Alishba Khan Barech, Youngest self-published author, started writing her 1st book when she was just 11 years old
Honored as a ‘Trailblazer Author’ by UNICEF during Girl of the day celebrations in 2020, Alishba Khan Barech hails from Noshki, also known as the ‘land of the golden desert’.
Poetically, the scenic landscape features of her place of residence led her to appreciate nature and its components, but realistically, matters were different.
For…, her place of residence had the lowest global female literacy rate. Surrounded by hopelessness and hindrances, this 11 year old girl set out on a journey…alone.
As a resident of Balochistan, Alishba was always striving to break the taboos and set a platform for all the young females around her because she believed that an actual patriarchal society provides a tremendous amount of determination to the progressive women; the hostility makes them stronger each time!
Despite all the hostility and non-availability of opportunities, Alishba managed to complete her debut novel at the age of 12. When she started working on her debut novel at 11, she was instructed how to write a 100-word story at school, but once home, Alishba would work on multi-thousand words of contemporary fiction & mystery.
After Alishba realized how powerful the impact was brought by words, she switched to a completely different genre and wrote a memoir. Alishba describes her memoir—as “my way of finding solace in a misinformed world.”
Repeatedly, the obstructions in her way left her isolated- she had no mentor, and no one took the work of an 11-year-old seriously. These difficulties implied that nature wanted her to be a trailblazer; after a 4-year long endeavor, she self-published her book in 2019 at the age of 16 and became the youngest self-published author in Pakistan.
It was her constant determination that she continued blazing her trail while fulfilling her responsibilities as a student. She participated in a Cambridge University immerse essay competition and earned a scholarship for summer school 2020; she participated again next year in the same category and earned the scholarship for the 2nd time for 2021!
Most of her literary achievements went unnoticed for a long time because she resided in Balochistan, but UNICEF acknowledged her efforts. Alongside honoring her as a ‘Trailblazer Author’, they also made her a Polio ambassador at 16 and requested her to write an article to convince the resistant parents to vaccinate their children against poliovirus. The article was published in Dawn—one of Pakistan’s largest English newspapers.
In 2021, as a youth & mental-health ambassador for UNICEF, Alishba opened up about her struggles in writing and publishing a book while residing in a tribal society during her engagement with UNICEF’s global mental health awareness campaign ‘On My Mind’. She discussed her perspectives and potential steps to help those in need with the Regional Director of UNICEF, South Asia, Mr. George Laryea-Adjei.
Residing in a terrorism-ridden area herself, Alishba could resonate with the feelings of so many underprivileged children of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was, therefore, a responsibility on her shoulders to voice their stories. Hopes & Apprehensions is an anthology of short fictional stories written to honor those children and teenagers. Alishba wrote it when she was 16.
When 17, Alishba under the same title penned fictional stories containing intimate feelings of disabled individuals-a pure attempt to celebrate their braveness while highlighting what sort of deprivation they may have to go through.
Deciding to study Environmental Management despite being the only student in her province, Alishba wanted to equip herself with the knowledge to be able to work for the environment. Because Alishba realized her uncanny interest and concern for Oceans & marine life, her manifestation led to her forming her own, Ocean-centered books. Her short series on secondary-researched articles & fictional series speak for her being an Ocean geek!
Alongside her books, Alishba also works on her blogs, discussing the evolution of technology and its impact on the current lifestyle. This author has also worked on a children’s book, but waits for the right time for its publication.
The determination to ‘be different’ led Alishba to compete in elections for the head of the student union. Her sweeping victories helped her remain a distinct and [author] student in her school.
Always seeking motivation from the poem of W.H Auden, The Unknown citizen, she has always felt that the efforts commenced in 2013/14 [and continued] wouldn’t be futile; she would accomplish her dreams one day!
Source ‘Alishba Khan Barech’ author page on Amazon
Follow her on,
Facebook: Alishba Khan Barech