Meet the millennial insta-queens of Thatta: they are young, self proclaimed feminists, patriotic hijabis and Zayn Malik is their one true bae.
At first glance Areeba Siddique and Noor un Nahar may look like regular young twin sisters taking selfies for fun but there is so much more to these twenty-year-olds than just that.
Areeba is a freelance illustrator for Rookie Magazine and Noor un Nahar has just published a book of poetry titled “I was the Moon.” They both blog and have amassed incredible followings on their social media. Unlike many social media stars they use their popularity for more than contouring lessons, they are authentic, socially relevant and always honest.
Areeba’s quirky illustrations put a fun spin on the day to day experiences growing up in Pakistan. Her blog deals with the trials and triumphs of growing up in a conservative society while maintaining your own personal truth – a struggle many young Pakistanis face in the increasingly polarized country. One illustration depicts a bright pink lehnga emblazoned with Urdu text spelling “Go to hell.” So what we see in her is a powerful mind which in its youth, is making drawings of, and speaking about, familiar issues in a way where the viewer feels that this is something often thought of but never so well expressed..
For Noor un Nahar, her strong medium is her writing, which shows insight and maturity way beyond heryears. She has written about life, about karachi, about terrorism, about inner struggles, about sorrow, about pain and about so many other human emotions and experiences.
She talks about survival by emphasising that it is on us to toughen ourselves in order to survive, by saying
“teach your heart how not to be like glass;
it shatters, delicately
a beautiful tragedy
toughen it with fire
of strength and bravery
so it couldn’t break that easily.
(teaching survival to my heart)”
In another poem she writes:
life hugs death everyday – protecting what it cannot kill
some of us are not supposed to feel safe – our homes start to vanish before our first breaths
a language i cannot speak
i don’t want to know so many things”
Just like all of us wish there were so many things we didn’t know or hadn’t seen.
Noor’s book “I was the Moon” is a collection of her poetry that focus on themes of love and emotional loss, the catharsis of creating art and the struggle to find one’s voice.
The girls come from a traditional household and their are open about how their public persona does not contradict their religion, rather their family supports them.
This is also a brilliant example of the benefits and outreach of social media for those who argue against it. Nothing is good or bad, it’s how you use it that makes it so. You must find them and follow them both, if you aren’t doing so already.