I Don’t Want to be a Celebrity!

Ladies, I am having mixed feelings about this:

When I found out on Saturday Google wanted to feature me as part of their case studies in online work I was excited. Very excited. When the video came out it was fab and I loved it. However, a day later things changed somewhat.

Open the video in YouTube. Do you see that description there?

Originally from South Waziristan, Maria runs the Women’s digital league; an online freelancing company that provides digital services to clients from around the world. Maria and her team of female employees work from their homes and conduct research, database management, event management etc.

Umm … this is the second instance in a short period of time where I’ve been invited to be a part of some big shot event and then introduced as being from SW. Now that would have been fine with me except that none of the other’s profiles read, “XYZ, originally from Tando Ala Yaar” or “Native of Lahore” or whatever. Why does this have to be a prefix for me? Is my only achievement the fact that I belong to FATA? Why does that overshadow the fact that I’ve a Master’s Degree in English Lit? Or that I am a woman in a male dominated industry? Or that I’ve worked extremely hard the past few years? I just don’t get it. Maybe I am reading too much into it and getting all sensitive for nothing but nevertheless … I don’t like it. I don’t understand why it has to be there.

Another reason why I am disturbed is because overnight I am being swamped with CVs. Look at my Facebook page stats:

Virtual Assistant
Do you see the MAD graph? I don’t have any work, ladies. Not at the moment. I am not hiring. I am merely working on building the portal and reaching out to people trying to convince them to give us work when the portal is online and ready to go.

I am not a successful businessperson. Actually, I am quite a failure. Yeah, let’s say it out loud. I never meant to enter business. All I wanted was to get a an O-A Levels teaching job and earn Rs. 30k a month. That was the most I aspired for. WDL was started by accident. I had discovered online work – was making decent money – working flexible hours – no workplace politics. It was great. Other woman just had to know about it but no one would take me seriously. So I had the bright idea of making it into a business because flaunting titles, though empty ones, gives you more credibility than if you work out of pure good faith. I just meant to encourage other women to work online.

No regrets. I have enjoyed the journey. I am still loving it. It’s what gives me the strength to get up in the morning and actually puts a smile on my face. Working on WDL makes me happy. There! But, I don’t want anyone to think I am a fraud. There are just so many of those out there flaunting “social enterprises” – you’d be surprised. Am working very hard. trying to make this happen. But for now, I am just a simple woman with a dream and lots of hope and tremendous support and help from some amazing people. Just a disclaimer here. Some people have asked if I am supported by the government or if it has helped me in any way. fair question considering the video is being shown from the PITB platform. But to clarify – I’ve been working on my own with no financial help from any organization.

OK I have vented enough. Have had a fever for last 3 days so forgive me if I am not making much sense.

Thank you … *bow



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