Woman of Pakistani origin receives prestigious French award

Asma Ashraf receives an award for her services in areas of education and social welfare for the French society

By
Murtaza Ali Shah
— Picture provided by the reporter
 — Picture provided by the reporter

  • A Pakistani-French woman has received France’s prestigious National Order of Merit.
  • Asma Ashraf is the only Pakistani woman in France to receive this medal.
  • She received the award for her services in areas of education and social welfare for the French society.


LONDON: A woman of Pakistani origin has received France’s prestigious National Order of Merit for her services in areas of education and social welfare for the French society.

The French government has given Asma Ashraf the National Order of Merit which is the second national order after the Legion of Honour. This award is given to people who have distinguished merits in the exercise of public, civil or military function or of private activity for at least 10 years.

— Photo provided by the reporter.
— Photo provided by the reporter.

Speaking to Geo.tv, Ashraf said she is honoured to have received this medal which is a recognition of the hard work she has been employing over the years.

She said: “I see this honourable recognition as a testament of the values I stand for and I hope to encourage others to carry forward this legacy. I have a lot of projects in mind and I am looking forward to being able to deliver them.”

She said the French government has recognised her in her capacity as Director & Founder of Femme Relais Médiatrice İnterculturelle de Champigny (FRMİC) which provides counselling and solutions to intercultural women.

She said: “The organisation responds to the needs of people in situations of exclusion and in difficulty in the neighbourhood, break the isolation by developing social ties, establish solidarity, improve good neighbourly relations, and restore people's confidence. We aim to increase civic involvement and create social ties.”

Asma Ashraf is the only woman of Pakistani origin in France to receive this medal. She was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved with her parents to Paris, France, in 1977 at the age of 3.

She studied Business Management and got involved in organising social and cultural activities. Her sister Saima Ashraf is a Labour Party councillor for the Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Asma Ashraf said that since a young age, she had a great passion to represent people even in school where she was on the student council and represented her school on several platforms.

Asma is also the Director and Founder of “Pi” (Potential Incubator) which is an organisation that helps develop and unlock the professional and business potential of young people.