Dave Isay – StoryCorps

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is watching TED Talks, which is a great source of education and getting inspired by speakers with experience or stories. I came across this video few days ago which I can relate to what I’m learning in the multimedia class this semester.

As we know, in journalism, An interview is one of the most important tools to obtain information, expand on informations that we already have or to see things from different perspectives. 

This speech focuses on the important value that an interview serves, not only for journalistic uses, but also for building personal connections. The radio producer, Dave Isay, reveals this by saying that the simple act of being interviewed can mean so much to people, particularly to those who’ve been told that their stories didn’t matter. In 2003, Isay had this crazy idea of launching a booth where two individuals can sit and talk to each other as if it was the last conversation they would ever have while being recorded. At the end of the interview these two people can get a copy of the audio so that It could be passed to the next generation. He called it the StoryCorps. Today, StoryCorps is known as a non-profit organization for sharing humanity’s stories and teaching the value of listening to build connections between the Americans through oral recordings. Today, also, StoryCorps has an application to ease the process of sharing audio files and let the world hear your story. Click here to download.

I find it very beautiful how when you hear a StoryCorp audio, you must feel something, It can either make you laugh, cry, smile, or connected to the person somehow. Some examples are shown in this video below. My favorite one is the interview between Joshua Littman and his mother, Sarah.. Very touching but funny at the same time. Click here for direct access to the audio.

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VideoStory – A Mother To an Angel

Shaikha is a woman i knew on Instagram three years ago, but I decided to meet her in person for the first time to make this video. She is a 33 year old single mother of a little boy Mohamed who used to have an older brother named Ahmed, but he passed away at age 4 due to asthma that attacked him in his sleep in 2011. As Shaikha said, the two boys were like best friends.. they did everything together but fate has chosen to take one of them and they separated. Fate has also chosen for Shaikha and her husband to separate because she thought it was better for them to continue living their life away from each other. “I prefer for my boy to see me happy alone than miserable with his father.” She said.

When baby Ahmed died, Shaikha had to deal with gossips about the death of her son and how some people thought it was a punishment from God. They also thought sarcastically that she never looked sad about it. She said that she may looks strong all the time but inside of her she is still broken. “I don’t care what people say..I’m proud that I had the chance to raise an angel.” She said. She also said that the only time she would cry on Ahmed is when he visits her in her dreams.. but at the same time she would feel happy that she saw him. 

Today, Shaikha lives happily alone with Mohamed who is in grade 3 now. He is a very sweet boy and everyone loves him at his school. His mother always makes sure that he has a lot of friends and she literally does and buys everything for him. Oh yeah, he loves Cheetos btw. I remember Shaikha told me that she loves Mohamed’s sense of humor..He is so funny that one morning he placed a can of Coke on the kitchen table along with a little note that says “Do not drink Coka Cola, It’s poisoning ..but you can drink Pepsi.” 😀   

Note: The song chosen in the video is Shaikha’s favorite..It reminds her of Ahmed. Also, the last clip of the video is a real video of Ahmed impersonating Michael Jackson’s dance moves. 

Video Storytelling : Challenges

Creating an impactful video story is one of the hardest tasks for several reasons. First of all, in this assignment, you have to come up with a story that’s worth to be told whether about a place or a person, so after many and many ideas and thoughts, I chose my story to be about a person.. a strong woman and her lost baby boy whom I’ll be talking about more in my next blog post. (Stay tuned!) 

It seems to me though that the biggest challenge to make the video was TIME. That’s because thinking about a good story itself takes days and sometimes weeks, and shooting plus editing the video should take at least two weeks. 

However, I’m super excited to share the video and I’m happy I was given the chance to make it because not only did I learn a lot about video storytelling, but I also gained a great friendship with this woman and got to know her in a deep level. Can’t wait for everyone to know her emotional story. 🙂 

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Baby Ahmed, an angel in the sky ..

Mandy Harvey – Talent & Motivation

While I was looking through Great Big Story‘s youtube channel, I came across this video of a beautiful talented young woman named Mandy Harvey. Mandy is an award winning singer-songwriter. She was majored in vocal music at Colorado State University before losing her hearing at age 18 and leaving the program. The connective tissue disorder that effected her nerves and thus caused her losing the ability to hear never stopped her from practicing what she loves to do, letting the world hear her voice. She sings by feeling vibrations in the floor, and by using the muscle memory of her vocal cords to sing notes. Continue reading “Mandy Harvey – Talent & Motivation”

Video Trial

In multimedia video or video production there are two types of footages:

A-Roll, which is the main footage that contains the important content in the video by having a dialog with a person (Interviewing). B-roll, which is the secondary footage that supports the main one, usually includes scenes, landscapes, crowd, movements..etc.  Continue reading “Video Trial”

Kuwaiti Paralympic World Champs

One of the things I love about my major is the opportunities obtained through it to meet incredible people I never thought I’d ever talk to. I went to the Kuwaiti Disabled Sports Club based in Hawalli and had the pleasure knowing and talking with Ahmed Khaleel Alshatti, a  Stoke Mandeville and Rio medal winner in gymnastics and currently a co-coach for the disabled committee in the club. He had been playing different kinds of sports like wheelchair basketball, racing, half marathon and swimming since 1979 but at age 47, he thought It was better to move his direction to coaching basketball as It’s his favorite sport. Continue reading “Kuwaiti Paralympic World Champs”

Athoob Alshuaibi & documentary photography

Last Wednesday, I had the honor to attend a lecture hosted by one of the best documentary photographers in Kuwait, Athoob Alshuaibi. It was wonderful hearing her stories and how she was inspired by her mother who used to document photos of the family before she passed away. Leaving a heavy legacy of family photos was the reason Alshuaibi was passionate about photography which made her take her Master’s degree in Visual Communication from Birmingham City University . “I discovered this one thing during my studies, there is only one purpose to all types of photography which is delivering a message to the audience and then alter their behavior.” She said. Continue reading “Athoob Alshuaibi & documentary photography”