The Face of Sairbeen - Aliya Nazki

The Face of Sairbeen - Aliya Nazki

Aliya Nazki is the main presenter of the BBC Urdu TV programme, Sairbeen. Aliya has established herself as the face of Sairbeen. Her presentation style won her the prestigious AGAHI Award 2013 for emerging Current Affairs Anchor of the Year. As part of an award-winning team of online and radio journalists, she has worked successfully across platforms. Aliya is fluent in English, Urdu and Hindi. She has a strong interest in current affairs, politics and international relations. Aliya has a degree in English Literature from Delhi University and she studied International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

I first started working with BBC Urdu as a freelance translator, and then a presenter for their radio FM bulletins. I then went on to work on the website for nearly seven years, during which time I worked on, among other things, BBC Urdu’s evolving video offer. Though I have to say, presenting Sairbeen was the first time I did real, live TV, and it was, and in fact still is, nerve wracking and challenging but also very exciting. 

I come from a family where children were not burdened with those sorts of expectations where every girl had only two options either to become a doctor or a teacher.  My parents always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do, instead of following some predetermined career path. So when I decided that I was far happier studying humanities and wanted to pursue English literature, the only question that my parents asked was where I wanted to do it. To be clear, I always thought I would end up in a research position, but I like to say I’m a bit of a drifter,and journalism and the BBC just seemed to happen.

The best part of working in news is that no two days are the same. Your work is different every day. The kind of stories you report on, the regions of the world you are looking at constantly change. We constantly strive to report news events as they happen around the world, in the most objective way possible. Every programme well done is a high, especially when we focus on issues that the local media, for whatever reasons, doesn't give much time to. 

Being a woman journalist out in this world is not an easy job. But I've been very lucky in that being a woman hasn't impacted my professional life at all.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of other women journalists out there who can’t say that. It is quite hard to manage home with a time demanding work and I won't lie; it's a constant balancing act. But I feel I'm very lucky.I have a beautiful son and a job I love. Definitely not complaining!

As a Kashmiri, I miss everything about Kashmir. Everything. The place, its people, the food, yemberzal in spring,walking on crisp Chinar leaves in autumn, long cold winter nights. Everything.But most of all the feeling of being home.  Last year when I was in Kashmir I found out to my utter horror that hardly anybody does tilla work
by hand anymore. Kashmir Heritage is slowly dying. It is sad that too many of our traditions are being lost. 

Kashmir has produced its share of women journalists and the numbers are actually on the rise now, as more young women explore new and exciting options. To all those aspiring young ladies, I have only one thing to say. There's no substitute for hard work. If you want something- go after it. 


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