Who is @NaveenNaqvi ?

Executive Director of Gawaahi, Naveen Naqvi says she will never give up on Pakistan.

Faisal Kapadia October 07, 2011
Naveen Naqvi is the Executive Director of Gawaahi, a Pakistan-based non-government organisation. Prior to this, she was the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Gawaahi.com, a completed, self-sustaining project of Gawaahi.

As a broadcast, online and print journalist, Naveen has been a senior news anchor for DawnNews, producer at NBC News and written for Huffington Post, The Express Tribune, Dawn and The Friday Times. She has traveled from Kazakhstan to Germany and Brazil for her work as a journalist and now as a social media activist. Before this, Naveen was a television actor, model and music show host.

When did you first join Twitter and why?

I first joined Twitter in early 2009 after the Iranian election protests or the Green Movement. I felt that social media could be used well in support of my work as a presenter for the morning news at DawnNews. I would put forward the names of my guests, and share the topic of discussion and my followers would tweet questions, which I asked on live television. It was great fun! Later, I realized that Twitter was a good way not only to publicize my work but also to meet people, to deliver news and to receive it.

Your blog has gained a lot of attention and prominence since you started it. Tell us about this experience.

It was bloggers like Ammar Yasir, Sana Saleem and you, Faisal, who got me to start my blog. At first it reflected the sort of work I was doing at Breakfast at Dawn, stories I had worked on, politicians I had interviewed, analysis and so on. But then, I also wrote some travel pieces, which I enjoyed a lot. Aly Balagamwalla or DiscoMaulvi as we know him recommended my blog for the Blog Awards in the Best Celebrity Blog category (wink, wink) and next thing you know I was an award-winning blogger. I now find it hard to blog because of platforms like Twitter which offer instant gratification. However,  I've just discovered Tumblr, and I am enamoured.

Have you ever had a Twitter fight? If so, which one is most memorable to you?

Will you forgive me if I say I'm a lover, not a fighter - I've never fought with anyone on Twitter.

How many followers do you have on Twitter and is it hard to converse with all of them?

I have quite a few followers. I don't attempt to converse with all of them. I try to respond most of the time to direct questions and comments, but I almost never reply to trolls nor do I retweet them.

Being a broadcast a well as online celebrity has its own set of challenges how do you overcome these?

I've never found being a 'celebrity' a challenge. It's not like we're being stalked by paparazzi and so on in Pakistan. I remember one incident when my parents were annoyed because some random fellow in a hospital waiting room was making unfounded disparaging remarks about me. Apart from that, I'd say I'm a big fish in a small pond really.

You are stranded on a desert island but you get to choose with whom. Name him/her?

Why would I be stranded on a desert island? Hain? Why? Why? Are you saying my plane is going to crash? Is that what you're saying?

What is your favorite kind of music?

I must confess, it's Indian film music, especially from the 70s. What can I say? I'm mentisental like that.

Which one superpower would you pick?


What according to you is the most endearing quality in a man?

In a man, I admire integrity, in a woman the same.

What does Naveen do for fun?

Hanging out, going to the movies at Atrium for the caramel popcorn, and actually, I find sewing to be super relaxing.

Which one gadget would you like to own?


You visit foreign shores often; which to you is the best and the most vibrant destination?

I loved Brazil. Koh Samui in Thailand is stunning. New York is an ongoing romance.

Describe the everyday traffic scenario in Karachi in one word?


You are president of Pakistan from tomorrow, where do you begin?

By appointing someone who should be president of Pakistan.

Why do you think Pakistanis are in such denial?

I think there is so much that has gone wrong, and the situation continues to get worse - it is hard to keep up. It becomes increasingly difficult to step up and take responsibility when it's so much easier to blame 'foreign hands' and other such things. Also, the Pakistani leadership (state, political and military) have not had much moral fibre, and this filters down. Having said this, today's world is so full of horror, isn't everyone in denial?

What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

Ukh! The last movie I saw was Meray Brother Ki Dulhan, and I hated it. I couldn't even sit through the whole thing. The last movie I enjoyed was Even The Rain with Gael Garcia Bernal.

If you had one song to sing, which would it, be?

If I could sing, I would want the voice of Nina Simone, and then, I could sing anything at all.

What is your favorite dessert?

Warm Chocolate gateau.

Coffee or tea?


As far as social media is concerned you have met many Pakistanis through it. Do you think this medium has any hope for the future?

I have met the most wonderful people through Twitter. That includes you, Faisal Kapadia! Social media is the future.

Tell us something about Gawahi and what you do with it?

At Gawaahi, we make videos for awareness and advocacy campaigns, enabling other non-profit organisations who work on causes close to us. We recently held a couple of events where we connected the United Nations Population Fund with the media across different platforms. That is something we would like to continue doing under the project title, Spotlight where we discuss various issues being explored by non-profit organisations and figuring out how to better sell them to audiences through the media.

As you know, we're deeply committed to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and so we set up a stockpile of videos that offer guidance to citizen journalists and aspiring bloggers. These include instructional videos and interviews with bloggers from Pakistan and all over the world. In the tradition of Gawaahi.com, the NGO Gawaahi invites voices from Pakistan and the world to speak out against injustice, using videos, photographs and words.

I'm the founding Executive Director of the NGO, and in that role, I've made multimedia videos on the issue of street harassment. This is just a start to show what we can do, and should eventually lead to advocacy campaigns on other subjects close to us.

There are many in Pakistan who are losing hope day by day. Are you one of them?

I'm telling you about all these amazing plans I have, and you're asking me if I'm losing hope? No and never! :)

Which social media tool do you use the most?


What comes to mind when you hear the word, Twitterati?

I'm not terribly fond of the term. Twitter is all about inclusion while Twitterati sounds exclusive to me.
Faisal Kapadia A Karachi based writer who blogs at deadpanthoughts.com and tweets @faisalkapadia (https://twitter.com/faisalkapadia)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


zalim singh | 12 years ago | Reply hot chick
Saad Durrani | 12 years ago | Reply Oh the good days when she used to be on TV, reading news.
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