In Memoriam: Nehdia Sameen (1983 – 2012)
Nehdia Sameen passed away on June 15, 2012 of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 29.
Nehdia was an alumna of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She completed her BSc (Honours) degree in 2005, majoring in Computer Science. She received a MA degree in Psychology from New York University, after receiving a Fulbright award.
Nehdia taught Psychology at LUMS before she enrolled in a PhD programme at Simon Fraser University. She was a Teaching Fellow at LUMS for a year from January 2010 to January 2011. She continued to teach here as Adjunct Faculty from January 2011 till May 2011. Nehdia was an instructor for courses in Human Behavior and Cognition.
Nehdia was a remarkable person and an effective teacher. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nehdia’s family and friends.
Condolences and Memories Blog
Muhammad Tahir Azam (Phd/University of Nottingham/Class Computer Science ) - July 23, 2012 11:16:02
One thing that i must say about her she was such a nice and kindhearted and especially very supportive and helpful in the uni.We spent fantabulous time there.
I felt really shocked to heard the news about her death that is unimaginable for all of us.May she rest in peace and may Allah give her soul with their blessings.
Ned your actual life is starting now,....you are alive ......yes you are.......you will be...........
Ussama Tanveer (Relationship Manager ABL-Corporate Banking Group) - July 18, 2012 12:36:25
I would simply say that she is not dead. She is a star that will always shine and twinkle and will give light to others always and always....
Believe me she is not dead...!! She is alive...!!
Ata Nour (from WHO/EMRO) - July 17, 2012 14:08:27
Nehdia rest in peace, beautiful souls like you would always rest in peace in the presence of God SWT and live in Nirvana. I never knew you, but I know your father, have the honour to be working with him, and I laways knew that his family would be such beautiful people from the inside.
When I saw your picture and I confirmed my feeling and the way I imagined you. May God bless your soul and hope to meet one day in heaven. P.S. if the love all your friends have for you is spread all over the world, no one would know any hatred.
Irteza Haider (Programme Manager Community Infrastructure NRSP) - July 17, 2012 11:48:47
I am not a very frequent blogger or visitor to LUMS site and was to see updates on my UETian colleague's portal ( a professor at LUMS) until i came across this obituary.
My two cents are : this lady has been extremely talented and humane and its so compassionate to learn here the respect, memories and nostalgia recorded about her life , nature and professional profile and the way she shall be remembered both by her nature and the contributions she made to the knowledge world.
shoukat ali (student of punjab university) - July 15, 2012 04:30:32
although i dont know about ned but after reading about her acdamics and capablity i just want to say that she was a precious gift of Allah Almighty and it is great loss for this institute
imran (gradution ) - July 10, 2012 13:26:47
very very sad news ,may GOD rest her soul
Syed Aon Mehdi (MBA class of '98) - July 10, 2012 06:43:36
To me it seems that whoever knows her and writes about her becomes a motivational speech. And this speaks for Ned. She was rare and precious & would remain so. After going back to Almighty all her thirst for big answer would have quenched.
Her loss is big just like her personality.
My deepest condolence to her family and also a salute of appreciation for raising such a bright girl.
Maratib Ali Shad (Senior Administrative Staff member (HSS Department)) - July 9, 2012 21:53:49
I know Nehdia since she joined LUMS as faculty. For administrative and training purpose Nehdia and I were interacted many times. During my last months at LUMS, she and I had several dialogues on subject of Business Psychology, Coaching, Cognitive Therapy and Professional Development. I discovered Nehdia dedicated, friendly and sincere colleague. May Allah bless her in all worlds.
batool rizvi (LUMS batch 2011) - July 9, 2012 20:04:45
I took the course "cognition" with her in 2010. and she was a great teacher. may she rest in peace.
Muhammad Sharif Qureshi (Research Assistant SSE Bioloy LUMS) - July 9, 2012 08:44:59
I never met her.But I read the comments written over here, which depict the social life and extent of her relationships with her classmates."The flowers have short life span" becomes true when we talk about Nehdia. I would like to pray to Allah Almighty for her soul to live in peace and patience for her teachers,friends,relatives and especially for her parents.
Fawad Ahmed (Bsc 2005 (ex-president SLUMS)) - July 9, 2012 08:10:51
Ned was a versatile athlete who inspired countless females to shed their insecurities to play competitive sports and certainly raised the bar for female sports at LUMS - i cant forget the time she bowled those yorkers in a cricket match back in 2004 ... priceless!
Terribly sad to hear of this and pray for her family and friends to bear this loss.
Life is fickle at best. Rest well batchmate, rest in peace.
Muhammad Amir Munir (Civil Judge / Research Associate, Research Center, Lahore High Court) - July 9, 2012 07:19:02
Though i'm not connected in anyway with the departed soul, but her qualities as a person and as a genius prompted me to say:
Maqdoor main ho to khak say poochoon kay aye laeem
toonay wo ganj ha'ey garan maya kia kiye
(if it be in my power, i will ask the earth as to what it has done with such brains which are in its hold [which was so useful for the humanity])
Osama Siddique (Associate Professor - Law & Policy, LUMS) - July 3, 2012 19:25:57
I Got Hacked xD
I am sure an Idiot xD
Aurangzeb Haneef (Teaching Fellow - HSS) - July 3, 2012 11:16:44
I wish I had made an effort to know you better when I had the chance. Rest in Peace.
Ahmed Yusuf (Class of 2006, Shattered Friend) - June 30, 2012 22:01:50
Nehdia Sameen was an acquired friend – I had an urge to use the word stolen to describe her, only that ‘Neds’ would have chided me for describing her so. She was, after all, an accumulator – of knowledge, of experiences, and most certainly, of friends.
It was in fact Neds’ curiosity that led to us becoming friends. We had been introduced to each other in 2005 by a mutual friend, some months before Neds was to graduate from LUMS. Back then, Shahram Azhar and I had gained a reputation for peddling Marxism in class and on campus. Only later did Neds confess to me that while she was always interested in Marxism, our body language – “arrogant, too proud” – was the reason she didn’t want to speak to us or debate with us. I blamed her for having judged a book by its cover, but she won the argument nonetheless. As she often would.
Over the course of the next six months or so, Neds and I grew close. I cursed for her for being brilliant, I remember. My logic was simple: if she wasn’t brilliant, she would have stayed longer at LUMS. And while I laughed, she worried about when I was going to graduate. I was wasting myself, she would tell me. I would reassure her that I’d be fine. I hope she believed that.
Our existential conundrums aside, there was one question that neither of us had answers to: Marxism’s relationship, or lack of it, with Feminism, especially in the context of Pakistan. I would often point to the Feminist Marxist activists in Lahore, I even set up a meeting for Neds with one of them in the hope that Neds would get ‘converted’. When I asked what she thought of the Feminist Marxist activist whom she met, Neds replied that after much thought, she had decided not to tell me what she thought of the activist. She believed that were she to tell me, it might colour my biases in a particular way. Only now do I fully realize how Neds was forcing me to challenge my long-held assumptions, about people, about beliefs, and about the world in general.
Neds was the kind of friend that you would never lose touch with, even if you had never written or spoken in a long time. She made friendship comforting. I only found out about her demise through a mutual friend; ever since, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that something has been wrenched out of my heart. As with other friends of Neds’, I feel shattered and empty – and this despite not being among her closest and best friends.
There is an injustice to Neds’ untimely death, and those who knew her would still be grappling with that emotion. But don’t let this stop you from celebrating a brilliant woman, and an even better friend. Celebrate the memories, for there will be no other like Neds. Celebrate the ways of thinking she taught us. And celebrate her ideals too – she was a woman who created happiness for those around her, defined life’s terms for herself, and asked only that others accorded the same humility and patience that was part of her person.
Neds, I miss you. May you keep smiling, wherever you are.
Aftab Saeed (*Ali Aftab Saeed's father) - June 30, 2012 20:32:24
Sorry for the abrupt end to a young and promising life. I never met her nor in fact have v met,Bilal Tanweer but I feel for the loss of a friend and colleague of your's about whom u had such insightful views. Ghalib said that only those should mourn the death of others who haven't to die themselves but the demise of even a stranger affects me. That is perhaps because I am reminded of the famous quote about the bell tolling for me.
May she b happy with God to whom v all have to return. May Allah shower his best blessings on her and may He strengthen the bereaved family in a way only He can.
Muhammad Shahzaib Bajwa (Class of 2015 - Friend) - June 30, 2012 15:39:09
Nehdia was an amazing person who touched so many lives in a small time. I got to know her around 10 months ago and since then she had such a great influence on me as a human being. She changed the way I think, changed my perception about so many things. She was my mentor :(
Her death is a tremendous loss for humanity. Rest in Peace.
Faizan Qureshi (BS 2012) - June 30, 2012 02:26:59
Last time when we met near LUMS library, you were all excited and happy about your PhD. Though you always complained about my sleeping in your class, it was because I would have three consecutive classes before that. But I was up whenever you would show some movie. I was also up in the lecture when you talked about the biological events that trigger upon drug intake. And of course when it was your birthday that was celebrated in one of the classes.
The admin closed down Tia Maria where you would often prowl waiting for your food when you would not like PDC. I am reminded of our sporadic meetings and little discussions. I hope SFU was nice and you would not be hitting the gym like crazy when you would be mad at something. And you would not be mostly preoccupied by your long deep streams of thought and then mull over them for hours.
I have yet to find a Social Scientist who talks very objectively like you and does not digress in random philosophies and terminologies while teaching. I remember how mindful you were while grading and defining objective criteria because you would not like to, even inadvertently, be unfair to anyone.
I am devastated to hear that you left so abruptly. RIP
Ali Khan (Department Chair, HSS) - June 30, 2012 01:39:13
I first met Nehdia as a student in my class on Ritual and Belief. She was shy and a little introverted but I could see from her work that she had a tremendous commitment to her scholarly pursuits. When I learnt that she had got into a Masters programme in New York I was thrilled because I knew she was extremely keen to go for further studies and because I felt that she would make the very best of the opportunity.
When Nehdia joined the department after her Masters she brought the same passion to teaching that she had to her studies. She was meticulous to the limit and was constantly looking at how to improve her teaching. A year later she was on her way to do her PhD. I remember she had trouble with her visa and we wrote a letter to the Canadian High Commission that helped secure passage in time. A few weeks after she arrived in Canada she wrote to thank me for that and to update me on her progress. She mentioned how happy she was and how she was already preparing a new course for when she was to return to LUMS.
Nehdia was deeply committed to LUMS and her last correspondence to me included her volunteering her services to advise LUMS graduates when they came to choosing graduate programmes abroad.
I will always remember Nehdia as a gentle and kind individual and my heart goes out to her parents, relatives and friends. Their loss is unimaginable. May she rest in peace and may Allah give those she has left behind the courage to bear her loss.
Shumaila Hemani (Phd. Student in Ethnomusicology, University of Alberta) - June 30, 2012 00:21:04
My encounters with Nehdia were brief, episodic yet intimate. She was a great listener as well as a very passionate and vivid speaker! In her conversations, she could take you through her most intimate experiences with reality and human beings, and listening to those experiences itself shifted one’s sense of time. I remember her as a very sincere person who was in search of eternal truth, peace and freedom. She had a strong conscience and actually felt guilty for being privileged, unlike many of us who take it for granted.
Nehdia had a definite purpose and vision that she was following. She was brave and courageous to address fundamental questions about the world, reality and our experience of it, and this I believe led her towards the study of consciousness and thus psychology and human cognition. She was an active participant in the shift that bio-medicine, physics and cognitive studies is undergoing through the impact of post-modernism and I do believe that she would have made genuine contributions in our understanding of human consciousness, since she had the courage to pursue the road to the unthought and the unsaid. I remember the times we would jam in my room at LUMS hostel; if Ned had been around, we would have been planning a joint-study on music cognition for future. Her demise is a loss at many planes.
Bilal Tanweer (Visiting Faculty for Creative Writing, SHSSL - LUMS) - June 29, 2012 17:18:04
My conversations with Nehdia have a history of eight years. We started talking when we were still undergraduate students at LUMS, and the core of our conversations was always a grappling with fundamental questions urgent to both of us: questions relating to God, faith, science, religion, revolution, spirituality, morality, etc.
Throughout our conversations, her attitude was always one of an honest learner: curious, humble, self-doubting, and deeply conscious of her limitations and biases as a person. Her willingness to unlearn was extraordinary: despite having read widely and thought about questions over long periods of time, she was always willing to reconsider and begin afresh. For Nehdia, ideas had existential relevance. Indeed, she was one of those people who through their work and life are striving to understand better so that they may ultimately live better.
This self-doubt was also omnipresent in her dealings with other people too, especially those on whom she exercised some degree of power (e.g. servants who worked in her apartment). She was generous to a fault with an overwhelming sense of responsibility. She routinely overcompensated, and did so consciously. It was always out of a sense that nobody should incur a loss because of her. Along with that, she was one of the most socially engaged and responsible individuals I have known. News of oppression, especially on women, affected her deeply and she registered her protests in whatever manner she could. She was angry occasionally, but she was sad and disturbed very often, and it was usually about things she saw around her.
Her loss is most acute for me personally because I believed – since her search was so genuine, so urgent, so critical, and her mode of inquiry so honest – she was going to find something that was original in her academic work.
I am sure everybody who had contact with Nehdia remembers her in his own way. From my conversations with her, I remember things I could never attain, at least not even as close to as she did: humility, self-doubt, and the courage to constantly unlearn.
My conversations with Nehdia continue.
Taymiya R. Zaman (Visiting Faculty for History, SHSSL - LUMS) - June 29, 2012 15:29:22
This is a picture of a moment of triumph that followed a silent pact. I had taken my students to Jahangir’s tomb, and my two male students had scrambled up a gnarled tree that was difficult to climb. Ned and I listened to the young women around us speak of weak upper arms, childhoods from which the climbing of trees was absent, and fears of torn clothes and stares. Ned and I had exchanged a look. I held her over my shoulders, and although she barely weighed a hundred pounds, I thought my arms would break. No matter what happens, I cannot drop this girl, I had thought. She was green eyes, short hair, agile determination. When she pulled me up, I was startled by her strength. Later, I saw that she too had broken a sweat. This picture was taken right after and our laughter is a salute to each other. Soon we would hoist another woman up to green leaves, light, and possibility.
This picture reminds me of what I will miss most about Ned. I will miss her determination and courage: In the year we shared an apartment, I heard her defend the rights of minorities, stand up for a friend who was being bullied, and argue with those she believed were unaware of their privilege and careless about the realities of those they hoped to save. I will miss her intelligence: She read obscure texts, wrote prolifically, and spun new theories about the world each day, including theories about why women think they cannot climb trees. I will miss her smile. She smiled abashed when I told her she had assumed the stance of a conquering hero in this picture, and she made fun of how, for once in my life, I had the downward glance of a demure heroine.
Ned was unlike anyone I have ever known; she was elfish and wise, and not of this earth. I often felt that her bright soul was simply too expansive for the small frame into which it had been crammed, and that it longed for release into the infinite. She spent hours lost in devotional poetry, to the point of forgetting to eat. She said that Abida Parveen singing Tere Ishq Nachaya made her soul dance. She knew what it meant to see light on leaves and to imagine the light behind the light, the intricate plan through which the Creator determines the tremble of each leaf. Maulana writes that we long to return to the source from which we were torn at birth. Ned personified longing. Now, the Beloved has called her back. I imagine her going home, triumphant on arrival, and surrounded by light, just as she is in this picture.