About Me

I am an Aussie living in Rawalpindi, Pakistan with my husband, three children and alongside a huge extended Pakistani family.

Getting to this point in my life is a long story that starts in 1997 when within the space of 2 months, I sold my house in Sydney, quit my cushy job and yuppy lifestyle, and for nothing more than a yearning and spiritual pull, set off around the world. I travelled through India, Nepal, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran, learning all the while about the religion and spirituality of the places I passed through.

My last stop before heading back to India for a Buddhism course in Dharamsala was Pakistan, but I never got any further. I fell in love with the mad colour, pace and life of this place within minutes of crossing the border from Iran. I had been looking for spirituality and this was the first place I had experienced that felt like God was everywhere. On every wall seemed to be Quranic Arabic, in every taxi seemed to be Allah’s name, in every home people seemed to be praying. The call to prayer was not the muted affair that I had experienced in Turkey, Egypt and even Iran. It was a joyous and usually out-of-tune shout of celebration from not just one but thousands of mosques simultaneously declaring the time to pray.

The man I was destined to marry was the manager of my hotel in Rawalpindi and became my teacher in spirituality along with his father. We married in a tiny (and not particularly popular) ceremony at his home about six months later, and although there was no compulsion, I became a Muslim shortly afterwards with my full heart.  Three kids and about seven years of bouncing between Australia and Pakistan later, we made the decision to settle here permanently alongside his family.

Although life here is a challenge every day, I have a privileged position because I am both an outsider looking on and an insider living a Pakistani life (but never really fitting in anywhere!).

In 2011, after years of frustration at the education system here, I took my kids out of school and started home schooling. This launched us as a family into a whole new dimension of learning – from the kids being like battery chickens being fed rubbish and spitting it out again, to a new journey into learning for the love of it.

In parallel I work as an e-Learning consultant for a multinational company based in Dubai, and this too pushes and pulls at the traditional learning paradigm. It is action-based, systemic and applied learning… much like homeschooling! I also run my own freelance writing company made up of high quality young Pakistani writers and my role as mentor and leader is a huge source of inspiration.

I love learning, and this blog is my way of making sense of it and sharing our experiences here as a Pakistani homeschooling family.

Contact me at danielle@writeon-it.com


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Pakistan from the inside | Antony Loewenstein
  2. Zainab
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 05:28:15

    Assalamualaikum Danielle,

    I finally read your blog and I absolutely loved it.
    I especially liked your first post, and your most recent post (knowledge and opinion).
    Very interesting.



  3. Ali
    Apr 20, 2009 @ 08:34:07

    Hi danielle

    I appreciate your efforts to unleash the analysis of the Pakistani everyday. It is a brave task and you seem game to carry it out revealed by your having made Nikos Kazantzakis’ epitaph as a lodestar to help you negotiate the labyrinthine vistas of life in Pakistan. It reminded me that not very long ago I had a t-shirt with the self-same words, a gift from a Cretan friend, which I lost in the confounding rough and tumble of moving house from England to Pakistan. Though the garment be lost, the words which clothe the great thought are still with me and it is good to know that others in other places are moved by them as well.

    Keep it up and take it easy.



  4. Ali Amini
    Mar 10, 2010 @ 05:28:53

    Asalam Alaikum dear Danielle

    Good morning. I want to tell you a warm THANK for your written seven secrets for writers. It is so interesting and I use it in my writing styles. I want to translate it to Farsi language and sent to some of my Iranian pen friends (certainly I’ll mention your name)
    Anyway have a nice day full of inspiration

    Ali Amini from Iran


    • dalishah
      Mar 10, 2010 @ 05:54:28

      Oh you are So kind!!! Actually I wrote it as the first part of a course i was designing for writing english. I run a freelance writing company and am always coming across the same problems over and over. i am very happy that someone in Iran is reading it! I was there about 10 years ago and loved Iran – perhaps someday will return inshallah. ou are welcome to stay in contact on my email – danielle@writeon-it.com


  5. Damian
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 08:14:59

    Only just discovered the blog and love it. Hope you write again one day soon.


    • dalishah
      Aug 17, 2011 @ 10:28:39

      Thanks very much Damian – I have been awfully busy lately and have been concentrating on my communications work. Really should get back to it sometime but feel free to stay in touch… What should I write about do you think? Currently ensconsed in Ramadan in ridiculous heat and humidity – nothing really seems too inspiring…. just TIRING!


      • Damian
        Aug 17, 2011 @ 22:47:39

        Understood! What should you write? Well, once the month is over, I’d love to hear what Ramadan is like in Rawalpindi, warts and all. Best wishes!

  6. zaid
    May 02, 2012 @ 13:04:34

    Love your blog. I read all your blog. Its so good. I am going to an email to you. I lives in Rawalpindi too. I’d like to meet with you.
    your lil bro


  7. amemz
    Jun 23, 2012 @ 03:06:35

    The story of your life beautifully summed up!


  8. Sadia
    Nov 03, 2013 @ 14:26:41

    I want to homeschool my kids as well, am based in Islamabad, but dont know where to start and want to join a group. Please advise.


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