Daily life

A new direction for Najmah Writes

Hey hey!

It’s a quick update but firstly, I’m extremely sorry that I have been away for months and I know no amount of excuses can cover it. But I have some very exciting news to share with all of you.

After months of contemplating, I’m so so happy to announce that my blog is now . . . najmahwrites.com. 🙂

Najmah Writes
najmahwrites.com

Don’t ask me why Najmah Writes…(cos I know, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing in the last few months), but to be honest that was the only one that stuck out from the rest!

Anyway, keep a look out as there will many changes coming in the next few weeks which I’m pretty psyched about. Leave your comments, feedback on the new site, I would love to read them.

Thank you!

Najmah

Daily life

The year that was 2013…

Hey hey!

Bye bye 2013, Welcome 2014!

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas but in a few short hours we’ll all be saying goodbye to 2013 and welcome to 2014!

Personally for me, this past year has whizzed by. It feels like yesterday when I was stressing over my dissertation, literally worrying myself sick whether it would EVER get finished on time? Now I have graduated, which still seems unreal to me sometimes. One promise I have made to myself, is that travelling will definitely be on the agenda next year; either in the UK or going abroad.

Graduation, like for many other graduates was a huge deal for me, it meant I would now be known as a qualified journalist.

Graduation 2013As the event was taking place in the evening, I remember taking all morning to get ready. So while hobbling on my heels, being constantly irritated by the robes and hoping I wouldn’t become the laughing stock of the ceremony by tripping or falling over, especially in front of my family and friends. I finally graduated. Then with the endless clapping it was over, like a blink of an eye. It was quite emotional at the time; as I was taking away four years of memories with me but I wouldn’t change anything for the world

Over the summer I worked on the Crimestoppers Cycle Theft Campaign with a group of Criminology students; we organised a event where we gave out information to prevent cycles from being stolen in the Peterborough area. I took the PR role of the team. I wrote press releases for the event, became active on social media wesbites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word, which received good response. We ended up winning the ‘Crimestopper of the Month’ award, which was awesome!

All in all this year has definitely been great. Here’s hoping that 2014 will bring more opportunities and in general be bigger and better.

I’ll be spending the last day of 2013 with my family, it certainly beats being out in the cold!

So long 2013, you were great. Bring on 2014, I’m ready…:)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Najmah

Uncategorized

A much needed update!

Hey hey!

Incase I haven’t highlighted it before, I’ve added my LinkedIn Profile page where you can find my profile, which I use for my professional networking.

I’ve recently updated the about me page Najmah Bibi, where you can find out alot more about me, my hobbies, interests, etc. So take a look and any feedback would as always be appreciated!

Najmah

Old News, Photojournalism, University

Blast from the past: Photojournalism portraits

Hey hey!

As I discovered this morning, I had a little too much time on my hands and with that the surfing through old photos albums on Facebook began. Moments later I came across my photojournalism portraits for uni which I hadn’t seen in ages and I thought why not publish them on my blog – seems like a reasonable idea, as that is what my blog is here for; to showcase my skills.

To emulate a photographer’s work was the task.

Yusuf KarshI chose Yusuf Karsh as I loved his portraits as they were unique and different from the others. Karsh was a master in the use of studio lights and he liked to show a more human side to people via his photos. As Karsh wrote of his own work in Karsh Portfolio in 1967,

“Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world.”

To be honest, I only discovered his work through this module and I’m glad I did.

Yusuf Karsh (1908-2002) was born in Armenia, he moved to Canada at the age of 14 to live with his uncle George Nakash who was a photographer himself. He started off assisting his uncle in his studio and as he showed great talent into photography, Karsh was sent to study as an apprentice for John H. Garo – an eminent portrait photographer. He then went on open his own studio in 1932, Ottawa and rest is history.

From then on, he photographed some of the most famous people in history, from royalty, actors to politicians. To name a few – Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, Mother Teresa, Marilyn Monroe and many more.

Betty Low
Betty Low

From Karsh’s collection, this is my favourite portrait.

“I photographed this rising young ballerina and actress at the beginning of her prestigious career. She went on to dance in the renowned de Basil’s Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and later acted in numerous productions on the New York stage. Today, she still pursues an active career in New York. In a recent letter, she recalled for me how I improvised her turban from the window curtains, which I tore down and draped around her head and shoulders.”| Yousuf Karsh

Two of my friends kindly agreed to model for me, at the time I thought it wouldn’t take that long but going by the amount of shots which came out duds, it took ages. So I will be eternally grateful to them for that. Being it was the first time I was doing any sort of professional studio photography; all in all I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would love to do some more work in this field – perhaps a fashion magazine.

These are the three photos I had a go at emulating and which I handed in as my final photos.

 

Audrey Hepburn Emulation
Audrey Hepburn Emulation

Brigitte Bardot Emulation
Brigitte Bardot Emulation

Grace Kelly Emulation
Grace Kelly Emulation

Finally after some 20 attempts I have added all the photos in, *fingers crossed* it comes out right this time.

So anyway I hope you guys have enjoyed this side post. I’ll be back soon with another post, until then!

Najmah

Daily life, Festive, Religion, Uncategorized

Ramadan Mubarak!

Hey hey!

It’s my second day of fasting today and I want to wish all Muslims reading this – Ramadan Mubarak.

Ramadan Mubarak

For all the non-Muslim readers; Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which all Muslims fast – from sunrise to sunset. As Ramadan is one of the five ‘pillars’ of Islam, those, who are physically able are required to fast each day for the entire month. Fasting helps teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. It reminds them of the harsh reality of some poverty-stricken families around the world, who go through this on a daily basis. During Ramadan, Muslims say prayers from The Holy Book Qur’an and they have to refrain from distractions and negative habits.

I find the initial days of fasting hard, as it takes time getting used to the long hours; currently I’m fasting from 3:10am to 9:30pm. However, in the next few days I’ll try to update you all with an in-depth post on Ramadan. So until then!

Signing off…

Najmah

Crimestoppers, PR

Crimestoppers Cycle Theft Campaign

Crimestoppers

Hey hey!

As I stated in my previous post, I’m currently volunteering with the charity Crimestoppers, which is the UK’s only independent crime fighting charity and this year they are marking 25 years of fighting crime.

Working on an ad-hoc basis, I write media appeals to raise awareness of crime in the Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) area. Alongside this, a group of us are working on the Cycle Theft Campaign, in which we are trying to prevent cycles from being stolen.

There are two aspects to the campaign:

1) The prevention of cycle theft – what you can do to prevent cycle,

2) Encouraging the reporting of cycle theft:  How to encourage people to report cycle theft.

The main message that needs to be put across is anonymity – that people can give information to Crimestoppers on cycle theft anonymously, and that there are two ways they can do this, one via the Crimestoppers website and two, ringing there 0800 number. People can also claim rewards, up to £1,000 if the information given leads to one or more people being arrested and charged.

So we had a meeting on July 5 and as the campaign is still in its planning stages, this will be a short update – don’t want you guys getting bored.

Overview:

Bicycle theft is seen as a common problem internationally. Generally it refers to the theft of the entire bike however, this can include component parts and accessories being stolen. Statistics in 2012, have shown that the cycle thefts in Peterborough peak between the months of July – Oct, where people are out and about. Research shows that offenders tend to target cycles in public settings; particularly schools, university campuses and transport hubs as they have a regular supply of unguarded bicycles.

My role:

My role in mainly dealing with the PR/media side of it such as writing press releases, news articles and features for the local newspaper and magazines. I can’t wait to get started!

Anyway I’ll update again on this as the campaign moves into its next phase, however at the moment it’s just getting in contact with the right people who can help get the message across.

So until next time, adiós!

Najmah

If you want more on the charity Crimestoppers, visit: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

Follow them on Twitter: @CrimestoppersUK

Crimestoppers, Job hunt, University, Work experience

On completing uni and more…

Summer is here
Summer is here

Hey hey! 🙂

Summer is finally here! But if the British weather is anything to go by, I’d enjoy it while it lasts!

I hope you’re all are fine and well! I am still alive and kicking and it’s nice to be back on the blogging scene. The reason I’ve been missing is that after writing a 10,000 word dissertation, I’ve lacked motivation to write anything at all and with uni ending I wanted to take a break which went on longer than I expected.

I had planned to write this post last week, however with me being on work experience at Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper it got delayed, anyway better late than never.

So now after four years of stressing out over exams and essays, I’ve completed uni and now I can finally say I’m a qualified journalist with Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a 2:1 in Journalism.

Now that uni has end what’s next?

Rutland and Stamford Mercury Newspaper

In terms of work experience, as mentioned before I was at Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper last week where I had a great time, I remember arriving at the office feeling nervous and excited at the same time. However, the best thing was I wasn’t sitting there fiddling my thumbs for long – I was immediately given work, so in no time I was questioning people over the phone for quotes and comments. I even got a chance to interview people face-to-face regarding the National Care Home Open Day which was rather cool if I say so myself – I felt like a actual news reporter then. In the end, I was fortunate to write several articles even though only two made it into the actual newspaper – I believe it is the experience that counts.

While I was on work experience, I also received my result for my dissertation and it turned out I got 68%, which is a B. I admit I was a little disappointed at first because I was only two marks off a first and I had put so much hard work into it. This only lasted a few minutes because I was way too happy with finishing uni. YAY!!

The Job Hunt

To be honest, over the past few weeks I have been quite lost and alittle worried about the future, as the dreaded job search has begun and so has the process of staying up till 2AM to fill in endless applications, but I don’t mind it as I know it’ll be all worth it in end. While I have been job searching, some websites have been useful, some more than others – Twitter has been really useful for me and I totally recommend anyone  on the job hunt to make use of it! Now my everyday routine includes looking for journalism jobs on the internet in either newspapers, magazines or online – I don’t want to be picky at the moment although I’m still trying to steer clear of some editorial assistant jobs as I have heard they’ll have you do all admin duties except writing. I’m still staying positive because it’s easy to give up when you get demotivated, say I can’t do it, I’ll never get a job in journalism – but you got to keep trying. That’s my motto anyway.

Crimestoppers

Crimestoppers
Crimestoppers

Moving on to a different note, I’m currently writing press releases for the charity Crimestoppers to raise awareness for specific crimes in the Cambridgeshire area which should help in getting people to report on crimes and in return catch more offenders. Apart from that, I’m going to be working on a Cycle Theft Campaign with them and other students – but that’s all I know at the moment, however I have a meeting on July 5 where everything should be explained. I think I’ll write another post about that.

Finally on a general note, I’m thinking about changing my blog title to make it more journalism orientated, currently it’s just faltering with History Starts Now so need a more permanent title. Any suggestions are welcome – so go on, leave a comment and I’ll meet you guys in my next post!

Najmah

Uncategorized, University

The reality of the 10,000 words dissertation looms…

Hey hey!

As the title suggests this post is dedicated to the mammoth 10,000 word dissertation I have to do this semester; it’s based on victims from ‘troubled’ backgrounds who don’t seem to be have a voice in the media. So what led me to do my dissertation on this subject?

Well, it was the whole Jimmy Savile case that got me interested into finding out more. When I first heard about it in the news, it just riled me up. An individual who became so powerful that he/she could do anything and get away with it – like Savile who thought of himself as being ‘untouchable’ and he was able to prey on 450 victims. The victims being from ‘troubled’ backgrounds were not believed by the media or the police even though it was said to be an open secret.

However researching further into this subject I discovered several other cases such as the Rochdale abuse case and the Oxford child rape case, where the victims were runaways from care homes. So seeing all this, I believe there is an issue and decided to write about it.

The reading that will go into this dissertation will be humongous, including the surveys/questionnaires and the people I have to contact. So the next few months, I can say I won’t be having any sort of social life – just books and my laptop to keep me company. Reality has definitely set in for me!

Najmah

Uncategorized

It’s 2013…and has snow come already?

Hey hey!

Happy Belated New Year everyone! So this is officially my first blog entry in 2013, 🙂 as for resolutions I have not kept any for this year – because to be honest I cannot keep them; I have tried and failed. Now for once trying something new!

Moving on, over the last few days a white blanket has covered England which has been playing on everyone’s mind and on the news quite alot; this has caused inconveniences for many people, through traffic and the transport. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s snow! Yes, it has snowed, the temperatures have dropped around most parts in the UK but I love it because I know it’ll be gone in a few days and won’t be seen again for a year or so. The best thing is that it’s my birthday on the 24th January, and usually it’s raining but not this year I’m happy to say, although slipping on the snow is not something I’m looking forward to. So thank god, Uni has not started yet.

Najmah

Snow!
It’s Snowing!