R Umaima Ahmed advocates for the rights of minority and transgender communities in Pakistan

Photo provided by R Umaima Ahmed and used with permission.

Community blog note: This post is part of a new series called GVer of the Week where each Wednesday, we'll feature a different community member who has been nominated by one of their colleagues. If you wish to nominate someone to be featured here, please complete this form.

Hailing from Lahore, Pakistan, R Umaima Ahmed has been contributing to GV for the past two and a half years with more than 40 posts under her by-line. The diversity of topics she writes about range from protecting freedom of expression online to animal rights to women's rights online. In this email interview, R Umaima tells us more about how she got started with GV and she also proudly shares the numerous cultural and culinary attractions that her city has to offer.

Global Voices: What do you do outside GV? What are your other interests?

I was employed full time at The News on Sunday till November, which took up my time. After office hours, I was contributing to a few online platforms. And until recently was the Regional Gate Keeper for Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan, and a panelist and trainer in their workshops. I have an interest in human, transgender, minority, and animal rights issues.

GV: What’s one surprising thing about you?

While I may appear to be staid and reserved, people who know me, find me easy to communicate with and feel comfortable sharing their problems with me.

GV: What do you want people to know about the place you live?

Lahore is Pakistan's second biggest city which was founded around 1000 BC. It is the center of Pakistan's cultural heritage and exerts a strong cultural and social influence in Pakistan. Lahore is the main center for Pakistan's publishing industry, and the center of Pakistan's literary scene.

The city is a major hub of education in Pakistan, and has some of Pakistan's leading universities in the city. Pakistan's film industry, Lollywood is based in Lahore. It is also the home to a number of Sufi mystic shrines and is a center of Qawwali music.

Pakistan's tourist industry major attractions in Lahore include the Walled City, the Badshahi (Kings) and Wazir Khan (Ministers) mosques, and Sikh Gurdawara's. Lahore also has the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Lahoris are fond of food, and the city has areas which offer ethnic cuisine both seasonal and year round, from street food Dhabas (Kiosks) to five-star ambiance!

GV: How did you find GV and get started as a contributor?

A friend who is a GV contributor introduced me to Rezwan Islam and from that point I have had the privilege to be a contributor.

GV: Why do you think GV is important?

I contribute as it gives me an opportunity share stories about Pakistan and get my creative juices flowing! It also connects me with other contributors and builds relationships to increase my knowledge and repertoire of cultural and social data!

GV: How did GV change your view of the world?

By making me aware of the different cultural milieu of other places in the world.

Follow R Umaima Ahmed on Twitter at @umaimablogger.

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