Maha Kamal is an undergraduate student at Boston University. Writing is one of her biggest passions. She tweets @emeskay and blogs on mahakamal.wordpress.com
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
I’m a journalism and international relations student at Boston University. I first started a blog as a personal diary, to recount all my experiences as I traveled from my hometown Islamabad to the United States for education. It was a great way to keep my family and friends updated with all that was going on with my life. But writing is a bug that’s insatiable once you start, so my blog slowly grew into more than just a diary and now I blog about everything from politics to movies to life experiences in general.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
I’d say the friends I’ve made in my blogging journey make up my memorable experiences. It’s wonderful how a few words can have such an impact on your life. It never ceases to amaze me to find like-minded people who appreciate love and beauty in this world.
If you had to describe life as a blogger in a Twitter message (140 characters) what would you say?
Blogging can be an enriching way to get your thoughts heard in an ocean of opinions. Viva #blogosphere.
What do you think sets your site apart from others?
I think my writing style is very different from a lot of bloggers out there. Since my primary focus of writing has always been friends and family, my posts are a lot more candid and personal than those meant for a larger audience.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
Love of reading, or if you had to put it in one word bibliophilia.
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
I’ve been blessed with a lot of happiness in life, so I can’t recall one superlative moment. However, most recently, I had the opportunity to teach paper writing to 12-17 year olds, and transferring my passion of writing to a classroom of eager students was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Saddest, when my grandmother passed away.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it?s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?
What is your favorite book and why?
It’s hard to define one book as your favorite. I love all of Jane Austen’s works. Great Gatsby was one of my favorite reads in school. And of course, Harry Potter shaped my childhood. But Gone with the Wind had the most impact on me with it’s vibrant characters, idyllic Southern setting and of course quotes like “be different and be damned” that make it seem like a manual for life.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
While your primary focus when blogging should be your quality of writing, finance may also come into play. I haven’t had much experience with the financial aspect of blogging, but if you advertise it well on blog aggregating websites like teabreak.pk, and get ads from *adsense,* blogging may turn out to be a lucrative business.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?
Good writing can have a powerful impact. If you spread a message of love and peace through your words, and are kind to strangers through simple words, this world can become a better place. Clichéd now, but it’s really about being the change you want to see in the world.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
- Mehreen Kasana
- Five Rupees
- Zainab Khawaja
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
I recently blogged about the nature of model UN in Pakistan, and things that need to change. I’m passionate about conflict resolution, and so the post was a candid narration of my thoughts and it received a powerful reaction from everyone familiar with MUN
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
Haha “stunned” would be an exaggeration, but I definitely appreciate Mehreen Kasana’s brilliant doodles on everything in life.
What is the future of blogging?
The future of journalism seems to be shifting to blogging, so in coming years while there will be a mushroom growth in number, the industry will become very competitive in terms of quality and making your name out there, and you can already see this phenomenon in action.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
Blogging hasn’t had too big of an impact on my professional life. However, having an outlet for my personal thoughts and experiences has definitely enriched my personal life.
What are your future plans?
In the future I wish to right more in the field of journalism, so bigger and better ^_^.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Be yourself and live your life with confidence and sincerity. Like Howard Thurman said”Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”