Alishba Khan Barech, who kicked off her career as a self-published author, started writing her 1st book when she was just 11 years old! Speaking with Team Propergaanda, Alishba shared how she was an avid reader since a very young age, “I touched upon the genres that had been my favourite to read as a ‘legit’ book reader: Contemporary, Suspense, and Mystery.” But Alishba wanted to come up with a unique crossover, “Which is why I combined my favourite genres and designed a story connecting a British family with a Pashtoon family residing in Balochistan.”
Alishba’s main approach has always been to highlight topics which she resonates with the most, “This ‘Balochistani’ approach came to mind about when I was 14 and wrote a memoir about my Pashtoon identity, Balochistan’s residence, the nationality of Pakistan, and my religion–Islam’s equation with global terrorism and extremism,” she added.
The young writer also added the social and political atmospheres leading to the de-altering image of her province.
Being a writer in Balochistan:
We asked Alishba how challenging it can be for a writer to chase such a unique niche, “The challenges not only existed, but amplified to the greatest extent because I resided in Balochistan. Where the female literacy rate of 13% in Balochistan (in the year 2003 when I was born) is the lowest globally, and other similar stats exemplify the conditions in the province, I found myself in a non-cooperative environment where the majority of the province’s people’s priorities were basic life necessities.”
Alishba had little to no opportunities which is why she self-taught herself everything, “Going to class, where I was taught how to write a 100-word story aged 11, I was working on a 400 page + novel at home.”
Hard work, waiting, failure, and struggle didn’t demoralise or sadden Alishba because she had faith in her dream, “But what saddened me strongly was how my residence in Balochistan prevented my efforts to be highlighted. The general non-media representation affected me as well and here I am, waiting since the previous ~9 years!”
Alishba had completed 6 major books by her 18th birthday and now 2 months away from her 20th birthday, Alishba has completed more than 10 titles. Her future stories will continue talking about her Pashtoon ethnicity, Pakistani nationality and Balochistan as a place of residence, “Furthermore, Islamophobia and Ocean related content, for, I am an ocean manic.”
Alishba wants aspiring writers to know that there are no numerics involved as to when you can write, “There is no limit to which you can write. Write to bring change and revolutionise thinking methods. Never lower your dream, for if I’m still hopeful as ever despite waiting for the past ~9 years (beginning with me being 11 years old), you can always be consistent and hopeful!”