Last week I attended Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Women in the World event. There were quite a few panels about India and Pakistan, and a lot of talk generally about women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)–all topics close to my heart. I was particularly touched by “Divya,” the Delhi rape victim whose trial awaits hearing in the High Court, and two of Malala’s peers who are fighting with equal courage for girls education in Pakistan (pictured above).
April 10th, 2013 · No Comments
March 17th, 2013 · No Comments
At UN Peacekeeping, I’ve been busy these past months preparing for our Women and Peacekeeping digital campaign, which is now coming to a close. Here is an excerpt of a piece I wrote for International Women’s Day which went up on the Witness.org blog, entitled “Behind the Scenes of UN Peacekeeping’s “Women and Peacekeeping” Video“:
Other United Nations videos on the theme of gender and peacekeeping in previous years mostly took an interview format, so this was an opportunity to try something different. After discovering that a colleague had a previous career in filmmaking, we teamed up with our graphic designer and set out in a new direction.
Digital media tends to be looked at as less useful to peacekeeping missions that are charged with communicating their mandates to local populations with very limited Internet access. However, there is global political, public and media interest in peacekeeping and we need to be able to share our work in the field with those who follow it from overseas. We hope that with videos like this one, we could channel the power of this medium.
What do you think of the video?
January 27th, 2013 · No Comments
One of my first big projects while at UN Peacekeeping was the 2012 Year in Review digital campaign, which consisted mostly of creating and promoting the above timeline (click the image or here to see the real thing). Please scroll through and have a look at the many activities of 2012 where UN Peacekeeping contributed to stabilizing countries after conflict.
January 14th, 2013 · No Comments
Wishing you all the best in the coming year!
It’s hard to believe I’ve been back in the US for a year and a half already! I’m starting to feel like a real New Yorker, for better or worse. I’ve recently started working as a digital media coordinator at UN Peacekeeping, and before that had a stint at UNICEF. I’m also still involved with communications projects in India, and one in Haiti. I’m always looking for new ones, so if you have one in mind, please let me know. In addition to my blog, I’ve begun a creative nonfiction writing project and I’m hoping for continued progress with it.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank those of you who were there to answer questions or provide support during this past year. It was greatly appreciated!
December 16th, 2012 · No Comments
My writer friend Katherine Jenkins tagged me to participate in the Next Big Thing online event. The Next Big Thing is a way for authors and bloggers to share the news about their most exciting upcoming projects. Katherine is the author of Lessons from the Monk I Married, about her 15-year journey with her husband, a former Korean Buddhist monk. The book is part memoir, part spiritual guide, part travelogue and was nominated for a Pacific Northwest Book Award. Katherine also blogs daily lessons and tidbits about life. Katherine and her husband conduct yoga/writing retreats and their next one will be in Kona, Hawaii, March 20-26.
Here are my answers to the questions about my Next Big Thing:
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The year after I came back from teaching in France, and was trying to adjust to life in New York, many issues began to surface that I wanted to write about. After I’d gone to India and had been there for over a year, the urge to write about my struggles and adventures resurfaced.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Natalie Portman as moi, Imran Khan as my husband.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully an agency. Too early to tell.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
“Eat, Prey, Love” is the closest thing I can come up with. Whatever people may say about it, I found it entertaining! I also just read “How to be a Woman” and think I will touch on some of the same themes that Moran does.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
While in India, I experienced chronic health problems that forced me to look closely at my life, and want to share about it. I didn’t have the confidence or energy to attempt much at the time, but now that I have lived through more and the story has developed, I’ve become a more dedicated writer.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Besides the allure of living and traveling abroad, I’ll deal with deeper issues of identity, spirituality and a desire to remain rooted through community. I will touch on many aspects of modern life, from technology and social media, to timeless ones like sickness and health, love and relationships.
I’m passing on the torch on to Alicia Trotman, a member of my Queens writing workshop. Alicia is native to Trinidad and Tobago and resident of the United States. She an educator (doctorally certified) and a tea-ologist (art and science of tea). Her work revolves around researching and deconstructing difference and findings ways in which stories can be used as an advocacy tool to validate the abilities of students and teachers characterized with ‘disabilities’. Currently, her writing is based on her dissertation work, examining the function of the stories told by an elementary science teacher in a classroom that includes students with special and general educational needs. She blogs at http://edutrotea.edublogs.org/.