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Top 50 Coolest South Asians Of 2022

Top 50 Coolest South Asians Of 2022

Top 50 Coolest South Asians Of 2022

2022 was the greatest catalyst in continuing to put South Asians on the map. Representation was at its peak as South Asians led the way through pageants, political campaigns, climate change, fashion, entertainment, and overall making a global impact. We applaud their stellar efforts and proudly say that they have truly influenced and inspired us!

We had an incredibly difficult time identifying our favorite top 50 coolest South Asians of 2022.

In every field, we had outstanding individuals doing phenomenal things. We have compiled a list of noteworthy individuals who have made a difference this past year and made people of South Asian origin proud.

50. Masoom Minawala

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Why Is She Cool: Masoom Minawala is often credited for taking India’s fashion-influencing market to the global stage. With her quick, and easy fashion hacks, and beauty tips, she made a name for herself with over a decade of hard work. From being in the front row for Dior and Fendi to attending red-carpet events such as Festival de Cannes, Minawala’s journey is wide and influential. But her runway appearance as the showstopper for Vaishali S at Milan Fashion Week 2022 was a career peak. She became the first Indian content creator to walk a show in Milan and set the stage for increased representation of Indian fashion presenters on global platforms.

What’s Next: Masoom Minawala is working to expand her business in the EdTech, innovative tech, new digital, and direct-to-consumer spaces.

Cool Fun Fact: Growing up, Masoom Minawala was not interested in fashion but loved sports, reading, and art. Her interest in the field only grew over time.

49. Kashif Shaikh

Location: Greater Chicago Area, USA

Why Is He Cool: In 2022 the Fund partnered with acclaimed British actor, Riz Ahmed, and his production company Left Handed Films for a new fellowship that mentors aspiring Muslim writers and directors. The initiative, which is sponsored by Netflix and Amazon Studios, awards each fellow $25,000 on top of providing them with mentorship from industry experts. They will also get access to an advisory committee of award-winning Muslim actors, directors, producers, and writers, including eight months of programming, including retreats in London, New York, and Los Angeles, where the fellows can create beyond anti-Muslim bias.

What’s Next: Shaikh aims to bring more significant equality and respect for the Muslim community in all sectors by promoting it in the visual media space.

Cool Fun Fact: He has been named a Philanthropy Forward Fellow by the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Neighborhood Funders Group, a New Profit Civic Lab Entrepreneur, and an Ambassadors for Health Equity Fellow. In 2017, Crain’s Chicago Business named him to their 40 Under 40 list.

48. Aadil Abedi

Location: Watford, England, United Kingdom

Why Is He Cool: Aadil Abedi is a visual artist who showcases beauty through his art and typography. Emphasizing the Arabic script in his art, he aims to showcase its beauty. His work merges the ancient style of the text with contemporary design. Having painted a vast number of famous figures, in 2022 he worked with Disney to create an Alladin-inspired piece of the magical lamp for Eid. In November, he unveiled his exhibit titled Gaia in NYC, based on the theme – The movement of Earth and Her Splendor. He also collaborated with Live Tinted and Maison Trouvaille to create marvelous paintings.

What’s Next: Definitely more art, famous collaborations, and world-class exhibitions!

Cool Fun Fact: Before turning into an artist, Aadil Abedi did a small stint in the Hindi film industry. He played a role in an independent Bollywood film called “Mere Haule Dost” which was screened at various film festivals.

47. Rina Madhani

Location: New York, USA

Why Is She Cool: The lovely Rina Madhani was one of this year’s L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth, and of course, we needed her on our Top 50. She is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Start Lighthouse. When a student of Madhani confided that they were afraid of becoming “another Bronx statistic” she understood their fears as she saw her students’ families struggle when the conversation of being left back a grade happens. Start Lighthouse is dedicated to narrowing the nation’s literacy gap by building equitable and inclusive literacy experiences for children and their families. Madhani started the non-profit by hosting pop-up community events to distribute customized literacy toolkits. The organization eventually moved up to lead in-person interactive workshops led by nationally recognized and award-winning BIPOC authors and illustrators, which allows students to experience reading in a uniquely personalized way. With just two years since its inception, Madhani and her organization have delivered more than 500+ hours of programming to schools and families, distributed 21,015 brand-new multicultural and culturally responsive books, trained 105 volunteers, and kickstarted 5,117 home libraries in the Bronx. That’s pretty impressive!

What’s Next: Start Lighthouse has been shortlisted for federal funding to build a second Literacy Hub. Let’s hope they reach their goals!

Cool Fun Fact: Madhani and her co-founders rescued an abandoned library to build their first Literacy Hub, what a beautiful way to revive libraries!

46. Muhammad Burhan


Location: New York, USA

Why Are They Cool: Muhammad Burhan is a queer Pakistani model who is smashing stereotypes through gender-fluid fashion and creative photography. Through their creative photoshoots, they have paved their path moving away from the generational trauma of growing up in a strict family, being bullied every day to surviving sexual violence. Honor killings, sex education, and oppression of queer and trans are some of the issues they talk about and create awareness of via their social media. They are also an advocate of sustainability.

What’s Next: Burhan currently works as a product manager in the sustainability tech space. They will continue with their activism to bring representation to the Pakistani LGBTQ+ community.

Cool Fun Fact: Burhan has several scientific accomplishments but they are also a history nerd. They like to trace back to culture and patriarchal norms that have led to the oppression of women and queer.

45. Akruti Babaria

Location: Buffalo, New York, United States

Why Is She Cool: Akruti Babaria is a mompreneur and founder of Kulture Khazana, a gift store that connects Indian families to their cultural stories. Not just Indians, but she has managed to get everyone curious about South Asian traditions and culminates a cultural exchange through festive holidays. Kulture Khazana made it to ABC’s Good Morning America show to showcase Diwali celebrations. The team also released an Audio Album – Treasure Tales with 6 cultural stories. Kulture Khazana won FedEx Small Business Grant Contest with a Grand Prize Winner of $50,000.

What’s Next: She is currently creating products to share South Asian cultural stories and aims to expand to more regions in the coming years.

Cool Fun Fact: Akruti is now working on making school kits to make cultural holidays more accessible throughout the US.

44. Radhika Shah

Location: Las Vegas, USA

Why Is She Cool: Stanford undergraduate Radhika Shah was named 2022’s L’Oréal Paris Woman of Worth in recognition of her work supporting the autistic community. She started Real Autism Difference (RAD), at the age of 16. The organization emerged from her family’s experiences trying to get the support they needed for Shah’s brother, who is autistic. RAD serves the Southern Nevada community with after-school, weekend, and summer programming, as well as online information and resource hub.

What’s Next: Radhika is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University pursuing a B.S. in Human Biology. In addition to continuing her philanthropic efforts, she plans to practice neurology as a future career.

Cool Fun Fact: Radhika Shah is also an avid public speaker who spreads autism awareness, and has been featured on TEDx. That talk marked the beginning of her realization that speaking about her brother, and his autism was a way of creating positive change.

43. Nabeela Syed

Location: Illinois, USA

Why Is She Cool: Nabeela Syed, a 23-year-old Indian American made waves as she defeated a Republican to become the youngest lawmaker in Illinois’ 51st Congressional District. Relentlessly knocking on 20,000 doors personally, Syed was able to achieve this incredible feat without fearing the young age or preconceived notions, people may have had of her. She is young, first-generational Asian American Muslim who dons a hijab and has made it from a predominantly white district. A champion debater, before entering the active political scene, she served as a campaign manager to the school election board. She has also worked with non-profits on various aspects of elections. She is a political science graduate from the University of California and aims to address various issues like gun violence and women’s access to healthcare and abortion.

What’s Next: As a state-elect Representative, she will work toward gun violence prevention. She will work on legislation that continues to promote common-sense gun reform. Other issues at hand that she will concentrate on include access to healthcare, making prescription drugs more affordable, increasing support for public schools, and banning military-style assault weapons.

Cool Fun Fact: Nabeela Syed has donated 70% of her liver to help a person suffering from severe liver conditions.

42. Aria Mustary

Location: New York, USA

Why Is She Cool: Last year the foundation succeeded in making over one million Bangladeshis pledge to end child marriage in their country. Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage, making it the fourth highest country to do so. Their on-ground team took to the streets to speak to the Bangladeshi people and made it possible. Mai Soli’s mission involves addressing a harmful societal problem, child marriage, and the cycle of poverty it perpetrates, that’s complex and deeply ingrained.

What’s Next: Mai Soli Foundation aims to expand its operations to other developing countries where child marriage is rampant.

Cool Fun Fact: Her mother was married at the age of 15 and Mustary escaped the same fate when her father tried to marry her off at 12 years of age.

41. Rabia Chaudhry

Location: Washington DC

Why Is She Cool: Rabia Chaudry, a Pakistani-American attorney, podcast host, and author is best known for her critically acclaimed book “Adnan’s Story”, a New York Times bestseller. A family friend of Adnan Syed, she worked for years to exonerate him from the murder charges and it bore fruits in September 2022, when Syed was released from prison after 23 years. She wrote another book ‘Fatty Fatty Boom Boom’ which talks about her weight loss struggle and body image issues and was also critically acclaimed. Greg Lance’s case is another one of the cases discussed in her podcast ‘Undisclosed’ and the court is in favor to allow DNA testing for his innocence.

What’s Next: Rabia is currently hosting a true crime podcast with Ellyn Marsh titled, ‘Rabia and Ellyn Solve the Case’.

Cool Fun Fact: ‘Fatty Fatty Boom Boom’ the name of her book is inspired by her nicknames in childhood because of her weight.

40. Dr. Laila Nahar

Location: Malaysia

Why Is She Cool: Bangladeshi researcher, Dr. Laila Nahar holds a place in the top 50 this year for her unique research. This remarkable young lady was awarded a gold medal by the Ministry of higher education in Malaysia for her work in developing healthy mushroom crackers in Malaysia using eco-friendly technology. The mushroom crackers are made entirely made of organic materials, and the inclusion of no-taste salt and artificial color makes the crackers nutritious, protein-rich, and mineral-rich. The cracker is also low-cost and only includes four ingredients. She is one of just eight gold medal recipients to have this honor at the international conference held at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK).

What’s Next: Saving the world of course, with her research, there are numerous applications.

Cool Fun Fact: Dr. Nahar is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agro-based Industries at UMK.

39. Adeel Chaudhry

Location: Lahore, Pakistan

Why Is He Cool: Social media influencer Adeel Chaudhry became the first Pakistani connoisseur to feature in the internationally-acclaimed Forbes Magazine. The owner of the restaurants Junoon and Bohat Alla was also the most-viewed Pakistani food vlogger in 2022, with millions of views.

What’s Next: Producing more social media content through his Instagram page that focuses on him scouting for the best local cuisine spots in the country, and giving Pakistani food a bit of an edge with global fusion.

Cool Fun Fact: He is the only connoisseur of Pakistan to get recognized worldwide by BBC (UK), Gulf Today (Dubai), Al Arabiya (Middle East), and Voice of America exclusively.

38. Rhea Ghosh

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Why Is She Cool: Rhea Ghosh is a South Asian American who secured her spot as a member of The Recording Academy in 2022. Always working towards advocacy and creator’s rights, she became a part of the world’s leading society representing the musical community. Ghosh who was earlier working as the head of Marketing and Advocacy with Cosynd, Inc. was promoted to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. Cosynd is one of the fastest-growing platforms that help content creators protect their work—offering solutions and services for various artists and creators to build, negotiate and make contracts to register further with copyright. Ghosh has worked as a real advocate for creators, helping them learn new promotion tools and identify the risks for IP owners. She simplifies copyright education for the creator community and contributes positively to the music industry.

What’s Next: As a CMO for Cosynd, Ghosh will spearhead all communications initiatives and consumer brand marketing. She will lead the advocacy initiatives with CD Baby, the American Association of Independent Music, the MLC, Repost by SoundCloud, Symphonic Distribution, DiscMakers, AdRev, Soundrop, and more.

Cool Fun Fact: She loves dancing and has been featured as a dancer in two music videos. She has also been an assistant director on Amita Batra’s ‘Existence.’

37. Rafiqur Islam Montu

Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Why Is He Cool: Bangladeshi journalist Rafiqur Islam Montu has been named one of the most 100 influential people in climate by the British organization Apolitical. Montu was selected under the Academia and Advocacy category for his work in Coastal climate journalism and photography. With over 20 awards under his belt, Montu’s work is integral to communicating the urgency of climate adaptation. He is known as a pioneer of coastal journalism whose stories have been published all across the globe from Bangladesh’s online news portal Risingbd, The Guardian (UK), Thomson Reuters Foundation News (UK), The ThirdPole (UK), Gaon Connection (India), and more. Montu’s work is said to use “stark, unflinching photography” to document the impact of climate change on Bangladesh’s drowning coastal communities.

What’s Next: Montu continues to work as a journalist spreading knowledge about climate change and the necessary adaptations to protect ourselves.

Cool Fun Fact: His work was integral to communicating the urgency of climate adaptation at COP26.

36. Usha Jey

Location: Paris, France

Why Is She Cool: Representing a part of Indian culture on the global map was French Tamil dancer Usha Jey. Presenting an eclectic fusion of hip hop and Bharatnatyam, her viral videos gave her excellent opportunities to showcase her talent from Commonwealth Games 2022 to Vogue World Runway. The 26-year-old made #HybridBharatham choreography her signature genre and made everyone fancy it as she performed wearing a saree. In 2022, she was a part of Lancome’s campaign for promoting dance and women’s empowerment. Converse, Loreal, and Lacoste are some of the top brands she worked with, in 2022.

What’s Next: Usha continues to spread her love for hip hop and Bharatnatyam as she teaches the dance genre through various workshops from time to time.

Cool Fun Fact: Usha Jey did not know Bharatnatyam from a young age. She started it only in her 20s.

35. Sargam Koushal

Location: Mumbai, India

Why Is She Cool: After 21 long years, Sargam Koushal of Jammu & Kashmir brought back the crown of Mrs. World to India. India has only won the Mrs. World title once, in 2001 when Dr. Aditi Govitrikar bagged the coveted crown. Her husband works for the Indian Navy. The 32-year-old was applauded for her Most Exotic National Costume which was an eccentric display of peacock feathers. Born in Jammu, India, Koushal went to Presentation Convent Sr. Secondary School and later on went to study English Literature at Jammu University. A woman of many talents, she is a professional model, painter, and content writer.

What’s Next: We will definitely be seeing more of her! Will Bollywood be the next step? Only time will tell.

Cool Fun Fact: Sargam Koushal was a teacher before stepping into the world of glamor.

34. Kal Penn

Location: New Jersey, USA

Why Is He Cool: Kal Penn had already made a mark by bringing the much-needed Desi representation for queer love. Growing up living and believing in the magic and vibes of Christmas, the actor bagged a key role in the Disney+ series ‘The Santa Clause’ alongside Tim Allen. His name is also being considered among the guest hosts of the coveted ‘The Daily Show’ as Noah Trevor resigned. He also hosted a show on Climate Change with Bloomberg Green, focussing on business and green energy.

What’s Next: We will hopefully see more of him on the screens this year, although there is no definite update on the projects Penn has signed yet.

Cool Fun Fact: Kal Penn anglicized his name from Kalpen Modi on his headshot and résumé after joking with friends and saw audition callbacks rise by 50 percent.

33. Charithra Chandran

Location: London, UK

Why Is She Cool: Charithra Chandran got everyone talking when she was cast to play Edwina Sharma in season 2 of Netflix’s hit show ‘Bridgerton’. Always fond of acting, she used to underestimate herself because of her looks and skin tone. But her role in the British period drama has been a game changer and she is just getting started. Chandran made it to Variety’s list of Power of Young Hollywood Impact Report 2022 and was also awarded Samsung Rising Star Award at the GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards 2022. She was also featured on the magazine covers of Grazia, Variety, and Condenast Traveller India issue. She has become an inspiring figure for young South Asian girls to embrace their looks and culture instead of being ashamed of it.

What’s Next: Charithra Chandran will be seen more on-screen this year but does not want to stop at acting. She is also getting an experience in production on a film for Amazon Prime. She will play the lead in Olivia Hetreed’s drama “Song of the Sun God.”

Cool Fun Fact: Charithra Chandran served as a Parliamentary Assistant in the House of Commons from September to December 2015.

32. Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali

Location: Manhattan, New York

Why Is She Cool: A remarkable dermatologist, digital health entrepreneur, laser surgeon, and researcher, Dr. Dhaval Bhansushali dons all hats perfectly. In 2022, his healthcare tech company Skin Medicinals hit the $200 million mark of savings on prescription drugs. Always focused on what his patients would want, his approach made him a dermatologist-in-residence for Hailey Bieber’s skincare line, Rhode. He also teamed up with Martha Stewart, one of his clients, on a project, details of which are not yet completely revealed. He uses social media to educate people about skin science and is gaining popularity all over.

What’s Next: We are waiting to see what Dr. Dhaval Bhanushali’s project with Martha Stewart is all about. Some rumors suggest it could be a face or body care line.

Cool Fun Fact: Dr. Dhaval Bhanushali has a one-year waiting list for new patients!

31. Aleezeh, Aleena, and Naseeha Khan

Location: Los Angeles, California

Why Are They Cool: Aleezeh, Aleena, and Naseeha Khan became the pioneers of bringing forth a truly inclusive representation in their South Asian beauty brand CTZN Cosmetics. Blessed with their unique skills individually, the three sisters have grown the brand and innovatively promoted it on social media. The culture-tutorial series of videos enhances cultural awareness through beauty. In April 2022, they got renowned makeup artist Sir John who has worked with Beyoncé, Molly Sims, and Joan Smalls, to join the team as the Chief Creative Officer. He shared the same sentiments of the brand’s belief to make diversity and inclusivity a priority. CTZN Cosmetics – Code Red series was also selected in the Public Health category at Greater Good Awards 2022.

What’s Next: With Sir John onboard, we hope for the launch of more innovative and inclusive products from CTZN cosmetics in the upcoming year.

Cool Fun Fact: CTZN Cosmetics provides the most comprehensive line of nude lip products in the industry.

30. Dhruv Kapoor

Location: New Delhi, India

Why Is He Cool: Dhruv Kapoor, a fashion designer who attended Milan Fashion Week seven times broke a record with a first live menswear show in 2022. His presentation of the Soul Tech Collection was inspired by the 70s but with an exploration into the Metaverse. Bold cuts, eclectic prints, and experimentation with silhouettes dominated the ramp. Taking a stride towards sustainability, his label upcycles leftover materials to make new collections. Almost 40% of the winter collection’s clothing items are upcycled, taking the old and new-approach to a fashionable level. His label has also helped the Hothur Foundation’s acid assault survivors find jobs. In addition, he worked on cooperative programs to empower and elevate craftsmen through a network of villages. Dhruv Kapoor was also featured in the “GQ’s 30 Most Influential Young Indians of 2022.”

What’s Next: Dhruv Kapoor is working on expanding his label range to new verticals such as accessories and luggage. He also has plans to set up pop-up stores in key global markets. There are also plans for a physical store in India.

Cool Fun Fact: Dhruv Kapoor resonates with the Mughal era fashion the most. He likes the colors and craftsmanship of that time.

29. Shipra Sharma and Hetal Patel

Location: New York, USA

Why Are They Cool: The South Asian New York Fashion Week, a first-of-a-kind initiative that brought South Asian designers to the global fashion stage was possible because of fashion entrepreneurs Shipra Sharma and Hetal Patel. They aimed to uplift South Asian fashion inspired by traditional and modern attires and culture, and they highlighted the fashion scene so well! Pioneers, as well as emerging designers of the South Asian fashion industry, got an exclusive platform to amplify South Asian couture. Focused on inclusivity and giving them a global stage, the SANYFW also created a marketplace of vendors through a virtual tryout app Aina.

What’s Next: Shipra Sharma and Hetal Patel are working together on another project Virell and Co, details of which are not yet known. On the fashion front, we hope to see the SANYFW grow beyond the borders.

Cool Fun Fact: Alongside fashion, Shipra Sharma is a biomedical engineer working as a Senior Clinical Specialist in a pharmaceutical company. Hetal Patel is a a full time financial tech consultant but has deep interests in fashion, writing, and content curation.

28. Shubhika Sharma

Location: Mumbai, India

Why Is She Cool: Bright hues, fun prints with fine beads, sequins, a flurry of charms, and more, designer Shubhika Sharma gave a new meaning to ethnic ensembles when she introduced her brand, ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ And ever since then, there was no looking back. Over the years, Sharma created a brand that not only catered to clothes but a whole mood that captured accessories in the same breath. Her designs impressed both the Indian and international crowds. While Mindy Kaling’s Diwali bashes are never complete without a ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ outfit, Paris Hilton in her India visit in 2022 also opted for not one, but four ensembles from the label. It’s not only the mix of Indian, and western aesthetics that has kept the brand geographically relevant, it’s also the ethos of inclusivity and diversity.

What’s Next: With the introduction of more unique designs, Shubhika Sharma aims to rule the fashion world with her brand ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ 

Cool Fun Fact: In an interview, Shubhika Sharma revealed that it was designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee who advised her to introduce Indian wear to her collection.

27. Nida Manzoor

Location: London, UK

Why Is She Cool: Nida Manzoor is a director and creator who has brought diversity to the mainstream by honoring cultures. Best known for directing two episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ and her comic show ‘We Are Lady Parts’, in 2022, she won a BAFTA TV Craft Award for it. Creating her own space with fearlessness and defying the norms for Muslim women portraying them as a punk band in the show, Nida won the Writer Comedy award at The British Academy. This show was born with her dream to showcase the myriad ways of Muslim women, represent their voices, and present sisterhood and inclusivity. She not only featured in TIME’s 100 list of 2022 but was also among the women celebrated at the Women in Film and TV Awards 2022.

What’s Next: Nida Manzoor will mark her cinematic directorial debut in 2023 with the action comedy film ‘Polite Society’.

Cool Fun Fact: Nida Manzoor’s entry into the industry started as a post-production runner in Soho House, where some of her tasks involved making tea and clearing bins.

26. Bismah Maroof

Location: Lahore, Pakistan

Why Is She Cool: It was the footage of the Pakistan captain, Bismah Maroof, holding her daughter Fatima at the Women’s World Cup 2022 in New Zealand that went massively viral. Seeing female cricketers with their children is not unknown, but surely stands significant for a subcontinent, where in most cases, marriage, and/or childbirth is usually the end of the career. More pictures showed the Indian cricket team surrounding Maroof, and her child, cooing over the altogether cuteness of the baby, playing peek-a-boo. Not just a strong example of motherhood, but the bond that the players share, led to a far happier conclusion.

What’s Next: Bismah Maroof will lead Pakistan in the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Cool Fun Fact: Bismah Maroof is the first beneficiary of the Pakistan Cricket Board policy granting 12 months of paid maternity leave and guaranteed contract extension.

25. AP Dhillon

Location: Victoria, Canada

Why Is He Cool: AP Dhillon had quite a power-packed 2022, continuing his stride to deliver hit tracks one after another and being on top of the charts. The rapper, producer, and singer-songwriter was named one of GQ’s 30 Most Influential Young Indians of 2022, as well as in Forbes’ 30 under 30. He consistently appeared in the UK charts’ top five for both Asian and Punjabi music in 2022. His album ‘Hidden Gems – EP’ was at the top spot in the top albums list unveiled by Apple. Thanks to his multiple chart-topping songs like Summer High & Excuses, AP Dhillon has marked his presence among the top artists on every major streaming app in 2022 – Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple.

What’s Next: AP Dhillon will be seen performing in the Lollapalooza India 2023 in Mumbai, and we hope to see more upbeat tracks coming from the rapper-singer in the upcoming year.

Cool Fun Fact: AP Dhillon is a skilled basketball player who also played for his school’s team

24. Simone Ashley

Location: London, UK

Why Is She Cool: Simone Ashley took everyone by surprise with her role as Kate Sharma in season two of Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton.’ Fans were obsessed with the Indian-origin British actress, thanks to her display of independence, breathtaking natural beauty, and her relationship with the eldest son of the Bridgerton family, Anthony. Playing the lead in the Regency period drama has proved beneficial for the actress, as she has left everyone curious, and wanting more. The show included bits of South Asian culture, and took over pop culture, inspiring brown girls to throw tea parties in their Ashley-like outfits. The 27-year-old made it to Time Magazine’s 2022 TIME100 Next, and Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.

What’s Next: Simone Ashley will be returning as Kate in season three of ‘Bridgerton.’ The actress is also one of the lead voice cast along with Zayn Malik, for the animated series, ‘10 Lives.’

Cool Fun Fact: In addition to Simone Ashley’s many talents, she is also a classical singer.

23. Ali Sethi

Location: Lahore, Pakistan

Why Is He Cool: The song, ‘Pasoori,’ was 2022’s unconventional hit. Thanks to Pakistani signer, Ali Sethi, we listened to the song on loop, made Instagram reels, hummed in the shower, and more, and are still obsessed with the track. It was the most googled song in 2022. The rousing duet with Shae Gill is a joyous, dance-fuelled hit that drew more than a hundred million views on YouTube last year. Sethi also made his entry to the Time Magazine’s 2022 TIME100 Next list. The song was written in Punjabi by a Pakistani singer. Indian author Amitav Ghosh wrote in TIME, “the song has found a huge following in neighboring India despite the escalating tensions between the two countries.” ‘Pasoori’ is a Punjabi word that translates roughly to ‘difficult mess,’ an age-old situation about two people who are barred from meeting each other. It’s a fitting metaphor for the bond between two countries in a perpetual conflict whose history, and cultural touchstones are long intertwined.

What’s Next: Ali Sethi is busy with his North American tour.

Cool Fun Fact: Do you know the inspiration behind the first line of Ali Sethi’s ‘Pasoori?’ The musician was driving through Punjab when he spotted a phrase at the back of a jingle truck, ‘Agg lavaan teriya majbooriya nu,’ (set fire to your compulsions). That’s how he got his opening line for the track.

22. Sana Amanat/Ms. Marvel

Location: New York, USA

Why Is She Cool: When ‘Ms. Marvel,’ premiered on Disney+, the series gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans their first-ever Muslim superhero in a solo show. Kamala Khan (portrayed by Imam Vellani), is a Pakistani American teen who is aware that it’s never “the brown girls from Jersey City who save the world,” – until she slipped on her great-grandmother’s cosmic bangle. There, we got our new superhero, in a salwar kameez-inspired superhero costume, complete with a flowing red dupatta. That’s exactly what 2022 needed! The story came via Sana Amanat, who co-created the comic in 2014 and later produced the series. She drew inspiration from her own New Jersey upbringing in hopes that the next generation will not experience identity rejection as she did through a relatable superhero.

What’s Next: Sana Amanat’s goal is to determine how Marvel can evolve, and make its superheroes more diverse.

Cool Fun Fact: Sana Amanat has been called ‘a real-life superhero,’ by former US President Barack Obama.

21. Nikhat Zareen

Location: Hyderabad, India

Why Is She Cool: 2022 was a big year for Nikhat Zareen. She won not one but three gold medals for India, Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament, International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships, and Commonwealth Games. With her back-to-back success, India which looked up to a global icon in Mary Kom for two decades, and rejoiced at Lovlina Borgohain’s Tokyo Olympics medal, found another star in Zareen. Her journey from a quaint neighborhood in Nizamabad, Telangana to the top of the world was filled with challenges, but she punched right through them to etch her name in history.

What’s Next: Nikhat Zareen will defend the world title in front of the home crowd as India is set to host the 2023 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.

Cool Fun Fact: Nikhat Zareen was initially getting trained in athletics as a child. But a visit to the Urban Games changed her trajectory at the age of 13. When asked why there were no women in the boxing ring, she was told that women are considered to be ‘weak,’ and not encouraged to box due to the threat of physical injuries. That was her calling, and she decided to switch from athletics to boxing.

20. Siddhartha Khosla

Location: Los Angeles, California

Why Is He Cool: The 2022 Emmys saw him earn three nominations: two for Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” (theme and series score) and one for a song in NBC’s “This Is Us” (for which he has received three previous nominations); ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards nomination for ASCAP Composers’ Choice Award for Television Theme of the Year “Only Murders in the Building” and also the Outstanding Original Score for a Television Production Society of Composers and Lyricists Awards.

What’s Next: If “This Is Us” to anything to go by and with the success of “Only Murders in the Building” we hope to see more nominations for Khosla and definitely a win soon!

Cool Fun Fact: Siddhartha Khosla is a part of the critically acclaimed band, Goldspot, whose original songs have been featured on numerous TV shows, including “How I Met Your Mother,” “The O.C.” and “The Neighbors,” as well as in major advertising campaigns for Google, Target, and Apple.

19. Riz Ahmed

Location: London, UK

Why Is He Cool: Actor, singer-songwriter, and all-around magical human, Riz Ahmed holds the 19th spot on our list. The 94th Academy Award saw Ahmed become the first Muslim to win the award for the best live-action short film, “The Long Goodbye,” which he co-wrote with Aneil Karia. Ahmed and Karia were the 9th and 10th South Asians to ever win an Oscar. “The Long Goodbye” starred Ahmed and included music from his album. He was also one of the driving forces behind the research study Missing and Maligned: The Reality of Muslims in Popular Global Movies by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The “blueprint” developed by the research led to The Pillars Fund creating space for Muslim creatives to help develop a more positive representation of Muslims. Before he ended the year, he also raised money for Pakistan’s floods through concerts performing “The Last Goodbye.”

What’s Next: This year we’ve begun to see the work in action as The Pillars Fund has been behind the scenes of positive representations by up-and-coming filmmakers. The 2022 Fellowship winners are working on new projects and just had their second retreat. In collaboration with the Walt Disney Company, The Pillars Fund just created a new database of Muslim creatives such as actors, directors, cinematographers, sound techs, and other professionals.

Cool Fun Fact: Ahmed is the first South Asian to win an Emmy and the 9th South Asian to take home an Oscar.

18. Falguni Shah

Location: New York, USA

Why Is She Cool: Falguni Shah struck a winning chord at the Grammys 2022. She won the award for the ‘Best Children’s Music Album,’ category for her album, ‘A Colorful World.’ Her album was created during the pandemic. Famously known as Falu, the New York-based musician considers singing as healing. She has also worked with the music maestro on the Oscar-winning film, ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ in 2008. Shah has also formerly worked with well-known artists, including Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Blues Traveler, and Ricky Martin.

What’s Next: Falguni Shah wants to start a trend to encourage lyricists, and melody makers to begin writing songs for children as she believes they need to be “better citizens when they grow up.”

Cool Fun Fact: Falguni Shah’s ability to blend modern aesthetics with Indian classical makes her even more popular in the music circle.

17. Ricky Kej

Location: Bengaluru, India

Why Is He Cool: Ricky Kej made everyone groove with his melodious music from the album, ‘Divine Tides,’ which he collaborated on with Stewart Copeland, founder, and drummer of the iconic rock band, ‘The Police.’ He made waves across the internet after his album won in the ‘Best New Age Album,’ category at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. The album featured artists from around the world, and is a “tribute to the magnificence of the natural world and resilience of our species.” With his second Grammy win, Kej joined a rare group of artists which includes Zubin Mehta, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain, AR Rahman, and other Indian winners.

What’s Next: Ricky Kej’s album, ‘Divine Tides,’ has been nominated for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. So, fingers crossed!

Cool Fun Fact: Ricky Kej has won over 100 music awards in more than 200 countries.

16. Deepika Padukone

Location: Mumbai, India

Why Is She Cool: We can’t continue with the list without mentioning the global icon, Deepika Padukone. The actress had a wild year in 2022, with many firsts, and new launches. She served on the jury at the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival and turned heads with her fashionable looks, one after another. Padukone also became the first Indian House Ambassador of the French luxury brand, Louis Vuitton. If that was not enough, she flew to Qatar and became the first Indian ever to unveil the FIFA World Cup 2022 trophy. Padukone also launched her skincare brand, 82°E. With that, she joined the likes of Brad Pitt, Kim Kardashian, and Hailey Bieber, to name a few, and forayed into the world of skincare.

What’s Next: Deepika Padukone has a list of movies, and global events lined up to enthrall the audience with her charming presence.

Cool Fun Fact: Deepika Padukone is not only a phenomenal actor but is also a national-level badminton player.

15. Arooj Aftab

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Why Is She Cool: Arooj Aftab had a dazzling 2022. The Brooklyn-based Pakistani-origin musician won her first Grammy for Best Global Music Performance for her song, ‘Mohabbat.’ With this, she became the first Pakistani woman to win the coveted gilded gramophone. She beat the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Wizkid, and Burna Boy to take the prize. The song is from Aftab’s third album, ‘Vulture Prince,’ which she dedicated to the memory of her late younger brother. On the 75th diamond jubilee anniversary of Pakistan, Aftab was honored by President Arif Alvi with the Pride of Performance Award, the highest literary award for showing excellence in the field of art and music.

What’s Next: Arooj Aftab is hopeful for yet another gilded gramophone as she has been nominated for the 2023 Grammys Award for her song, ‘Udhero Na,’ in the Best Global Performance category.

Cool Fun Fact: The former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama included Arooj Aftab’s song, ‘Mohabbat,’ in his 2021 summer playlist.

14. Saim Sadiq

Location: Lahore, Pakistan

Why Is He Cool: Saim Sadiq is a Pakistani writer and director who has garnered global attention for his cinematic brilliance with the film, ‘Joyland.’ The movie burst out of the gate at the Festival de Cannes as the first Pakistani movie ever in the official selection, winning the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard as well as the Queer Palm. ‘Joyland,’ is an adaptation of the award-winning short titled ‘Darling,’ also written by Sadiq. It explores the taboo bond that develops between a member of a conservative family, and a trans woman trying to build a career as an erotic dancer. The role was played by a real-life transwoman Alina Khan.

What’s Next: After gathering acclaim, and awards around the world, Saim Sadiq’s sights are on the next big prize as his film, ‘Joyland,’ is Pakistan’s official entry in the best international feature category at the Oscars 2023.

Cool Fun Fact: For his Columbia film school thesis, Saim Sadiq explored the world of trans dancers in the short film, ‘Darling,’ which won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. It was also the first Pakistani film to screen, and win an award at the film festival.

13. Sanna Irshad Mattoo

Location: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Why Is She Cool: Amid the second wave of the pandemic in India, Sanna Irshad Mattoo was on the field with a moto to capture the COVID situation in her state, the beautiful union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. She clicked the image of a healthcare worker administering the vaccine drive in Lidderwat, in Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Little did she know that the photo against the backdrop of the mountainscape would become part of the winning work for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Feature Photography. She shared the honor with fellow photojournalists, Adnan Abidi, Amit Dave, and the late Danish Siddiqui (awarded posthumously). Mattoo was prevented from flying to New York to receive the honor in person. But she later shared pictures of the prize with her followers on social media.

What’s Next: Sanna Irshad Mattoo continues her work of documenting news in her state.

Cool Fun Fact: Sanna Irshad Mattoo’s works have been published in many international, and national publications. She also documented the detailed hardships faced by journalists in India after the revoking of Article 370, and the restrictions that followed in 2019.

12. Amrapali Gan

Location: Miami, Florida

Why Is She Cool: When Amrapali Gan became the CEO of the content creator site, OnlyFans, in December 2021, she was not just stepping into a bigger job than her previous position as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. She was taking the helm of one of the pandemic’s buzziest companies—a creator platform that rose to fame thanks to its liberal content policies. After she took over as the CEO, all eyes were on her, and the website, of course! Under her leadership, the British-based subscriber platform launched a safety and transparency center, and the platform’s popularity has continued to boom.

What’s Next: Amrapali Gan’s vision with OnlyFans is clear, as to how the company approaches online safety, misconceptions about the business, and her plans to grow OnlyFans’ streaming platform.

Cool Fun Fact: Amrapali Gan has her own OnlyFans account where she shares updates from her personal life, including pictures of her dog, and her holidays.

11. Sm Sammam Sakti Ibn Sahadat

Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Why Is He Cool: Another talented Bangladeshi youth on our top 50 list is Sm Sammam Sakti Ibn Sahadat, the founder of “Education for All” and as the name of his project implies, the goal is to provide education for all. The social activist won the award for “Change in Education” at the Global Youth Awards 2022 organized by RoundTable Global. He founded the program “Education for All” with the encouragement of his mother who wished more of Bangladesh’s underprivileged youth had the opportunity to be educated. With the support of the Young Changemakers Programme of the KidsRights Foundation in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sahadat has been able to expand his program to 12 countries around the world. He is working to provide free and quality education to underprivileged children. He has donated food, books, and resources to these programs. Currently, he is the Global Peace Ambassador of Global Peace Chain, an organization that works towards SDG 16, promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies.

What’s Next: Sahadat’s goal is to improve Bangladesh’s literacy rate to 100% by 2030. Let’s hope this powerful young leader can hit his goals!

Cool Fun Fact: Sahadat never takes a day off! During the pandemic, he provided an emergency solar-powered ambulance and handed out masks to those who needed them. He also arranged a plasma donation campaign, providing plasma therapy for those suffering from Covid-19. Not only that, but he has also undertaken tree-planting initiatives all over Bangladesh and even in India.

10. Samina Baig and Naila Kiani

Location: Pakistan and Dubai

Why Are They Cool: Samina Baig and Naila Kiani made history in 2022 when they became the first, and second Pakistani women to scale the mighty K2 mountain range. At 8,611 meters, the K2 is the second-highest peak in the world. After conquering what is often referred to as the ‘Savage Mountain,’ Baig holds the title of being the first Pakistani woman to scale the mountain. Less than three hours after her summit, Kiani reached on top and became the second to complete the climb. She achieved the feat a year later after she climbed Gasherbrum-II, the world’s thirteenth-highest mountain at 8,035 meters.

What’s Next: While Samina Baig aims for more expeditions, Naila Kiani’s next target is to climb Mount Everest in Nepal, and Nanga Parbat in Pakistan.

Cool Fun Fact: Samina Baig summited the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, in Nepal in 2013. She is also the first, and only Pakistani to climb the seven highest peaks of the world, the Seven Summits. On the other hand, Naila Kiani is called the ‘K2 Bride,’ after her marriage at the K2 base camp in 2018.

9. Murshidul Alam Bhuiyan

Location: Bangladesh and India

Why Is He Cool: With only 17 core members on his team, Murshidul Alam Bhuiyan has managed to create a global impact with his platform, Team Bertho. The organization won the Global Youth Awards 2022 for “Innovation in Technology” and they were shortlisted for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Network, which is no small feat. They have also bagged awards such as The Diana Award, Asia’s Top 100 Young Talents, The Points of Light Inspiration Honor Roll, and the UNICEF Meena Media Award. The organization was founded in 2016 and is a global platform to build community by sharing the stories of individuals on a global platform to educate, bring awareness to, and spark change in the world, something they call “cross-pollination of education.” Team Bertho hosts online and physical workshops on various topics from gender disparity to mental health to further their goals.

What’s Next: There is no stopping Team Bertho, they continue to work to create programs and workshops. Their next project is the Global Youth Fellowship, a program developed to train ambassadors globally in a 6-month program to develop new skills and build networks.

Cool Fun Fact: Team Bertho was founded by three ninth-grade friends in 2016 inspired by their teacher to engage in selfless acts of empathy. They chose the name “Bertho” which means “unsuccessful” or “vain” in Bengali because “The stories of failed ventures carve the pathway of success because failures teach us the valuable lessons that we end up using in most parts of our lives.”

8. Shree Saini


Location: Seattle, Washington DC

Why Is She Cool: Shree Saini was crowned the first runner-up at the Miss World 2022 beauty pageant, where she represented the United States of America. During the event, Saini also acquired the title of ‘Beauty with a Purpose.’ Her journey to the global stage isn’t an inspiration to one but millions across the world. Most recently, December 22 was announced as “Shree Saini Day” in Kent, Washinton. The Indian-American beauty had a permanent pacemaker implanted at the age of 12. She was later in a terrible car accident that left her with facial burns. However, she never allowed these hurdles to come in the way of pursuing her dream. Not only did Saini heal her skin, but her soul, and used her power to foray into the field of beauty pageantry. Following the Miss World event, she underwent another surgery to implant a new pacemaker.

What’s Next: Shree Saini is busy fulfilling her duties as the Miss World 2021 first runner-up and will continue with her work for the less fortunate, and those in need.

Cool Fun Fact: In 2021, Shree Saini became the first Indian-American, and the first Asian to win the Miss World America title.

7. Mia Bhuta

Location: Mt Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Why Is She Cool: As the first Indian-American to represent the United States in the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2022, Pittsburgh-based football player Mia Bhuta has created history twice. First, the 16-year-old midfielder became the first ever Indian-American to play for the USMNT at any FIFA World Cup. As one of the most experienced members of the team, she is also the USA team’s current co-captain. Mia Bhuta scored the game’s best goal with her eighth and final goal in the IND vs. USA match, making her the first Indian-American to score for the nation at any World Cup. She dedicated that goal to her grandfather who was undergoing a bypass surgery that day.

What’s Next: Bhuta wants to focus on her education. She wishes to apply to Stanford University. Mia also wants to help other girls follow their dreams.

Cool Fun Fact: TheBhutas, a YouTube channel owned by her family, has footage of Mia performing ballet, gymnastics, ice skating, and a lot of soccer.

6. Joseph Patel

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Why Is He Cool: Joseph Patel, the producer of the documentary feature “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), is deeply interested in music and its stories. The film based on the Harlem Cultural Festival won the Oscars for Best Documentary Feature. It also made him the 11th South Asian ever to win an Oscar. A week after the Oscars, he also won a Grammy Award in the ‘Best Music Film’ category. From being teased for his Indian name Monish to taking home the coveted awards, Joseph Patel saw and lived through the changing perspectives towards people of color.

What’s Next: Winning awards has opened a lot of opportunities for Joseph Patel as he has two new documentaries, one of which he is directing. He has another film collaboration with director Asif Kapadia and actor Idris Elba, details of which are not yet revealed.

Cool Fun Fact: Joseph was teased for his name ‘Monish’ so he changed it to Joseph after his favorite baseball player and lived almost a double life growing up.

5. Laxman Narasimhan

Location: Greenwich, Connecticut

Why Is He Cool: A veteran in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, Indian-born Laxman Narasimhan was named the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Starbucks Corp in September 2022. He joined the coffee giant under the title, ‘interim CEO,’ in October, of the same year, and worked closely with the Starbucks team to help the company to perform better. Narasimhan also learned how to make coffee at Starbucks stores, and became a certified barista. The 55-year-old joined the growing list of South Asian executives at global corporations, including Google, and Microsoft.

What’s Next: Following the transition, Laxman Narasimhan will succeed CEO Howard Schultz on April 1, 2023.

Cool Fun Fact: Laxman Narasimhan is a polyglot. He can speak as many as six languages, three different Indian dialects, German, English, and Spanish.

4. Prof. Saleemul Huq

Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Why Is He Cool: You may have never heard of Professor Saleemul Huq, but his work is something you can’t miss. Huq has been labeled 16th among the top 20 most influential people in climate change this year by Apolitical, alongside the likes of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and Youth Activist Greta Thunberg. Huq is the Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Professor at the Independent University Bangladesh (IUB); an Associate of the International Institute on Environment and Development (IIED) in the United Kingdom as well as the Chair of the Expert Advisory Group for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and also Senior Adviser on Locally Led Adaptation with Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) headquartered in the Netherlands. Huq is an expert in leading vulnerable developing countries to adapt to climate change. He has been the lead author of the third, fourth and fifth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and he also advises the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

What’s Next: Huq continues to work in the world of climate change and currently, his research is focused on supporting the least developed country in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is studying the vulnerabilities to climate change and the impact of adaptation measures.

Cool Fun Fact: Huq has written numerous articles, most recently he wrote a pretty interesting piece in the New York Times about how Bangladesh is teaching the world to talk about climate change.

3. Dr. Nahid Bhadelia

Location: Washington DC

Why Is She Cool: Indian American Dr. Nahid Bhadelia was named the senior policy advisor for global Covid response on the White House’s COVID Response Team. The lovely doctor has bagged the number 3 spot on our top 50. She is an infectious disease physician widely known as an international expert on not only highly infectious diseases but also emerging diseases. She is also the founder of Boston University’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research (CEID) which opened in 2021. Since CEID’s inception, Dr. Bhadelia has grown the organization into a center for research and actionable policies. Their work has led to contributions in powerful areas such as congressional hearings, advising legislative offices, preparing policy briefs, and providing input on pandemic preparedness bills. Aside from saving the world, Dr. Bhadelia is also an associate professor of infectious diseases at BU School of Medicine. To fully devote her time to her new role as a senior policy advisor, she is taking a sabbatical from teaching to join the White House full-time.

What’s Next: Dr. Bhadelia’s goals are to support the president’s vision to end the pandemic as the policy advisor. She is focused on supporting the response to COVID-19 globally, as well as other critical healthcare capacities.

Cool Fun Fact: Dr. Bhadelia has been working to save us from COVID before the pandemic even happened! She was in Liberia and Uganda working in pandemic preparedness and also co-directs the BU and University of Liberia Emerging and Epidemic Virus Research Program. Dr. Bhandelia’s work has also taken her to West and East Africa during multiple outbreaks of Ebola due to her role as a member of the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group for Universal Health and Preparedness Review, which works to improve the metrics used for measuring pandemic preparedness.

2. Raja Chari

Location: Houston, Texas

Why Is He Cool: Raja Chari is an Indian-American astronaut making history in the world of space travel! Commander Chari just led the third longest-duration astronaut team launched by SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS) safely home to Earth. The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule included three US NASA astronauts and a European Space Agency (ESA) crewmate from Germany. Led by Chari, the team parachuted into calm seas in darkness after a 23-hour-plus autonomous flight home from the ISS. They splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida to end months of orbital research ranging from space-grown chilies to robots. The Iowa native has a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado and a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What’s Next: Chari continues his work with NASA and is part of the Artemis team that will pave the way for the next lunar missions including sending the first woman and next man to walk on the lunar surface in 2024.

Cool Fun Fact: Space is not Chari’s only place of excellence. He is also a Naval Test Pilot! He graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, and from the US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Prior to his life at NASA, he served in the US Air Force as the Commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the Director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time including combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployments in support of the Korean peninsula.

1. Rishi Sunak

Location: London, UK

Why Is He Cool: Rishi Sunak attained the top spot in our list for ruling social media throughout 2022. His campaign, ‘Ready for Rishi,’ was an instant hit, and he soon became a hopeful candidate needed to steady Britain’s ship financially. Even though he lost the leadership bid to Liz Truss in September 2022, he made a remarkable return, two months later, as the UK’s first Prime Minister of color. With this, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer also became the youngest British PM in 210 years. Sunak replaced Truss as premier, and leader of the Conservative Party on October 24, 2022, the same day Indians celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights. The new Prime Minister’s first formal event in Downing Street was a Diwali reception.

What’s Next: Rishi Sunak aims to get the British economy back on track, hopefully, sooner than later.

Cool Fun Fact: Sunak is a big-time fan of Star Wars, and as a child, he always wanted to become a Jedi Knight when he grew up. Well, his new role is quite similar to that, protecting the people of his country.


Special Tribute – Side Moose Wala

2022 saw one of the biggest losses to the global South Asian music scene with the murder of Sidhu Moose Wala. Born on June 11, 1993, in a small village named Moosa of the Mansa District in Punjab, India, who knew that Sidhu Moosewala would not only be one of the most prolific but also one of the most inspiring artists in the global music scene. He might have started by just writing music – but his craft for creativity, art, and just overall doing things bigger and better – kept him consistent and beyond relevant. Whether it was the initial fame with Brown Boys, or the way Moosetape was presented and his features with not just other South Asian artists but the respect and credibility he garnered from his mainstream global musical counterparts like Drake, he was a class apart.

May he rest in peace.

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