19 girls, one car: I was one of them!

Published: December 20, 2010

With my family. PHOTO: AYMEN SALEEM

The team of crashers with the jury. PHOTO: AYMEN SALEEM Celebrations after the record was broken. PHOTO: AYMEN SALEEM Media coverage after successfully breaking the record. PHOTO: AYMEN SALEEM With my family. PHOTO: AYMEN SALEEM Before and after the record breaking event. PHOTO: AYMEN SALEEM

Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They are what make you go beyond the norm.

The same applies to what my team and I achieved on the December 15, 2010 when we successfully set a new Guinness World Record by fitting into a Standard two-seater Daimler Benz Production Smart Car.

Doing something smart with my smart car

I realized that I possess a Smart Car which is a rarity – at least in Pakistan. In fact whenever I took it out on a drive I was followed by inquisitive admirers. While browsing newspaper headlines in my living room, I came across a story on the world’s largest cake. This story aroused my curiosity and soon enough I started searching on the internet to see what records were set by my car. After a quick search on Google, I came across a video of 18 people from Australia crammed into a smart car. This was inspirational and I started working on it.

Of course initially whoever heard of it, laughed it off, but I was resolute -I knew something could be done. I started contacting my friends and convinced my parents that something like this could be attempted. Seeing my determination, my parents, Saleem Yousuf and Shereen Saleem, who believed thoroughly in my conviction agreed to help me. Apart from my parents, my brother, Sharam Saleem and both my uncles Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig and Ishtiaq Baig supported me and encouraged me throughout my journey. Now there was no looking back.

Preparing for our challenge

After encountering certain teething problems, we were at it. I contacted the officials of the Guinness Book of World Records, and collected the necessary data. With their permission to carry out the record breaking attempt, my team and I started the drills night and day. From the beginning all their requirements were kept in mind including media coverage, height, video footage and a credible jury.

Initially, collecting girls that met the standard requirement for the feat was a challenge itself. Furthermore the examination season posed problems to assembling all of them together. Yet with gaps and glitches, we continued. At one time it seemed that we could not go beyond 12 girls! Slowly we increased the number. We actually had to watch very closely – from hairdos to diets. My mom took the responsibility of not only being the chaperone but also taking care of the details like providing us with deodorants to control body odour and making sure that all the girls were properly showered and had clean hair!

It was fun but the challenge was becoming more and more daunting. Here I would say that without the complete cooperation of my team this would have been impossible. We wanted to show the world that the Pakistani youth, especially the girls, can do what no one else in the world can – and so we did!

Although it was a novel idea – it was challenging. And challenges are what Pakistani youth must think of taking up. My parents, family members, teachers and friends are proud of my team and I. But it’s not my victory; it’s the victory of our nation. I am happy that my team and I have set this new world record for Pakistan. We are proud Pakistanis today and with a world record attempt in my folio, I hope to conquer the world after I get a degree from a prestigious international university!

Long Live Pakistan!

The 19 participants-without whom this would have been impossible:

Muneezeh Jamal

Sana Javed

Sarah Ahmad

Rabbya Kamran

Rida Ashraf

Eman Samir

Neha Sadruddin

Sana Currimbhoy

Zoya Currimbhoy

Zashanne Malik

Fatima Ismail

Tanya Pabani

Sana Ghazi

Nadia Khan

Anum Afridi

Dania Fayyaz

Hala Faruqi

Hafsa Naveed

Alina Akram

Aymen Saleem

Aymen Saleem

An A-level student at Karachi Grammar School and an aspiring entrant into the Guinness Book Of World Records 2011.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shemrez Nauman Afzal

    Pakistan ZindabadRecommend

  • http://wap.farhanvirk.wap.biz Farhan Virk

    ☆┌─┐ ─┐☆
     │▒│ /▒/
     │▒ /▒/─┬─┐
    ┌┴─┴─┐ -┘─┘
     └┐▒▒▒▒┌┘ Proud to be a Pakistani today.You were all terribly terrific. May Allah bless all you girls! amin Recommend

  • shaz

    Bravo!! V r proud of youRecommend

  • AA

    What an unproductive achievement!!Recommend

  • asif

    man what a load of rubbishRecommend

  • Isfand

    Congratulations !!!Recommend

  • Talha
  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    I must say it was indeed a tough task to be achieved. Many heartiest congratulations to you and your team for accommodating themselves in such a suffocated and dark place for 5 good seconds. This effort reminds me of Chilean trapped miners who were shuttled up a narrow escape shaft to freedom and joyous reunions on rescue operation that ended their two-month ordeal deep underground.

    I would also like to invite Guinness people to come and see few more records like these on the streets of PakistanRecommend

  • http://www.moresulpharthanclay.blogspot.com Javed

    Congratulations!!! Beats me how all of the nineteen girls could fit in a single car. Must be a sight to be behold. Way to go, girl!Recommend

  • rukun

    “But it’s not my victory; it’s the victory of our nation”Recommend

  • Ali Hassan

    Good showRecommend

  • Mahvesh

    God, people on this site need to lighten up and stop comparing events such as these to other political, social and economic accidents and tragedies. Some people will walk on the moon, others will stuff themselves into a car, get over it.

    Congratulations on getting the record. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/2534/whose-country-is-this-anyway-not-the-tax-payers/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    How profound: I realized that I possess a Smart Car which is a rarity – at least in Pakistan. In fact whenever I took it out on a drive I was followed by inquisitive admirers.Recommend

  • TM

    go girlz go…….

    Make the Nation proud….!Recommend

  • Ali

    It cracked me up!
    Really goes on to show what can be done with proper resolve, courage, team work and a generous supply of deodorants.
    And ‘dont forget to take a shower while you’re at it’ is one gem of a lesson i learned today!Recommend

  • rahl

    This bit just cracks me up. So contradictory. Please practice what you preach woman.

    “I hope to conquer the world after I get a degree from a prestigious international university!”

    And she says she’s a proud pakistani. But great job. Takes talent and hard work. Respect for that. Recommend

  • Schazad

    Congrats. I think you should have made video of the whole process and everyone should have a chance to see your determination and enthusiasm and I am sure you would inspire more people to achieve what they dream of. I just found out that you are daughter of Saleem Yousaf (the ex wicket keeper of Pak national cricket team??). I want to congratulate him as well and I have always been a fan of him.

  • zaigham

    awful… we are not from mars…

    After a quick search on Google, I
    came across a video of 18 people from
    Australia crammed into a smart car.
    This was inspirational and I
    started working on it.

    I hope to conquer the world after I
    get a degree from a prestigious
    international university!

    at express team:
    please start a children korner or something like and put all your bloggers there…
    this is getting embarrasing, but im sure none of you has any realisation…
    is express a seth-type business?Recommend

  • Asad

    @Syed Nadir El-Edroos:

    man i like the way u think…[email protected][email protected]!Recommend

  • Ali

    Congratulations to all Girls who were participated in it.. and also to all nation..
    Be Pakistani and Proud to be a Pakistani.. Recommend

  • Karim Mengal

    We are going to break this record, 18 boys one motorbike. Sunday 5:30 Seaview.Recommend

  • Critic

    @Karim Mengal….haha u r joking rite? The affairs of this country make me laugh sometimes :p Here we are, breaking records such as ’19 girls in one car’ or “18 boys on one motorbike” (if that happens). I wonder what other petty records Pakistanis are going to break? Recommend

  • Majid Maqsood

    Congrats and well done really!Recommend

  • feathered brain

    congrats lady! =)Recommend

  • pfft

    @Zaigham: Suggestions like your’s deserve to be trashed.Recommend

  • Mahvesh

    “I wonder what other petty records Pakistanis are going to break?”

    Well. Edhi got a petty mention in them books somewhere, I think. Recommend

  • http://www.noor-ul-ainhanif.blogspot.com Noor-ul-ain Hanif

    Pakistan Zindabaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!! :)Recommend

  • Shahbaz

    A grotesque act disseminates as a mark of Guinness book world record……well doneRecommend

  • Yaldrum

    “I realized that I possess a Smart Car which is a rarity – at least in Pakistan. In fact whenever I took it out on a drive I was followed by inquisitive admirers.”

    Only if you have a SMART like this
    Other wise let me laugh at your naivety, admirers of SMART, yeah right. I highly doubt you have a Suzuki Hayabusa 1300 CC engine placed in. God SMART is one annoying dustbin, I dont know what to hate more its speed or design. Its so annoying to look at.Recommend

  • Waleed Khan

    Great Job,girls. Next target – The Nobel prize.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Amin

    Congratulations to all the team members. It is this kind of spirit and passion that we need to pull our nation out of the mess we are in today. Long live Pakistan.Recommend

  • http://www.sidrahmoizkhan.blogspot.com Sidrah Moiz Khan

    Haha, amazing! Go girls, go!Recommend

  • Humanity

    space management is a science .. well done :)Recommend

  • Naeem Siddiqui, Australia

    Its was a bit hillarious same as it was in sydney :)

    Anyways! Congratulation to all ladies for this! well done !!Recommend

  • Hammad Siddiqui

    At least someone is doing something!Recommend

  • http://www.bonfriends.org Rahim Munir Soomro

    You saw 18 people jamming in one car and you found it inspirational? really?? What is so inspirational about. For God Sake, do some constructive effort. You own a smart car means you are rich enough to open a free school for children who are displaced due to recent floods. What did 19 people jamming had achieved. Its a simple piece of stupidity.Recommend

  • talha

    This is what we are achieving to compete in the world. great work girls, we are born to do this.Recommend

  • http://www.bonfriends.org Rahim Munir Soomro

    @Shemrez Nauman Afzal:
    It is useless achievement. If it would be a noble prize, I will be very happy, but this is just a damn thing. I dont see this as an achievement.Recommend

  • Sherbano

    hahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahah some of these comments are so intense!
    relax guys, they’re kids! why are you ppl such haters? Recommend

  • http://saidcanblog.blogspot.com unseen-eccentric

    So typical all of this, to sing about the most inane accomplishments in the world and get applauded for it. Intelligence levels must really be at an all time low if people think this is a proud achievement for Pakistan. If you think the Guinness Book of world records is some prestigious book of hero’s which should make this ridiculous feat sound like a proud accomplishment, I insist you look again, on better inspection it’s not hard to see that this book, for the most part will reveal some of the finest…. for the lack of better word, freaks, to have ever lived. I congratulate you and the 18 girls you so proudly named above, on all your hard work, the practice, the diets and the hairdo’s, I mean really: you all deserve honorary gold medals. I’m sure lavish parties are being thrown all over Karachi in celebration.

    It’s one thing to do something which is a complete waste of time and energy, it’s another to revel in it. Add the number of hours you put into this fruitless activity, and times it by 19 = The number of hours that could’ve been spent on doing much needed volunteer activities that our country badly needs right now, by that I mean, work that actually makes a difference in this world.

    A wiser book for the world will question not how many girls got in the car but how many girls turned down this fatuous offer?Recommend

  • Affan Ashraf

    Rahim Munir buddy, you are right. But tell me how many of us take out time to do such kind of things. All what matters is The Name PAKISTAN has been entered one more time in Guinness World Record Book. And that was the sole purpose of this record. Recommend

  • Hassan

    I am confused as to whether i should feel proud or cry at the fact that i have lost 2 mins of my life reading this mind numbing account of a useless feat!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • http://billaytoot.wordpress.com Belal

    @Sherbano: I am thinking same like ya! Recommend

  • Stalker

    Thanks for the list of people who participated. More fodder for facebook stalking.Recommend

  • Waqas

    Why is it being hailed as a national achievement? What good does this bring to the country? Recommend

  • Waqas

    This act reeks of attention-seeking attitude. Come on, who searches Google in an attempt to make records and then portray it as a national achievement?Recommend

  • http://www.bonfriends.org Marina Ahmed

    I support the unseen ecentric. This achievement is nothing. Instead of this, they can work for something better. Pakistan is going through a tough time and all our youth is upto that filling in the car. Shame on you!!Recommend

  • Usama Zafar

    Come on people they tried something different and the least we can do is appreciate a little I don’t understand why people in Pakistan are critical about everything.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/13/syed-ali/ S. Ali Raza

    Good job girls! Me proud ov ya! :)Recommend

  • Riaz Ahmed

    Has this record been acknowledged by the Guiness Book of World Records?Recommend

  • Riaz Ahmed

    What a shame!Recommend

  • Riaz

    I need my 2 minutes back!Recommend

  • http://www.LiaquatAli.com Liaquat Ali

    Hilarious! :)Recommend

  • http://www.LiaquatAli.com Liaquat Ali

    Reminds me of my uncle’s small car in the 70s. We never had quite 19 people in the car ever and the car was a bit larger. LOL!Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    This is excellent =D People here seem to be arguing over the productivity of the achievement but then the same argument could be made over sport. What’s the point of kicking the ball into the back of the net? Yet billions of people cheer for it!Recommend

  • Riaz

    @ Nicholas

    So you intend to equate this useless pursuit to football? Mind-boggling.Recommend

  • http://www.urdujanat.com Waqar Azeem

    Good jbos girls.Recommend

  • Ibrahim Shakeel

    Had it been 19 boys in one smart car, this whole debate would’ve been on “the youth and its latest cultural threat: homosexual undertones”.

    …Righto, we’re not doing this. GREAT JOB GIRLS!Recommend

  • Rabiya

    Aymen Saleem- you had nothing better to do?Recommend

  • http://saidcanblog.blogspot.com unseen-eccentric

    Nicholas, you need to put the JOINT down.
    Are you serious? Professional athletes train all their life and then some to achieve fame and glory. Don’t just think its about kicking the ball into the back of the net, if it was really that easy – millions of people wouldn’t be following it. You need to clear your concepts on these things man. Recommend

  • http://www.LiaquatAli.com Liaquat Ali

    I am really surprised by the anti-Aymen comments.

    It seems that people don’t appreciate that in a nation of 170 million people everyone should have the opportunity to engage in clean fun. The task in front of them was to pack 19 girls in a tiny car.

    They practiced for 2 months while breaking windows a few times and pulling muscles at others. Then they were successful in finding an optimal approach to “sardine” 19 girls in a tiny car. That is a great problem-solving lesson learned by everyone involved.

    The girls were smartly and decently dressed. I absolutely like the color coordination.

    At the end Aymen created a media opportunity to kill for. I wish her well as to where she takes her newly-found media attention.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf


    I don’t see how winning a sporting event, or something like, can be considered something ‘worthwhile’ while this can’t. As far as I’m concerned, winning personal(or team) honors doesn’t really do much for anyone else so we’re all pretty much sitting in the same boat.

    Italy winning the World Cup did not mark the end of their economic turmoil, neither did Greece winning the European Championships. Pakistan winning the T20s did not alleviate our country’s social condition.

    Point being, most achievements don’t really benefit anyone. Recommend

  • Sidra Aiman

    thank you all, fr making us a proud Pakistani today! undoubtedly, this is an inspiration for the youth!Recommend

  • Jbutt

    The constructive thing to do would have been to show the plight of Karachi’s public transport traveler who has to create a record everyday and force the Govt to overhaul the public transport system. This record right now serves no purpose. Recommend

  • Jbutt

    looks like she is writing a personal statement for a university application.Recommend

  • Syed

    What have you done so far my friend?Recommend

  • Syed

    @Riaz Ahmed: Why what have you done so far!Recommend

  • RH

    Great! Now try doing the act without the deodorant. I’m sure there must be a silly little spot in the Guinness Book for that too. Recommend

  • Narjis Wasim

    A major advice for you:”Stop Blowing your own trumpet!”
    and what does this had to with your achievement “but also taking care of the details like providing us with deodorants to control body odour and making sure that all the girls were properly showered and had clean hair!”
    When almost 40 people travel in those mini busses which are designed to carry 20 passengers…Thats an acomplishement and a world record.Recommend

  • Robin

    Shabaash; What a feat! Wish Indian girls could do something like this; Though I am sure if you count the number of people on Indian local trains in Mumbai, they must be breaking World records every single dayRecommend

  • Morbid Isolation

    So you were in a car with 18 other girls…hmmmm mind blowing :|Recommend

  • AT

    I second youRecommend

  • spiral universe

    oh God! i wonder why you guys are so critical of their efforts. they made a world record. and its not necessary that you come up with an equation like e=mc2 or something, people all over the world do thousands of amazing things and thus make records. whats so wrong if the pakistani girls broke one such record?!Recommend

  • mujtaba haydar

    that is just SAD. whats so exiting abt shoving young gyals in a small car?Recommend

  • Ali Haider

    Looks like getting into the GBoWR was not fame enough.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Dear Aymen,

    Congrats on this wonderful achievement… You’ve made your country proud! Keep up the Great Work..Recommend

  • EMK

    awesome!..that’s a smart thing to do with a smart car:)Recommend

  • http://paklifecycle.blogspot.com/ behzad

    first of all congrats… then a sad news for you that your record has been broken. but i dont believe in that. i wrote a post on your record.

    can you provide the internal volume of the car you sat in. It is because the london women sat in the car which was double door…. it looks some cheating there….Recommend

  • http://paklifecycle.blogspot.com/ behzad

    congrats… but a bad news for you that london women sat in a car . they were 26. but it looks some cheatin that their car was double door… i wrote a post on my blog about you that is link text

    can you please send me the internal volume of the car or dimensions and details so that we can decide better … After all Pakistani Rock….Recommend

  • Devil

    Inspired by two camels and a cup ;-) Recommend

  • Asim Mubashir

    Now that you’ve fit 19 people in a smart car, can we work towards poverty alleviation?Recommend

  • rehan

    wow, girls, you made us all proud. see, ferangis, what we did and you thought we’re only good at producing extremistsRecommend

  • observer

    “I hope to conquer the world after I get a degree from a prestigious international university!”

  • Samar Ahsan

    you Go Girl ……..thumbs up :-)Recommend

  • http://afisays.blog.com Afi Afgun

    This is funny but stupid at the same time. I wished the youth was more engaged and creative in other important issues (e.g. getting involved in their local communities) than breaking stupid world records.I am not impressed!

    22 years old, university studentRecommend

  • Tanveer Arif

    why a big deal? Such stupid records are made and broken daily in mazda mini buses on the roads of Karachi…do some thing usefulRecommend