Social networking through the internet is the most popular pastime of youngsters, students and professionals alike, these days. Although a ‘pastime’, it sometimes helps people build relationships that help them in their lives.
We recently talked to Hassan Abdullah, one of the most refined television personalities in Pakistan, about how he manages himself in the online social networks. He works for Dawn News as a senior reporter and anchor and also contributes to Herald. Here are excerpts from the interview:
The News Tribe: Childhood is the most cherished part of life for most people. Tell us something about your childhood?
Hassan Abdullah: My early days were spent in Saudi Arabia from where I acquired my initial education. Around the age of 14, I moved to the United Kingdom where I studied Software Engineering at Nottingham Trent University. I then pursued further studies in Theology and Political Science. Along with my love for books, I enjoy swimming, trekking, bodybuilding, mixed martial arts and long drives/rides.
The News Tribe: How and when did you start your career as an anchor?
Hassan Abdullah: My first job as a news anchor was in 2005 when I joined AAJ TV as an anchor/producer. This was the same year I had arrived in Pakistan. Prior to that, I had spent many years in radio journalism in the UK.
The News Tribe: What were the circumstances that led you to be an anchor in television?
Hassan Abdullah: Entering the news anchoring business was purely by chance and it was definitely not something I had planned or even thought of. I had just arrived in Pakistan and had probably not even unpacked all my bags. This was the stage when I was contemplating whether I should re-join the IT/Engineering sector or the media industry. I had worked in both sectors back in the UK. One day I got a telephone call from AAJ TV asking me if I was interested in anchoring their English bulletins. It later transpired that someone had referred me to the AAJ TV management. That was the start.
The News Tribe: What was the most significant assignment of your life?
Hassan Abdullah: There have been many significant assignments in my life. I guess one of the significant assignments was self-management and discipline. After all, you can be spoilt for choice when you enter the UK on your own as a 14-year-old boy.
The News Tribe: How much is the social media (face book, twitter and others) helpful to you?
Hassan Abdullah: At the moment, I am an avid Facebook user. It has been instrumental in not only expanding my network of friends and sources but has also provided an opportunity to express views that may not make it through the filters of mainstream media.
The News Tribe: What do you think about political agenda these days?
Hassan Abdullah: Agendas are a part and parcel of the human society. It is not something restricted to a particular time in history or a particular place on earth. Economic interests are arguably the driving force behind agendas.
The News Tribe: Tell us something about your fan page? With what perspective do you work on it?
Hassan Abdullah: Facebook allows a maximum of 5,000 friends and I crossed that mark a long time ago. I still have a few hundred pending friend requests. This is where some friends suggested that I should create a fan page. I did follow their advice but am simply not finding the time to manage two pages at the moment. Hence the fan page has been left incomplete since the day of its creation. I will try to get it running as soon as possible.
The News Tribe: How much time do you spend on Facebook?
Hassan Abdullah: The time spent on Facebook is inversely proportional to my engagements on a given day. There are days when I may spend a few hours on Facebook and then there are days when I may not even get a chance to log in.
The News Tribe: What are your activities on social media?
Hassan Abdullah: General socializing, exchanging ideas, pestering friends and foes. You have to appreciate that some activities should not be disclosed in public interest.
The News Tribe: What response are you receiving from public?
Hassan Abdullah: Generally a very positive and appreciative response.
The News Tribe: Do you face any negative impact on your views or opinion?
Hassan Abdullah: I have never shied away from going against or even challenging the dominant ideology or the norms of society. So naturally you can expect strong reaction at times. You cannot restrict the thought process.
The News Tribe: How do you overcome it?
Hassan Abdullah: Either I intellectually convince my opponents or they convince me. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore some people. And sometimes they ignore me.
The News Tribe: What are your desires outside your profession?
Hassan Abdullah: I want to see a world where justice prevails.
The News Tribe: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Hassan Abdullah: Humans by nature show little gratitude. We should always look at those who have got less. We should also try to help the less fortunate ones. Nothing in this world gives you more satisfaction than the smile on the faces of those in need.
The News Tribe: Your forthcoming projects?
Hasan Abdullah: At the moment I’m in the process of designing a system of international standard quality education for people who cannot afford expensive private education. What an irony that we talk about social justice when the very system of education propagates social stratification.