Ms Kazim Basarat

President of Alif Laila Book Bus Society


For decades Syeda Basarat Midhat Kazim has been providing meaningful education in Pakistan to children, especially girls, from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is responsible for the growth of the Alif Laila (1001 Nights) Book Bus Society that began as a children's library and has grown into an entire educational ethos. Active in a range of pursuits – from art exhibitions in major cities and learning centers in the North West Frontier Province to children's protest marches when a children’s library is threatened with closure – Basarat has introduced the concept of project-based learning in government schools, developed and produced an Urdu literacy kit and initiated child-to-child teaching programs. Thanks to nine of her works, she is a National Book Foundation award winner and a presenter of seminars and papers. Basarat represents Pakistan at the IBBY Congress, and at NAMBOOK. She resides in Lahore and continues to share her love of books with her grandchildren – and all the children of Pakistan.