Karima was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and since a very young age, she has been a generalist. She believes in being good at everything she works on. Consequently, she found herself interested in pursuing both art and science, and architecture is just that: the blend of both with the room to lean more on whichever one prefers.
Fortunately for Karima, she was enrolled in one of the best schools in Karachi. With a background in Economics, Chemistry, Physics and Math, she came to U of T in 2009 to pursue her undergrad at the Faculty of Arts in Science. She graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Arts (Double Majors in Architectural History, Theory and Criticism; and Urban Studies; and a minor in Geographic Information Systems). Next she studied for a summer at the Harvard School of Design at their Career Discovery Program, where she realized she wanted to return for her Masters to U of T. She recently completed her Masters in Architecture from the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at U of T.
Karima has had many accomplishments ranging from President to award recipient. She was the President of the Graduate Architecture, Landscape and Design Student Union for her faculty. As President, she worked with a highly talented and committed team of students to create new platforms for dialogue between students and faculty on issues such as lack of diversity in gender and equity of faculty, lack of diversity in pedagogy and a disregard for mental health of students. She spearheaded new initiatives such as Portfolio Reviews and Networking Events for students. She was awarded the Gordon Cressy Leadership Award by U of T for her leadership. And later awarded the Paul Oberman Student Endowment Scholarship to conduct research in Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines. Her research pertained to studying architectural detailing in the wake of natural disasters in these areas. With the breadth of information collected, she is currently working on a book for publishing.
For Karima, quitting was never an option. She felt a less satisfactory result is better than an unfinished result. Due to some health conditions, Karima finds working in structured environments, or working with timelines particularly hard, so is grateful to have had friends and family for her to lean on for support. Thanks to her solid support system, she is currently working with Design professionals to start a steering committee for designers in the Aga Khan Community.
Karima’s advice for Youth is to not be afraid to lean on others. It doesn't mean that you are insufficient on your own, it means that you have ambitions that need a little more than you can put in and if it helps accomplish the end goal, then don't be afraid to ask.
Words of Wisdom:
There is only one way to learn. Do it, do anything, do everything. In the end the journey is as important as the end.