Pakistani journal SOUTHASIA receives Genesis Award

A page from the Pakistani journal SOUTHASIASOUTHASIA, a Pakistani journal receives the Brigitte Bardot International Award for the best print media at the Genesis Awards ceremony at Hollywood, California, USA.

On the evening of March 24, 2007, leading members of the news and entertainment media found themselves basking in the Hollywood spotlight when the winners of the 21st Genesis Awards were announced in a glittering ceremony, a black tie event, in the International Ball Room of the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Presented by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the annual Genesis Awards is the only event of its kind which celebrates for showcasing animal-protection and animal-rights issues.

S. Wamiq Jawaid (SOUTHASIA) and Syed Rizvi (President ESAR) at Genesis Award DinnerThe awards were given under 18 categories that included feature films, TV shows, and print media where this year’s Brigitte Bardot International Award for print media went to SOUTHASIA, an English Journal from Karachi, Pakistan. Other nominations for this prestigious award were The Evening Standard (UK) and the Sunday Times (UK). SOUTHASIA, in one of its special features had given an excellent coverage to the joint investigation carried out by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Animals Australia on the live-export of Australian sheep for the Middle East consumption under the most treacherous conditions where many die painfully during their voyage due to dehydration, salmonella infections, insanitation (failure to eat) or simply being crushed to death by other sheep because of the over crowding. The footage from these investigations was also aired by Australia’s popular current affairs show 60 Minutes. Besides this coverage, the magazine also carried some very valuable Animal Rights articles from a wide spectrum of contributors: from a young PETA-activist Nadia Montasser (Cairo, Egypt) to the legendary like The Revd. Professor Andrew Linzey, Member of the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. To accept the award from the hands of the celebrity Steve Valentine was SOUTHASIA’s contributing Editor Syed Wamiq Jawaid, currently a graduate student in Political Anthropology at Columbia University at New York, NY. In his acceptance speech Wamiq Jawaid thanked the HSUS, and the staff of SOUTHASIA and its founders Zeba Jawaid and Syed Jawaid Iqbal for their support for this work. Wamiq Jawaid made special acknowledgment to PETA’s work that led to this award-winning-issue of SOUTHASIA. It is important to point out that there was a great applause and clapping in the ball room when PETA’s name was mentioned, showing a great degree of admiration that the Animal Rights and Animal Protection community has for PETA.

Wamiq Jawaid after receiving the plaque from Steve ValentineUntil the previous year the Brigitte Bardot International Award was given exclusively for TV/Film category. This was the first year that “PRINT” category was added to the Brigitte Bardot International Award, and thus SOUTHASIA became the first recipient of this newly added category of award. In the Film/TV category the Brigitte Bardot International/TV/Film award went to SABC2 (South Africa) for “Hunters Become Hunted” that gave the coverage to the work of the Sea Shepherd team in its brave attempts to stop Japanese whalers from killing the ocean’s gentle giants in the water of Antarctica.

Awards given under the various categories, all related to media since the founder of the event Gretchen Wyler a former Broadway headliner and 40-year animal welfare activist (now retired) has always believed in her motto that “cruelty can’t stand the spot light”. In fact, her motto holds true for the oppression and cruelty of all kinds and to “all species” humans and animals, and where the media has its obligations and an important role to play. Among the recipients for the 18 categories were, Fast Food Nation (Feature Film), Charlotte’s Web (Family Feature Film), Larry King Live, for Canadian seal hunt (TV Talk Show), CBS News 60 Minutes for “The Orphanage”, “Shooting Tigers,” and “Global Warning!” The most distinct award, also the first of its kind, was the Wyler Award that was introduced for the first time this year as a tribute to the founder Gretchen Wyler who herself presented this award to Sir Paul McCartney for his enduring commitment to being a compassionate and powerful voice of the animals. Since Paul McCartney was unable to attend the event he accepted the award with thanks and spoke to the audience through giant TV screens above the stage. Sir Paul McCartney was moved by this honor, especially when he was the very first person receiving this award.

In a reception before the start of event about 800 attendees had a chance to mix and mingle with celebrities like Bill Maher, James Cromwell, Steve Valentine, Paula Perrette, Persia White and more. The reception was followed by an exquisite vegan dinner that contained no animal products of any kind since, besides being killed for food, a large number of milk cows and egg laying hens go through excruciating pain and suffering through their entire life while providing these products for humans. The animal rights and animal protection community finds no pleasure in satisfying their palate while knowing of the suffering the animals go through during the process of food production. This was the first time the chef Jeff Vosburgh had prepared vegan meal; it included Kabocha Raoiviloi with portabello mushroom and other veggie ingredient served with soy ginger tempeh in an herb soy ginger sauce along with variety of eggless rolls served with olive tapenade and non-dairy spread. The food was delicious and the guests commended the chef and his staff. Recognition also has to be given to Ann Gentry the owner of Real Food Daily with whom the chef had consulted and got the recipe from. It would also be the right place to mention that this year the Genesis Award team has implemented a new Green Policy where they are using vegan and re-cycled products at all occasion whenever possible.

In his welcoming address Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS, described the paradox of animal protection movement today. He said “there is more exploitation of animals causing them tremendous amount of suffering than ever before yet on the other hand there are more people determined to fight cruelty than ever before”. Pacelle described this gathering as one of the marquee events for the animal protection movement – a chance to recognize the best of humanity as well as the more enlightened media. Our relationship to animals, Pacelle reminded the gathering, “is a test of our character. We hold power over animals… we recognize that animals have the same spark of life that we do.” The two and a half hour event adjourned with closing comments from the actor James Cromwell who thanked the attendees for their participation and ended his speech with Gretchen Wyler’s famous and thoughtful quote:

Animals should have the right to run if they have legs… to swim if they have fins… and to fly if they have wings.

After the event, once again, the attendees and the celebrities mingled and socialized in the adjacent Beverly Hills Ball Room where some were on the dance floor while other just carried out conversation on a cup of coffee and vegan desserts, while still others were bidding on the silent auctions that ranged from Ten Nights in Australia and New Zealand with a value of $31, 034 down to $40 gift certificate for Babouch Moroccan Restaurant, San Pedro, CA. All proceeds from the Silent Auctions were for charity works for animals.

Wamiq Jawaid and Syed Rizvi with Lisa Lange, PETA’s VP of CommunicationsThe “After-Party” party lasted until 2:00 am when everyone was ready to retire. When leaving the party everyone was given a gift bag of some small items and samples such as cat toys, vegetarian dog food, cruelty free cosmetics (meaning cosmetics that were not tested on animals) and many more eco-friendly items of every day use.

Report and photos prepared by:

Syed Rizvi
President, Engineers and Scientists for Animal Rights
Board Member, Animals and Society Institute
173 Hawthorne Way Silicon Valley/ San Jose,
CA 95110
Phone/Fax 408 971 6657, Cell 408 393 6657

9 thoughts on “Pakistani journal SOUTHASIA receives Genesis Award

  1. Congratulations on providing such valuable information about animal rights issues which knows no international boundaries and unites decent, compassionate people all over the globe. Your excellent work is so very much appreciated. Please see for what is happening in neighboring India as much of it pertains. Kind regards, Ingrid Newkirk, president, PETA

  2. I just want to contratulate you on receiving the Brigitte Bardot International Award for the best print media. May you go from strength to strength in the important work you are doing.


    Batya Bauman
    Feminists for Animal Rights

  3. Thanks for posting my report on your web. This way a much larger number of people would be able to read my report that would not have been possible otherwise. Your work on raising the awareness on Animal Rights (AR) and Animal Welfare (AW) issues, especially among the people in Pakistan and in the region, is commendable

    I fully agree with Ingrid Newkirk’s suggestion that you could connect with PETA-India where there is a wealth of information that the Pakistani AR and AW community could find very helpful in their pursuit. PETA-India puts out quite a bit of flyers and press release in Urdu, where I have been helping them in proof reading of those materials.

    I am sure PETA-India would be more than happy to share those materials with Pakistani AR/AW community

    Keep up the good work.

    Syed Rizvi

    Silicon Valley/ San Jose, California, USA

  4. It needs extraordinary sensitivity to feel for animals whose language and feelings ordinary human beings
    cannot understand.I am glad that animal right activists from sub continent are getting recognition for their tireless work and thank less job.May this noble endeavour of yours spread like virus to far and wide and specially to South Asian region where there is no respect for the life of human beings.

    Please accept my heartiest congratulation.May your breed increse.

    Najam Gilani

  5. Excellent article. Thanks for posting it. It’s gratifying to know there are so many individuals, organizations and media outlets worldwide giving animals a voice.

    Robin Moler
    Los Angeles, CA

    A commendable though belated action to form the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society(PAWS).
    The Muslims in PakistanThe claim to be the followers of MOHAMMED(pbuh)but our action hardly justifies the claim.The way we ignore the safety and welfare of the voiceless creatures is disgusting.
    The consideration and compassion of our prophet for the animals are well known.Just to remind the fellow Muslims,I will refer to only two episodes.
    Once while camping during a journey,he noticed that a companion was cooking his food near an abode of ants.He advised to shift lest the ants were burnt or hurt.
    On another occasion,some friend brought him as gift two newly born beautiful birds.He saw that the mother bird was anxiously flapping around for it’s offsprings.He atonce got them released.
    Such instances should have been our guidelines but it is not so.Probably instead of sharing such noble feelings with others,in our zeal of generosity, we made a gift of the same to the West in it’s entirety therby,keeping nothing for ourselves.
    I hope that the attempt of the promoters of PAWS would redeem the lost credibility and re-establish our credentials.

  7. It’s very satisfying that not only your voice for animals gets heard, but also that you receive recognition for it. A year has passed since this article was published and today I received an email from Syed Rizvi from SouthAsia Magazine, informing me that they will be sending me a plaque as a show of gratitude for contributing with the article on Animal Rights. I wish every animal rights activist would get their voice heard. Together we can make a difference and defend the defenceless.

  8. i think this is awesome and actually the prominent young activist Nadia Montasser is doing a great job in egypt against chicken slaughterin and other issues cconcerning animal rights which triggered the media’s attention in egypt where she featured..

  9. Ya, realy i am very happy that to know about Gennies award of pakistani journal, i want to control the killing of dog in karachi with poison,

    Dr Wajid Hayat
    CDC, Atlanta, USA

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