Updated: Mar 22
Writing is like charity. Sometimes you give away things that you could very well do without and sometimes you give away a part of you that you have been holding inside yourself, just because you know it will make a real difference in someone else´s life. And when you do that, like charity, writing becomes both transformative and liberating.
Ain Faa (the Arabic letters for the "A" and "F" sounds) is a pseudonym for this blog because I wear many hats and like to view the world through multiple lenses. I am a full-time working mom, living in Norway since the last seven years now. My mother often tells me I used to scribble waves on the wall of of our childhood apartment, and that drove her crazy. I have no such memory. But I do recall the palm sized paper booklets I stapled together as a child, with pencil waves scribbled on all the pages. Those were my first books, authored by me, and I have a vague memory of carrying them around.
My writing journey
“When I received my first engineering scholarship I decided to buy myself a permanent memory, a blue diary with a purple apple on it. Little did I know at that time that the apple image would be associated with anything other than a fruit.”
I wasn´t a writer in the times up to the point I reached my A’Levels, and even if I was it never struck me. You had to be a doctor or an engineer or a scientist first. Everything else came later. But the night before my Physics A’Levels exams I found myself writing my first poem. And I put aside my Physics prep to polish the words that flew on paper. The happiness and pleasure of craft caught me in that moment. When I received my first engineering scholarship I decided to buy myself a permanent memory, a blue diary with a purple apple on it. Little did I know at that time that the apple image would be associated with anything other than a fruit.
This diary became my story journal, and I wrote my first book on those pages with pen. It took a good four years to complete it, and two full diaries to reach the end, and so I moved out from university into the professional life and a year later got married, three years later my first baby arrived. Life happened and my writing disappeared, taking away a lot of passion from everyday life.
A few years later my second daughter arrived, and that´s when my lenses started changing. Something happened in those years, that made me understand life as a temporary journey that must be lived with joy and fulfillment. I started seeing the world from the eyes of young curious observants, and that´s when writing crawled back into my life.
We moved to Norway soon after and I got back on the book I had started 19 years ago. I edited it, rewrote it, wrote it again and rewrote it. I wrote in the lonely Norwegian afternoons while my kids slept and in the early hours of the morning, and that would be 4am to be exact. I´m a Muslim and I wake up for the dawn prayers. My prayers kept my writing alive as my kids slept.
I have eclectic interests. I love researching about the Pakhtuns and writing about them because I am a native Pakhtun that grew up in a culturally aware family of Pakhtuns. After struggling as a working mom in Pakistan, I have been given the luxury of raising my children in Norway, one of the best countries for raising children. I see Norway in the light of a comparative contrast with Pakistan, my home country, and I feel immense gratitude. As I raise my children, I raise myself, through all the new things I learn about this country and its culture. It is these experiences I want to share through my writing.
In my own personal online folders I have saved writings about my experiences with people, especially in the workplace. Like everywhere else in the world, power struggles exist. We need to rise above them. Perhaps in my experiences there will be lessons for others. I am too much of an optimist for an unhappy ending. Even failure must be celebrated.