Daastan Goes Digital

Daastan Goes Digital

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. How artists 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. We look for opportunities to attain greater reach for those who we have already published. It was one such drive which led us to do the next big thing for Daastan.

Seeking the Digital Avenue

The internet presence of Daastan started from Facebook. From there, it went on to take over all of the major digital media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. 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, our team made it a point to strengthen our digital presence, providing professional and aesthetic upgrades to Qissa, and Daastan’s website for each new venture as it came along. And so, after having mastered the internet through most of the digital 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 the phones rather than PCs.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, Daastan 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!

Trailblazers: Daastan’s Outcast Magazine

Trailblazers: Daastan’s Outcast Magazine

Coming back with another exciting feature of the Trailblazers series, where we focus on writers and individuals of our family who spread their wings and took off towards heights previously unthought of and uncharted.  In this feature we will be writing about another graduate of the second batch of our Literary Fellowship program, Fatema Bhaiji.

Fatema Bhaiji And Our Outcast Magazine:

Before she joined our fellowship, Fatema had already made herself known and left a mark on us, by participating in and becoming one of the top finalists of The Stories Untold season two. Her story, titled “Holding her Hand”, was in perfect accordance with the theme of our story writing competition, “A War Within”. Our phenomenal writer Fatema, in her book, addressed very boldly the dilemma of having feelings for an individual of the same gender. The havoc it causes on our emotions and inner stability, all the while living in a society which in no way tolerates this. Her book was put up for crowdfunding, and through the help of our community, was brought to print.

Outcast Magazine Makes Rounds:

With this booming introduction, Fatema came to join the Editorial department of our fellowship program. Halfway through the program, Fatema came to the team with her idea of forming a queer lit magazine. A magazine targeted towards the South Asian community that zeroed in on increasing the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community through art, poetry and stories.
In the beginning of the fellowship, graduates were encouraged to pursue projects on their own with full support from Daastan. Despite all the criticism, Daastan stood strong. And so, the Outcast magazine ‘came out’ – its website was launched a month after the idea was rolled out, and its first digital issue came out a month later.

Fatema Bhaiji was invited as Panelist Speaker at the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum in Kathmandu, Nepal

Acclaim and Applause:

Outcast Magazine was later on endorsed by a global platform, i.e. Commonwealth Writers, who conducted an extension of our Stories Untold Season 4 on their forum. The LGBTQ+ community were encourages to put to words any abuse they might have faced, directly or indirectly. Outcast went on to announce a Micro Fiction competition of their own in collaboration with Daastan and White Falcon Publishing. The first issue was released in print the very next year. Fatema was invited to many events as a speaker, one of which was “Salzburg Global Forum” held in Nepal and powered by UNDP.

Fatema Bhaji on launching the queer literary magazine, Outcast, in Pakistan

Fatema Bhaji talks on the importance of creating media in which South Asian LGBT people could connect to, which led to the creation of Outcast, a queer literary magazine based in Pakistan.Fatema Bhaji was a participant at the latest program of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum – Advancing Legal and Social Equality in South Asia, held in Kathmandu, Nepal, February 24 to March 1, 2019.

Posted by Salzburg Global Seminar on Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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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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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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Shining Light on Mental Health – Qissa’s First Book on Schizophrenia

Shining Light on Mental Health – Qissa’s First Book on Schizophrenia

With Qissa nearing its second anniversary soon, we are proud of having published more than 200 books in 13 genres. Our authors are spread all over the world with active participation from 17 countries. Daastan happened upon a gem of a find. It came in the shape of Ms. Ramsha Babar, a doctor-to-be who had written a book about mental health, or more specifically schizophrenia, and wanted to publish it via Qissa.

Qissa Becomes the Hub of Previously Unvoiced Stories:

Our major focus in terms of the content we publish has always been to ensure that whatever work we receive is, of premium quality. Secondly, our chief concerns is to publish content that challenges the wrong conventions in our society. Our stories depict exceptions which not only hold their ground against the horrors in our society, but also help others in raising their voices and spreading awareness about it. It is due to this very reason that Daastan recurrently launched The Stories Untold. The themes we discuss, force people to pause and think about our maligned traditions that transgress basic human rights. Qissa features books about the abused, the ostracized, and the discarded, to humanize them and consequently help them make a place for themselves in this society

Humanizing Schizophrenia:

With her book Broken Winged Birds”, Ms. Ramsha helped us further our cause. The book, inspired from her personal life. It highlights the symptoms and behavior of a person suffering from schizophrenia. Her book, above all brought, to light the fact that these patients could be treated and cured. The protagonist, after seeing visions and losing consciousness for a few days, finds herself in a mental health institution. She discovers that her family has given her up for lunacy. The book is a roller coaster ride in which all the essential components of one’s life; religion, science, society and the stigmas regarding mental health that we have to wade through every day, are brought to the front and seamlessly woven into a tale of education and awareness. Her work is carefully written combining technical medical knowledge with literature.

The novel, after raising 20,000 PKR, was brought into print just a few months after the author got in touch with us. It was later on featured on platforms such as Doctor’s Tribune, and The Humorists, who applauded the effort of the writer and her work. 

If you have an expert’s opinion on a topic and want to share it with the world, reach out to us at Daastan and we will help propagate your voice to the masses.