I thought it was about time I introduced myself. My name is Farhan Rehman, and I've recently joined the MyHeritage.com team, as the Community Manager for the UK. I'm really excited to be working with MyHeritage especially given that we're the leader in social networking for the family, and we all know how much attention sites like Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and Twitter are getting, which are mainly social networking sites for friends.
I started blogging in 2004, to stay in touch with my friends and family, whilst travelling, and the more time that passes, the more I see how challenging it can get staying in touch with each other, with sisters living in Dubai, and Canada, cousins in New York, and an extended family in India.
Born and raised in the UK, with a Pakistani Mother and an Indian Father, I studied Computer Science at Durham University. After graduating I quickly learnt that I wasn't suited to jobs with all technology, and no people interaction. My passion always has been with helping people use technology, less in the building of it myself.
Since graduating, I've travelled and worked/volunteered in Switzerland, South Korea, San Francisco, and South Africa. Doing everything from working with large multi-nationals, volunteering with small non-profits, and even teaching English.
Living in South Korea really opened my eyes, to how different the family culture is between Asians, and Europeans. Having been brought up with very Asian values, ingrained in my blood, and living in a very European Culture, I had never before appreciated how in spite of everything around me, I was still very 'Asian' in the way I thought of my family, and related to them. Automatically giving respect to elders, thinking of taking care of my parents, being the eldest son, etc. and many many other subtle nuances that aren't completely absent from European Family culture, but aren't necessarily considered in the same way that Asians consider them.
Having been brought up here in the UK, I'm British to the core, but at the same time my upbringing was very rooted in the practices, traditions and culture of my family. I was born into an Indian Muslim family, and have a very spiritual perspective on life, combining the essence of Islam, as I understand it, with my own life experience, and understanding of the world we live in. (I most definitely don't fall under the umbrella of a 'traditional' Muslim, but still observe some very traditional practices that come hand in hand with being a Muslim.)
I've learnt from Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Peruvian Shamans, Mexican Healers, Amazonian Curanderos, Muslim Scholars, Christian Clerics, Native American Indians, and many other people's and believe that all truth in each faith is hidden under the layers of tradition, culture, and language, making people of all faiths, and of non-faith backgrounds having to work hard, to discern the wisdom of the divine from the interpretation of man.
I love to dance Salsa, play volleyball when I can, enjoy strolling in the park, and just being in Nature, especially near the sea, in the desert, or on top of a mountain. I also love languages, and in addition to English, speak Urdu, French, Spanish and a few words of Korean and Russian. I also plan on learning Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and getting fluent in the others.
I'm a geek at heart, so combining my interest in engaging people, and technology, I've became a bit of a regular in the Social Media Community in London. Since the middle of last year, I've been using, and seeing the positive impact of Social Media on everything from getting the latest news through twitter, to having dialogues and conversations through blogging, to capturing events with live streaming and Podcasting (and don't worry if none of these make any sense to you just yet, I'll make sure I explain them over the coming weeks and months .
I look forward to helping all the UK users of MyHeritage.com get more out of their Family Sites, and also just generally help get the word out about MyHeritage.com. Drop me a tweet (@MyHeritageUK), or an email farhan [at] myheritage [dot] com, if you have any questions, need any help, or just want to say hi! I look forward to getting to know you all better, and can't wait to help you stay ever more connected with your families, share photos of family gatherings, and discover more of your family history and lineage with MyHeritage.com. I know I'm definitely going to enjoy staying more connected with my family