“The story of our school begins with my mother,” said the 95 year old Imtiaz Nawaz prior to her passing in 2020. Madam Nawaz, who founded Al-Imtiaz Academy in 1986, was always quick to credit her own mother’s courage and love of learning as the origin of the school.
Though illiterate, her mother was determined to provide every opportunity possible for her daughter to study. Defying cultural and familial norms, she sent her daughter Imtiaz 300 miles away from home for university. Imtiaz graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor in Education from Punjab University. She served as a teacher for thirty years and mothered four children. When she retired, she decided to devote herself to starting a school for whom education remained largely inaccessible.
She rented a small bungalow in her neighbourhood and started with a kindergarten class of twenty-seven students. The school had a total of three teachers. A retired educationist agreed to be the principal. The following year, grade one was added and subsequently, each year the school grew incrementally by grade level.