Humaira Awais Shahid – the woman behind the newspaper Daily ‘The Post’ – has her apartment at the Mall done up in bold patterns, punchy colors and wicked eye for detail
By Marian Sharaf Joseph
t takes a lot of courage to go against the established customs; especially of your peers. People in Lahore don’t like living in small spaces or high rise apartments, especially if you are rich and famous – it’s a status thing. Humaira Awais Shahid is one courageous lady. Not only has she broken a few taboos, she has set a whole new trend. She chooses to live in a high rise office building on the top floor right in the middle of action – the Mall.
Humaira is the acting editor of the Daily Post and former member of Provincial Assembly, not to mention a widow and mother of three young children. It’s a high risk situation, especially when there are bombs going off in your vicinity. Situated in the hub of the city, the penthouse is built above the famous ‘Khabarain News Group’ building. It’s not a quiet place at all. Reporters, TV channel recordings, printing press, trucks pulling in with printing plates every night makes it one noisy and chaotic place to live in; but inside the penthouse it’s absolutely serene.
Humaira and her late husband Adnan Awais Shahid, the original editor of The Post had their reasons for choosing to live on the top floor of their high rise building; they had to baby sit a new English Daily; besides, Humaira had two other jobs at the time – parenting and working for the Provincial Assembly.
Living near the action made more sense. “I’ve lived most of my life abroad; for me this is no big deal. I love living up here and watching the world go by, especially the downtown. This is one reason why I decided to build a penthouse here. Secondly, at the time I had two jobs to take care of; the Provincial Assembly and the newspaper besides being a mother. It was more a question of convenience than going against the norms. Penthouse over our newspaper building was the best choice in those circumstances,” she says.
Humaira’s penthouse is literally a home with a view. The architecture is designed in a sphere, you begin from one corner, go around the whole place to end up at the same point again. The elevator opens into a small foyer. From there you have a great view of the small terraced garden with fountain and birds. The main door opens into the apartment that takes you to the bedrooms, a sitting room, formal and informal kitchens, regular and a special dining room for grand dinners, drawing room and media room. The laundry room is on a far end. On the other far end is a bedroom suite for Zia Shahid, chief Editor Khabarain news group and father-in-law of Humaira. A balcony runs around the whole house where you can sit on the terraced garden to hear the tolling of the Cathedral bells and enjoy the great views of the Mall from your lofty ivory tower. ■
This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, July 2008, Issue 3.