“I’ve been following these people in Norway with a lot of bonds to people there”. There being Iraq, the people being ISIS. I met Adel, so to speak, on Instagram. I adored his pictures and his sense of visual aesthetic and deep interest in people. I routinely ask people I admire in some way, shape or form to be in the magazine and luckily they’re usually as enthused as me. Fortunately Adel was no different. Norway is as foreign a place as Afghanistan to me. Adel resides there, a recent graduate of Oslo University College in Journalism. Adel is 23 and of Pakistani origin, I remember a common joke about Pakistanis -at least in the states, and I bring it up. “Stereotypes exist,” he says in reply to my comment that “Pakistanis are usually doctors or engineers”, he continues, “because it could be common amongst a certain race, nation, community or in the people under (the) same religion, since it was my own experience when I choose journalism as my future field. My mom justifying her opposition came up with very typical statements and examples from all around the world but… (It is) important… for one to pursue his dreams and live it.” He continues, “In contrast to that my father didn’t intervene… he just wanted me to stand on my feet, once it for all.”
Dreams, these days, not only include physical one’s out there in the world but also not so physical ones like social status, followers and likes on social media. On Instagram Khan has 8, 400 followers. A significant number for a guy with merely 122 pictures posted. Khan documents not his life, daily wears or food pics but the life of others. The men he’d been following with their ISIS affiliation are subjects for an upcoming documentary, “Why do they love radical figures?” “What do they think and feel? And “What’s the solution?” he poses to me rhetorically. He doesn’t know but in his upcoming documentary he hopes to find out how your “average Mohammed” becomes indoctrinated with radical ideas.
Through his feed we get to see his process and life behind the lens before the finished product. “Social media plays a very significant role in a journalists’ life. It may be a substantial platform to communicate and let your work out to the people all around the world and let your inner self to be heard and seen by the people who might or might not agree with you. More over the current youth understands… through social networking rather than watching long documentaries and (reading) articles. However… Journalism is about bringing out what’s true and hidden to the peak of celebration with the globe by all means.” His depth of reflection makes one rethink the “futility” of platforms like Instagram through his lens we see it is not just as a photo sharing app but the possibility of being a window in to the soul of someone outside you.
So how does a young Norwegian plan to make his mark on the world through film and photography? “My target and purpose is to serve journalism in a way (that) is not limited, I wish to travel across the globe and cut all the similarities and differences between cultures, religions, races, borders, nations and continents. And help people understand each other to the point of providing a common ground to all these discriminations. However I know I might not be able to ace it… but I aim to do my bit to make the most change I possibly can and that’s the satisfaction that I need, that is to bring the world closer and see how similar everyone is but are only different in words.”
Everyday Adel: Either | Or
Coffee or tea? Black Coffee.
Instagram or Facebook? Instagram
Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert
Photography or film? Film
Norway or Pakistan? Pakistan. Norway is too cold
Eastern or Western? Eastern in Norway but Western in Pakistan
Phone call or email? Depends on What I have available. But I prefer calling
Follow Adel on Instagram @Adelkhafka
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