Interview with Sabahat Momina | Code for Pakistan

Interview with Sabahat Momina

Interview with Sabahat Momina

Q: Let’s talk about your early years and background.

A: I was born in Peshawar and that’s where my father is from while my mother’s roots are from Jammu Kashmir. My family has always been very different and supportive as compared to what I have witnessed in other surrounding families. My mother’s influential nature and my father’s esteem for learning has pushed me to pursue my dreams in life. My parents share the same profession, which is teaching. My father is an Urdu professor and a writer. That’s where I got the passion for reading and writing.

As a child, I was very bookish and had an enthusiasm to learn new things.


Q: Did you plan your life this way or did you get here by chance?

A: It was neither here nor there. I had plans to go for art subjects like history (archeology) that I love. But due to the lack of proper institutes and departments for such subjects in the region, I had to choose the second best thing that I could think of which was Computer Science.  


Q: Currently you are working as Fellow under KP Civic Innovation Fellowship Program. How is the journey so far?

A: It’s been good so far for me. Obviously there are tough moments but they are not very troublesome. I am learning so much from the Fellows and mentors that I can barely complain about anything.


Q: Mentors are really important. What role did they play in enabling you to tackle troublesome situations throughout your career?

A: I have worked in two places until now and in both places I had the best mentors to work with. They kept me up-to-date about new things and urged me to keep learning and improving my skills.


Q: Tell me a little about your passion for paleontology, archaeology and astronomy?

A: In my school, it startled me when students called the Pak-studies and history subjects as the boring and unbearable ones because they could not get enough from these subjects.

For me the archeological sites, the concept of buildings across the world, with known and sometimes unknown origins is just mystical.

On the other hand, my interest in Paleontology is mainly due to dinosaurs. Although the subject is much wider than that. The idea that such giant creatures roamed the earth billions of years ago and left us with nothing but scattered fossils to find about the reason behind their mass extinction is fascinating.

Regardless of the time period, Galileo, Al-Sufi, Edwin Hubble or Stephen Hawking have given exciting and eye-opening facts about our solar system and even its exterior. I have been reading about wormholes these days and the possibility of time travelling through them.


Q: How and when did you start freelancing? How much has it helped you grow in your professional career?

A: During a workshop related to graphic designing in my 7th semester, I got to know about such sites where you can earn. It took some time for me to get it started, but soon after I joined a software house and got to polish my abilities, I started to give more time to freelancing websites and this is how it began.

Freelancing gave me the benefit to work with many kinds of clients. It taught me to be punctual about work and how to be patient with clients to justify their requirements. It certainly enhanced my work experience.


Q: You opted for graphic designing, but apart from it what other fields or subjects of IT do you take interest in?

A: A teacher can make you love or hate the subject that he/she teaches. I had a great deal of interest in Networking and studied for it fondly in the three semesters that we were offered the subject.

Other than that, game development was not a subject taught at university but I had started self-learning about the tools and technology because of my interest in gaming. This knowledge also came in handy later for the final year project that I worked on.


Q: What are your activities outside of the work stuff?

A: I like to go out and try new food and get inspired to cook it myself, I love to watch TV shows and movies. I read books and magazines in free time.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: As like many others, I keep thinking about my future; the different options I have and the possibilities that I can chase. Nothing can be said with surety except that there will come a point in life when I will have to walk across the things that scare me now and face them to resume my entrepreneurial journey.


Q: You take quite a lot of interest in photography. How and when did it start for you? And what are your favorite subjects to capture?

A: In 2014, there was a series of workshops arranged by the trainees of National Geographic for different universities. I applied for it and luckily got selected. It was the best experience of my life as I had the pleasure to interact with all kinds of photographers there and learnt a bunch of things about photography. They trained us in every aspect. The final week of training was held in Baragali, followed by an exhibition of our best captured shots.

I love to capture expressions, macro and street photography.


Q: Every person has a role model. What kind of person have you dreamt of becoming?

A: As much as I am inspired by the patience of my mother and the brains of my father, I actually am really very grateful to Allah for what I have and what I am. There is always room for improvement and I’d rather polish my own personality on an everyday basis to become a better person than before.  


Q: Is there something that your Fellows might not know about you?

A: Six months is really a very short period for someone to know completely. There may be thousands of things that I would not have shared yet but I guess one of them is my craze for fiction books and that I am a proud Potterhead.


Q: As a designer what would you suggest to people coming towards designing?

A: I am not a pro at what I do but what I have learnt so far is to stick to whatever you choose to become and keep learning about it. Sky’s the limit.

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