Meet Sama Begi of Kashmir

Meet Sama Begi of Kashmir- The Founder of Thoughtful Start Up KOSHUR WEAR

The saying, “My house is my castle”, has an epic universality to it. A person might go to hundreds of places, but home is where they are most peaceful. In case of us Kashmiris, it is both literally and metaphorically correct. We live in the arms of flowery lands, sleep on the lap of sky high mountains and play in the garden of heavens. There is no better place for us than our home- Kashmir.

So is the case with the passionate founder of Koshur Wear (Kashmir centered brand), certified dementia specialist and geriatric care expert- Sama Begi.

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Story of Sama Begi

Sama was born in Anantnag, Kashmir, brought up in Middle East and then moved to the US on a scholarship for her graduation. There is no doubt in the fact that Sama has lived away from Kashmir most of her life. But in the memories from her childhood, stories she heard from her parents who never left the valley and her occasional visit kept her relationship intact.

What makes Sama’s journey interesting is her perspective. It is her thought that evolved into a brand and finally reached the hearts of people around the globe.
In the summer of 2012, Sama was driving along the roads of Anantnag when she saw a boy wearing a T-shirt that shouted “I Love New York”. In that moment, as she admits, she was bothered that she had not even once seen anybody anywhere showing off such love for Kashmir.

Keeping this experience and thought in mind, Sama decided to bring this change to her society. In 2015, she moved back with merely an abstract idea of evolving the feeling of showing off love for Kashmir and from that idea Koshur wear was born.

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What is Koshur Wear about?

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Koshur Wear is a lifestyle clothing and accessories brand that allows Kashmiris to show off their Koshur pride. At Koshur wear, Sama designs and offer contemporary clothing & accessories with a touch of Kashmiri twist via three categories:
Tratth – For those with a typically Koshur sense of humor
Tengul – For the patriots among us
Tsratth – For the ones hungry for change

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The objective of Sama behind Koshur wear is to generate the feeling of pride in Kashmiris and express themselves not only towards Kashmir but also on a wider scale as individuals. It is about promoting the technique of graphic designing and supporting the social cause.

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At Koshur Wear, Sama also invited young talented artists and graphic designers from Kashmir to join their team. Sheprovide them a platform to showcase and practice their talent with free will and exposure to the outside world. Sama wants to motivate such talents in her hometown, unlike her cousin who was forced to leave his passion for comic graphic designing due to lack of support from family.
With an objective to leave an impact on youth and support the talented artists of Kashmir, Sama Begi is leading a wonderful path of promoting Kashmir and Kashmiri Culture through her vibrant and lively start up- Koshur Wear.

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Koshur Wear was first launched at the 2017 Kashmiri Gathering of North America where sama began by launching only two products- Koshur heart T-shirt and their signature Kalle Kharab T- shirt. This small launch session got Koshur wear a great response & feedback from customers. The products were officially launched in Kashmir on May 19th, 2017 at ThinkPod, in Srinagar.

Where can you purchase Koshur Wear products?

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Koshur Wear products are available on their website www.koshurwear.com. Interested customers can also find them on Facebook as Koshur Wear and on Instagram as @koshurwear.
A message from Sama Begi to all the enthusiastic lot who want to work “out of the box”-
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The journey of Sama is reminder that behind every successful front is the hard work and passionate thought to reach success. She is an inspiration to our generation and many more to come. Her simple thought of change has lead many talented artists to exercise their talent more efficiently. We at New Age Kashmir, salute her for her initiative and progressive thoughts and wish her all the very best for a lot of success to come.

Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

Once upon a time there was a teen boy and he was in love with cycling but he had none. So he went on hunger strike. Seeing him suffer, his mother sold a piece of land. Then she got a cycle for him. This boy was none other than Bilal Ahmad Dar who is now a professional cyclist. He is from Check-e Kawoosa area of Narbal in Budgam district. His family is in farming of paddy, fruit and vegetables. When he started his journey, cycling as career was not very popular in the valley. However, his passion took him to the road of success.
Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

His journey started when he was spotted by former Indian cyclist and Arjuna Award winner Amar Singh at a talent hunt drive in Srinagar. He won the competition by defeating 199 other local athletes. Singh asked Bilal to come down to Delhi and get trained under him. It was not easy for Dhar to convince his family so he asked his mentor and guide Rifat Abdullah to help him out. The family finally got convinced and it was one of their best decisions.
Here, Dar was exposed to world class coaching, equipment and hectic training. Every morning he used to cycle between 80 to 120 km for around 4 to 5 hours and spend another 3 hours at the gym after the school. This is a regimen that he has been following since last three years.

Bilal has won 18 medals- three silver and one bronze in the Asian championship – and four consecutive gold in junior national championship. Recently he turned 18 and will now be eligible to compete at a senior level. He is not only aiming at getting a medal at the Asian games but also to winning in Olympics and Commonwealth, the biggest sporting stages on the planet.

Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

There is absolutely no shortcut to success. What Bilal has been doing is a great source of inspiration for all those who want to make it big in their lives. We wish him all the luck for his upcoming tournaments. Keep making us proud.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is a land of mesmerizing beauty with its divine view of sky touching mountain peaks and the land, changing colour from white to green. Just like people are shaped by their experiences, with the necessary ups and downs in the way Jammu and Kashmir have been shaped by the works of its visionary and dedicated people.

Today, the valley has seen influential people, who are bringing change in Kashmir, like Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, National Award winner, IAS officer and Deputy Commissioner of Bandipora; Syed Sehrish Asgar, IAS officer and DC of Budgam; and Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, IAS officer and DC of Srinagar, who through their positive view and promising work have created a wave of development in the state. All of them have taken significant steps in developing and empowering the youth of the valley, setting apt examples for the new generation. Every day our youth is motivated by the works of such ideal people and following their promising voices even the millennials of Kashmir are turning into influencing ones.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

With the help of this article at New Age Kashmir, we will introduce you to the equally promising but less popular voices from Jammu and Kashmir. These are people like you and me who carry forward the dream of a developed valley.

Sajid Yousuf

Sajid Yousuf from Srinagar is the President of All J&K Youth Society and the Secretary at GAP (Global Association of Peace). Yousuf is a highly motivated and visionary man. With his abilities as a student of law, he has always fought against corruption in the valley and speaks volumes for the rights of people.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Wajahat Farooq Bhat
Wajahat Farooq belongs to Baramulla, Kashmir and is the Chairman at J&K Save Youth Save Future NGO. He is also the General Secretary at Primary Agriculture Co-Operative Credit Society Sheeri. Wajahat is a motivating voice from the valley. His dedication to the development of state and youth is prominent in his work.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Mujaid Alam Bakerwal
Mujaid Alam belongs to Kashmir. He is an active social media user who has a deep influence on people, as evident from his likability on both Twitter and Facebook. Mujaid has set an example of balanced nationalism for all. And given the army background of his family, he is outspoken and fair-minded. He is also an avid cartoonist in his free time.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Mauseen Khan
Mauseen Khan belongs to Srinagar, Kashmir and his heart belongs to the valley. He is a young man who hopes & aspires for a peaceful and developed Kashmir where his people can thrive and live happily. He doesn’t regard extremism as the rightful means to such ends.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina is the rising star of Kashmir who belongs to Srinagar. He is a writer and an active conveyer of news on social media. With his promising voice, he motivates people to play an active part in the political, social and economic development of the valley. He is a man with vision and hopes to do better for the state.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

New Age Kashmir applauds them all on their promising initiatives to develop the youth of the valley and promote peace and love via their views. We congratulate them on their achievements as influential people and wish them all the very best in their endeavors to make a change in society. Jammu and Kashmir is proud of you, keep up the good work.

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

Fayaz Ahmad Jan- The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

What is the one word that comes to your mind when someone talks about the beauty of Kashmir?
To mine, its is “Heavenly”.
So is the case with the unique art and craft of the valley. All the beautiful aspects of the valley, be it the lush green lands, crystal snow on mountains or the humility of Kashmiris, art and craft of Jammu and Kashmir are the best form of representation.

While beauty makes Kashmir lovable, its craft makes it famous!

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache
The art of Kashmiris and their craft can be seen in anything usual in Kashmir, e.g. embroidery on carpets and shawls, creative wood carving on doors, beds or tables, papier mache on boxes or showpieces, etc. While the craft gets most exposure in the beautiful city Srinagar, it is inhibited within people of even the remotest parts of Kashmir.
After all, it is the artisans, the craftsmen, due to whom the art and craft of Kashmir has come to be known not only to India but to the entire world.

Through this article, New Age Kashmir would like to celebrate one such talented artisan of Papier Mache, Fayaz Ahmad Jan, who has recently been honoured with the fourth highest civilian award in India, The PADMA SHRI award for his magnificent work in the handicraft of Kashmiri Papier Mache.

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

Fayaz Ahmad Jan is one of the most credible and talented artisans of Papier Mache from Hassnabad (district Srinagar) in Kashmir. Jan has been working as a papier mache artisan since 35 years and his forefather are believed to have been attending to the art since hundreds of years. He can surely be considered the carrier of Kashmiri papier mache in Kashmir and to the world.
No doubt the quality of products produced by Jan are an outcome of his rich heritage and experienced hands.

What is Papier Mache?

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache
Kashmir Papier Mache is an handicraft technique that was brought to Kashmir in the fourteenth century by a Sufi mystic. To make papier mache object the paper is first converted into pulp, mixed with various solutions and then moulded into designs as the creativity of the artists. Once dry, the mould is ready to be painted and given absolute life.

Fayaz Sahab and Papier Mache

Fayaz sahab has a papier mache workshop in Rainwari Srinagar. At his workshop he trains new artistes in papier mache and many other handicarfts. The workshop also serves as his office where he takes large orders and convert them into beautiful products with the help of other artisans in the valley. You can find various show pieces, bowls, jewelry boxes, paintings, vases, lamps, etc. in his workshop. Jan never cease to experiment, you might find a new unique design every time you visit the workshop.
(One can easily find the workshop by asking on the streets in Rainwari)
The designs we see today on the walls of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are created by none other than Fayaz sahab himself. He was the main worker in the team of papier mache and wood carving designs developed over a period of an year.
Apart from that he has participated in various workshops held in the US, Brazil, France, Sweden, Italy, Singapore, Oman, Dubai, Iran and Kyrgyzstan. Hence making Kashmir and Kashmiri handcraft of Papier Mache popular around the globe.

At New Age Kashmir we celebrate and applaud all our Kashmiri artisans. Their contribution has added quality and richness to the cultural heritage of the valley. A big salute to the winner of National Award (1988) and National Merit Certificate (1985), Farah Ahmad Jan sahab, finally the winner of Padma Shri as recognised by the government of India for his uniqueness in the Papier Mache handicraft.
Fayaz sahab remains a big example for our youth in Kashmir and a continuous reminder of the importance of our Kashmiri culture and art. May the art continue to flow.

First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

“When the world says “Give up”, Hope whispers, “Try it one more time”.
Sometimes, despite all the hard work we are doing, we are not getting the result as per our expectations. Then we feel like the roads are blocked from all the directions and they are preventing us from moving forward. Our dream seems so out of reach that they make us question if it’s truly worth pursuing or fighting for. And that’s when the above quote will help us. No matter what challenges we face along the way, are never meant to make us quit. Quitting is never a solution, that’s what our Kashmiri girl, Inshah Bashir was inspired from. She is Kashmir’s first woman wheelchair basketball player. Yes! Basketball on a wheelchair.
First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

Inshah who is 24, hails from a small district Budgam in Kashmir. From childhood, she was inclined towards sports. She believes there was always a sportsperson in her. She used to participate in cricket and volleyball tournaments at the district level in her school time. Academically also, she performed well. As they say life is not a bed of roses, there are always ups and downs. Inshah also faced the same thing when she met with an accident that changed her life completely. When she was just 15 years old, she fell in her under construction home from a height of 40 feet. She suffered from a spinal injury and underwent surgery but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.

She spent eight years of her life in her room. Days seem like years. Her life was shattered and she felt she was getting deeper into depression. Not be able to stand on her feet we cannot even imagine her plight. The pain she felt, cannot be expressed in words.

But the only option left with her was to move on. She got admitted at a rehabilitation center in the valley named Shafqat Rehabilitation Center. It was like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds after a storm. There, she found out that wheelchair basketball will be her future. It took a lot courage and will power to overcome her trauma. She got her enthusiasm back. All through this journey, her family and friends supported her to fight back.

She was the first one to play with the boys team and later at the national level she got selected in a team as “Rest of India” in 2017. It was the struggle of nine years that is paying off now as she got an invitation from US Consulate to participate in the Sports Visitor Program 2019.

First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

For her, “Basketball as a sport has a huge role in making me strong.”
She added, “My core passion is to excel in this game. As far as my long-term vision is concerned, I want to become a ray of hope for those who have accepted disability as their destiny. I want to help bring out their hidden talents and give their will power a boost.”

For every individual out there, Inshah Bashir is a big inspiration. She is a great example that winners never quit and quitters never win.