Stories From The East
Stories From The East
“Travelling – it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller” Ibn Battuta
Husna is a chemist by discipline with an MSc in Analytical Chemistry & Instrumentation from Loughborough University of Technology, UK. She has an overall work experience of 32 years in various fields. She spent 29 years in Research &Development (R&D) work, 9 of which were in agricultural chemistry with MARDI and 20 years in the oil & gas industry with the national oil company, PETRONAS. She was Head of Product Development Group while at PETRONAS Research, managing various research projects while her own specialty area was biofuels research. Her biodiesel research on palm oil methyl ester resulted in an article being written about her as a pioneer researcher in Petronas Resource magazine in 2002. She is now doing what she loves most – travelling and writing.
Husna’s experience in R&D work has kept her well-grounded for her non-fiction writing stint. Her first travel book “A Train to Catch”, based on her Trans Mongolian / Balkan trip was published by Partridge Singapore in 2016. Since then, she has been actively writing on her travel blog
She has written an article “Putrajaya, the Smart City” for Malaysian Airline System MAS in-flight magazine, Going Places August 2019 issue. She won third place for Jasmina Awards 2019, for My Malaysia category for her article “A Kind of Paradise”. She is a member of the editorial team and contributed essays for the book “Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives”, published in January 2021. She published her first ebook “People & Places: Walk My Journey” on Books2read.com in January 2021. The ebook is available on most distributors such as Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Scribd etc.
Many dream of breaking routines and pushing boundaries for that once-in-a-lifetime experience: taking buses, traveling around Turkey in the thick of winter, or crossing Siberia on the Trans Mongolian Express, or enjoying a campfire under the desert stars on the edge of the Sahara, or watching a bullfight in Madrid. Some of these journeys were geographical ones while some were inner journeys, inspired by the writer’s recollections of people who she crossed path with. The essays were intended to give the reader a feel for the place. They were written in a vivid emotive narration and storytelling style that would transport the reader back to the journey, as if he was there himself, travelling with the writer. These journeys are told in 22 essays, some of which are:
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“Through engaging photos and musings, Husna Kassim documents a memoir of a debut journey of a group of over-sixties old friends travelling through Siberia and the Balkan states on the Trans Mongolian Express, the Balkan Express and other less exotic trains. This book is about memories of people they met while journeying from Beijing to Moscow, through Mongolia, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Warsaw, Budapest and Zagreb. Savouring scenic Siberia and fascinating Mongolia, with its wild horses grazing on the Steppes and fleeting images of yurts and gers dotting the horizon……..What started out as an awkward mix of characters bound for a falling-out, resulted in a colorful travel experience of a life time, sometimes punctuated by amusing episodes of miscommunication but always pulling through in comradeship. A journey such as this, with its challenges and opportunities, allows the traveler to discover who she really is, in a way only the road brings.”
On-line stores carrying the book, the last I know, is as follows:
“Ordinary Women Extraordinary Lives” – that’s the title of a book that contains a collection of 26 thematic essays written by a group of women, who between 1969 and 1971, attended one of Malaysia’s premier all-girls boarding schools, Tunku Khursiah College (most popularly known by the abbreviation TKC).
Interestingly, an article shared on working and living experience in a zone of war and conflict in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Cambodia reminds mankind of the atrocities and the value of peace. While another wrote about a journey on Trans-Mongolian Express from Beijing to Moscow sharing glimpses of village life as the train snaked across Gobi Desert and the Steppes. Yet another write-up shared an experience of being shipwrecked in the Indian Ocean while on a fishing trip close to Maldives. One shared her experience on obsessions, tribulations and challenges faced in politics, the syariah law and matters of family concerns.
Read more and On-line stores carrying the book