About Shahnaz Rizwan

Shahnaz Rizwan is a British Pakistani linguist, author, poet, educationist, playwright, actor, painter and social activist. She was born in Karachi, Pakistan in December 1956, raised between Karachi and Lahore by her parents, Khadija Ghazi and actor and writer, Ahmed Ghazi. At the age of two, she began appearing in numerous Pakistani films and at the age of six, she received the first child star award in the Pakistani film industry, the Screen Light Award. She also won the Critics Award at the age of ten.
She gained an FSc in Physics, Chemistry and Biology from SMB Fatimah Jinnah Girls’ College, Karachi, Pakistan. After embarking on a BSc in Microbiology and Chemistry at Saint Joseph’s Convent College, Karachi, Shahnaz’s studies took her in a new direction when she completed a BA in Education, Sociology and Advanced Urdu, and followed it with an MA in Urdu Language and Literature from Karachi University ahead of her move to London in 1994.
Her subsequent qualifications include an Advanced GNVQ in Art and Design from Barking College, London in 1999, a BA (Hons) degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of East London in 2005 and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge in 2007. She was later appointed ESOL lecturer at Newham College of Further Education.  Meanwhile, Shahnaz established a voluntary organisation, Ghazi Educational Society, to continue her intellectual endeavours and share them with communities. In 2022, she received the Queen’s Platinum Champion Award for her outstanding voluntary work.
Throughout the 1990s, she wrote and performed in several stage plays, including ‘Husband for Sale’ which was staged in 1996 at Ilford Town Hall, London and was a critical success. In 2013, Shahnaz was cast in a starring role in Indian TV drama series, ‘Ye Hain Mohabbatain’ (2013-2018). In 2018, she published her lifetime poetry anthology ‘Shahnaz Ke Jugnu’ (Shahnaz’ Fireflies) in Mumbai, before moving back to London where she established her production house, Shanna Productions. At present, her focus is to serve communities by promoting art, culture, health and education through Ghazi Educational Society and Shanna Productions.

Scholars' Views on Shahnaz Rizwan's Work

“Shahnaz has done a great job. This work should not be considered only in the context of Urdu language studies, but of Linguistics in general. This is an exceptional scholarly achievement. I am confident that she will go on to make a real contribution to language learning and teaching”.
Joanne Kenworthy

Former Senior Lecturer in linguistics at University of East London

“Mrs. Rizwan has written a very thought-provoking and unique primer, and it is much needed to promote the Urdu language in our communities”. 
Mohammed Shareef Baqa

Urdu scholar and teacher, London


Best Author Award 2016

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World's #1 Best-selling Book 2014

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NYT Best-selling Author 2013

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