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I, Naima Bilal Minhas, work as Assistant Professor at Balochistan University of Information

Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta,. I have authored am

the author of Balochistan’s first short- story collection Takatu Nights & Other Stories in English Formatted: Font: Not Italic
language that established its abode at Digital digital podium. I at present am Currently, I teach
Pakistan’s only teacher on Digital Humanities—the only course of its kind taught in Pakistan. I Commented [aa1]: Are you sure on this (100 percent),
am Assistant Professor at Balochistan University of IT, Engineering and Management Sciences. else remove this statement.

In addition, I also My other teaching interests areteach Pakistani Literature in English and
conducting workshops on Creative Writing. My future plan is to earn a PhD in creative writing
and Through scoring a Full Bright scholarship for PhD in Creative Writing, I intend to design a
curriculum for BS in Creative Writing in Balochistan. introduce incorporate creative writing
curriculum at all education levels in Pakistan.
My story telling journey sprang out from the urge of a toddler’s curiosity to find solutions to
phenomenon around her. I would create stories from what I saw around me Earliest audience,
siblings, exchangedand narrate to my siblings at bed time so they would allow me to sleep in the
middle bed- placespot for my bedtime stories caressing my under-the-bed demon phobia. I had a
phobia that some demon beneath my bed would drag me off my bed if I slept at the corner.
Siblings are demanding, thus my stories had to be engagingTheir demandsDemanding sibling
taughtimparted narrative innovation, teaching me the art of gripping narrative. Soon I became the
story teller around whom the cousins would gatheFame hit as family storytellerr to hear stories.
I began my schooling in England where I regularly used to go to library to hear the beautiful
librarian sitting on a comfortable chair narrating stories to youth. As I was not able to read at that
age, I would create stories out of the pictures I would see in the books and narrate it to my dolls.
I started reading stories as soon as school started teaching reading.Later I was such aa regular
library goer sought after by librarians on minor absentees, that once I didn’t visit the library for a
week and the librarian called my home inquiring after me.
As I returned home, I got wrestling with compulsory story writing in grammar subject where
observed that the educational system here had the students write a story in their grammar paper.
But the custom was that the teachers would open up a book and dictated the story. All grammar
books had the same storybeing identical, thus the whole Pakistan attempting ing the paper in
metric system would be writing the same storyproduced carbon-copy stories. Alarmingly the
students thought this the only way of story crafting.
IHowever, in my middle school exams, I once took the risk of experimenting. During the paper,,
crafted imaginaryinventing I created a mind plan of acraftingshaping new plot for the theme
‘Greed is Curse’ plot and began writing a new story. W hWhen the result was out and I scored
the highest marks, there was no turning back. I would now createThereafter exams saw an
extempore storiesy on any theme given in the paper. Even in formal letter writing, I adopted
creativity. In Grade 9 final exams, we were supposed to write a letter of condolence to a friend
whose mother had died.on her mother’s death, resulted My answer was an an amalgam of deep
thoughts, verses from Holy Quran reverence religious quotes and poetry spread over nine sheets
making checker cry that made the teacher cry. The letter later was laminated wasand placed in
the school library of FG Public School Mangla Cantt.. Learning from my personal experience Commented [aa2]: This is too lengthy, reduce these 4
paragraphs to one paragraph
wWhen I began teaching English grammar, I introduced craft plotting and originality for I
recognized abyss in national curriculum marringthat had marred student critical
thinkingimagination and imagination, makingcreatingmaking sand dire need of a story writing
curriculum inevitable. In 2009, my seven-month son reconnected me to bedtime stories, this time
I broadcasted on a 100 member Watsup group. In 2011, an online assignment of ghost writing a
series of novellas I accepted owed to lack of training on editing and publishing.
After completing a Masters degree in English Literature I continued to teach English grammar
and Literature at various schools for five years. Here I tried to improvise the students developing
their critical thinking and imagination to come up with original stories. Commented [aa3]: Too short a paragraph—combine it
with the previous paragraph
I started narration on regular basis when my elder son was 7 months old. Soon my friends started
asking me storytelling topics for their kids. This resulted in a Watsup group through which a new
story reached more than a hundred children every night. As there was no formal training on how
to get stories published I took up a writing assignment from in 2011 on how to
divert a depressed mind. Later, the client e- mailed me claiming that she liked the freshness in
my narration and asked if I would ghost write a novella for her. As I had to take care of two
young babies, I decided to work on the project rather than joining any outside job. Commented [aa4]: Merge it with the previous 5
Further, I didn’t have any formal training of story writing, thus, I took it as an opportunity to
learn the craft of handing a story from oral narration to paper and ink. There, Now as I look back Write only one paragraph on your inclination towards story
to the ordeal, I find it one of the most cherished experience, where I learnt plot handling, how to
create a balance between the plot, setting and dialogues. The client re contacted after several
months asking to write four more novellas thus making a whole series of five action-filled
books.This further enhanced my resolve on teaching effective story writing in schools. Though
the novella were not published in my name, nonetheless reading the reviews on them gave me
pride. One reviewer had remarked on the writer’s website that she travelled from Australia to
Fairy Meadows, Pakistan, just to see
the cinematic beauty as descripted in the story. The reader was not disappointed. In
In 2013 when I came to Lahore, I decided to upgrade my upgrade my education I
was forced to take M. Phil in Literature as I wanted to do M. Phil in Creative Writing, but there
isn’t any M. Phil in Creative Writing in Pakistan thus I took admission in Literature programis
not offered in Pakistan. During the M. Phil we got to study a non-credited course on short story
writing by Naveed Alam, an who had done his MFA in Creative Writing from University of
Oregon. As he taught theHis craft of short story telling, I was amazed to know that theheld
techniques he was telling were all that I unknowingly had applied. It gave confidence to my
skills. I later did courses on Story Writing from I began teaching as Lecture at
National University of Modern Languages, and started became founder of Pakistan’s first Poetry
Recitation Competition on Pakistani Poets in English, introduced its dramatic narration and
drafted notes on it.
In 2017, I volunteered to head a Balochistan village school that. Later I also become the founder
of Human Library Sessions in Pakistan. Commented [aa5]: Shrink it to one paragraph
In 2017 fate took me to live in a Balochistan village. There I volunteered to work as a principal
at the village high school. This, I consider as the most rewarding experience of my professional
career as an educationist. Teaching to a lot of students and teachers who in the first month had
held a protestation against me on the main road that the new principal is marring our educational
progress was an eye opening experiencefor . I was protested against because I had made it clear
that in the final term exams that were due four months ahead, no one shall be allowed to cheatI
disallowed exam cheating. The prior system was that the teachers were teaching how to copy
sentences from book and the learning was confined to be able to write correctly. As a result, not
only the school was producing a 100 percent passing result but also made the students think that
this was the only way of learning. Commented [aa6]: Reduce it to one sentence only.

My change plan included school timings from 8 to 5, seven days a week, with free meals and
rigorous trainings. I was able to achieve results in our December exams. They were all time
lowest with students getting bare minimum passing marks nonetheless they had acquired new
skills apart from copying the text.
In an area, where students were amazed when I opened a public library, with majority remarking
‘Are there really so many books in the world that can fill in a whole room?’ I brought about the
concept of inclusion due to which now some mothers are studying along with their daughters.
Through reach out program, I engaged the women of the area in informal meetings where I
showed these tent dwellers bacteria under a microscope and showing them that science
experiments were not magic but logic at play, educating them about hygiene, hazards of child
marriage and growing vegetables through minimal water resource. In the recreational programs I
introduced poetry recitation competition. First being in their native language Pashto, second in
Urdu and took the risk of conducting the third in English. The students this year participated in
Art competition held by Colgate and two students got positions. Students also participated in an
international organization HRDC held Arts competition and one student won prize in painting
competition. Interestingly, this student had lost both his arms when he was five. The school soon
became Pakistan’s only school where recycling is being taught as a compulsory subject from
grade Prep to grade 10. Taking these students from the path of cheating to a path where they
started using their creative abilities was something that showed me how much potential
Balochistan has. The experience I had here were documented in a short story ‘A Page from
Maekhter Diary’ that got published in May 2018 in Takatu Nights & Other Stories. } Commented [aa7]: Reduce it to a paragraph—we did an
exercise yesterday on how to get rid of extra words—try
As I moved to Quetta, and joined Balochistan University of IT, Englineering and Management doing that
Sciences, I was in a better position to execute my dream of enabling the youth of Balochistan to
voice their narrative. Balochistan, known in the world for being the most terror struck and
deprived area in terms of educational reform has created a gap where the people are unable to
recognize their talent. I had realized the need for improvising in Maekhter where I organized
Pakistan’s first Human Library Session that were later expanded when I joined BUITEMS. The
Human Library Session is a practice in a relaxed informal environment where the participants
narrate their real or fictional stories in the languages they feel most comfortable with. The
benefits it bore can clearly be seen in BUITEMS where now different departments who have
been participants in the sessions feel more affinity towards each other.
I started a series of creative writing worskhops to enable professionals to use story telling as a
relaxing activity. To the students studying Literature, I conducted workshops on Poetry Writing,
Short Story Writing, Use of Digital Humanities platform for story telling as well as script
writing. This enabled the students to reach the literature from a closer manner not only
understanding the various critical theories but also the assembling of various techniques of story
formation and their affect on the reader. They from the role of the reader had entered the realm
of a writer for the first time.
To the students of BS Fine Arts I conducted workshops on Symbols and Metaphors: The
Common Language of Writers and Artists. The second in the series being ‘From Poem to
Painting and Beyond.’
Our Science students were first given a workshop on the Craft of Plotting and Character
Devlopment. In the second phase they were trained in Science Fiction: The Narrative of the
Logical Fantasy
From all the workshops I have held to date, I have emphasized that the narrator bringing forth the
stories rooted deep in their psyche and the collective memory of target terrorism. I am starting a
program on radio that shall go online from May 2019 where students trained by me are going to
revive the oral story telling tradition and shall be broadcasting stories in Baloch, Pashto, Urdu. I
am a regular presenter at various national and international conferences. I recently read a
scholarly research at University of South Austalia on ‘One Story A Dozen Faces’. I have dared
to dream to uplift the educational cosmos in Balochistan and am living the dream. One giant leap
in this is to start a BS program on Creative Writing where we shall address delivery of oral story
telling tradition, how to broadcast it through radio as well as podshare. To narrate the story in
prose as well as poetry and conversion of an idea to a play and novel. Commented [aa8]: This has to be one paragraph

Creative writing program in Balochistan serves the following three purpose: First, Balochsitan
people affected by the war on terror possess a post trauma psyche. In order to grow out of the
distress, it is necessary to have a let out. I have experienced through my workshops that Creative
writing not only provides a vent out but also a catharsis. Only after reconciling with one’s past
and coming to terms with it can a nation rise above. Commented [aa9]: To short a paragraph—make it the
concluding sentence of the previous paragraph
If I get Full Bbright Scholarship for a Phd in Creative Writing I shall not only be able to learn
from the best practitioners in the most advance teaching environment but would also be able to
support a BS in Creative Writing program that would enable the global community to know the
Balochistani prospective on war on terrorism and how has it shaped their realities. Commented [aa10]: Try not to mention Fulbright
scholarship specifically. Write a general statement
Sparked my concern about teaching imagination-triggering story telling
Creative writing is a necessary learning tool that not only enables the students to bring their
imagination to work, but also enhances, analytical, critical thinking and is considered by
eductionists a linkup to the teaching even from a very young age.
The way creative writing is taught in scholls in Pakistan in entirely different from what is taught
in creative writing courses. We need to see creative writing as means of communication, kinds of
emotions you are stirring, voice those less heard
Watererd down curriculum