So, Are You #OneOftheFifty?

So, Are You #OneOftheFifty?

During the mid-summer of 2018, before Daastan Naama app was made available to the public through Google Play Store, an extensive marketing campaign was conducted on social media websites. The campaign, recorded under the hashtag of #OneOftheFifty, gained so much popularity and garnered an astonishing amount of traffic. People from all around the world wanted in on the new hit thing that was Daastan Naama, and would reach out to the team constantly to find out what it is that needed to be done to become a part of it. Speculations bloomed about who these celebrated authors were, how they were selected, and what is it that they were a part of.

The Campaign:

Creative posters were designed which had the picture and name of the author, along with the title of their work which was to appear in Daastan Naama. The posters were titled with hashtags of #Top50AuthorsYouDontKnowAbout and #OneofFifty, which created a buzz in the whole community of Daastan over what was coming. Eventually it would become clear that not only would the work of these authors be uploaded to the app, but in fact, it would be done so in the way of poetry recitals and podcasts. This innovative twist on sharing their work brought it to life, and that too in their very own voice.

Daastan Naama:

Each author in the spotlight had something unique to add to the app. The very first one was Ms. Kayenaat Hameed Khattak, an English poetess whose poem “God is Great” was chosen for the app. The next author was Ms. Dania Shah, whose Urdu humorous prose “Muhabbat ki Shadi” found its way up, followed by Urdu prose of Ms. Durre Shahwar Ali. Other English poets featured included Ms. Waneeza Zia, Ms. Momina Latif, Ms. Maryam Mr. Hassan Naqvi, Mr. Saad Ahmad, Ms. Maryam Arshad, etc. Mr. Morgan Melhuish, from the United Kingdoms, also contributed an English poem. Another very curious and pleasant feature was the addition of two Pashto poems by Ms. Spugmai Alee Khattak, and also a poetry piece in Punjabi by Mr. Abrar Nadeem, an award-winning author and script writer for PTV. A Punjabi play was contributed by Ali Usman Bajwa.

Ali Usman Bajwa contributed his Punjabi Prose for Daastan Naama

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Our Daastan, Now on Your Phones

Our Daastan, Now on Your Phones

The members of Daastan are immensely proud of the way the company has scaled beyond even their wildest imaginations. It has been such a pleasure to watch the way it inspires not only them but thousands around the country to do more, step a little ahead of the game, and bring to the stage all the creativity that was hidden in them for ages before they tapped it. Daastan doesn’t just excel at the play of words, but rather it is a digital hub of activity. It is always on the lookout for carving out niches which can help the creatives get more involved with us, and also attain greater reach for those who we have already published. It was one such drive which led us to what was to become the next big thing in Daastan.

A New Avenue:

The internet presence of Daastan started from Facebook, from where it went on to take over all of the major social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and such. What followed was Daastan’s very own website, and then, Qissa’s self-publishing portal. All of these mediums were received enthusiastically by our followers, and praised heavily in the public by the critics. Over the years, the team behind Daastan made it a point to strengthen their digital presence, providing professional and aesthetic upgrades to Qissa, and modeling space in Daastan’s website for each new venture as it came along. And so, after having mastered the internet through most of the avenues that are offered, only one was missing – a mobile application.

Daastan Naama:

It struck the team that most of their readers’ time online is spent on our phones, not PCs, and that to increase our readership and make the work of our writers readily available, we must also provide it on their phones – much like any other eBook they would be reading. And so, the team dived headfirst into bringing this idea to reality. In July of 2018, Daastan Naama finally hit Google Play Store, bursting with literary goodness that was now available just a touch away. The app’s interface was divided into two portions. One featured all the fiction published under the banner of The Stories Untold. The second was an interesting feature which had the poetry and other works of almost 50 authors, vocalized and brought to life by their own voice.

Daastan Naama, the answer to your literary needs

If you haven’t checked it out yet, download it on your mobile phones from Play Store now!

Our Journey from a Handful of People – to Twenty Thousand Strong!

Our Journey from a Handful of People – to Twenty Thousand Strong!

Only three short and sweet months into the launch of Qissa, Daastan’s Facebook family grew to ten thousand strong. It was a momentous achievement for us. Not only were we touching the lives of thousands of people offline, but our reach had also crossed the 5-digit mark. The team that worked day and night felt invincible, and were aiming for heights that grazed the highest of mountains and then went a bit further. Along with the feeling of happiness though was attached a feeling of responsibility. The executives of the company understood that from then onward, each post that they would make and every little thing they would share with their community would have to be one which contributed positively in the life of all their readers.

What our Facebook Featured:

And thus, began the second phase in the journey of Daastan growing its Facebook family. The page not only served as the central social media hub for Daastan, apart from its websites, but was also used as a breaking-news room for the company. It would feature all the news of happenings from both inside and outside Daastan, letting their community know about each of their achievements. The crowd funding campaigns that Daastan became famous for, and which helped bring the work of their authors to print, were also all held on Facebook.

It served as a way for the company to interact with their community, and eventually social media representatives were hired that would post questions and anecdotes that helped keep the conversation flowing. Daastan also utilized this resource by sharing each and every opportunity that came their way through their friends, and made it a platform to watch out for if someone was on the lookout for openings. Daastan coined its very own hashtags such as AchievementUnlocked, which was later adopted by many companies for sharing their accomplishments with their social media gang. And so, a couple years after the first monumental breakthrough in the numbers of followers, Daastan saw that their reach had doubled to twenty thousand. Looking back now, it seems that it wasn’t only their numbers that grew so remarkably, but also their impact. 
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A Year in Review: Dominating All Forms of Media in 2017

A Year in Review: Dominating All Forms of Media in 2017

The year of 2017 was ripe with opportunities and avenues leading our company to the forefront, and we caught the eyes of all those who at any point had undermined or rejected us. Right in the middle of the year, our company Daastan’s legal status was updated to Private Limited, and it was followed by the highlight of winning an investment of 25,00 USD on the show ‘Idea Croron Ka’, which aired internationally on Neo Tv. From openings in the industry popping up and being grabbed by our team, to setting trends and defining newer and wider boundaries for ourselves, it was a year that brought to us all that we had imagined in our wildest dreams and more.

Daastan on the news:

From the very beginning of the year, we were featured in multiple news websites, such as ProPakistani, and Upstart and StartupRadar for having bagged a spot in the accelerator program of Telenor Velocity. This was followed by a very special news feature in TechJuice which covered the book launch of our very first crowdfunded author and the details on how team is striving day in and day out to reshape the literary industry. This was followed by an onslaught of features, from EduGrid, PakPositivie, to JournalPost and ParhLo – the word about Daastan was out and there was no stopping it. A very pleasant surprise came after the mid-year mark when we started receiving the attention of the higher end internationally viewed news sites such as Tribune and Dunia News as well. Not only this, but a section of print newspaper was also dedicated to Daastan helping emerging authors get themselves published, all the way in India.

Daastan’s Members Shining:

Later in the year, our youngest crowd funded author Ms. Laiba was interviewed on a nationally broadcasted Pakistani news channel, followed by a news segment on Neo TV which included snippets of a talk given by our Director Content Ms. Aimen in the Karachi Press Club. One of our authors Mr. Omar was also interviewed on Radio FM91, and our Founder Mr. Syed Ommer Ammer was invited to a radio show ‘Aao Baat Karain’ as a guest, which was hosted by Miss Sadia Usman and co-hosted by Mr. Abdul Majeed Weesar who has more than 20 years of experience in Radio Pakistan.

A whole delegation from Daastan, consisting of Mr. Nauman Shahid, Ms. Tehreem Hassan, Ms Aroosa Mushtaq and the Ommer, was invited as guests in ‘World This Morning’ show by Shahzad Khan, aired on PTV World. Each shared their own unique perspective on the workings of Daastan to help spread the word and encourage more writers to join us.

A Pakistani Girl Helps Save the Planet in Teetoo and Tania, a Story Brought to You by Daastan

A Pakistani Girl Helps Save the Planet in Teetoo and Tania, a Story Brought to You by Daastan

The year of 2017 has been an especially jam-packed one for Daastan’s flight to amazing heights. We have seen Daastan take over previously unventured media spaces, such as interviews and coverage on TV, Radio and Print media. So, when the opportunity to be able to write the script for and help create Pakistan’s first ever animated tv project arose, a show aimed specially at the younger generation, the team was overjoyed and jumped right in.

Tania Saves the Day:

Teetoo and Tania, a Unicorn Black Production, which is the creation, direction and production of Haroon, focuses on an all too familiar story, of Earth being judged as a target for extermination by an inter galactic council, due to its huge and negatively impactful indulgence in the industry of weapons and materials of mass destruction. The bureaucrat, also known as Teetoo, is sent to determine whether the situation on Earth is as dire as the council has been informed. Making pit stops around the world, his decision to exterminate is all but made, when he crashes and lands on the only country left which is to be adjudicated; Pakistan.
Seeing his spaceship crashing, Tania, the protagonist of the series, helps Teetoo and saves his life. Ever grateful, Teetoo tries to warn Tania, and encourages her to leave Earth. She is horrified at the prospect of seeing her fellow humanity vanquished only due to the wrong practices of a few, and is determined to change Teetoo’s mind, by telling him all about the good people who exist on Earth, especially in Pakistan.

First episode of Teeto and Tania

The Series:

The series is composed of a total of 16 episodes, which were aired every week in the winters of 2017, with repeat telecasts, on PTV Home. Starting from the very first one, which featured Eidhi and his story of selflessness and service which has the ability to grip any kindly mind, each episode focused on a hero of Pakistan, the tale of their service simplified so as to help the children watching understand. These heroes were featured from all walks of life, with the series having dedicated episodes for each one. A few personas celebrated were Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, and a female education activist, Aitzaz Hasan, the young boy from Hangu who sacrificied his own life to prevent a suicide bombing, Mona Parkash, Parveen Rao and Mushtaq Chhapra (TCF) who are involved in the promotion of education, along with other celebrated names such as Ghulam Fatima, Muniba Mazari, Shehzad Roy, Abrarul Haq, and Dr Ruth Pfau who was awarded the Hilal e Imtiaz for her selfless efforts to eradicate leprosy in Pakistan.

If you have in mind the next hit plot, and require script writing services, drop us an email at merasawal@daastan.com to materialize that vision to reality!