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My First Baby Step...

Having wanted to be a Journalist for quite some time now, it is probably the first and only thing I've ever been so sure about in my life. I day dream of one day being able to work along side my idols, Anderson Cooper & Christiane Amanpour, both from CNN, and being able to consider both of them as my mentors. I dream that one day I will be able to walk down the halls of the CNN headquarters for my own shows or even report to CNN from Bangladesh as the country's first ever corespondent to the news-casting giant. I have always known where my dream job lies but I haven't yet tried thinking about my journey towards realizing it, but somewhere at the back of my mind I have always known that I will/might have to take on a very long (possibly painful) journey to realize it.

Then there is the fact that I love writing as well. I've always liked writing. Writing has always managed to allow me to say things I can't possibly say in person. Its something very very liberating. Recognizing my growing skill my parents, esp my father, wanted me to work for newspapers, For some reason they never understood that I wanted to go into broadcasting not writing. This is also quite ironic since I have a phobia of public speaking, ie, I start stuttering, my voice weakens, I start becoming nervous, etc. But I was willing to overcome these just to be able to work with Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour. I wasn't very successful in making them understand this myself either. Not until I started making them watch Amanpour's and Anderson's shows with me. Slowly, but steadily they started realizing what I REALLY want to do as a journalist.

Now, I don't think that they have much of a problem of me wanting to go into broadcasting as long as I know what I'm doing. But I guess I didn't want to let Ammu and Abbu being completely disappointed in my choices in the field of Journalism. Around three months back I applied for the post of a freelancer for a Supplement published by the largest English daily here in Bangladesh. Yesterday, my first article got published at the supplement with me as the freelancer. The moment I told my dad the previous night that my work is going on print, I noticed the clear happiness in his voice. Ammu and a teacher of mine called me up immediately after reading my work and kept telling me how good it was. This particular write up also happens to be my first published write up in nearly six years. Hence the more excitement in Ammu Abbu's reactions.

Here I've added a link to the site where you guys can take a look into my work:


kellyannaustin's picture

So exciting!

Congratulations, Raisa! You dream big. Good for you. :) These are the first steps toward our dreams and I'm so glad you are able to celebrate your milestones and to share them with us!

I wonder if you would be willing to compose a piece about digital issues for our Women Weave the Web Campaign? Has your access to the internet shaped some of your ideas about journalism? What do you think the wider impact of being able to publish on the internet would be for your career and dreams? I'd love to hear your thoughts about how technology affects your life and the lives of women around you. After all it is through technology that you've shared your thoughts already! You can find out more information about the campaign here, It would be fabulous to have your voice join others as we think through issues around digital access in all its complexity.

As you may know, there is also a prize that will be awarded to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work. The prize will include the 2014 Lynn Syms Prize title, a $20,000 monetary prize to be paid out over two years to support her community based work, a feature profile on, and an all-expense paid trip to speak her message in New York City. You can find more on the website,

The deadline is March 31st!

Wishing you peace,


Raisa Ashraf's picture

Hey Kelly!

Hey Kelly!

Thanks for letting me know, and I would be more than willing to participate in the campaign! Actually, I would love to. :D

I hope to write my best for this campaign since I do wish to advance in the works that intend to undertake in life and maybe inspire some people along the way as well. :)

I'll start working on it as soon as possible and you'll inshallah be able to read my work by the end of the month. :)

Wishing you the world's happiness, :)

Raisa Ashraf.

Raisa Ashraf's picture

Dear Kelly...

Dear Kelly,

I hope you are well both in mind and body. Over the past couple of days, I was thinking about what you had asked me in your previous comment: Whether access to the internet shaped some of my ideas about journalism? What do I think the wider impact of being able to publish on the internet would be for my career and dreams? I gave it a thought for sometime and I think that I know how to answer to your your question. :)

My access to internet has definitely shaped some of my ideas about journalism. Initially, when I was younger, my idea about journalism was simply restricted to either the people who wrote for newspapers or the news readers of the handful of news channels that we had or their occasional reporters, who were thoroughly unimaginative. However, as I grew, so did the number of news channels in TV and my access to the internet. Access to internet has allowed me venture into different aspects of Journalism. I learned to understand that the field of Journalism does not have to be restricted to which I thought it was. It is now much bigger, somewhat easier to get into and if I work hard enough, I would be able to get experiences that not many other fields would be willing to offer me.

The internet has caused the world to become smaller, in a sense that people have greater access to information now. Publishing ones work is much easier nowadays. As a result, there is also a greater readership online. Being able to publish my work, allows me to have a greater audience than what I would have had even five or ten years back. Internet platforms like blogging sites are a great places where I can get practice of having my work published. I can start to gain experiences, something which I already am, and a bigger firsthand knowledge of the life that I eventually wish to embrace.

Coming from a third world country, technology, esp. the internet, allows young girls like me to come in contact with the most wonderful things that the world has to offer without having to get up from our seats almost at all. Most of us lucky ones have learnt to dream big, bigger than what our parents could at our age, and we strive each and every day so that we can realize them. I say ‘most’ because there are still many people here in Bangladesh who are yet to come in contact with the wonders that technology and the internet has to offer. I guess, part of my dream is also to be able to empower people more, technologically through my work so that they can also start to dream big like I do now.

I hope I did justice to the questions that you had asked me. And I also hope to participate in the campaign as a part of my journey that still lies ahead of me.

Yours Truly

Raisa Ashraf

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