Youth Spot: Innovative youth go public

Youth Spot: Innovative youth go public Dhanusha Gokulan / 5 May 2013 As a stereotypical teenager filled with angst about the ways of the world, the first instinct would be to bring out the creative genius in you. Inspired by the likes of Jack Kerouac or Edgar Allan Poe, you are faced with an uncontrollable urge to write, draw, create, and let the world see your talents. After weeks of hammering away on the keyboard, you have written or drawn a piece that impresses friends and family, who usually respond with — ‘Hey, that is a pretty interesting piece of literature/artwork. You should get this published’. Now this could be where your dreams of becoming the next big thing in the art circles go bust. “There is no platform here for students in the UAE to get published,” said Pakistani national and student Haroon Ashraf, 20. “Except for blogs and free online publishing spaces, there are very few mass distribution publications here that encourage students to write or create,” added Ashraf. However, high school friends and lovers of literature, Bushra Ali, 19, and Ashraf decided to take matters into their own hands and create a platform for publishing their works. Creators of e-magazine Hash , Ali and Ashraf have now launched a platform for young writers and artists to submit and get their pieces published. “We started off as a blog and because we wanted to make it bigger, we started the e-mag on free online e-mag portal ,” said Ashraf. Hash publishes prose, short stories, poetry, and other forms of literature that is written by aspiring writers. “It is not even necessarily a space for the young, we welcome people of all age groups to contribute,” added Ashraf. “The first published issue of 36 pages consisted of writings from eight contributors. The best thing about Hash is that it is international. We had writers from Canada, Egypt, Ecuador and Argentina contribute to the magazine,” he added. The cover page and the inside artwork was designed by Argentinian designer Florencia Raffa. “The last mass publication space that youngsters had was the Young Times , published by Khaleej Times. But since they stopped, there is absolutely no space for the young to publish their written work,” he added. ‘ One8one to the rescue’ Now for those of you who want to get your work published, and didn’t know where to go, One8one might be the answer to your problems. The brainchild and hard work of Maria Rousan, and launched in 2011, One8one is a magazine created by the young and multicultural youth of the UAE. Run under the banner of publishing firm Black Iris, Rousan said: “I have a passion for anything and everything creative. I strongly believe that if something doesn’t sell, its not creative. I was born with a rare condition called CGO (Creative Gene Overdose). I am an idea generating machine that can come up with a gazillion great ideas in one minute.” “It is a very unique concept where our readers become our writers as well,” said Rousan. One8one is contemporary in look and appeal, and is written and created by youth and young adults. “One8one strives to educate, inform and entertain the UAE’s young and diverse audience giving them the opportunity to express themselves and be heard,” added Rousan. “We sit on bean bags, have pizza for lunch and create a storm in the office with our crazy ideas for the magazine. We are unique in a way that all material in the magazine is written entirely by youth and submitted either personally or through a teacher or a professor,” she added. Once a contributor’s work is published, writers are offered to test and review a variety of products, ranging from food to clothing and electronics. “Additionally they are asked to represent One8one as journalists and photographers at local concerts. We assign media passes and they get to experience what it’s like to work as media. They then write a review about the concert or event…and are credited for their work,” said Rousan. The star on the cover is a youth that has done something extraordinary and is a role model for others. The magazine covers a safety school news round-up, movies and reviews, video games, out and about in the UAE, gadgets and technology, artist of the month, monthly themed topic, concerts, and much more. The magazine offers internship programmes during the summer and winter holidays where students can come in and experience life as a journalist, photographer, event manager, marketing specialist, PR person, etc. “So, the concept here is that One8one gets printed and published for the students free of charge, advertisers and writings from the youth are the supporters of this publication and at the same time they expose themselves to an untapped audience. So it’s a win-win situation for both the students and the sponsoring brands,” she added. “We want our readers and interns to know that everything is possible, all you need to do is take one step at a time and believe in yourself,” said Rousan. . Taylor Scott International

This entry was posted in Investment, investments, News, Taylor Scott International, TSI and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.