Daastan Enters Top 10 at Telenor Youth Forum

Daastan Enters Top 10 at Telenor Youth Forum

Since its inception, Daastan has had a very positive history with Telenor’s different initiatives for entrepreneurs and startups. Daastan was selected as a part of the Telenor Velocity business accelerator program in the year of 2016. We had the opportunity to closely work with telenor throughout the course of the year that followed. Since then, we have been featured multiple times on social media channels of Telenor’s programs for our different achievements.

Telenor Youth Forum:

In August 2018, the sixth edition of Telenor Youth Forum was held in Islamabad. This initiative was held in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center, bringing together smart minds from all over the world to develop digital solutions that curb inequalities, and empower societies. The Youth Forum focuses on encouraging ideas that have high social impact and which support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forth by the UN for international development. Winners of Telenor Youth Forum include renowned figures. Saad Hamid, a digital evangelist, Fatima Rizwan, founder of TechJuice.com, Haroon Yasin, founder of Orenda & receiver of Queen’s Young Leaders Award and Sajawal Waseem are a few names.

Daastan secures a spot at the top

Our Journey Through the Forum:

Over 3500 participants with unique ideas applied for the top spot in the platform. Daastan’s founder, Mr. Syed Ommer Amer’s presentation talked about a severe dearth of opportunities for the citizens of our country to showcase their work. The presentation showcased Daastan’s efforts in building a digital infrastructure for the literary industry of Pakistan. With Daastan’s digital portal Qissa, and its newly launched mobile app Daastan Nama, the company had been successful in reaching hundreds of creatives. Through these platforms, Daastan helped creatives bring their work forward to be shared with the world. Daastan was ranked top 10 in the competition, and was featured on many of Telenor’s platforms for its achievement. 

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Daastan’s First Punjabi Writing Competition

Daastan’s First Punjabi Writing Competition

Daastan’s vision for the revival of literature was never limited to the widely used language English or Urdu. Qissa, a self-publishing portal, is was one of the first forums to recognize the need for an online tool that allows users to write in Punjabi language. Our team then worked hard to bring on board specialists that helped us realize the dream of thousands of writers. Revival of these dying languages became our mission. And so, Daastan finally upgraded its tool into one that accepted most of the regional languages of Pakistan.

Likh Punjabi:

To further this idea, Daastan in collaboration with Punjabi Parchar, launched its very first regional language Writing Competition, “Likh Punjabi”. Punjabi Parchar is a hub of intellectuals working exclusively for the preservation and promotion of Punjabi literature, art and culture. The editor of Punjabi at Daastan, Ali Usman Bajwa, helped bring them on board with us – and became project manager for the module. Such a competition being held in the language which is very dear to his heart was his lifelong dream. At Daastan the team is willing to work day and night to bring the dreams of their family to reality.

Dream Turned Reality:

Our writing competition became an excellent initiative to revive and rebrand Punjabi literature. It helped us reach the legendary authors who refused to part with their ancestral language. Due to this movement, we got the opportunity to work with local authors. By helping them digitize their stories and preserve their work, we laid a new hope for the revival of these languages.

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Qissa Accomodates Business Person – Hassan Mueez

Qissa Accomodates Business Person – Hassan Mueez

Daastan has had the honor of knowing, providing services to, and publishing various distinguished personalities from all across Pakistan. All of them have been working in one or another innovative way to help our country summit mountains. To be trusted by these individuals and to be able to fulfill their criteria of an effective service is the reason that Daastan has grown exponentially. The latest in the list of such personages was Hassan Mueez – a business man who is also graduated from a prestigious institution.

Hassan Mueez’s Journey:

Belonging to an otherwise underdeveloped area of Punjab, Burewala, Hassan had the extraordinary passion of reading and writing. From the start, it seems, he knew how to get ahead. It was this quality of his which eventually lead him to pursue and complete his master’s degree from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). After his graduation, he moved back to his hometown and started his very own business, launching a rice factory by the name of Al Majeed Rice Factory.

Fear Management, authored by Hassan Mueez, and published by Daastan

His Secret to Success:

The book that he chose to publish digitally through Daastan, on our Qissa portal, fell in the genre of self-help, titled “Fear Management”. A strong believer in the word of God, Hassan introduced a way to get the most out of our fears, proving that we cannot be held back by something that resides only in our minds. The book approaches the topic with a practical mindset, providing accurate explanations regarding where these feelings stem from and how to outsmart them. Hassan’s book was later also published on Amazon Kindle.

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Rounding Up the South Asian Literati through Stories

Rounding Up the South Asian Literati through Stories

Come the summer of 2018, having just successfully conducted a ground breaking season of The Stories Untold, Daastan teamed up with a few others who were also in the race to bring quality literature to their readers. Since its inception, Daastan and Qissa have scaled, and eventually launched a writing competition which was dubbed Literati. The team was once again taking not only Pakistan by storm, but also slowly but surely taking over the world too. And so, to bring another round of thought-provoking stories that made one bite their nails with the anticipation of what was coming next, we opened the award for participants from all over South Asia.

Literati Micro Fiction:

Literati was brought to the public in collaboration with White Falcon Publishing, a company that provided the services of self-publishing much the same way as us and encouraged quality literature to find its way to the surface, but across the border in India. Another collaborator of the micro story writing competition was Outcast, a queer lit magazine which was founded by a graduated Literary Fellow of Daastan. The authors of the micro fiction award were given a time period of one month, in which they were to write short stories with no more than 2500 words on the themes of “The Fifth Rivulet” and “Mosaiced Souls”. The themes themselves were enough to get any true storyteller thinking and dreaming in their world of imagination, spinning and weaving tales which would eventually find their way to our screens.

Daastan, in collaboration with White Falcon Publishing and Outcast Magazine, launches Literati Competition

The Result:

The award was closed a month after its launch, and all the partners were delighted to received more than a hundred submissions of gripping and awe-inspiring literature. The submissions were all carefully reviewed, and the top 20 were selected. These finalists would receive the exciting prize of seeing their work go into print, along with exclusive opportunities to further their career as a writer.

[Results] We are pleased to announce that the management team of LITERATI 2018 comprising of Daastan, White Falcon Publishing and Outcast Magazine congratulates the finalists.We received around 100 submissions from all over South Asia and after carefully reviewing each submission, we are pleased to announce that we now, finally have the TOP 20.These authors will be getting their stories published in PRINT, sponsored by WHITE FALCON PUBLISHING. We have lot of awesomeness coming up in next few weeks.It was a pleasure having you all. We will be back next year in June 2019. Till then adios.#Daastan #WhiteFalconPublishing #Outcast #Literati #SouthAsianAward #MicroFiction #PrintPublishing #WritingEvent #Competition

Posted by Daastan on Sunday, August 5, 2018

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

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

Only a journey of 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, every little thing they would share with their community would have to be one which contributed positively in the life of all their readers.

Our Journey Continues on Facebook!

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

We Know We Make An Impact

Our Facebook serves as a way for us to interact with the community. We eventually hired social media representatives who 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. 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 number of followers, Daastan saw that their reach had doubled to twenty thousand. Looking back now, it seems that it wasn’t only the numbers that grew so remarkably, but also the impact. 


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