I just feel very fortunate to have spent a reasonable chunk of time with and around Mutaher, inside and outside the hospital. She lived 25 years of her life enjoying nature, art, dance, books, music, movies and fashion like anyone else her age. Sitting among her peers, she would be discussing poetry, prose, nail art, hairdos and makeovers just like them. And yet nothing about her was like any of them. Yes she was obviously wheelchair bound with special needs because of her extremely rare medical condition called Ataxia Telangiestacia (AT for short). But what really stood her apart from the rest was how she totally enjoyed life while living with such a painful disorder. Even now looking back, I’m still amazed at how someone so young, intelligent and full of dreams could be so cheerful, positive and peaceful despite the ever-increasing health challenges. Without imparting any words of wisdom in this regard, she practically demonstrated that joy truly is the simplest form of gratitude. Her appreciation for each and every blessing in her life could deceive anyone into believing that her life was totally hunky dory when in reality every day was progressively harder than the previous one. I have yet to come across a higher level of gratefulness than witnessing Mutaher live every moment of her life to the fullest. Her positive outlook, resilience and love for life in the face of all adversities gave a whole new meaning to the word gratitude! And this was just one aspect of her multifaceted life. Despite the generation gap between us, talking to Mutaher never felt like I was interacting with someone much younger. Both her IQ and EQ were amazing to say the least. I don’t feel qualified to comment on her spirituality but it should suffice to say that every word out of her mouth and every gesture no matter how mundane apparently, was reflective of her most developed and enlightened soul. She most definitely ‘knew’ herself in the truest sense as was evident from her level of comfort and confidence in her own skin. In the words of Faiz: Hum ne sab sher mein sanvaare thay Hum se jitne sukhn tumhare thay Rang o khushbu ke, husn o khoobi ke Tum se thay jitne ist’aare thay ———-

By Batool Samdani

 

Mutaher was one of those special people who taught me a lot about living to the fullest, no matter the situation. I was always impressed by her positive attitude towards life, how she found beauty in everything surrounding her. The challenges she faced in her life didn’t stop her in painting her life with all the lovely colors and further spreading them with love. Even after she is no longer she will continue to inspire me all my life and will remain in my heart.

 

By Sarah Naeem
 
 
After 17 years, the three main memories of Mutaher that linger with me are the cadence and rhythm of her voice, her consistently positive disposition, and how her eyes smiled along with her lips. She seemed in complete acceptance of her situation and was able to carry on the essence of her life without dwelling on limitations. It seemed she experienced no limitations even though, from the outside, it seemed there were many things she was no longer able to “do”. She didn’t seem to know that–it didn’t seem to be part of her reality. She was a pleasure to be around, had a wonderful sense of humor and was mischievious when she could get a way with it. Ha….once I begin remembering…memories keep coming. She made an impression that will stay with me for a lifetime. Honestly, it was your relationship that made the greatest impression. The dedication and pure love and trust between the two of you. I have memorized your expressions from that time. The loving tiredness in your eyes after a hard night and how quick you were both to smile, to open the door to the hundreds (it seems!!) who passed through it…
 
–  Carolyn Parse Rizzo
 
 
Mutaher was the most pure and beautiful soul I ever met. Her unique combination of innocence and brilliance was humbling to behold. Her genius as an artist shone brightly when she created. She came into my life and instantly became one of those very few a forever friends we cherish. And then she was gone, long before any of us who who loved her were ready for. Her illness may have imprisioned her, but response to the cards she was dealt is was defined her. Some lives are wasted. Not Mutaher’s. Some take life for granted. Not Mutaher. Some lives uplift, inspire and give us all chance to be grateful that we were lucky enough to know them. That was Mutaher…
– Timothy Todd Shae, CEO of UDRS.
 
 
Mutaher, a spirit unknown to the fake and demeaning Beautiful as a flower Blooming with wonder of whats coming next, All-knowing eyes can capture the world of chaos and misery in one glance
– Rahat Qazi
 
 
When I remember Mutaher, I remember a very soulful young lady. She had depth of wisdom beyond her years, and a heart bigger than her physical body. She will always be synonymous with JOY.
Lisa Chase
 
 
Mutaher was color and light and joy. Her persistence and positivity was an inspiration to everyone around her. She exuded creativity and pushed others to do the same. She was an artist, a friend, and a sister.
– Raahema Durrani 
 
 
Mutaher was amazing! She was always caring, kind and friendly. Her attitude was always so positive and upbeat! Every interaction I had with her was full of joy and happiness. I’ve never met anyone who could constantly see the good in every situation as she could. She truly was the rainbow after the storm.
– Zelia Cook
 
 
She was such a kind hearted, exciting person that I was honored to be able to know. She had such a brilliant personality that warmed up the whole room. Her interest in wanting to converse, made you never want to leave her side.
– Denija Courtney
 
 
Mutaher was such an inspirational and strong woman. Her outlook on life and her positivity in any situation touched me so much. She was always smiling and always giving such thoughtful and insightful advice. She was a welcoming soul and loved connecting on a deeper level.
It’s hard to our it onto words how special she was and still is to me, she meant a great deal and still influences me on how I should be looking at life
– Reni Papantoniou
 
 
 
The first time I met Mutaher was when I was very young and so was she. I have a vague memory of her in a gorgeous dress holding a beautiful doll. The second time I met Mutaher was in 2010 in US and she was the best thing that happened to me. Not was she inspirational but, she was an extremely talented artist. That is when I realised, I wasn’t wrong to have an eye for her explicit taste in fashion. She was a lovely friend and will always be in my heart. Miss you Mutaher…
Words by Mahwesh Yusufzai
 
 
 
There was no one like Mutaher?..extremely intelligent, compassionate,carring. She was full of life..she loved life and loved people..she connected with everyone in a very special way. It’s almost like she knew exactly how to make that connection. She could see beauty in everything and everyone..one would feel peace and joy in her presence. I feel blessed to have known her..miss her ?
– Naz Shah
Mutaher had a very magnetic personality. It would pull you in. She had a magical and playful vision of the world, which came out in her art, but also a mature poise that allowed her to persist against the many challenges she faced. I remember that we visited her at the hospital when she was sick and she cracked jokes to try and make everyone feel better. She and my husband Bilaal bonded on humor, and I feel that she and I had our own special connection as women. That’s how she was — always fostering individual bonds with others and making you feel special.
– Ambreen Ali
Mutaher was filled with nothing but happiness, positivity, and love. Her imagination was beyond this world. Mutahers creative spirit still continues to be a source of inspiration for others.
– Mahe Khan
Mutaher’s journey was amazing to me…so inspirational and so impressive! I have never seen a person so happy and full of joy and energy while going through such a tough stage. I don’t remember once that she may have shown her pain or any discomfort. She was always happy, smiling, witty, and full of humor! I used to have to pause just to think about it. All of my worries in life would take such a backstage after seeing Mutaher in how she handled everything. The number of people that she impressed and inspired was amazing. Every birthday of hers that I attended, I used to notice the people in attendance; the reasons why so many people would travel from afar to attend hey birthdays. I feel that she was a gift of God to all of us so that we could put life in perspective and understand and appreciate all that we have. She served her time here for us and returned where she belonged, close to God as an angel.
– Mansoor Khan.
I was the librarian for Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and because Mutaher loved books, I was fortunate to get to know her and her mother. When I retired, the 3 of us, Mahmuda, Mutaher and I formed a little group which met about once a week to talk about our lives, both past and present. To hear what Mutaher had to share was most impressive. Despite her severe physical disabilities , she was so positive and expressed herself so beautifully belying her youth. Her artwork too is so rich and brings out her playfulness, and her great love of color and pattern. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to share thoughts with such a unique and wonderful person.
– Gwen Rosen