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

I

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.

vertical limit 1Humaira 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.

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Mag­a­zine lay­out by M Asif, Pho­tographs by GM Shah, Val­uemag, print edi­tion 3

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