Proving people wrong, and breaking stereotypes, Neelofar Shirazi attempted and successfully broke 1,000 bricks and made her way into the Guinness Book of World Records, something she had been dreaming of her entire life.
Making a world record
After smashing 150 bricks last year, she had decided to go for the daunting figure of 1,000. And with a flash of her right hand, she broke those bricks in half, as it took her 27 minutes to fulfill the enormous task. The 32-year-old from Battagram (KP), was awarded Rs.50,000 for breaking the record. The organizer of the event, Imtiaz Ahmed, said that it was an honor to project Neelofar’s talent, as she has made all of Pakistan proud. It is pertinent to mention here that no one in the world had broken 1,000 bricks in a row before her.
Hailing from KP, Neelofar has set an example for the other women to follow their dreams and fearlessly chase their passion in our male-dominant and stereotypical society. She is currently residing in Islamabad, and holding a Master’s degree in Chemistry, is now working as an online teacher. What sets her apart from others is her mastery of the art of brick breaking, something that is less common amongst women in Pakistan.
Talking about her childhood, the record-breaker said she was a shy girl and would cry when someone bullied her.
“Whenever in class or playground someone intimidated me, I became so upset that I spent hours crying and rubbing my eyes and I did this so often that it affected my eyesight”, she said.
One of the main reasons she resorted to brick breaking was overcoming the fear of bullies, which was something nobody around her had heard of. If she hadn’t persisted, people around her wouldn’t have approved of her newfound interest. Neelofar’s two sisters and two brothers are also well-educated and settled in their respective professions. Her father is a senior government officer and is quite supportive of his daughter’s fondness for brick breaking.
Not only that, but Neelofar also works for social service and community development. While talking about Pakistani women, she said that they are full with talent and with support and recognition, can make their mark in the world.
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