Famous Pakistani Men Who Have Been in Love with A German Woman

imran khan kristiane backer famous pakistanis

Famous Pakistani Men

“Love knows no borders”. The (former) couples in this list must have known it better than anyone else: Even though Pakistan and Germany have completely different cultures, the following inspirational and famous Pakistani men have been falling in love with a woman from Germany (and vice versa).

Jamil Ahmad & Helga Ahmad

Jamil Ahmad (1931-2014) was a Pakistani civil servant, novelist and story writer (worldwide known for his work The Wandering Falcon). He met his German wife Helga in 1956 in London. After they got married, Jamil and Helga Ahmad moved to Pakistan where they were living together (also in remote regions of Pakistan, alongside the border of Iran and Pakistan) until his death in 2014. The couple had three children (two sons and one daughter).

According to the German magazine Spiegel, Jamil Ahmad already wrote the stories in The Wandering Falcon mandy decades ago. In the beginning, he tried to write prose, but his wife Helga convinced him to focus on stories about his beloved tribal areas.

Helga Ahmad is from Traustein in Bavaria, Germany, and is working as an environmental activist in Pakistan. She speaks Urdu with a Bavarian accent and was the one, who saved all the short stories of her husband throughout the years until they got published in 2011.

Mohammad Iqbal & Emma Wegenast

What Goethe is for Germany, Sir Mohammad Iqbal is for Pakistan. The famous poet (1877-1938) is considered as the spiritual father of Pakistan and the most important person to know when it comes to Urdu literature (Urdu is the national language of Pakistan as well the official language in some Indian states).

During his studies in Europe and due to his interest in the German philosopher Hegel, Iqbal spent six months in the German town Heidelberg. Here, he met German teacher Emma Wegenast (born in 1879 in Heilbronn, Germany) with who he fell in love with and who introduced him to German literature and philosophy, especially Goethe, Heine and Nietzsche. Back in Pakistan, Iqbal described in letters to Emma Wegenast, that he felt like his time in Heidelberg was a “beautiful dream”.

In total, Iqbal wrote 27 letters to Emma between 1907 and 1933. 17 of those 27 letters, he wrote in German, addressing her with “Mein liebes Fräulein Wegenast” ( = My dear Ms. Wegenast). Atiya Fyzee, a friend of Iqbal and Emma during his time in Germany and Great Britain, described Emma Wegenast as “extremely beautiful”.

Imran Khan & Kristiane Backer

Imran Khan is a former cricketer (as a captain, he won the Cricket World Cup for Pakistan in 1992) and current prime minister of Pakistan. Born in 1952 in Lahore, Imran Khan was in a (non-public) relationship with the former MTV presenter (back then one of the “Most Wanted” women in Europe) Kristiane Backer. The two dated between the years 1992 and 1995.

Backer, born in 1965 in Hamburg, Germany, was working in London at that time and met Imran Khan during a dinner with a friend. After their separation in 1995, she converted to Islam and left her job at MTV. In 2009, she published a book called From MTV to Mecca in which she is also describing her relationship with Imran, who showed her the great sides of Islam and functioned as her “teacher”. According to an interview with Stern from 2018, both are still in contact.

Featured images (cropped): Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  – Financial Times flickr – CC BY 2.0/Inclusion Convention Institutional Sexual Harassment London with Kristiane Backer … Photographer695 flickrCC BY 2.0

March 27, 2019
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