“Dirty Paki Lingerie” Comes to Pasadena
By Shahbano Nawaz
Photos by Annie Athar
On Sunday, March 29th 2015, the Pakistan Arts Council of the USC-Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California, under the leadership of president Ayesha Kamran and Vice President Samira Saleh, hosted a one-of-a-kind play featuring playwright and actress Aizzah Fatima in her one-woman show, “Dirty Paki Lingerie”.
The hour-long performance by Aizzah transitioned seamlessly between six different characters of various ages as each one attempted to reconcile her Pakistani-American identity with cultural expectations and stereotypes imposed on her by society. From the hilarious caricature of Asma, a middle age mother looking for a spouse for her “thirty-two to thirty-four year old” daughter in the matrimonial section, to Selma, a hijabi feminist, struggling to reconcile the double standards imposed on her by her soon-to-be husband and society at large, the play evoked laughter, raised eyebrows, and unified the audience who could relate to many aspects of each character’s struggle.
Thought provoking at the least, the play is the first by a Muslim playwright to be featured in the Midtown International Theater Festival. Aizzah, who also has worked as a technical engineer at Google in Manhattan, hopes to breakdown stereotypes with her writing and performance and to encourage more Muslims artists to do the same. The play has been reviewed favorably by The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post amongst others. She is currently working on a film script based on the characters from “Dirty Paki Lingerie.” For more information, please visit www.AizzahFatima.com