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Malak Abas grew up in Winnipeg’s North End and spent her childhood living behind a convenience store her parents owned. She spent much of her free time working there, too – some of her earliest memories involve regular customers getting a kick out of the child sweeping floors or stocking shelves.
The years behind that counter talking to Winnipeg’s diverse community inspired a love of hearing and telling stories, a skill that would come in handy years later.
After a long time at the University of Manitoba unsure of what to do with her life, Malak walked into the university’s student paper, the Manitoban, on a whim in 2015. She spent the next five years working her way from a reporter to the publication’s editor-in-chief.
During those years, Malak spent more time in the newsroom than anywhere else, always nursing a comically large coffee (usually cold brew) and waxing poetic about the paper. Eventually what started as a way to hear and tell stories became something more, and she decided this is what she wanted to do with her life.
After a copy-editing internship with Postmedia and a long time covering campus news, Malak left the paper that trained her to take on an exciting new opportunity: reporting for the Winnipeg Free Press, a paper she had sold at her parents’ store, cut out comics from as a child, and enjoyed her entire life.
When she’s not reporting on her hometown, Malak can be found arguing about movies with anyone who will listen, “just getting into” a new instrument, and generally trying her best.