Who am I
My name is Faisal Khan
Where do I work
I work for a company called IBFS (Interbank Financial Services) which specializes in the Cross-Border Money Transfer and Payment Systems. I’m essentially a payments consultant and an evangelist for digital money (aka Bitcoins)
My title at work is
I’m the Co-Founder & CEO
What do I do at work
At work most of my time is spent in creating, designing, developing and deploying specialised payment systems and networks. Most of these systems are for cross-border money transfer (remittances) as well as bespoke payment systems for online and mobile peer-to-peer payments.
In addition to the above, I also provide consultancy services to a few technology & financial companies in the payments vertical. As part of our corporate social responsibility, we donate a lot of our time to start-ups in an advisory capacity (both within Pakistan and abroad).
In my free time, I try to put in a pro bono effort towards mentoring/teaching. I serve as a thesis advisor to quite a few students. I teach History of Music, History of Jazz, Physics (especially Quantum and Astrophysics), History, Geography, Entrepreneurship and Internet Marketing. I love to mentor the younger generation – in hopes of giving them a more defined focus and to aid them in the kind of help that was given to me, by my mentors.
Where Did I Study?
I am a graduate of Florida Institute of Technology, having done my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (1993) and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (Specializing in Electromagnetics) (1995).
My Alma Mater
Florida Tech, my alma mater is in a small town (called Melbourne) on the Space Coast of Florida. Claim to fame: Jim Morrison lead singer of The Doors was born in Melbourne, Florida. I minored in Arts & Architecture (though our university officially does not give a minor degree). If you are curious to know, Marc Chagall is my favourite.
I’m married to Anika Khan, and have two very beautiful children. Son: Omer Mikhail Khan (age 12) and my weakness, my daughter: Fevziye Ahmed Khan (age 7).
I stopped watching the TV and reading the newspaper since 2006. Never felt happier in my life (and saner too).
I am an avid lover of old book stores / old books, and just go gaga over flea markets and antiques.
I find many ways to keep myself occupied, from collectibles to collecting postcards (hey, if you want to send me a postcard, that would be like uber-cool). I enjoy Jazz (vintage jazz that is), two favorite Jazz radio stations I listen to are Martini In The Morning (what a beautiful name) and Bop City Vintage Jazz.
I am a Type nerd. Though I must profess I am not highly knowledgable in it. Learning as I go along.
Aesthetics and Balance is very important to me.
Die hard foodie. The different types of foods I enjoy – Korean, Japanese, Arabic (especially Lebanese), Italian, French, and any kind of seafood.
Though I don’t own a DSLR (….yet!) I do enjoy B&W photography. Books are my weakness, and are a very distant second, after my family. I could drown myself in books all the time. I cannot enlist a favorite author or favorite book for you. Too many, but if it has writing on it – chances are I would read it. I have recently over the past couple of years, taken an avid interest in History and Geography. Two subjects I used to shy away from when I was young and now very much love them.
As with almost everyone else, I love movies. I can pretty much watch any genre with the exception of comedy or horror films. I try to avoid them, its not that I don’t watch them entirely. Combine movies and history, and you get a very lethal combination.
Other interests include Vinyls, Astronomy, music, a/v aficionado, love trivia, stand-up-comedy, cooking, guns, alcohol (from wines to a killer martini), I enjoy them all.
What’s the backstory on the handle: “Babushka99” ?
Many of you, who know of me (online) also know that I mostly use “babushka99” as my online handle/nick. You’ve probably thought, what the heck does that mean? why does he call himself that?
Here is the answer as to why I call myself “babushka99?
When I was in college, in 1990s (early). I was infatuated with CIA/KGB books. So much so, that I enrolled in a Russian Language class (yes, I can speak the language……somewhat rusty!). At the same time a movie came out called “SNEAKERS” — one of the characters a lead hacker in the movie is called “Mother”.
Anyhow, since we were very much plugging into the internet, BITnet, FIDOnet, COMPUServ for the very first time, I choose my nick as Babushka.
The “99? got added to it – to be almost 100% sure that when ever I apply for a User ID, the Username “babushka99? would always be available.
So the name is a combination of the CIA/KGB fascination, Russian Language, and the Grand Master association to Hacking from the Movie SNEAKERS.