Glowing Tributes paid to Madeeha Gauhar

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Theater icon and founder of Ajoka Theater was remembered at an online memorial meeting held on 25 April, marking her 2nd death anniversary. The speakers paid glowing tribute to Madeeha’s invaluable contribution for the promotion of socially meaningful theatre and peace-building.  The meeting was chaired by Shahid Nadeem, Madeeha’s husband and Executive Director of Ajoka Theater. In his introductory remarks, he said  Madeeha was a role model and source of inspiration for performing artists and peace-builders.


Madeeha’s son and Director of Ajoka Institute, Nirvaan Nadeem said he had learned a great deal from her as a mother and as director. She was selflessly devoted to the cause of theatre for peace and never deterred by any obstacles.  Ajoka Chairperson Zara Salman shared her memories of working with Madeeha and her care and concern for Ajoka team members. Prominent lawyer and Ajoka’s Board of Advisors member Salman Chima said Madeeha was truly a secular person and never hesitated in opposing the forces of obscurantism.  Prominent British theatre practitioner Elizabeth Lynch shared memories of working with Madeeha in various theatre projects in London. Leading actress Savera Nadeem said se own her entry into the acting field to Madeeha’s encouragement and training.

Ajoka General Secretary Sohail Warraich spoke about early days of Ajoka when the group defied draconian restrictions of General Zia’s Martial Law and provided a platform for cultural resistance to dictatorship and religious extremism. TV presenter Fizza Jamal told the meeting that a short documentary on Madeeha’s contribution to theatre has been released on social media. Others who spoje at the meeting included  British theatre activist Geraldine James, Madeeha’s younger son Sarang Nadeem, Madeeha’s childhood friend TalatAltaf and Ajoka’sNadeem Mir. The meeting ended with Sufi singing by Kanwal Christopher and Asad Bhatti .