Muscat: Azra Aleem came to Oman 36 years ago from Karachi - and has been rendering her services in various spheres in the Sultanate ever since. Be it cricket commentary or modelling for various leading brands of automobiles in Oman or conducting musical evenings and innumerable culinary events, Azra has lent her support to all these activities. Social service figures top on her list, and her name is the first to crop up among her community members when they need assistance of any kind.
A Masters degree holder in International Relations from the University of Karachi, Azra perhaps is the only woman cricket commentator in Oman since 2007. She has been a commentator in more than 1,000 matches played at various levels in Oman.
“I have done my O level training as an umpire, coach and scorer from Oman Cricket Club,” Azra said.
Such is her interest in cricket that she has also been awarded by various groups and organisations for her untiring contribution in organising and participating in cricket matches. She got appreciation from none other than Shoab Akthar - once the fastest bowler in the world - for her commentary when he was the chief guest at one of the matches organised by the Pakistan Embassy in 2013.
Not just cricket, she also did running commentary for a hockey match between Oman and Pakistan that was played at the Bausher Stadium, which is where most international football matches happen.
Azra is also a well-known stage artiste and has acted in many plays and has organised many events in Muscat. She has also directed stage shows and filmed some plays for exclusive online viewing. “I am passionate about anything that I take up, from cricket to drama to music.
Currently, as performing arts and sports have taken a back seat due to the pandemic situation, I am devoting my time to help my compatriots as many of them have decided to return home. I assist them with the embassy work, and also in organising their travel arrangements through special or charter flights. “
When the Asian Beach Games happened in Oman in 2010, Azra was assigned by her country (Pakistan) to be the Protocol Officer. Armed with an MA in International Relations and a Bachelors degree in advanced Urdu, it is no wonder that Azra is also an Urdu poet and editor for online newspaper Dailypukar, from Pakistan. With an unswerving attitude to serve with a smile, Azra in her spare time, volunteers as a substitute teacher in Pakistan School Muscat.