Exclusive insights for deep thinkers

Exclusive insights for deep thinkers

In A labour of love: 2 years in the making, I wrote about one of the major lessons I’ve learned in 2022, and how I’ve been working to get the word out about the newsletter. The first year of The Decoded was marked by lots of cold mailings to get access to people’s inboxes — eventually leading to a small community of readers. In the personal essays I publish for The Decoded, I share about my own search for meaning and the personal reflections that I’ve encountered in order to leave you inspired and enlightened. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m grateful to have you reading.

Powerful stories

A compelling story connects with you and stays with you long after you’ve consumed the narrative. I love stories that are timeless and timely in their message and at heart, offer deeper meaning and bring people together.

An example of an engaging story I still remember is the one of The Angry Man; a story that my parents shared with me when I was younger. It’s a tale of someone that used to be a familiar face in their neighborhood, his inexplicable behavior serving as a poignant reminder that we can never fully grasp the entirety of someones life journey.

Another story I remember is a woman at the Oprah Winfrey Show. Even though I was a little too young to watch the show when it aired, I’ve watched the majority of the episodes in retrospect. During the show, the woman would share intimate details about the abusive relationship that she was experiencing, when at a certain point Oprah Winfrey replied something along the lines of: my darling, if you’re strong enough to stay in this relationship, I’m very sure you have all the strength needed to leave. It felt as if a light ball went off for all those women who were watching in the studio or from home — specifically the ones in a similar position. It was a memorable moment.

Another story that recently touched me is the book Our Women on the Ground, which includes 19 essays by Arab female journalists sharing their experiences of reporting from dangerous and oppressive countries in the Middle East and North Africa. I loved reading and getting a glimpse inside the lives of these courageous women, and I believe it appeals to readers of all backgrounds and genders who want to broaden their understanding of the Arab world.

I have learned a lot by immersing myself in narratives like these, allowing me to explore the depths of human consciousness and gain a better understanding of both myself and the world around me. Great storytelling puts you in other people’s shoes for a moment, and through stories we are reminded that we are living out a universal passage that humankind has been enacting for hundreds of thousands of years.

I believe powerful stories can inspire people to think and act differently.


The memories of our time

Therefore, I look at art and storytelling as capsules of time. Each of us holds the power to live out our truest expression and there is only one of us in this time, on this place in the world, having experienced what we have experienced. If these expressions are not fulfilled, something profound is lost.

Just as Joan Didion‘s personal essays, which left an indelible mark by portraying pivotal events and figures that shaped American culture, James Baldwin‘s essays resonated powerfully as he delved into the lived experiences of people of color in the United States during the 1950s. Those portraits are the memories of their generation that have been left to us and that we can still access today.

Literature becomes meaningful when it has the power to deeply resonate with you and, for reasons unknown, remains etched in your memory. There are examples within literature or film that by revisiting the same book or movie it became different. Just because times have changed, or you.

For example, it’s funny how a movie like Peeping Tom, a movie from 1960 by director Michael Powell wasn’t received very well at the time. It was considered as disturbing, as so many books were too — banned from sales, and later on be praised. Later it became popular and people started to say he was ahead of his time. But we can now look at movies and it still makes us connect after so many years.

In a similar vein, the personal essays I’ve published for The Decoded since April 2022, are basically about what it means to live a meaningful life. I endeavor to capture my personal search for meaning in an unique and genuine manner, using the art of the literary personal essay.

The newsletter

As the world keeps getting faster, I find there’s actually a shortage of thoughtful, timeless stories and ideas that are worth sharing an hour or even a week later.

While the web can be a crowded place of anonymity, clicks, self-exposure and sometimes bullying, it can also be a destination of unity, real conversations and bringing people together. 

The personal essays I’ve published for The Decoded, basically explore what it means to live a meaningful life. I write the articles to trigger conversations. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture – subjects we don’t like to talk about. I like to go into those areas and come back from silence with something to say.

I want the stories that I put out to mean something, but most importantly, let other women see themselves in the stories of others. As women we need to share experiences. That’s when we learn and thrive.


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