A Journey from Islamabad to Istanbul

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Article Submitted By: Maha Yusuf (SCME-NUST)

Her piercing eyes brim-filled with tears were fixed at the stage when an Algerian Entrepreneur sitting next to her in the red Convention Centre of Hilton Hotel asked: “Mam, which company are you representing? You look so young”

The question caught her out of blue. It left the twenty-one year old girl wondering what to tell. This was how “Roshan Jehan” came into existence in less than a minute.

Sitting amidst around 10,000 entrepreneurs from around the world and US Vice President “Joe Biden”, Minister of Economy UAE “Sultan bin Saied Al Mansour”, and other eminent CEO’s and personalities from across the globe waiting for Prime Minister of Turkey “Tayyip Erdoğan” to host the event was the most surprising rather exuberant thing that had ever happened to her. Deep inside her heart, she was static, amazed, surprised and yet wondering whether it was all a dream which wouldn’t be real when she would open her eyes.

Working late nights in Eid Holidays with a 102 degree Fahrenheit fever, weeping in washroom hours long for all this to come true was worth it, borrowing a seven-year old camera from a friend, writing dialogues, shooting and editing video on the very last day of video submission hardly few hours before the deadline, everything was worth it- she thought.

Finally she was in Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey!!!!!!!

Istanbul owing to its aesthetic beauty and cultural heritage appealed to her on very first sight. Marmara Sea, Blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, ferries sailing off connecting two parts of the city, Dolmabahce Palace and other sites, all of them were breath taking and mesmerizing.

The twenty-year old girl named Maha Yusuf is currently a fifth semester student of Chemical Engineering at SCME, NUST and is thankful to Allah from the bottom of her heart for realizing everything she ever incepted of.

The Second Global Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation was not just a summit. It was a gathering of entrepreneurs from across the globe not only for sharing innovative ideas, accessing international market, making business deals but also for experiencing different ethnicities, making relations and meeting new people.

It started on 3rd December, 2011 and on the very first day, I met people from around 10 different countries- there was Malaysia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordon, Ghana, Sudan, Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia etc. which was experience in its own very sense. People ask you for your card, name of your country, name of your company and name of your product. This was all very exciting and yet surprising undoubtedly for a person like me.

The second day I experienced Senior Lecturers from MIT, Stanford, Berkley, Venture Capitalists from Silicon Valley and CEO’s of eminent companies which later on mentored and judged me. Everyone was so inspiring and motivating; this was a different world I was in- a world of entrepreneurs and corporate business!! Joseph Hadzima, a Senior Lecturer from MIT Entrepreneurship Centre and Stephanie Marrus, a business advisor and corporate executive were two of the many aspiring persons I met on this great adventure whom I have great respect and regards for.

The summit ended on 6th December, 2011 with Pakistan being ranked second on entrepreneurship despite all the floods, all the earthquakes and hardships she faced in year 2011.

The Global submit left a permanent mark on me, a mark of bringing the best out of me, a mark saying each individual can make a difference to this world.  Pakistan being ranked second on the global summit was an eye opener for me and the words of my mentors were echoing in my head ‘business starts with 1$ only’. I urge my Pakistani brothers and sisters for not just following the trail, each one of you is a Steve Jobs a Bill gates. Our country needs job creators rather than mere job seekers. Just look around you there is an entire world a whole market for making millions out of nothing serving your nation. Pakistan needs you and if you won’t unleash the spirit within today the dawn of Pakistan as developed nation will never come.

I brought back not only the memories of the mega event but ever-lasting friends from different parts of the world, social contacts, and a “spirit” to make my country proud Insha’Allah.

Lastly, I would like to mention my teammate names Anum Shafique, Khan Ume Salam Danish, Muhammad Taha and Nasrullah khatri without whom none of this was possible. Special thanks to Lecturer Nayyar Mehmood without whose immense help I could never even have thought of representing Pakistan on this level. Mr. Adnan Shahid, CEO of Ideogeny without whose counseling and mentoring, I would never have developed a professionalism in my behavior and would never have come up with a business model. Words of thanks to Dr. Muhammad Bilal whose guidance on every single step made me believe in myself and Rector NUST for arranging such great opportunities for us students. And Lastly I want to thank my parents for without their support and their love I would not have been myself.

Happens to be the Founding Director of this Magazine, a graduate from National University of Sciences and Technology. My favourite areas of blogging are Technology and Education. You can find me on facebook, twitter or you can directly email me at nouman [at] irnustian.com

23 Comments to A Journey from Islamabad to Istanbul

  1. Great work! You are going to be an inspiration for many as I sense that your energy and enthusiasm is infectious. Don’t ever let anything get you down. All the best!

  2. Nasrullah Khatri

    a million dollar experience articulated in carefully picked words has made it a master piece for the readers.
    reading the text for the very first time makes one pray for the writer for her future to be even brighter then presentand ehtusiast for being an entrepurener himself.
    i have worked with her, she is best team leader one could ever wish to have. we congratualte you for your achievement and pray that you always keep shining the same way.
    keep up the gud work!! all the best wishes are with you!

  3. Stephanie Marrus

    What a great description of your experience, Maha. I’m glad it was so inspirational for you. You are right — Pakistan needs entrepreneurs to create jobs, as do countries throughout the region. You can make a difference!

  4. Thank you Rofaida – i miss you too 🙁 <3 Visit Pakistan m waiting ..
    Thank you so much Mom and Dad .. uff m soo gald you people commented hehe love ya <3 Love ya Soha Khad :p

  5. Momna Kiyani

    OmG Maha i just read this it brought tears in my eyes i swear!!! This is So inspiring for all students like us. God Bless You <3!! InshaAllah you'll get all the success i and happiness in your life 🙂
    Much love,
    Your friend.

  6. Danish Rathore

    It is very Inspiring !! You have created the air of entrepreneurship in the students …

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