In The Hot Seat – Anna Sadeghpour
We chat with Anna Sadeghpour, Founder of newly-launched community blog, Anahata Dubai, who talks about the most rewarding part of blogging and offers some advice to those looking to launch their own blog…
Name: Anna Sadeghpour
Current Job Title: Founder of Anahata Dubai and freelance Writer/Marketer
When did you first arrive in Dubai?
I moved to Dubai in June 2013, from Sydney, Australia.
Where did you work prior?
In Australia, I worked in marketing communications exclusively for humanitarian organisations ranging from government entities set up to represent the rights of adolescents, to projects supporting education for marginalised children, to human rights work through Amnesty International Australia. Since relocating to the UAE, I’ve worked in the digital marketing team at DMCC and as a freelance Marketing Consultant.
What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
My first impressions were that digital media was quite behind compared to international markets. That things move and change really fast, and that relationships in this region are paramount.
Has your opinion changed much?
Middle Eastern culture is very warm and hospitable, so the relationship-centred approach to business is still dominant. It’s something I’ve grown to really enjoy and appreciate. In terms of changes, I’ve seen an increase in innovative digital campaigns coming out of this region, which is promising.
Is blogging your full-time job or a part-time passion?
It’s a part-time passion. When I’m not working on Anahata Dubai, I’m doing a mixed bag of writing, blogging and marketing work for a variety of clients.
Tell us about Anahata Dubai…
Anahata Dubai (www.anahata.me) is a community service blog for Dubai, which connects residents with all of the social and environmental initiatives taking place in the emirate. The blog covers a range of themes – from offering every day advice on how to make a difference, to promoting social impact events and campaigns taking place in the city, to featuring some of our local changemakers. It aims to inspire every individual in Dubai to give back to the community.
What’s the most rewarding part of blogging?
The most rewarding part of Anahata Dubai is being able to combine my skills and passion into an enterprise that helps others. I also can’t complain about working on my own time and being able to pursue my own stories!
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a blog/career in the media industry?
If you’re passionate, committed and have something that’s truly useful or relatable to offer others, just do it. Start the blog and start living the life you want today. When you overcome your fears and truly give in to something bigger than yourself, you will be blown away by what the universe gives back to you.
Do you accept press material from PRs?
Yes of course, but I’ll only write about products and initiatives that are ethical and that I believe in.
How would you rather be contacted at work?
Email is the easiest and best way to contact me.
Describe yourself in five words…
Passionate, independent, friendly, detailed, spiritual.
Five things you can’t live without?
My family, kitty, phone, yoga pass and hair straightener.
If you weren’t in media, what would you be doing?
I have to say, I’m now doing exactly what I want to be doing. However, in an alternate universe, I’d love to travel the world watching wildlife with Sir David Attenborough. His nature documentaries absolutely blow my mind!
How do you see online journalism/blogging changing in the UAE in the coming years?
I see a surge of new homegrown bloggers and a move towards vlogging.
What would be the next step for you (would you look to launching a publication, collaborating with any brands/media etc.)?
I’ve just started my journey with Anahata Dubai, so my immediate priority is building a community of changemakers that can make a real social impact. Beyond that, I’m very open to collaborations that can help to further this mission.