Shazia Naqui Carfagna: in her name is contained her fate. Shazia is a name of Persian descent and, like all the names of the children of Urdu culture, was chosen by her parents with a precise meaning: ‘rare’ ‘Princess’ – beauty and royalty.
Shazia was born in Karachi, Pakistan, to Indian parents who had moved after the independence of India and her father had started a business in export of raw materials from Pakistan and the processing of cotton that soon provided the best quality American material to retail chains. But their fate was to be Italy.
How strange life is! When her father was only 12 years old, and had a very limited knowledge of the world, during a game he had said that he was going to live in Italy and so, many years later, when the Chamber of Commerce Pakistan asked him where he was going to work and promote their country, he had no doubts and answered: “in Italy!”.
So at the tender age of 3 years Shazia arrived with her family in Italy, she attended American schools and start to build this particular personality as she combined at least three cultures: the sweetness and depth of the Indo Persian (Urdu is one of the three official languages of India), the pragmatism of the American and the joy and creativity of the Italian. Indeed being ‘Romana’!
Italy is a beautiful country composed of many souls. I feel deeply Roman. I love this city where I grew up and I’ve come to know it in particular. The first years in school were like living in a parallel world. I spoke mainly Urdu and English, and my companions were all international. Rome is the soul breathing the air and the moods of the people!
With this mix of cultures she could only be successful in life. A success written in destiny.
Her Italian name, Carfagna, is the husband whom she met during a collision on the Rome-Fiumicino (the highway that leads to the airport). I think this is the thing most ‘Roman’ thing in the world: the row of cars on the ring road and the rear-end collision. If you never succeed in life, then you are not from Rome.
Her American side emerges in business and Shazia has managed business since she was 19, when an illness of her father forced her to take over the reins of the family business in international trade. She did it with success and class. Around the world but not feeling that it was her destiny.
She worked to help her father, and then her husband in businesses she loved by reflex, because they were dear to the people in her life, but they were not her destiny. When she became a mother she had the opportunity to focus more on herself and her daughter, and she finally began her journey.
When you’re lucky enough to love your job it’s as if you have never worked. Life and work are mixed in a pleasant way. I started I Sport Travel, a travel company related to sports, I was inspired by the desire to do well to raise my daughter and her classmates. The sports world had been anchored in business schemes that did not promote cultural exchanges and an open and international education of the kids. I followed the English market trends and created new opportunities for young people and families, Italian and from around the world.
The secret of this enterprise is to immediately give a professional approach to the young people bringing them into contact with great champions or large corporations, making them live from examples and pushing them to savour the taste of victory. When a kid realizes the beauty of positive adrenaline then he is pushed to do his best.
But mothers have another interest, to give their children a broad knowledge of the world, to appreciate art and culture, and the trips Shazia organizes are always accompanied by experiences in the culture of the places they visit.
For my being, I have lived with my feet and heart in an intercultural world and it is important to know and appreciate the spirit of the places. The intangible heritage of nuances that you need to learn to read as I did as a child!
I Sports Travel has grown and today is aimed at an audience of all ages who enjoy a mix of Italian Culture and Sport, while maintaining its initial spirit of a trip in the best of human expressions.
To let yourself travel with Shazia is like letting go of your excitement.
About the Interviewed:Shazia Naqui
Shazia Naqui, entrepreneur and founder of ISport Travel