Pakistani Tranny: Up All Night with Begum Nawazish Ali

17 Mar

This week, Highkixx goes to Pakistan to highlight a fabulous, and groundbreaking local talent.  Ali Saleem is best known for his alter-ego Begum Nawazish Ali.  He is a television host, actor, drag queen, (and, maybe, straight up tranny), living in Karachi.

Ali started out doing a good impression of then (and now late) prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and went on to get his own show as the host of Late Night with Begum Nawazish Ali.  Interestingly, Begum in Urdu means (as Ali explains in the video below) a gossipy, rich woman who depends on her husband’s money. (Not a bad gig.)

The Begum, as he is referred to, uses his show as a platform to openly address all kinds of issues traditionally taboo in Pakistani culture.  For instance, talking about “sex” in Pakistan is strictly off-limits, but apparently Ali has been spared a backlash only because he is personifying a woman on the air — (perhaps women are considered less of a threat?)

The Begum even criticizes the military backed Pakistani government every now and again.  There is rumor that former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was opposed to the show’s airing, which may have led to the show going off the air for a short time.  However, the show was soon picked up by a nearby affiliate in India where it continued as just “Begum”.

Ali doesn’t appear to be on a crusade.  Instead, he seems to simply be living his life honestly and openly.  Highkixx loves this kind of candor and integrity, and hopes Ali is successful as the Begum for a long time to come!

Read more about Ali here.  And read a great interview here.  Finally, find Ali on Facebook here.

Check out this video, which shows Ali getting ready for the show, doing the show, and then some interviews, (including one with a stunned, and interesting, local politician) after the show.

* Disclaimer: I have done my best to represent the Begum and his place in Pakistani culture appropriately.  Please comment if you have any additional thoughts.

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