Noor Unnahar is a Pakistani writer and vlogger. Her accent, way of writing and hijab are easily spot on among a crowd. I was lucky enough to be able to interview her and know more about who she is and what made her who she is today. Here is how the interview went:
Okay, first of all, I would like to know more about your background. Where did you grow up and how was this an influence over your poems, blogs and videos?
I was born and raised in Karachi but moved to Thatta and have been living there. There are basically no similarities between these two cities, which gave me a lot of room to explore their differences and how life worked differently in both cities. If Karachi gave me ocean and skyscrapers to write poetry about, Thatta gave me pink skies and beautiful landscapes to experiment photography. Living between two cities is quite a difficult thing in general; your heart couldn’t be familiar with a stark sense of belonging. You carry that emptiness everywhere with you. This is what gave me a lot of stories to shape, mold into words or turned them in videos.
When did you start writing poems, making videos and writing blog posts and why are you still doing that all at once?
It all goes back in 6th grade when I got my first laptop and a dial-up connection. We used to get an hour of internet at home and to put this hour to best use, I started blogging. It was because of my blog that I indulged in social media channels to grow it. When you’re a content creator on social media, it’s too hard to limit yourself to one thing. I started my youtube channel in the same way. I have been writing poetry for years now, so when I merged it with blogging, YouTube and other social media, the response I got was overwhelming. It kept growing and here we are today!!!!
Where do you usually get your inspiration from?
It always comes from the most unexpected places. I was once hanging out in Mc’Donalds with my twin sister Areeba and her best friend. It was located on a very busy road of Karachi and one could see the busy road, shopping malls, and many parked cars from where we were sitting. Just being there, seeing the raw, unfiltered Karachi filled me with nostalgia. I had my notebook and pen with me so I started scribbling words and ended up writing a whole poetry piece. My main inspirations are cities, life events, culture, religion, people, and nature.
Seeing as you wear the hijab, are you ever faced with Islamophobic comments, if yes, how do you react to them?
Nope. Fortunately, I have never faced Islamophobic comments online. There are negative comments (yes) but they’re never about my religion and lifestyle. I tend to ignore them all. Negative comments leave a very wrecking effect and it’s very necessary to not let them take over your soul.
Your twin sister also makes youtube videos, how similar would you say that you two are? In general, how is life as a *talented* twin, both of you?
We’re totally opposite when it comes to our work, in both writing and making videos. Areeba is more of a visual-based artist, focused on illustrations, making journals with strong visuals including photos and a lot of Zayn Malik. Whereas I am more of a poet in almost everything; youtube, instagramming, art journaling. I consider us a creative duo who has each other’s back. Areeba and I review content for each other, do photography and share tips to help the other one present their best. All of the poetry that goes up on my accounts is always Areeba-approved and her journals and illustration ideas are first met by me before they are posted for the world to see. She is my support system and the most loyal fan *chuckles*.
What are your tips for aspiring poets, vloggers or bloggers?
PLEASE START MAKING AND POSTING WHATEVER YOU WANT TO. Break that wall of self-doubt. There might be a thousand other content creators out there but it should not stop you from bringing your unique voice to this industry. The key is to start, improve, post and repeat. Go for it!
On behalf of Affinity, I would like to thank her for this amazing interview and positive vibes! Sincerely from one of your fans, Noor. You can also find her on Twitter (@Noor_Unnahar).