Not being brought up in a religious household Atiya Khan found her own spirituality which was all about energy, the collective human consciousness and the Sufi’s philosophy. In a neighborhood where one hardly finds a house without security we entered a cordial, opened-mined household.
Atiya Khan as a young model and Atiya Khan still as a young designer, producer at her home.
Atiya started her career at the age of 15 under the regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. Like many in that era, Atiya, through her career in fashion as a model leaned on her trade to remove taboos and post political statements and fashion was used as a radical way to post political statements. After reading the Quran, she concentrated on the philosophy of Sufism and right on top of her career quit the job with 21.
Guided by a living Sufi saint, she finally arrived at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, where a new journey began: TV production, film directing, producing. She presented religion-orientated talk-show where topics like terrorism and extremism were reviewed through the lens of Sufism. Post 9/11 she faced many challenges as a fashion designer when her hijab collection was due for a presentation. There was much contradiction in the media as her intention was to bring out conceptions and ideas that people had around the issue at that time.
Her knowledge about Sufism though lead her through the challenge: „The hijab helped me to put up a certain barrier and made me realise that I can’t be push anymore.“
The new clothes collection is soon to be released and concentrates on pure fabrics with traditional, hand-stiched patterns using sacred symbols from all the different faiths as embellishment. The embroidery is done by artisan women who work with an NGO, that works towards women welfare and empowerment.
Currently Atiya works on a documentary on Sufism, after having finished the Qalandar Code which she has written and directed. The Qalandar Code is a narration of her 16 year lasting way of transformation into a Sufi and the discovering the Divine Feminine within the role of Bibi Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.
With 3rd Option finally Atiya Khan engages for her own civil society organisation. The platform’s aims to change Pakistan’s political setup, petitioning institutional and constitutional reforms on citizen based mandates.
David Heath, British musician, composer, flute player and guest at Atiya’s house.
David Heath with Malik Aamir Shahid
The Hijab Collection