Miracle Woman Seveen Muneer is cheerful, affable and just the right blend of tradition and modernity. A textile designer by qualification and having the experience of working with some of the top fashion houses in Pakistan, Seveen is currently a permanent faculty member at Indus Valley School, Karachi. For her, family comes first and she doesn’t believe in living a life with regrets. Therefore, to create work-life balance, she quit her demanding job at Sana Safinaz and decided to pursue her passion in arts through teaching just after she got married. She is glad she made the decision to give more time to her family and now is busy being a good wife, daughter and an arts instructor. “I also do wall art, pen and ink drawings, and have also done a few low key shows. The next one I do, I will do with a gallery. I also free- lance for fashion houses from time to time to remain hands on with my skills,” says Seveen.
“I come from a family of very hardworking women. From my mother to my sisters and my cousins, everyone has been doing great things. That was such a challenge for me, to become something that matches up to the expectations and successes of the rest of the women I am surrounded by,” Seveen proclaims. She always wanted to be known for her own work rather than being recognized as the cousin or the sister of someone successful. Therefore, after graduating with a Master’s degree in textiles from Central Saint Martins in London, she returned to Karachi and carved a special place for herself in the textile sector. She had the desire to, in some way, give back to the society and her place of education so teaching was the most natural and perfect way of achieving that. “I did my undergraduate degree from IVS so teaching there is such a great pleasure for me. Some of the teachers that taught me are still there and they are my mentors,” she says. However, while going back to your roots brings to you a sense of familiarity and comfort, it has its own challenges. “To have them be your colleagues and not your teachers is a bit of a struggle,” she says with a laugh. For a short while, Seveen did have a bit of struggle dealing with students who were so close to her own age but very soon she realized this is, in fact, her strength. “I know how to strike the balance between being their teacher and also their friend. They respect me a lot.”
For this young artist, financial independence is of utmost importance. “The leaps are huge as compared to say 15 years ago in terms of the freedom women enjoy and it is time they embraced it and defied the gender moulds. If a woman is successful, it is for the betterment of the family, not just financially, but in the way that she is able to prepare her children for the real world,” believes Seveen. “When the mother works, it reflects in the mindset of her children.”
Happy with the choices she has made in life, Seveen is a firm believer of the fact that if a woman puts her family first, they also give her the space and freedom to be who she wants to be. “My husband is my backbone and lets me be the person that I am,” she says. For a young girl stepping into the workforce today she has two things to say – be positive and own up to your mistakes. She feels the younger generation today is too narcissist in this age of social media and they need to accept when they are at fault.
As far as her Miracle Moment is concerned, it was during her Master’s degree when she was one of the 15 students who were chosen to showcase their thesis project to a wide audience at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. There is no doubt that this talented artist has many more feathers to put in her cap in the years to come. With her family right by her side, she is sure to make a special name for herself in the field of art and design in Pakistan.