Interviews

“Ignite the passion to educate the masses in your hearts”: Mahnoor Naseer – Editor-in-Chief, Daastan.

Mahnoor Naseer is a Citizen Historian at The 1947 Partition Archive. An electrical engineer by academic qualification but with literature filled in her heart, she talks to MOIWrites in this exclusive interview about her life and career, passion and plans.

1. Tell us about yourself?

So, as you know already, my name is Mahnoor, it is from a Persian-Arabic origin which means Moonlight. As beautiful as it sounds to many, my name is not unique at all, but I personally believe that it is not the name that makes a person unique but the characteristics they possess. Therefore, I find myself inimitable in my compassion of doing every single thing in life as if it matters the most.

I come from a middle-class family and was brought up in the shelter of unconditional love of my hardworking parents, for whom self-respect was more important than money. My parents are a real-life example of the ideology that what you cannot achieve for yourself, provide it to others. They have given me more than anything that I ever asked for. All that they lacked in their lives, they have given it to me.

Professionally, I am an Electrical Engineer and serving as a research intern in Military College of Signals, Rawalpindi. Besides that, I am also the Editor-in-Chief, Daastan and a Citizen Historian with “The 1947 Partition Archive”. I very recently started working on a collaborated project of UNDP and SIL as a research writer and transcriptionist.

Apart from these boring details that build me up, I am an avid reader and an aspiring writer. At times, I even play with colors and try my hand at painting. I enjoy sketching. I also collect stamps, coins, and naturally, bookmarks. I would also define myself as a foodie who loves testing out new cuisines. So far, nothing has won me over like Chinese food.

I am rather a “pick-and-choose” kind of a person when it comes to making acquaintances or befriending people. One of my strongest policies is being straightforward to the point that sometimes, I feel I will end up hurting someone but I try to be as careful as possible.

2. You are the Co-Founder of The Ancient Souls. What are The Ancient Souls about?

In August 2016, along with a group of friends from abroad, I decided to do something different, something that would be outside the limits of the mainstream. To set up the platform that not only promotes written works but literature as a whole.

Presently, many people have restricted the definition of literature to possessing good writing skills and having read the well-known books. The concept we wanted to nurture through our platform was rather broad: “Anything that involves words, art, and the true colors of humanity is to be known as literature” — not talking of the genres or the major forms here but sticking to the basic definition of it.

Therefore, we had three sub-goals; to protect the said definition of literature, to promote peace through literature by dissolving all the human barriers, and to innovate. The three sub-goals combined to serve one major goal that was to create a platform to empower aspiring writers, photographers, and artists across the globe.

Currently, we are operating as a community of around 15,000+ members across the world. We also published our first annual anthology in 2017, which secured the honor to be Daastan’s very first international publication.

3. As the Editor-in-Chief at Daastan, what are your prime responsibilities?

Besides editing, I have to review all submissions in the light of Daastan’s set policies. I have to coordinate with my sub-editors in assigning them tasks, reviewing those tasks once completed, have the final drafts ready and pass them on to our website management team.

Overall, I have to ensure that the team stays as hospitable and encouraging towards the authors as possible; because it is the budding talent that we mostly deal with, and that they do not overstep any of the company’s predefined policies.

4. Which authors from Pakistan and abroad are your favorite?

Talking of the international authors J.K. Rowling will always be at the top of my list for obvious reasons. I really enjoy reading Sylvia Plath, Khaled Hosseini, Stephen King, Elif Shafek, Sydney Sheldon, Sarah J Mass, Sabah Tahir, Nicholas Sparks, and the list goes on.

The Pakistani authors that I really like are Abdullah Hussain, Hashim Nadeem, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Nimrah Ahmed. I know people have different views about Nimrah’s writing style but I love her scenic portrayals and the choice of words. Here, I have mentioned the authors from modern literature only because those from previous generations, as far as I have read them, were all maestros in my view, like Manto, Patras Bukhari, Bano Qudsia, Ashfaq Ahmed and many others, and I am yet to discover that era of literature in a broader way.

5. Which are your favorite novels?

Okay, I will not mention Harry Potter here because that is like blood to my body. I love “The Kite Runner”, not just for the sake of the book, but also because of all the book-based movies that I have watched,” The Kite Runner” seemed to be the best one of them. Even Harry Potter movies did not approach me on that level of perfection.

So, reading a book and loving it, and then watching a movie based on it and loving it the same way, has an impact on the way my imaginations works after I finish reading it. You know, I just wish we opened a book and all characters danced in front of us. It is a childish thought, but I am a firm believer in miracles! My other favorites include; “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi, “Rose Madder” by Stephen King, “The Throne of Glass Series” by Sarah J. Mass, “Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafek, and “Amar Bail” by Nemrah Ahmed.

6. You have been responsible for editing manuscript entries in Daastan’s Stories Untold competition. How has the experience been for you?

Season 2 of the Stories Untold was the point where I officially stepped into this literary world as an Editor. Roller Coaster is the best word to describe my journey during those days. My main role was that of a project manager. However, later I became an Editor, a job I had never thought of being capable to do. On a minor level, I was already doing it at TAS, but this was different as at Daastan, here I had  to mentor  the aspiring authors.

In my life, my biggest advantage has always been my perseverance. When I decide to do something, I do it. There is no turning back or quitting, I never quit unless something is hurting my self-respect.

So, when Daastan offered me to be an Editor, I said okay, I can try it but expect errors because I am new to this, and the errors did occur, I have learned a lot from them and still am learning. To my surprise, everything worked out well. Three of the four people that I mentored during that season made it to the top six, and the fourth one is an exceptional author, Muhammad Omar Iftikhar, who keeps on exploring various genres, he is also the winner of NaNoWriMo 2017. I am lucky to have been associated with such remarkable talent as Bhaskar Paul, Neeraj Brahmankar, and Abhirun Das.

Here, I would like to thank Aimen Siddiqui, Director Content, Daastan, I have learned a lot from her. I would like to thank Sidra Amin, Co-founder, Daastan, for my professional training. Syed Ommer Amer, Founder, Daastan, is also a great mentor and I am blessed to have these people in my life.

7. When editing manuscripts, what key problems did you realize the aspiring writers were facing?

Talking of the writers from Pakistan, here I will start counting the issues from the root to stem level i.e. from what is wrong within to what is wrong on the outside.

The first and foremost problem is writing for the sake of becoming famous or earning money. I personally believe that one should write because they love it not because they want to earn through it. That “Greater the reward, the best the input” philosophy does not apply here. It is a different world with unpredictable possibilities. Therefore, restricting yourself to a monetary reward is not a good idea.

Second, is overconfidence. It prevents them to absorb criticism down their skin. Therefore, talking of my experience here, I did come across some new writers who were not able to accept any kind of criticism on their manuscripts just because some XYZ friend said they have written a masterpiece. I would like to tell those friends that you are not doing justice with your comrade; you are rather becoming a core reason for their downfall when they step into the real world.

Thirdly, coming to the stem level now. There are good writers who open-heatedly accept criticism but lack professional guidance. Most of the publishing companies have proficient degree holders in literature from foreign universities who lack the sense of commitment to educating. In that case, where should a writer with a brilliant story idea but weak language and grammar skills go? Because, you know, the parameter set here to judge a story is not the story idea, it is rather the language skills.

In a society where to be able to speak English is considered as a massive feat, people who go abroad for studies return to Pakistan and look down upon the locals who have yet to develop their English communication skills. Why cannot they return to Pakistan and educate those who aspire to become better?

It is my request to everyone, especially the literary squad, that instead of demotivating the local talent by pointing their language mistakes, try to figure out how this issue can be resolved. In addition, in the quest to do so, even if a manuscript with a great storyline but with a few errors goes in the market from your hand, never hesitate. This is the same ideology that we are working with at Daastan and The Ancient Souls. A lot of criticism does come our way, but that is okay when the authors are satisfied. We are trying to educate them as best as we can and will continue to do so.

8. As an editor and a mentor, what message will you give to aspiring writers enabling them to become better writers?

Read books, lots of them. Reading is the fuel to a writer’s mind; it will keep your imaginations in constant motion and will let you create brilliant stories. In addition, it will help you improve your language, familiarize you with new words, help understand the tenses and narrative styles in a better way.

Also, make it your habit to learn one new word from the dictionary per day with its meaning in your native language. Install Merriam Webster Dictionary on your smartphone and learn new words on the go.

Make yourself comfortable at rough writing. Do not get into the formalities of editing right at the time when you start writing. First, write what you want and do not let the thought of making mistakes hinder your flow. Once you are done writing, read the whole thing at least 10 times — trust me the new aspects that you will come across are limitless, and after finalizing it from your end, ask at least three people to proofread it for you. For the most productive reviews, look for people outside of your friend circle.

Last and most importantly, open your doors to criticism, be it good or bad, no matter what people throw at you make yourself habitual of grasping something fruitful out of it.

9. Your message to the youth of Pakistan?

Ignite the passion to educate the masses in your hearts, never look down upon anyone, never allow anyone to crush your self-respect, make empathy your greatest tool to deal with any challenge that life puts ahead, don’t promise someone something you cannot do for them, grab the opportunity when it knocks your door — don’t ever think of any job as little no matter how higher a qualification you have achieved. Never stop thinking, creating and trying.

Never quit, remember if you did, 20 years from now, when you will see a friend who despite of failing a hundred times didn’t give up and achieved something big out of sheer hard work, you will hate yourself the most. Quitting in my view is shameful. So, never do anything this shameful in life that in your future it makes you hate yourself, see you are not aware of the day you wake up and all this guilt from the wrong things you have done in your previous life will clasp your throat to suffocate you in all the unwanted ways.

Do what you love, don’t compromise your ambitions, and if you are not able to achieve one thing set a new goal for yourself. Explore, the universe has a lot to offer, you never know which string is bound to be your way towards success.

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Interviews

Sidra Amin: “When you love what you’re doing, you never really get tired!”

Sidra Amin, Co-founder, Peshawar Book Club and Overseer, Young Women Writers’ Forum (YWWF) – Pakistan, talks about her career, passion and various literary activities she happily indulges into in this exclusive interview with MOIWrites

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1. Tell us about yourself?

It is very hard to talk about yourself when it is not being done in metaphors and there’s a word limit. I am just a 22-year-old, trying to impact everyone’s perception of planet earth and earthlings by focusing on empathy and kindness. I talk a lot, and I am very loud when I know I am making sense. I usually smile a lot, and it is not on purpose.

Currently, I am leading Young Women Writers’ Forum, Pakistan which is working to empower women writers in Pakistan. I am also a co-founder at Daastan, an award-winning literary platform working towards promoting and publishing literature. I co-founded Peshawar Bookclub and Words & Metaphors, KP’s first spoken word platform. This seems like a lot of responsibility, however, when you love what you’re doing, you never really get tired. I write and read most of the time. It is what keeps me happy. As a person, I am always cheerful, and always laughing. God is kind to me. Also, I am a healthy food enthusiast but I end up eating cakes and chocolates whenever I am sad.

2. How did the Peshawar Book Club come into existence?

We arranged a Bookay meet up in 2016, and a mutual friend told me he would like to do this more often. One month into it, and I found myself and Sameed, someone I was meeting for the first time, sitting among a book readers talking about “Forty Rules of Love”. This is how the book club came into existence. We did not have a plan, just an agenda of adding value to our meetups. Today, we have come a long way, my co-founders Sameed and Zarak have been the constant force behind the growth of this Book Club. We have arranged 22 book meetups since April 2016. We are just a bunch of people trying to bring some sane thoughts on the table over a cup of tea while the entire world is in chaos.

3. As Co-Founder of the Peshawar Book Club, what are your responsibilities?

My only responsibility is to talk and talk and talk. And trust me, the members hate me for this! I am usually moderating, and trying to get as many book readers on board. Peshawar Book Club is the chilliest place, my safe home, my escape from the everyday mundane routine.

4. You are also Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Daastan? Share your experience of working with this publishing platform?

I am no more the Editor-in-Chief at Daastan. Someone who is way better than me, my mentee Mahnoor Naseer, is now the Editor-in-Chief. I am Director Events now, focusing on managing activities on the ground. I joined Daastan when I was kick-starting my work with non-profit companies. And this was a step-up for me in every capacity, both personal and professional. I was 20, young, and just unaware of what was out there in the big bad world. Daastan was where I encountered things. Ommer, the founder grilled me by making me do things I did not have any experience of completing. He exposed me to work that has helped me learn more about myself. He put his vision and my ideas together to create Qissa– Pakistan’s first online self-publishing platform. My journey with Daastan has been nothing less than an adventure, nights of insomnia, and a lot of happy moments. Daastan gives me a reason to be happy every day.

5. Share your experience of working with Young Women Writers’ Forum (YWWF)- Pakistan?

Let’s accept it, in this society, a woman expressing her thoughts sounds like an oxymoron. When I joined Young Women Writers’ Forum (YWWF) back in 2014, it was just Young Women Writers’ Forum, Peshawar, a sister concern of Pak Women Writers’ forum. The aim of the forum was to empower women writers to voice their thoughts. A few months into joining the forum, I was selected as Press Secretary. We worked really hard, and in 2016, I was selected as Overseer to lead Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore chapters. That was a huge step for me. I was very young, and the presidents of all these chapters were way more experienced than me. YWWF, Pakistan is real work. We are a non-profit, so the work here is really hard. Our team comprises four cabinets, each consisting of different volunteers working day and night to make a positive difference in Pakistan. In my tenure in YWWF, we have arranged over 50 events on the ground all across Pakistan, including nationwide story writing competitions, international mentorship programs, and national and international mushairas. We have a huge network of women writers. And the forum is nothing less than a blessing for me because I can start all my initiatives here as all the four cabinets are extremely strong, and the writers in each cabinet are very passionate.

6. You were awarded the “Innovative Initiative” award at the Innovative Youth Awards 2017. Tell us about this achievement and for what project were you given this accolade for?

“Innovative Initiative” award was a surprise. I did not know I was nominated by my co-founder and my mentor Syed Ommer Amer. God is kind and always blesses us with the best. We need to keep moving forward.

7. Your future plans?

I do not plan my future. I have never done that. I just make impulsive decisions based on facts and figures and usually they fall in place. I do not say it is a good approach, but this is just how I am. I do not have any future plans for now. I am just going with the flow.

8. You earned a degree in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering from the University of Engineering And Technology, Peshawar but your heart is in writing and reading. How do you manage to work in these two distinct fields?

I did NOT want this question here! LOL I think when you know where your heart is, it is easy to work. Earning a degree in Mechatronics was a passion, and Alhamdulillah, I have been able to put that dream into reality. Writing and reading cannot parallel it as they are a part of me. There is no competition between the two even though at every stage of my life, I have been made to feel there is. Both are equally important. I love automation. I love working in the field. And if God wills, someday I might pursue a career there.

9. As Editor-in-Chief of Daastan, what do you think are your top 5 picks of short stories submitted by writers to the three editions of “Stories Untold” competition?

I will be very honest, I only read the stories of season 3. And I absolutely loved every one of them. We had over 50 stories, I believe. And so many of them had potential. If I had to pick 5, I would go with these:

1. Memoir of a Lost Odyssey by Bhaskar Paul
2. True Justice by Naveed Shehryar
3. The Mirror Trials by Rachel Kallembach
4. Kingdom of Derya: Aitmaad and the Clan of Seven by Muhammad Omar Iftikhar
5. The Mulberry Murders by Abhirun Das

10. Your message ton aspiring writers?

Two things keep me going in life.

1. Write every day. No matter how bad you write, do not stop writing, and never let anyone stop you from doing so. Writing every day only improves your skills, even if you are just writing about your daily experiences in your diary.
2. God and the universe always rewards you for your hard work. If not in the ways you want, then in ways you can never imagine. Keep working, keep taking baby steps, and see how good things will come your way.

 

 

Interviews, Uncategorized

Irum Zahra: Aspiring to become Pakistan’s biggest publicist!

“Literature will make us Immortal. As long as there is one person out in the world who reads your work, that is reason enough for you to write!”

Irum Zahra, Founder and CEO, Beyond Sanity Publishing
talks to MOIWrites in this exclusive interview

Image: facebook.com/irumzahrawriter

1. Briefly tell us about your life and education?
My life and education truly began when I started going to ICG, F-6/2 in Islamabad. The teachers there taught me how to love books, the libraries made me read and indulge myself in stories I had never imagined existed, and my family, my sister and my mother taught me how to be strong. I come from a broken family, my mother raised me and my sister as a single parent and we learnt how to survive in this world without a brother or a father figure. I managed to complete my bachelors and masters privately because I had already started multiple jobs while I was studying. I did not let that hinder my capabilities, I studied online, I attended seminars and trainings, and I got diplomas, all to allow me to see where I lacked as a private student. By the time I started my Masters in Mass Communication, I realized that I already had the knowledge the university was imparting.

2. What is the story behind Beyond Sanity Publishing?
It is a small story really, but the effort that I put into it has taken so many twists and turns that I myself have lost count of them. I wanted to get my own book published and after I compiled my first poetry book, Psychaotic, I started looking for publishers who would invest in me, help me understand how publishing works, how I can edit, format, market and distribute the book, but I was turned away. I was told that if no one knows my name, they will not publish my work, they said, ‘We don’t spend time and money on someone young and new’. And I was heartbroken. I started Beyond Sanity Publishing so no one tells other writers like me that they are worth nothing. I wanted to stand by the writers, the poets, and the artists and tell them that they are worth it. If we will not help our writers, who will?

Image:facebook.com/irumzahrawriter

3. What challenges did you face when establishing Beyond Sanity Publishing?
Well, a lot. First off, no one was taking me seriously. A 24-year-old girl talking about publishing? It sounded ridiculous to people. Gradually, when I started speaking on public platforms, I started visiting universities like Bahria, FAST, IQRA, IST, etc. and when I started delivering guest speaker sessions I convinced people that a woman can stand and speak about work and is capable of doing more. I could not find anyone to finance my initiative, I started alone and all I had were friends. They became my helping hands in bringing Beyond Sanity Publishing up. People still crack jokes about me being a publicist, but I take it as a challenge and every day, I wake up and I tell myself that I have to become someone. And I’m on the right track.

Image: facebook.com/BeyondSanityPublishing/

4. Which titles/authors has Beyond Sanity Publishing published so far?
Beyond Sanity Publishing has published works of over 300 writers across the globe on its website, but in Paperback, we have following titles in store:

The Youth of Pakistan by Hafiza Noor-ul-Ain, Pychaotic by Irum Zahra, Tales of Crucified Blunt by Areesh Fatmee, Eliminating Riba by Summan Waseem, Five wishes and the prophecy of the Prince by Faran Kiani, Reneging Quiescence by Dr. Samiha Zubair
Little Buddy by Sarmad Ishtiaq and In the Mirror by Sarah Samin

We have 3 more titles coming, including my own collection of poetry, Invictus.

5. At what age did you realize you could become a writer?
I was in 6th grade. I was good at making stories in English class and I was able to better connect with the poetry in our books. I used to go to the library a lot, like, a lot. My library card was filled, because I used to borrow books all the time. That really helped me finding my inner writer.

6. What was your debut book and what achievements did it earn?
My debut book was a collection of poetry, called Psychaotic. It was a word play of two words, Psycho and Chaotic. I managed to delve into my own self and see how society, life and everything else around shapes you into the human you are. It had over a hundred poems and it sold over 2,000 copies worldwide including paperback and e-book formats. It was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards and my book managed to become the only Pakistani book to get into the semi-finals of Best Poetry Book category. I was really proud of these achievements. I still am. That book made me who I am today, it changed my life.

Because of Psychaotic, I was invited to many poetry related events as a guest, I was a judge at many universities and I was allowed to speak on public platforms which in turn connected me to so many friends I didn’t know I have. Psychaotic was appreciated in many countries including the US, UK, India, Algeria, Malaysia and I even got an appreciation note from Russia. It was used in two university case studies in the US as well.

What else, oh yes. One of the poems was turned into a song by a recent Battle of the Bands’ top 8 band, Roots. I think there is more that happened to the book, I just cannot recall at the moment.

7. What are your favorite books by Pakistani authors?
Pakistani author- Hmmmmm. ‘Asrar-e-Khudi’ by Dr. Allama M. Iqbal. Flawless book I must say, it is absolutely indulging and every time I read it, I feel like I am reading it for the first time. I am a fan of classics. I can read Manto anytime, I love reading Poetry by Faraz, Faiz and in new writers, and I enjoyed reading Beyond Desire by Asghar Abbas, I loved In the Mirror by Sarah, I published it because I personally liked it.

8. Which Western author(s) tops your reading list?
Ah, Nietzsche tops my reading list. I enjoy reading Kafka, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan etc. I am a fan of Dan Brown books as well.

9. What is the purpose of your writing? 
Writing is my anchor against the hurt. I have been through depression, I have been sad and broken, but every time I was feeling like the world is going down with me in it, I wrote. I wrote to fill all the hollow spaces in my soul and I wrote to recreate all the scars I had and have.

10. How would you define Irum Zahra in a sentence?
When I introduce myself, I do not tell people about me being a publicist first. I am a poet, I tell them. I am a poet and I help other poets. In my world, Poetry saves everything, in my world, Literature will make me Immortal.

11. What are your plans? 
My plans, other than taking over the world? I want to become one of Pakistan’s biggest publicists. I want to represent authors, artists, musicians, performance artists etc. I want the world to know that ours is a country made of philosophers, painters, musicians, dancers, thinkers, readers and poets. My campaign Literature for Peace will bring many poets in the spotlight and I am expecting to see many new stories.

12. Your message for aspiring writers of Pakistan?
Literature will make us Immortal. As long as there is one person out in the world who reads your work, that is reason enough for you to write!

For more information about Beyond Sanity Publishing:
www.facebook.com/BeyondSanityPublishing/

Connect with Irum Zahra:
http://www.facebook.com/irumzahrawriter

 

News and Happenings

Daastan: Spearheading Pakistan’s literary revolution; one book at a time!

It is an admirable example of teamwork at Daastan, with the Board of Directors working in unision with the Editors, Creative Team and the Marketeers, in providing a platform for authors to showcase their work to the world, while also facilitating Daastan in achieving its vision and mission of touching literary excellence.

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What do you get when you combine vision to begin a literary journey, the mission to provide aspiring writers with opportunities to get published and an idea to create an online self-publishing platform that can also monetize the author’s work? You get Daastan, the literary revolution that began in 2015 by Syed Ommer Amer. He was fortunate to have the company of like-minded friends, including Nauman Shahid, Managing Editor, Daastan, who shared and owned his vision and mission of bringing a literary revolution in Pakistan.

What Ommer and his team of literary activists began from their humble origins is reaching new heights and touching milestones which they would not even have imagined at the time of Daastan’s inception. Now that this platform is a reality, more writers are having their work published through Daastan’s MeraQissa initiative.

Daastan has been holding it’s The Stories Untold – theme-based story writing competitions. Three such events have been held so far. The theme for The Stories Untold – 1 was Imperfect Perfections; the theme for The Stories Untold – 2 addressed issues of Youth Radicalization and their affect on society. However, the recently concluded, The Stories Untold – 3 competition, invited stories based on magic.

Fortunately, I have been part of all three editions of The Stories Untold competitions as an author and I must say the qualities of stories, as I guessed from their blurbs, have been increasing with each competition. Moreover,  the cover designs of these stories, which are designed in-house by Daastan’s amazing team of designers, have evolved in terms of aesthetic sense and detailing to highlights that must be part of each book’s cover. The editors of both English and Urdu, including Aimen Siddiqui, Sidra Amin, Safwa Mir, Zahra Akbar, Bushra Mustafa and Tehreem Hassan, have been working deligently with authors in improving their stories’ writing expression and style. It is a teamwork at Daastan with the Board of Directors working in unision with the Editors, Creative Team and the Marketeers to provide a platform for authors to showcase their work to the world while also facilitating Daastan in achieving its vision and mission of touching literary excellence. Many media outlets have covered Daastan’s rise to glory. Dawn.com posted an exclusive, detailed story on Daastan. I personally want to congratulate the entire team at Daastan for moving forward with their vision and on holding their third consecutive The Stories Untold competition.

Apart from Ommer and Nauman, Daastan’s team includes the following members, as per the details available on Daastan’s website:

Board of Directors 1

Board of Editors 1

Board of Creatives 1

Board of Marketeers

Muhammad Omar Iftikhar is a Karachi-based columnist, author, short story writer and blogger at Express Tribune Blogs. He has over 300 articles publsihed to his name in leading English-language newspapers and magazines of Pakistan including Dawn, The News, Daily Times, Pakistan Observer, Frontier Post and South Asia Magazine. He has been a three-time finalist at Daastan’s The Stories Untold – Nationwide Story Writing Competition. For more info: www.facebook.com/moiwrites