Monday, 21 February 2011

Really, who am I?

Okay so I kicked off my blog yesterday and thought I'd introduced myself pretty well. Is that the best I can do? Come on, blogging is all about openness & sharing. Expressing one's self as openly and shamelessly as possible. How else are people going to trust you, or respect the content of your blog...You cannot remain anonymous forever. Be a bit more open like Jeff Jarvis :-)

So here goes ...

What's in a Name?
My name is Muhammad Junaith Khan, on the web I prefer to use my name Junaith and go by the handle khanmjk. I thought khanmjk is unique enough, trying to copy from GNU Gnu's not Unix and the like, the k in khanmjk is meant to be recursive looping back to khan. It turns out however, that my handle khanmjk isn't that unique after all and so I have to share it with others from Pakistan, India, Phillipines & South Africa to name a few...Google for khanmjk produces a mere 96 results, and thankfully though you'll find me showing up on the first results page: My Linked In profile and some other long ago posts I submitted on 96 isn't that bad, and still unique enough :-)

Googling Junaith on the other hand reveals 19,800 results - surprising - because I thought I was really unique in that my parents misspelled my name, which should've been transliterated from Arabic into English as "Junayd" after the mystic and saint Junayd-al-Bagdadhi but the name Junayd also means soldier/warrior according to the folks at According to them, it's not a popular name, but still it has a presence of ~20,000 results online.

Muhammad is a common name for boys from Muslim families. Google for Muhammad and you'll find just over 72 million results. Lets narrow that down a bit: Google Muhammad Khan produces 780,000 hits, and further Muhammad Junaith Khan 2,200 results and guess what?? I am first on the list - wohoo! My LinkedIn Profile tops off the other 2199 Muhammad Khans out there... Anyway, my friends call me Mo. My home name is Junaith. My school and work name is Muhammad. I prefer my handle khanmjk.

A little deeper

I was born in a small suburb called Northdale, city Pietermaritzburg, province Kwa-Zulu Natal, country South Africa in 1978, so that makes me 33 years old as of today (2011). Five or Six generations of my family heritage in South Africa, with little or no trace history back to our original birthplace of India, whence in the 1850s the British colony was shipping Indian slaves/labourers to work in the sugar cane plantations in Durban...

I am now living in the UK, and a naturalised British citizen. I had to emigrate because at the time it was impossible for me to earn enough money to support the needs of my family. Overseas exchange rates helps a lot when the you can get at least 10 South African Rands to the British pound. So with a stroke of luck I immigrated to UK and been away from home for 10+ years...

But I find myself wishing to go back home to SA, as things have changed and looking more hopeful now - besides I miss my family very much, and my kids are missing out on growing up with a people and family network so important in the overall experiences of life...

As you can tell from my name, I am Muslim by birth and try to be practicing one. I am open and objective to all ideas, and peaceful in my ways. In fact, I subscribe to the school of Sufism who's core tenets are based on love, obedience and service to humanity. I'm not one of those people yearning for an Islamic state, neither am I one of those wishing for a central Imam or Caliphate. I do what makes sense to me, and most importantly feels right...If I am honest, I sometimes find myself debating in my mind about blaming religion for all the problems in the world today, if only people could get along with one another :p

I am a fan of the Halveti-Jerrahi Tariqa Traditional Sufi Order, and I long to be re-united with a once-close Sufi friend/sheikh who's been estranged in the last 7 years, but nevertheless thankful for having found this order, and the prolific Sheikh and author Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi

So I'm an open, broad-minded and normal guy... I also wish the world will one day live like the utopia of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek - co-operative, open society with the sole purpose of striving to maintain peace and social evolution...So I'm a trekkie! On the political side my other heroes are Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln. The American Civil War and the SA Apartheid Struggle (Madiba is a legend IMHO) are close to my heart, revolutions as a result are inspiring. Nelson Mandela in my opinion should be voted as best leader of the century...

I also grew up on American TV: Tundercats, HeMan, She-Ra, Gummy Bears, Tom & Jerry, Transformers, MacGyver, A-Team, AirWolf, etc. Big fan of the trainers and jeans...One day I shall visit America, especially always dreaming of working in Silicon Valley or even having my own start-up there!

What else?
I am married to a wonderful and beautiful woman, Fathima who is talented in so many ways and a wonderful mother to our 3 children: two boys aged 5, 4 and a baby girl 1.5 years old. I'm an engineer by profession, specialising in software projects around the consumer device industry. I've spent all my professional life working on Digital TV products, especially Set-Top-Box software, the Electronic Program Guide you use to control and navigate your 100s of channels - so perhaps you've got satellite TV and using my software: For example, Multichoice in South Africa, DirecTV in USA and Latin America has some of my code...

Getting more personal
Read details of my personal journey here.

What do I look like?
Opening up a bit further, here are a few pics to prove I'm embracing the age of openness:

A walk at the local park, feed the ducks

Here's me trying to show junior the head-stand

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  1. A wonderful bit of openness. Helps us get to know you. (And thanks for the book plug below!)
    Enjoy blogging.

  2. Thanks Jeff, you're an inspiration :-) and I'm honoured you were kind enough to post a comment! Cheers