social media

Podcast: Storyology Panel

I had the honour of being on a panel with a couple of awesome women recently at the Walkley's Storyology conference. 

Check out a podcast about the panel below:

Kara in particular, just *says it like it is*. YAAAS! 

It's been a while...

Hey y'all!

A few things have been going on so I thought I'd share a few links, thoughts and announcements... 

1. I wrote this piece after attending an Iftar with the Prime Minister of Australia, the first Iftar held by a sitting PM in the history of the nation.  It was also in response to some pretty vicious reporting following the event... check it out here!

The fallout has been pretty rough, and has definitely provided lots of food for thought. I'm still ruminating but hope to share some reflections soon. Stay tuned inshallah.  

2. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the lovely Meri Fatin for Cover to Cover WA talking about 'Yassmin's Story' and the process of writing a book. It was broadcast on Westlink TV a little over a week ago. Check out the video below!

3. I started a new Instagram! It's very self indulgent...


@HijabKween is where I'm sharing my hijab/turban styles, fashion influences and bits and pieces of inspiration that I collect on my travels. Hit a sista up!

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4. Junkee let me reminisce about the last year. Subhanallah, it has been a full year, Alhamdulilah! Check it out here...but more importantly - if you'd like a nomination for Junket let me know - and nominate someone you think is cool for Aus or Young Aussie of the year! It's how we recognise those changemakers around us! <3 

5. Amaliah are doing this really awesome thing where their readers 'takeover' their Snapchat for a day and show what Ramadan looks like in their world! Follow the account below...I'll be doing a Ramadan Takeover on the 29th of June inshallah! Watch out for it! 



6. Still haven't picked up your copy of 'Yassmin's Story'? Well, fortunately for you, Mammia Mia posted an excerpt (a particularly angry one, haha!) here.  Check it out...then BUY THE BOOK! *grin* *angel face* #MyHijabCoversMyHaloRight? :D 

7. I'll be cruising around Switzerland, The Netherlands, Berlin and Uganda over the next month inshallah. Follow my travels on @yassmin_a (twitter, snapchat and insta), but if you're in these areas and you'd like to catch up and say hello, holla @ me! Email - I'd love to meet you inshallah, and bonus points if you have a copy of the book for me to sign ;) 

8. Last note... this is what I wrote on my FB wall today. Food for thought.



Guest Tweeter on Ten!!!

TGIF all! Good morning, and I have some exciting news for you all!

Network Ten is launching a new breakfast show next Monday, called "Wake Up".  It's hoping to be something a little different for your mornings...


...I am super honoured to be on of the regular guest tweeters on the show!!

It's going to be quite exciting inshallah. They've given me pretty much free reign to tweet as I like during the show, commenting on all sorts of issues (even if the coffee they give me isn't up to scratch, and let's face it, nothing's quite as good as Brisbane coffee).  I'll be appearing on set with the hosts three times during the morning for some talk about what's trending on twitter and the news of the day (including, as I will ensure, socially conscious topics!!).

This is a little bit awesome, right?!

So your job is to watch the show (it starts at 6.30am on Monday morning), and I will be the guest tweeter on next Thursday the 7th!!!

Tweet/FB/Instagram with me about all the issues that are important to you on that day and I will make sure they get some airtime (as best as I can!).


My handles: @yassmin_a - - - and I suppose I will have to get on that instagram bandwagon ;)

Their handles:

@WakeUpOnTEN - - :)


This is going to be really fun inshallah, and I am honestly pretty proud of a commercial platform interesting in having a 'visibly different' voice on the show. Now, just to make sure that isn't a token voice and doing something with it (and hopefully, having this as only the start of a whole new wave of voices!).

Khair inshallah!!

Are you going to be watching? Pft, that's not even a question. You most definitely are inshallah ;)

Wake up

The Drama Around #SocialMedia and Politics.

During #QandA on Monday, a lady asked the question about social media that got tongues and fingers wagging.

[box] Leisa O’Connor asked: I have a 17 year old daughter who won’t vote this year but will next time – active debater, articulate, well’s clear she is influenced heavily because Kevin communicates so effectively in the world where she lives – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc...Even if she doesn’t agree with the policies – she is swayed because she feels Kevin Rudd is more in touch.[/box]

I completely understood where the mother and daughter were coming from, and was surprised (although perhaps I shouldn't have been) with the response from a fellow panel member.

[box]Yeah, look, I hear what you’re saying and I suspect it’s not this election that will be decided by social media but maybe the next one or the one after that but not this one... I can tell you most undecided people do not [tunes in to what Kevin Rudd is tweeting today]. They don't. They don't about care about politics. They are not interested. They are doing other things...You know, I'd like to educate your daughter.[/box]

What was more interesting was the response online.  On the #QandA discussion forum and on twitter, people expressed their disdain at young people basing their decisions on social media.

Examples of comments:

[box]Sadly if your daughter bases her votes on who she can see on twitter she won't be a very informed voter.  If people's preference is sitting back relying on social media to educate them on issues then they will not be well informed regardless of how well educated they are. It is also highly possible that it is not Rudd posting his tweets but one of his many media staff. Kevin Rudd is currently acting more like a show pony trying to win people over by popularity instead of proving he is a politician with any substance.  I hope for the sake of Australia that our youth are not that gullible and make the effort to research the track record of all parties before voting.[/box]

twitter 2

Clearly a little opposition to the idea that us young people have no idea...


'Social media' has been discussed, derided, lauded and dissected endlessly since it started taking off a few years ago and began to play a part in  'real' movements.

Perspectives are varied: some see it as the saviour and liberator of the East, some see it as proof of young people losing social skills and capacity to be able to communicate face to face.

At the end of the day, we must remember that social media is a tool, and should be treated as such. A tool itself does not hold any power beyond the power we bestow it through our use.  It has natural advantages and disadvantages but focusing on either at the expense of the other in a public role such as politics is not only foolish, it is ignorant.

I feel strange writing about 'social media' as a discernible 'thing': the fact of the matter is, the forum that other generations seem find so hard (by and large) to get their heads around is just part of the natural fabric of our lives.  It's not as if I grew up as a child-early-adopter either; my parents only allowed me an old school mobile phone at the end of grade 11 (and only because mum accidentally got sent two!).  However, as much as we sometimes hate it, my generation lives and breathes online just as legitimately as we do offline.

Relationships are announced on Facebook, elections on twitter.  Is it different to how it used to be? Yes. Does that make it terrible? I don't think so.

When the television was introduced, people cried the death of the radio.  When the internet was introduced, people feared the death of television.  Now, the latter is yet to be decided but the radio is still around.  Sometimes technology is replaced completely, but often new technology simply extends the reach and scope of information through avenues that were previously inaccessible.  That is the power of social media.

To the question of social media and politics.

Young people are not stupid. We are not completely ignorant, and although many like to believe it, we are not all as self obsessed as the selfie epidemic would have you think.  It is insulting to think that simply because KRudd has an account we will vote for him.  It isn't that he has an account, it is what he does and says with it that matters.

Not all young people are the same and are interested and engaged. This is true. However, the youth demographic is a powerful one indeed and ignoring them and their needs is done at your own peril.  Half a million young people are enrolling to vote this week.  The age bracket of 15-24 year olds is over 13% of the population (ABS, 2013).  There are a few marginal seats in that, I would imagine…

Gone are the days of obsession with and loyalty to a particular type of ideology.  We care about issues, issues that we feel are important.  Whether politicians like it or not, only a very small, engaged percentage of young people will spend the time researching policy and gauging whether or not a particular party aligns with their beliefs.  As such, politicians need to be able to effectively community their standing directly.

What better way to do so than through the forum we are all already on?

If you want to hold a party and everyone is already at one location, what is more effective: going to that location and starting the party there, or convincing everyone that they have to come to where YOU are because that's where you have always had your parties?

The same concept applies.  Young people are active and engaged on social media – Facebook largely, instagram and twitter for the more politically active.  For politicians to be able to communicate effectively, they need to be active on these platforms, and engaged with their audience.  We are the shareholders, the constituents.  We are electing you to represent us. Show us why you deserve our votes.  Earn it. 

We aren’t interested in endless press releases about obscure funding agreements and official statements on a Facebook page that is clearly run by a staffer.  I want to see the personality behind the politician, engage in discussion and debate that makes me convinced that this person is genuine, going to be a good representative, and eventually, deserves my vote.

In a way, it can be seen as ‘show ponying’ as a tweet described.  However, that is campaigning, is it not?

Policies are important, there is no doubt about that.  What wins though, is a combination of good policy, good service delivery and implementation, then good communication.

Using social media is simply good communication if you want to communicate with young people.

It may not win you the election, but at least we were hearing what you had to say.


Oh, and for all the baby boomers’ disparaging comments about the state of the youth if they are deciding who to vote for from social media let me ask: does your average voter not decide after conversations with their friends and family around dinner tables on these issues? How is this any different?


What do you think?


young people


Links, Links, Links!! 28th April 2013

Hi everyone! How are we this fine Sunday? 11887_10151568205954060_952084009_n


I've had an interesting week, not least as I was interviewed by the ABC (live! zomgsh) on my piece in the Griffith Review.  Check out the video HERE!

How many times do we have to say this?  The use of the word "illegal" is ignorant and mischievous!

[box] While the Coalition may have hoped to score political points with the reappearance of its "illegal boats" billboard this week, it has shone a spotlight on its feeble grasp of international law. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is wrong to say that the Refugee Convention says asylum seekers are "illegal". [/box]

On the topic of the Boston Marathon Bombings: why is it considered terrorism and Aurora and Sandy Hook not?

Wise words on Bahrain from an unlikely source: Joe Saward, the F1 journalist...

[box] Some would argue that it is necessary to remove all religion from the political process and that until Bahrainis stop thinking about being Shias or Sunnis there cannot be a truly democratic country. If you go back in history you see many nations going through similar religious troubles, notably in Europe in the 16th and 17th Centuries when Catholics and Protestants murdered one another in large numbers. We do not live in a perfect world, but sport is one of the few ways in which nations can unite, transcending internal divisions and thinking as a group. Thus looking at a much bigger picture one has to say that the Grand Prix is a good idea for Bahrain. No doubt some will disagree…[/box]

Finding a way of being a girl that doesn't hurt... again going to a question of where the feminist movement is?

Again on the issue of feminism...Five Myths about Feminism.  How do you feel about the label?

A massive discussion about social media's do's and don'ts. Really interesting - how do you use social media, as an individual and as a company?

Seth Godin asks the question: What is your critical mass?

[box] If your idea isn't spreading, one reason might be that it's for too many people. Or it might be because the cohort that appreciates it isn't tightly connected. When you focus on a smaller, more connected group, it's far easier to make an impact.[/box]

This is old news but I think I forgot to link it in my hubris - the first female, Muslim MP in Australia!

I am a sucker for beautiful photography (who isn't), and beautiful photography of beautiful machines? How could I resist...



Oh and don't forget to check out my posts this week; one on Global Migration and Identity and the other on Stirling Moss's comment's on women in F1. If you want to keep in touch more regularly, you can always check out my Facebook page!