Hello there! My name is Nesima. I’m a writer, storyteller, and engagement strategist based in Washington D.C. I grew up in Arizona, but always knew I was meant to leave the desert for more adventures and cooler weather. Currently, I’m having fun telling visual stories and connecting audiences to the amazing journalism coming out of The Atlantic.
Things I’m passionate about:
The intersection of storytelling and social impact:
How media can encourage outcomes such as as civic engagement, community building, greater empathy, and empowerment through access to information? That curiosity unconsciously led me into the budding field of audience engagement which goes beyond the publication of a story to figuring out how to make the news relevant, engaging and representative to readers. I care a lot about diversity and inclusion in the media, so I also want to build power and change who gets their narrative told.
Social entrepreneurship and community development:
I explored this through my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but also through an internship in Guatemala and as a New Sector fellow in San Francisco for a year after feeling jaded about the unintended (and sometimes intended) effects of the international development and humanitarian aid industry. I still like to follow news and updates from the sector and would like to pursue solutions journalism, which focuses on reporting on innovative and effective responses to social issues.
I’m the daughter of Eritrean immigrants/asylum-seekers, so that has made me personally and professionally invested in keeping up with news about Eritrea’s developments regarding politics, human rights, culture, migration, media and more. I’ve written several papers on the region, have visited Ethiopia, and hope to visit Eritrea in the near future for the first time. Eritrea is so rarely covered in mainstream news, so I’m working on ways to give those stories more prominence and understanding.
Creative writing and multidisciplinary art:
I’ve been a creative writer ever since I can remember, penning stories about missing yo-yos and getting lost at Disneyland as a child to eventually more substantial fiction, poetry and personal essays. I’ve participated in several workshops from VONA Voices to Catapult to THREAD in order to help me hone my craft and find the community support that’s so vital for lonely artists. Writing is tough and requires patience, a thick skin, and blindfolds so you don’t compare yourself to everyone else out there. Most of my work in this area has been private but have been slowly performing, publishing and sharing as time allows. At the moment, my focus is on a novel-in-progress.
Across all my varied interests, I care deeply about how to design a life that contributes the most good in the world.
When I’m not working, you can find me organizing events with the DC Muslim Writers Collective, trying to keep up with my long list of books and podcasts, learning to cook more and of course, traveling! Travel is something I enjoy doing whenever I can afford to. Being a daughter of the diaspora means having family spread all over, which also helped me get a jump start on travel at a young age. So far, I’ve had the privilege of going to 18 states and 15 countries (you can see some of those travels on my Photography page.)
I love connecting with new people and talking about what you’re passionate about, so let’s meet up over a cup of tea/coffee and a fresh donut!
Check out my full resume here.