TRP.
Umera Ahmed enjoys a closely guarded private life and seldom gives interviews. Her only appearance onscreen was on the stage of Indus Vision awards to collect her first Best Writer Award in 2005. Despite being active on social media, and involved in showbiz, she leads a private life.
Umera Ahmed feels quite strongly about children literacy in Pakistan, and her concerns over the fact that younger children in Pakistan are rapidly losing interest in reading as a hobby, she has launched UA Books, a content development publishing house which works towards reviving the love of books among children once again. The publishing house also offers self-publishing and online bookstore facilities.
1. La Haasil (2000)
2. Imaan, Umeed aur Mohabbat (2001)
3. Haasil (2001)
4. Amar Bail (2004)
5. Peer e Kamil (2004)
6. Darbar e Dil (2005)
7. Thoda Sa Aasman (2006)
8. Man o Salwa (2007)
9. Aks (2013)
Compilations of Novelettes and Short Stories:
1. Meri Zaat Zarra e BeNishan (2000)
2. Sehar Ik Ista’ara Hai (2001)
3. Main ne Khawabon ka Shajar Dekha Hai (2002)
4. Hum Kahan K Sache The (2003)
5. Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2004)
6. Husna aur Husn Ara (2005)
7. Harf se Lafz Tak
8. Mere 50 Pasandeeda Scene
Compilations of Plays:
1. Wapsi (2006)
2. Doraha (2009)
3. Uraan (2010)
4. Qaid e Tanhai (2010)
5. Maat (2012)
6. Chaand se Pehle (2012)
7. Mira’t ul Uroos
Translations Published in English by Ferozsons Pvt. Ltd.:
1. The Perfect Mentor
2. Hollow Pursuits
Under Publication by Ferozsons Pvt. Ltd.:
1. The City of Self
2. Man o Salwa
3. Love, Faith and Hope
4. Amar Bail (English Translation of novel of the same name.)
5. Aab-e-Hayat (Sequel to Peer-e-Kamil)
- Wujood e Laraib - Indus Vision - 2004
- Amar Bail - TV One - 2005
- La Haasil - Hum TV - 2006
- Husna aur Husn Ara - TV One - 2007
- Man o Salwa - Hum TV - 2007
- Thoda Sa Aasman - PTV Karachi - 2008
- The Ghost - Hum TV - 2008
- Doraha - Geo Entertainment - 2008
- Malaal - Hum TV - 2009
- Meri Zaat Zarra e BeNishan - Geo Entertainment - 2009
- Daam - ARY Digital - 2010
- Qaid e Tanhai - Hum TV - 2010
- Uraan - Geo Entertainment - 2010
- Maat - Hum TV - 2011
- Durr e Shehwar - Hum TV - 2012
- Shehr e Zaat - Hum TV - 2012
- Zindagi Gulzar Hai - Hum TV - 2012
- Kankar - Hum TV - 2013
- Darbar e Dil - PTV - 2004
- Muskura K Geo - Geo Entertainment - 2006
- Bus Ek Love Marriage - Geo Entertainment - 2006
- Hazar Ka Note - ARY Digital - 2010
- Hai Lau Zindagi - Geo Entertainment - 2007
- Daam - e - Mohabbat - TV One - 2006/2007
- Shrine - TV One - 2005
- Sauda - TV One - 2005
- Libaas - Hum TV - 2005
- Pari Kahani - Hum TV - 2009
- Aakhri Parinda - Hum TV - 2009
- Mutthi Bhar Matti - Hum TV - 2008
- Noor Ka Maskan - FM 101 Islamabad, 2002
- Best Writer - Wujood e Laraib - Indus Vision Drama Awards - 2005
- Best Young Talent in Scriptwriting - Sauda - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2006
- Best Telefilm - Sauda - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2006
- Best Serial - Amar Bail - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2006
- Best Director - La Haasil - Lux Style Awards - 2006
- Best Serial - Man o Salwa - Lux Style Awards - 2007
- Cash Prize of Rs. 50, 000 - Telefilm: Hai Lahu Zindagi - Geo Telefilm Festival - 2007
- Best Serial - Thoda Sa Aasman - Lux Style Awards - 2009
- Best Serial - Malaal - Pakistan Media Awards - 2010
- Best Writer - Malaal - Pakistan Media Awards - 2010
- Best Director - Doraha - Lux Style Awards - 2010
- Best Scriptwriter - Meri Zaat Zarra e BeNishan - Lux Style Awards - 2011
- Best Telefilm - Darbar e Dil - PTV 786 Festival - 2004
- Best Serial and Best Director - Wujood e Laraib - Lux Style Awards - 2005
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actress - La Haasil - Lux Style Awards - 2006
- Best Writer - Amar Bail - TV One Popular Choice Awards - 2007
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor - Man o Salwa - Lux Style Awards - 2008
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actress - Thoda Sa Aasman - Lux Style Awards - 2009
- Best Serial, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress - Doraha - Lux Style Awards - 2010
- Best Serial, Best Director - Malaal - Lux Style Awards - 2011
- Best Serial, Best Director - Daam - Lux Style Awards - 2011