At 21, Muqarab is already carrying a lot on his shoulders. Born into a Christian family, he dreamed of a career in film or production, but in reality his family could never afford to send him to media school. In fact, by the time he reached 20, Muqarab was the main breadwinner of the household – supporting his ailing father, mother and two younger brothers.
Muqarab says that even when he excelled in the initial stages of the Video Star competition and was awarded the dream of a fully funded place on PAK7’s residential media school, he still didn’t think he would be able to take up the opportunity. How would his family survive without his income? His father was unable to go back to his work as a carpenter due to injury, and his brothers too young to work. The whole family depended on him, and it looked impossible. In the end Muqarab sold two of the family’s motorbikes, scraping together enough money to support them for two months while he was away at the school. As he explains “Yes, It was a sacrifice but it made my dream come true”
Muqarab describes the standard of training as beyond what he could have imagined. “I never believed that I would be able to get media training at this kind of level.” he says, “The equipment we used is very costly and I never thought that I would be able to have access to that kind of technology, or go to film school and get the kind of knowledge and skills that I could learn from the German tutors, or be mentored by professionals from the Pakistani film industry.”
Muqarab not only experienced a turnaround in his life and career prospects, but also in his faith. Every day of the media school began with devotions – worship and Bible study and a chance for the young people to discuss and engage with their faith. “The Media School taught me so much,” he says “not only technical skills but also spiritually.”
Muqarab reflects on the PAK7 Media school – “It was especially helpful for me, because media education in Pakistan is extremely costly, and it is just not possible for Christians to afford it.” Asked about the sale of his only means of transport he says simply “My little sacrifice has worked a lot for me!”
Now Muqarab is taking part in the PAK7 Internship programme. Like many of the young people, Muqarab, gave up a job in order to take part in this media school and could not afford to take an unpaid internship position. Uniquely, PAK 7 have made it possible for each intern to earn a small salary – enough for Muqarab to support his family and pay for his father’s medical needs. He’s now looking forward to continuing to make content that carries the values and message of God’s love into the homes of many people.
“I would like to say thanks to the supporters of PAK7. I have no words to express my thanks. It has totally changed my life”