Google Doodle has done a fine job honoring Pakistan and Pakistanis and here are the 5 worthy times!
The internet through its course of history has been our guide, our digital newspaper and an endless encyclopedia reimagining and rewriting each day to give history and culture a new perspective, a new insight into with a splash of modern creativity. Google doodle is one of those tools. Google doodle is the internet users most used and popular search engine Google’s fun, inspirational, meaning full way to take on global holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists among many more causes while incorporating the iconic Google logo.
What were once simple images describing the subject or expressing holiday greetings over the span of time turned to fascinating animated, hyperlinked and then gamified doodles. Yes, some interesting ones even lead to some fun games for you to play. Its one of those many facets of the internet that connect the globe in sharing bits of each other’s cultures and histories, turning our mundane daily searches interesting and meaningful.
In not a first, Google once again this year changed its logo on Monday to celebrate Pakistan’s Independence Day! Google has been paying an ode to our Independence Day through Google doodles since 2011. The doodle not only celebrated the event but also brought to notice a cause many Pakistanis should be aware of. 2023’s google doodle depicted an artwork based on the toothed Indus Dolphin which are found in the Indus river and thus called Indus River Dolphin. The species is also known as Bhalan in Urdu and Sindhi language, more commonly known as the blind dolphin and is in danger of extinction. Did you know genetically the specie is not blind but as per estimations the rising pollution levels in the waters is the main cause inducing blindness in the specie…Let that sink in. Yes, that’s what human habits are doing to life around us.
While we look forward to each google doodle every year, here are 5 Pakistani’s who were paid a special tribute to:
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan The Greatest Qawwal
Google celebrated our Qawali/sufi king, legendary Pakistani singer and musician, late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s 67th birthday through a google doodle tribute on 13th October. The iconic musician was born on 13th October, 1948 to a family of musicians in Faisalabad and would through his life bring to the world not just his soulful voice but go on to become the world’s greatest singer of Qawwali, “a boisterous and passionate music of mystical Islam.”
The doodle depicts an animated recreation of a sight some lucky few would have witnessed, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing in all his glory surrounded by his fellows.
Extending the Qawwali legacy of his Khan family to over 600 years and being through the globe synonymous to our introduction to qawwali to music audiences internationally. He is said to have toured over 40 countries performing his magic. He sadly passed away on August 16th, 1997.
Syed Sadequain, The Artist & Poet
Sadequain descended from a family of calligraphers, turning a practical art form into one of vivid expression. He painted vast murals, drew elaborate illustrations and wrote powerful poetry. He was known as an artist for the people and it was deemed common for him to give his paintings for free while refusing to take commissioned work from royalty or powerful people around the world rejecting material wealth. Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi renowned for his work in Pakistan, having received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and the Presidential Medal of Honor. He was also recognised through art accolades abroad, receiving the Paris Biennale Prize in 1961 and the Government of Australia Cultural Award in 1980.
Google doodle celebrated Pakistan’s most popular and prolific artists and Islamic calligrapher Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi on 30th June 2017 on what would have been his 87th birthday. Many of his murals still adorn the walls of some public buildings in India and Pakistan or if you are interested, you can peruse some of them online at the Google Cultural Institute.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, “The Angel Of Mercy”
On what would have been his 89th birthday, Google Doodle honored Abdul Sattar Edhi, calling him an “angel of mercy”, also asking people to “lend a hand to someone in need today” in celebration of the life that the philanthropist lived. The Google doodle shows Edhi dressed in his signature, simple shalwar kameez, surrounded by the real legacy he build — the Edhi ambulance, a hospital, a woman holding a child and even a dog, paying tribute to his animal shelter.
A globally recognized philanthropist and humanitarian whose life’s mission was to help and aid those in need. Born in India, he moved to Karachi briefly post Pakistan’s creation. What set him on his philanthropy journey was realising and seeing how many Pakistani’s lacked shelter, medicine, education and various other essentials and thus he decided to build his life around that. How he started was simple: He begun asking others around him to contribute time or money. In 1951, he established the Edhi foundation, solely run and maintained through private donations. The foundation, operates 24 hours a day, provides many forms of social services from homeless shelters to medical care all free of charge and has helped thousands of people around the world in times of need. Most notably, the foundation is known to operate the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan. Edhi was directly involved with the foundation throughout the rest of his life. The foundation is expansive also having offered assistance to hurricane Katrina hit people in 2005.
Sadat Hasan Manto
On May 11, 2020 Google honoured Saadat Hasan Manto with a doodle on his 108th birthday. The doodle was specially designed by a Pakistani illustrator Shehzil Malik and showcases an illustrated Manto in his world of writing. The writer was widely known for his stories of the Indian partition, he was born to a middle class Muslim family in Ludhiana on May 11, 1912. Manto was tried for obscenity six times out of which 3 times before 1947 and thrice after independence in Pakistan but was never convicted. Manto suffered through public trials for writing obscene literature in the newly born Pakistan forcing Manto to not write his stories sinking him into a depression.
Through his early 20’s he translated Russian, French and English stories into the Urdu language and excelled at short story writing. He had written about at least 22 collections of short stories, a novel, 5 radio plays, 3 collections of essays and 2 collections of personal sketches. He was primarily known to write provocative short stories and the harsh hypocritical truths of society, many which most people wanted to not mention. Manto died on January 18th. 1955 at the mere age of 42.
Ruth Pfau, Mother Teresa Pakistan
On her 90th birthday, Ruth Pfau was celebrated on Google’s Doodles on September 29, 2019 representing the German born yet Pakistani at heart at her clinic with her patients. Post-war hit following the soviet occupation of East Germany, she escaped to West Germany with family and went on to study medicine at the University of Mainz. She first went to Pakistan at the young age of 29, later dedicated years of her life to the people of Pakistan. Dr Pfau founded Pakistan’s National Leprosy Control Program and the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center, with a presence in every Pakistani province. She went on to receive honours for her work, including the Hilal-e-Imitaz – Pakistan’s second highest civilian award – in 1979, the Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1989 and the German Staufer Medal in 2015.
Dr. Pfau raised capital to refurbish the clinic, building up a well-connected chain of over 150 modern medical centers with physiotherapy units, workshops to manufacture artificial limbs, and homes for the handicapped. She started Pakistan’s first Leprosy Technicians’ course in 1965 and took on to educating the public to combat the stigma associated with the disease.
Which of the 5 past google doodles is your favourite?