Shermeen Beg - Educator - Agha Khan Museum

Guest Speaker Shermeen Beg of the Agha Khan museum gave an enthusiastic presentation on her experience as an Immigrant to Toronto. Shermeen illustrated her talk with fascinating images of Toronto and the many places she has lived, studied and worked in her peripatetic life. Born in a small village in Pakistan, Shermeen had a strong desire in her early years to learn about the world around her, especially houses and other buildings. After earning a degree in architecture in Pakistan, she travelled to Savannah, Georgia where she completed a master’s degree in architecture. She then moved to Washington DC and practised architecture in a suburban capital region firm. Shermeen still had strong family roots in Pakistan which she maintains to this day, with Karachi being a focal point. She returned to Pakistan and opened her own architectural office as well as teaching. A few years ago, she emigrated from Karachi, Pakistan to Toronto. Shermeen showed us a series of photos illustrating the similarities and the differences between Karachi and Toronto. She also gave a brief description of her present life as an architect working and teaching at the strikingly beautiful Aga Khan Museum here in Toronto. Shermeen concluded her visit to our club with an invitation to club members participate in any of the on-going programs at the museum. Shermeen was thanked by our Treasurer, Ali Kazmi, a fellow immigrant from Karachi to Toronto. 
 
 
 
 
In a happy coincidence, we were visited today by a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Paul Bosveld, who is also interested in architecture and design. Paul spoke briefly about how being an Ambassadorial Scholar changed the course of his life and career. Paul had graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Windsor and worked for a few years as an engineer in the automotive industry. When he was awarded the Ambassadorial Scholarship, he went to Italy to pursue graduate studies in  industrial design at a top school in Milan. This led to a challenging design career at Pininfarina, an Italian firm renowned for designing car bodies for clients like Ferrari as well as designing a myriad of other products. Paul then moved to Pininfarina USA and subsequently worked for other major US companies as a designer. He is now leader of a design team for Microsoft dealing with Virtual Reality products. Paul expressed his appreciation for the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship which was the key to him broadening his horizons and pursuing his career in industrial design.
 
 
 
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