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Shahzaib Latafat | Interview



Times of Youth: How would you describe yourself? Do give us a brief introduction.

Shahzaib Latafat: I am a hardworking and determined individual who is trying to excel in his profession. It has been three to four years since I have been a part of this field and I am pursuing my education alongside it. Every year, I work hard to improve my teaching skills and find ways to make challenging course materials easier for my students to study. My students believe that I am quite good as a Mathematics teacher and I really hope they do not just say this out of respect. Teaching certainly is not an easy profession because it is immensely time consuming and I have to keep myself constantly prepared for classes. When I first started teaching, I knew I would encounter students who would test me before they could rely on me for good results so I had to maximize my efforts in order meet their expectations. And as I have mentioned, I am a very determined individual who does not back down from a challenge. Therefore, I work extra hard so that I can succeed in my profession.

Times of Youth: Who inspired you to take up this profession?

Shahzaib Latafat: I do not think anybody inspired me to take up teaching as a profession. I knew it would be my call because I had always wanted to contribute towards making a positive difference for the coming generations. Educating children is very important to me because through education, teachers can guide children to become better human beings or even, future leaders. They can also have a positive impact on students’ academic learning which is quite essential. I had a feeling that teaching would give me personal satisfaction because I would get to interact with children on an educational level and see the great potential they have, in order to live full and meaningful lives. I also knew that it will be a great learning experience for me because through this profession, I could acquire a better sense of personal efficacy and experience greater interpersonal development.

Times of Youth: If not this, what else would you have taken up as your 2nd career of choice and why?

Shahzaib Latafat: I don’t think a second career choice has ever been in my mind, unless you count my childhood days when the decision of my future profession would change from a doctor, to an engineer, to a businessman, or even a cricketer. I think that even if I had encountered any form of failure in my teaching profession, I would still have pursued this career with firm determination and undaunted by any setbacks.

Times of Youth: Do tell us how has your experience has been in your current field so far.

Shahzaib Latafat: The early years were challenging as I had to work a lot on time management and handle the difficult task of coping with the new schedule. I also used to be really worried about meeting the high expectations of my students. However, I have grown as a teacher and my experience has been really good so far. The students have responded well to me and I have been able to build a strong connection with them, which allows me to push them beyond what they thought they were capable of. They seem to look up to me as their elder brother rather than a teacher and realize that the subject is not as difficult as they believed it would be. I have also gotten much joy from seeing the hard work of my students pay off in the form of good results, especially when many of them did not believe that they could get through O’ and A’ levels with such good grades. I think seeing their excitement at their results has been my greatest achievement as a teacher. However, I still get worried about their results because I want them to get the best possible grades. I believe that it comforts my students when they know that the one teaching them is caring enough to be equally worried about their results.

Times of Youth: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself as a teacher, honestly?

Shahzaib Latafat: It is very difficult to rate oneself as a teacher because all teachers are in a constant state of development. I guess I would rate myself as an 8. I have been working hard for the past few years to make sure that I meet the expectations of my students. I want to make sure that I educate them in the best possible manner so that they get the most out of my classes. Apart from teaching, I also make them practice a lot of sample questions because mathematics require both teaching and practicing for the students to fully comprehend the concepts. However, even though my students love me as I am, I think that I still have to improve a lot more before I can be rated as a 10.

Times of Youth: What is/are the most challenging aspect/s of your career?

Shahzaib Latafat: There are several challenges that I think most teachers encounter, including myself. One of them is to bring every individual student on the same level of understanding as the teacher’s so that they are able to grasp the concepts well and do not lag behind. Another difficult part of this profession is making the students learn all aspects of a subject so that they would be fully prepared for all possible ways in which exam questions can be thrown at them. I think one of the most challenging issue that normally all teachers face is classroom management. Teachers have to acquire a balance between maintaining discipline in class and making sure that the lecture does not get boring. Therefore, they constantly have to come up with ways to keep the students engaged in class because that captures their attention which in return allows them to have a better understanding of the course material. You also have to keep them motivated so that they do not lose interest in the subject.

Times of Youth: What kind of a student were you in your schooling years?

Shahzaib Latafat: Most of my students ask me this question. People often think that a good teacher must have been an exceptional student of his time. They will be surprised to know that the reality is a lot different than what it appears to them. I was an average student in my class. I see my reflection in the students I teach as I was no different than what they are. Acts of mischief, plea for holidays, hard work, tension of assignments, worry of exams and fear of results – all of it was there as it is now, and accurately sums up my schooling years.

Times of Youth: Who according to you is an ideal student? Have you ever come across any?

Shahzaib Latafat: Every student is distinct and ideal in his/her own way. As a teacher I have come across various students: some of them are really strong academically; some not so good but very hardworking. My ideal student is one who is undaunted by challenges, hardworking and sincere, responsible, respects his teachers, and possesses good ethical and moral standards. All my students are ideal students for me, in one form or another.

Times of Youth: Comment on the rational value of today’s educational syllabus system. As per your observations, what else should be included/deleted and why?

Shahzaib Latafat: Today’s education system is far from perfect. Instead of encouraging students to be creative and think for themselves, it has promoted rote-learning. It has also shaped a mindset which emphasizes more on getting A/A+ grades than on actually understanding and retaining the knowledge conveyed to the students. The students are valued by their mark sheets and their potential is not given its deserved importance. In my opinion, the educational syllabus should not just focus on student’s skills of memorizing but should give due important to his/her creativity and comprehension skills. Its focal point should be on teaching students analytical skills so that they are able to critically examine the information provided to them instead of becoming memorizing puppets. If given a chance, I would alter the educational system in such a way that it creates an environment where every student learns to value his/her talents like they value their grades, and where they ‘want’ to learn not where they ‘have’ to learn.

Times of Youth: Which Guinness world record would you like to set?

Shahzaib Latafat: I am not really interested in setting a world record because I do not teach to gain popularity; I do it because I really love teaching and I am passionate about it. However, I do not know if it counts as a world record or not, but I want to educate as many children as I can because unfortunately, our country’s literacy rates are really low. I want to educate them so that they go ahead in their life and make a positive change in this world too. They are the future of this country and they need to eradicate the problem of illiteracy from Pakistan.

Times of Youth: Who/what is your ideal?
Shahzaib Latafat: My ideal has always been the person who is a role model for all of humanity: The Holy Prophet (PBUH). From my childhood, I have tried my best to implement the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in my life. The Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) life teaches us that an individual cannot achieve anything without hard-work, perseverance and commitment. I have tried to act upon the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by being steadfast, patient, honest and sincere.

Times of Youth: Which current personalities do you believe are the most influential in today’s times, especially for current younger generation?

Shahzaib Latafat: Looking at the size of younger generation and their diverse interests, it really is difficult to say that all of them look up to the same personality. The name, fame and money of people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates has grabbed the attention of a greater fraction of the world’s population but on a national scale, cricket fever is at hike which makes cricketers like Afridi, the most influential personalities for the current generation. I have had numerous students who give me updates on cricket matches just like professional commentators. Imran Khan, cricketer-turned-politician is another influential personality who is admired by the younger generation for leading the country to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup. His political party has attracted a lot of youngsters who are interested in politics. Another influential personality is Abdul Sattar Edhi. He is a great philanthropist and social activist who has done so much for this country in terms of welfare and yet, still remains a modest and humble person.

Times of Youth: Please comment on how YOU would like to bring a practical and rational change in the condition of the world using your skills.

Shahzaib Latafat: The condition of the world can only be changed if individuals are willing to change themselves. I would love it if I could make the students of today, the leaders of tomorrow. I want them to be great thinkers, who think not only for themselves, but also for the nation. I would like to set an example for them by perfecting my behavior because I know that students look up to their teachers and are inspired by them. I would put in extra effort to not only teach my students mathematics but also work on improving their nature so that they become good human beings who possess moral and ethical standards.

Times of Youth: “Education is a mission, but today it has become a lucrative business” your comment on this?

Shahzaib Latafat: It might be for some people but we should not generalize. There are lots of teachers in the country who choose this profession because they sincerely believe in “Education is a mission”. Therefore, we should not rope everyone into the same category or assume that education has become a lucrative business for everyone.

Times of Youth: What message would you like to give to the youth of today?

Shahzaib Latafat: My message is simple. Study hard and be sincere in whatever you do. You should not be afraid of failures because they are a part of life and you cannot succeed without them. Do not for a moment think that hard work doesn’t pay off because even if it does not in the short term, it certainly will in the long term. You also need to bring a positive change, individually and in turn collectively so that this country suffers no more than it already has for the past sixty-eight years. Strive hard to make this country a better place for everyone to live in happily. And do not forget that you have to always respect your parents because they are your guides in this world. Finally, and most importantly, never let go of your moral principles!

Times of Youth is an International Youth Magazine read by the youth of more than 82 countries. Times of Youth brings the latest Youth Opportunities, News, Interviews, Fully Funded Scholarships, Paid Internships, Future Stars, Rising Stars, etc. For further details you can email us at: [email protected]

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Future Stars

Muhammad Ali | Interview



Times of Youth: How would tell our readers about yourself and your work in brief for those who may not be aware?

Muhammad Ali: Right now in this century the most powerful thing is Internet. The world population is 7.2 billion from which 40% of population is using Internet. To spread my work and make others aware about my work I can use Internet on Social Media. The Social Media top listed apps are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram e.t.c.

On Facebook daily 1.23 billion people log in. I mostly uses Facebook for my work to spread on my Facebook page. My friends, teachers also helps me to spread my work along with that my Parents  inspires me to make more videos.

Times of Youth: What makes you come up with so many ideas with such enormous potential to do these magic tricks? Who designs the final concepts?

Muhammad Ali: All the ideas which are shown on my videos are my own mostly, To get these ideas I give myself some free time to think about more and more creative ideas, Sometimes I get help from internet I watch some simple videos and come up with ideas to make it in magical vine. I have seen many magical vines and after watching them I creates a different type of video from it. The final concept is designed by myself I first rehearse my ideas off camera and thinks of final shot! Sometimes I share my ideas with my parents to get if my idea is good or not! My father also helps me in making videos, He gives me ideas!

Times of Youth: When did you decide that making magic tricks video was your calling?

Muhammad Ali: As I have got a great God gifted knowledge about editing I thought of making some magic vines. I decided that this magic vines videos are my calling when I made my first video. I was stunned by my own video that how good it was. To see how others likes my video I posted it on social media and got good views from which I started making vines.

Times of Youth: So, what are your current endeavors in academics?

Muhammad Ali: Right now I am in class 8th and I am studying in The City School, Chenab Campus, Faisalabad, My goals in academics are to be what my parents wants from me to become.

Times of Youth: At the end of it all, what is your real aim in life? 

Muhammad Ali: My real aim of life is to make my parents proud of my work and to make them happy to see my work. My aim is to be a successful person to make my friends and teachers feel good about myself. My aim of life is also to make people smile by watching my videos.

Times of Youth: Considering your enormous intellectual potential, we believe that you have the power to bring a rational change in the world. If given a chance, what would you like to do to make this world place a better place? 

Muhammad Ali: To make this world better place from my work is that to make other kids learn about these editing skills from my work and to educate others to help them for better future. I will try my best to use my videos to make this world a better place.

Times of Youth: Which was your first video? How was the response to it?

Muhammad Ali: My first video about magical vine was that the copy of myself is playing with me. This was my first video and the response I got from this video was awesome everyone appreciated me.

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Future Stars

David Uzumaki | Interview



Times of Youth: Do tell our readers about your work in brief for those who may be unaware.

Sure thing. Well, my name is David Uzumaki and I am known as “8gaming” online. I have a Facebook page and also am YouTuber that does a variety of things. On my Facebook, I post video game facts and trivia that many people would have not known about before. On YouTube, I dwell deeper in the whole video game world of things. (‘Let’s play…’, funny moment videos, informative gaming videos, etc). Essentially it’s just me having fun with video games.

Times of Youth: When did you decide that being a gamer was your calling?

Quite recently actually. I’d say around 2013 when I started 8gaming. I’ve played for many years before that of course (the earliest I can recall is ‘Sonic on’ of the original Sega system and Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider on the PS1). I feel the creation of 8gaming made me a more focused gamer as I invested quite a lot of time in it subsequently increasing my love for the hobby.

Times of Youth: ‘8gaming’ is an unusual name. What made you choose it for your project?

I get this one a lot actually. It’s really simple actually. The 8 represents an infinity symbol so technically you can call me infinite gaming. It represents the never ending love for video games that we all have. However, originally the name was derived from “8fact”. A partner of 9gag who essentially does the same thing but posts more general content. I noticed nobody made an 8gaming page so took the chance to make it.

Times of Youth: How did you conjure up the idea of revealing gaming facts using web and mobile apps as a portal?

I got to give credit where credit is due. 8fact. As I previously said they posted general facts and trivia of life, I simply did the same thing but refined it to video games (which I recently expanded to YouTube).

Times of Youth: From where do you gather all these facts? How authentic are they?

Among the positivity of the ‘m8s’ (what I name my supporters). There is always the one or two who try to disprove everything I say. The facts are gathered in 3 ways:

I simply look for pre-existing facts that are already confirmed (but this is difficult to do now since I’m using everything up)

I use different apps and sites to try and learn something nobody has mentioned before or I would use the said apps to post current interesting information. An example is the built in Google Now Cards installed on my phone which provides me with information about things I regularly search. This sometimes provides sources for posts. I also use an app called “Flipboard” which allows me to specifically look for video game related news which I use on the page.

This is the more interesting method. However, I should tell you a bit more about me. I have a keen intrigue when it comes to Physics. As a hobbyist and in formal education. So I use this knowledge and the knowledge I already have of video games to “create” a fact. An example is when I posted about Portal 2 and compared portals to real life using the knowledge I know from physics. However, this is longer process when it comes to gathering information as I must 100% make sure what I say is 100% coherent in a short manner.

Regarding their authenticity, I wouldn’t post something if it was false and this is something that those few people who say otherwise don’t realize. They can simply confirm the information by researching it themselves so I would never post something non-genuine.

Times of Youth: What is your idea of a perfect game?

One that applies real-life theoretical physics in a world of its own to a finite degree. A light example would be the idea behind Delsin Rowe’s (Infamous Second Son) powers being introduced into a real-world environment. Basically anything that is not about real-life but can be explained by real-life (which is why I don’t like Grand Theft Auto).

Times of Youth: Which has been your most favorite game of all time?

“The Last of Us”

Times of Youth: Any achievement of yours which you’re most proud of?

Definitely! I won a national animation competition twice in Ireland and got to travel to Microsoft to their Games localization division to spend a week with them including the Windows team. Although, I am also more proud of 8gaming as a whole. As one can deduce I am still trying to find myself, still trying to carve myself in the gaming world and I’m only in the early stages of that. There’s still a long journey for me ahead!

Times of Youth: Has your work ever been criticized? How did you handle it?

Yes. A lot. Specifically YouTube. For the main reason being when I first got into YouTube, I was clueless (like any other YouTuber). My videos were frankly sub-par and I was having a hard time getting peoples’ attention. This is due to the size of my Facebook page and people comparing it to my YouTube. They ignore the fact that my Facebook page was once small and are condescending regarding my YouTube. In the back of my head though, I know that the hard times will be over as I experienced it with my Facebook page. Recently, things have been going well with my YouTube and I’m in the budding stage of becoming something noteworthy. It’s only a matter of time until both my YouTube and Facebook are at the same level.

When it comes to handling the critics I simply shrug them off (or so I try) as I’ve been hardened from many in the past. You become so used to the positive comments that one negative comment will get to you. 99% of what they say is lacking in background knowledge and they ramble on about things they don’t understand. This goes for both my YouTube and Facebook. I usually block people who say things that simply don’t make sense and their sole intent is to loathe me.

Times of Youth: What advice would you give to the young emerging gamers who still have a long way to go?

Well, since I’m a young emerging gamer myself and am tasting small snippets of success, I’d say (and I know this is cliche) have fun. I feel my short time on YouTube has thought me this. People can sense when you’re not real. When you don’t like what you’re doing. Plus, it would be a waste of your time and you’ll ultimately get nowhere. Whether this is YouTube, Facebook or even just you as a person. The thing you have to do is find something you like and stick with it. There’s no real specifics I can discuss unless you’re super rich and can just advertise your image everywhere (and even that wouldn’t work so well).

Times of Youth: Any message that you would like to share for the youth via Times Of Youth?

Sure! I wanna first thank you for reading this far and I’ll like to tell you one thing. Don’t give up. Once again, cliche as ever but these sayings exist for a reason. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, you will fail and fail over and over again in the beginning. I mean, I still fail all the time. It’s the fact that you can learn from your mistakes and become a better person.
Side tip: Be original or originally recreate something that already exists, make it better.

Times of Youth: Do tell us how fans and admirers can contact you to share their appreciation and feedback.

I reply to ‘m8s’ on a variety of platforms. My personal Facebook page (David Uzumaki)
Snapchat: m8gaming
Youtube: 8gaming
Twitter: @8gaming
PSN: narutouzumaki16

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Future Stars

Levi Boulis | Interview



For those who don’t know about you and your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a 20 year old from Ohio exploring the world of art. I did not attend college or study art in a classroom past my high school. Through this journey, I’ve gotten to exhibit in London and Barcelona in the past year. Hopefully many more trips will be taken to exhibit my art through out the world. The opportunities I’ve gotten through art has also helped me grow as a person. It’s forced me to become a more outgoing person, which naturally I keep to myself. At first I was just making art because I loved it, and then some people in the art community took notice. So now It’s become a pursuit of a career.

How would you describe your work to someone who has never known about it?

My work consists of various styles and subject matter, as I experiment a great amount with my art. The majority consists of vibrant colors that highlight the emotion I feel from the subject matter. Some of the subject matter includes portraits, animals, water, and city street views. Older artwork was created mainly with charcoal, which has helped tremendously in creating paintings. My more current artwork is done in oil and acrylics on canvas.

What sparked your initial interest in arts?

There isn’t a specific moment that set off my interest. Most kids have a favorite thing to kill time, and mine just happened to be drawing. I continued to draw more and more, and as I got older I grew in talent due to the practice. In my last year of high school, I really began to take it more seriously, as I was taking many art classes.

At what age did you start doing all this work? Has your family always been supportive of this choice of career?

I’ve always been creating art. At 17, I started making the majority of the artwork that is featured on my website and captured the attention of others. My family has been very supportive during this adventure. They have even let me use a room in the house for a small studio space. I think most parents don’t take the news of their children wanting to become artists very well. To parents, the phrase, “I want to be an artist” can be interpreted as “I’m going to have no money”. But this thinking isn’t always true and my parents recognize that.

If not this, what else would you have taken up as your 2nd career of choice and why?

My second choice would be computer programming. I’ve always been interested in why and how the technology works. Since I have a great interest in this field, I’ve taken it upon myself to study it through free online resources and books. My hope is to integrate my creativity and experiences in art with my programming knowledge, to help other artists.

Do tell us how has your experience has been in your current field so far.

I can tell you right away, that it is not easy. There are plenty of times that I don’t want to do anything creative, or a project that is taking a lot longer than I had planned. Forcing myself to work on projects is very important, because practice is necessary to become better. Another challenge is having ideas. Writers may have writers’ block, but a painter has “painters’ block”. This field is also hard to make an income with, if you’re like me and just create original artwork. Others rely on selling prints or paintings. It’s possible though! All it takes is the right person seeing your artwork to really get things moving forward. All that being said, it has been an incredible experience. Unique opportunities have been made available that are just so exciting to be a part of. Getting to exhibit internationally has got to be my favorite part and also, meeting other crazy artists and people from all over the world united by the love for art.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself as an artist, honestly?

Currently, I would rate myself a 6. It doesn’t seem very high, but there’s a reason for that. There is ALWAYS more room to improve, so I could never reach 10. Some artists are in the studio almost every day. Right now, that’s just not me. I have many things I am interested in. So I can’t dedicate every hour to my art. I have just set a new goal for myself to help me improve, create one new piece of work every 10 days.

Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?

I am most proud of my recent paintings of Barcelona. It challenged me to step away from just doing unrealistic colors and portraits for a time, and try to expand my talent. These paintings included more natural colors, and new subject matter. The biggest part of why I’m so proud of these paintings is I captured the atmosphere I felt while I was there, which is extremely important to me.

Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?

In 5 years, I see myself with a more professional art studio space. Getting the right atmosphere to create my art is very important to becoming better. I hope to be exhibiting at 2 international exhibits a year by that point. Teaching art classes might be something I see myself doing as well. Referencing what I had talked about earlier, I hope to have developed a website to really help artists get discovered and connect them with job opportunities.

What is one question nobody has ever asked you— that you wish they asked you?

“What were you thinking about/what mood were you in while you created this piece of work?” is a question I at least don’t remember being asked before. Most people ask questions such as, “Why did you use this color?” or “How long did it take?”. These questions don’t really have answers that provide any depth to a work of art. Sometimes I choose a color, just because it looks good. The question about what mood or what I was thinking about while painting a particular piece can provide something more than just the visual aspect, and add a better understanding of my work.

Any message to your fans or followers via TIMES OF YOUTH?

I would encourage everyone to pursue their passion relentlessly. I even know many people who have given up on what they love, simply because they doubt themselves. It’s not fair to yourself to limit yourself by fear of failure, and it’s also not fair to everyone else who is prevented from witnessing your unique talents. I firmly believe that choosing a career that you are passionate about will allow you to maximize your potential, because when you’re passionate about something, you will work harder towards it.

Do tell us how can fans contact you to share their appreciation/feedback/suggestions.

Anyone can contact me through my Facebook art page, “Levi Boulis Artist”, or through my website

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