DailyRi 013: My Story As A Storyteller
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A STORYTELLER.
I was intrigued by good stories as a little girl, & i became obsessed with documenting my own as a teenager.
during my freshman year in college, i started understanding more about my identity as a first-gen american, & became infatuated with my parents’ stories. i wanted their stories to feel like my own. i wanted to capture every detail i could. during my summer trips to lebanon, i would try to imagine their childhood in their respective southern lebanese villages. i would try to connect these stories to the wonderful people they grew into, the moments that made them who they are.
now that Baba has transitioned from this life, i tell stories of him to keep him here with me. his legacy has me obsessed with ensuring my legacy is one that my loved ones can be proud of.
words mean the world to me. they truly are my best friends. my self expression - my writing, my poetry, my journals, my letters - is the only consistent part of my life. the only part i can count on to be there when i wake up the next morning. which is why i want to devote the rest of my life to creating more storytelling spaces.
my career in storytelling officially began when i founded michigan in color, the first ever digital space for & by students of color at the university of michigan. this space now accommodates multimedia & has expanded to be 4x its size when we started in 2014. though i was only a managing editor for one semester, this time with mic changed my life: it taught me that i should never second guess the power of my story.
I’M KEEPING THIS SAME ENERGY ALL 2019.
i do a lot of seemingly random shit. but storytelling is the one thread that runs through it all.
my commitment to storytelling is why i decided i wouldn’t let school get in the way of documenting my #roadtorima journey - this time, daily. my passion for storytelling is the reason i’ll be starting a digital platform for my arab/muslim community in dearborn, starting with the dearborn girl podcast. storytelling was the motive behind starting the shai series, a series of coffee chats for metro-detroit women to air out our stories & heal. STORYTELLING WAS HOW I RAN MY HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH CLASSROOM. it’s the reason i write letters to my future husband. it’s the theme behind the lead with grace scholarship. it’s the reason i carry my letters to my father everywhere i go. IT’S THE #1 CRITERIA I LOOK FOR WHEN DECIDING ON SUMMER INTERNSHIPS.
SAFE TO SAY STORYTELLING WILL BE THE DRIVING FORCE BETWEEN WHATEVER I END UP DOING.