Interviews

Exclusive Interview: Hajar Habi’s secret to success are passion and integrity!

Try to find a company that shares your values, work hard, share your ideas, create new content if you can and be happy, says Hajar Habi, an HR professional from Rabat, Morocco, in this exclusive interview to MOIWrites

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1. Tell us about yourself?

My name is Hajar Habi, I am 32 years old and I am currently living in Rabat, Morocco.

2. You are an HR Development Officer. What does your job include?

I started my career in 2007 as a Consultant then decided to join an investment bank in 2014 where I still work today as an HR Development Manager. My main responsibilities include managing the recruitment process, learning and development, career and performance management among others.

3. What do you think are the secret to success?

Passion and integrity.

4. How do you achieve a work-life balance?

I work 8 hours a day, I try to read from two to five hours every day and I am a substitute teacher at a Journalism School in Paris since 2013. Reading is the most important activity in my everyday life and my first source of satisfaction, or at least a very important one. It is my own way of living healthy and what guaranties my “mental balance”. It became more than a habit or a sacred practice, it is the only way (of living) I know. M work-life balance is in fact my work-reading balance and since it is very important to me, I usually manage to find enough time to read. Sometimes I wake up at six in the morning and when I have a busy week at work, I may spend the next weekend at home reading all day long until I feel satisfied. It is a kind of permanent hunger and a form of optimism. I guess life has a meaning as long as I am reading, let us put it that way.

5. Share your experience of being Editor-in-Chief of Blogueuse?

I became a blogger in 2010, a Youtuber since 2012. I did it because I wanted to talk about books with other readers since I could not find any in my “real life” and I am glad I did, it was one of the best decisions of my life! The best part of my experience is meeting so many priceless people all around the world and some of them were also living in my country, so thank you Internet and social media! But most of all, thanks to my blog and my YouTube channel I was able to discover so many authors these last few years and had a diverse reading experience. Thanks to this reading, I became more aware of the world I live in but I still have a lot to learn, which is a relief and a concern at the same time.

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6. If anyone from Pakistan visits Rabat, Morocco, which places must be visited?

Hassan Tour and the wonderful view of the Bouregreg, my favorite place in Rabat, then Oudaya and Maure Café for a delicious cup of Moroccan tea and a peaceful walk at Chellah.

7. Which cuisines are a must have for those visiting Morocco?

Moroccan tajin and pastilla. We have many sorts of tajins and they are all delicious in my opinion (tajin with vegetables, prunes and meat, lemon and chicken), and two sorts of pastillas: sweet pastilla with chicken and almonds or fish pastilla. In addition to that, each area of Morocco has its own specific popular meals and the foodies will not be disappointed!

8. We know you love reading books. Which are your top three favorite books?

“Surveiller et punir”, by Michel Foucault (Discipline and punish) is still my number one, it was like a slap in the face and completely affected my view of the world. My second favorite is “Voyage au bout de la nuit”, by Céline (Journey to the end of the night), another French author, much debated because of his anti-Semitism but who is nevertheless a genius and one of the most humanistic authors I’ve read! It’s always difficult for me to choose my third favorite book because there are so many but it will be another French man, “L’étranger” by Camus (The Stranger), it’s this book you love so much that you’re very sad and hurt when you read a bad review about it or hear someone saying it’s just meh.

9. As an HR professional, what advice will you give to fresh graduates at the curb of beginning their professional lives?

Try to find a company that shares your values, work hard, share your ideas, create new content if you can and be happy!

10. Your future plans?

Take part in educational projects, write my first book and try to make this world a better place.

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Interviews

Exclusive Interview: Abdullah Khan believes the best team are his audeince!

Abdullah Khan

Abdullah Khan’s official Facebook Page: Abad

1. Tell us about yourself?
I am a small town person. I grew up in Peshawar and shifted to Islamabad when I was 17. The weather and beauty of this place comforts me but I sometimes miss Peshawar and the Army Public School (APS). Yes, I am an APS alumni and feel extremely connected to this institute given it hosted me since childhood to my first year of high school.

I have been an Amateur footballer at Pukhtunkhwa Football Academy, won awards and moved on to work on my other skills, which include painting, writing, singing and entrepreneurship. Being a typical introvert, I was extremely awkward at public gatherings and sometimes missed several family weddings; those times made me discover the passion for poetry. I was fortunate to have my short story become one of the top 15 entrants at Daastan’s short story contest, “Stories Untold Season 3” in 2017. It built a lot of confidence to manage my entrepreneurial venture, TheScribbledKite more effectively, which was already booming in the market since November 2016.

2. How did you come with the concept of “The Scribbled Kite” (TSK)?
I have been into writing since grade six. My paternal grandfather was published twice so I guess that is where the genes kicked in. I had this passion for writing colorful sentences since an early age and started writing stories, alongside managing my blog.

I applied to become a blogger at Mangobaaz but could not get through. That is when I knew what I had to do. I started developing my own website with the aim of featuring literary works and blogs from writers across Pakistan. TheScribbledKite’s soft launch took place in January 2017, which published blogs, poems, shorts stories, essays, book reviews and excerpts.

3. What were the initial challenges you faced when establishing TSK?
I will be honest. I have faced many financial instabilities in my life before establishing TSK. I began this venture with just Rs.10 (GPRS internet). I had later upgraded to 3G. Once I had a team supporting this dream and the website was operational, people began loving what we were doing. However, the only challenge for me was to recharge my internet service by the end of the month. LOL.

4. Share with us about your other literary activities: “The Timeworn Silence” and “Abad”?
Besides The Timeworn Silence, I have been mentoring aspiring writers and bloggers through my own platform. Millions of people around the world read these bloggers’ work and I am happy that they are being monetized through my platform. Furthermore, we are just about to launch our Literary Digital Magazine named Scribary. It will also do wonders in the world of literature.

5. What activities does TSK perform?
TSK started as a literary e-magazine and later grew to become a digital network with more than five websites, an under-developing digital magazine and a service provision subsidiary called OverHaul. Therefore, our activities are, empowering and monetizing the talented lads out there. Hence our tagline: Reviving the Aptitude.

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6. Who are the key and core members of TSK?
I would rather not categorize my team, given they all have worked hard to grow this platform. Moreover, the best team we have is our own audience who trust our content and give us a chance to feed them with valuable information about various aspects of life.

7. Where do you see yourself ten years down the road?
I would really want to see the talented people making a living from what they love to do and I promise to do anything I can to help them achieve their dreams. Insha Allah!

8. What motivates you to write?
My life has been a rollercoaster ride. It has taught me valuable lessons too. Even though I try hard to neutralize my work, still I tell my readers about the lessons I have learned through my writings.

9. Are you more into writing poetry or prose?
Honestly, prose is a very frequent niche for me and I can write it whenever I wish to. However, poetry pops up in my mind out of nowhere.

10. Your message to the young writers of Pakistan?
I would rather not be a mainstream motivator and tell you to not give up. I would just tell you to not look down on those writers who are aspiring to become great. You never know which one of them looks up at you as a mentor. Spreading your colors will turn you into inspirational mentor and a lovable author.