soulpancake logo

SoulPancake: Making Entertainment That Matters

Uncategorized, Writing

While taking Berkeley’s Science of Happiness course, I was introduced to SoulPancake- my new favorite YouTube channel. I became even more drawn to it after finding out, as any fan of The Office would,  that Rainn Wilson, who plays the hilarious, sometimes annoying, certainly one of a kind character, Dwight Schrute, is the Co-Founder.

According to its website, “SoulPancake is the world’s most recognized positive and inspiring media and entertainment company. [They] create smart, uplifting, meaningful, shareable content targeted to the Optimistic Millennial.” And that’s the kind of media I love!

SoulPancake’s shows include Science of Happiness, short documentary videos that explore happiness through fun social experiments. Another unique show is My Last Days which introduces viewers to the inspiring stories of people with terminal illnesses. To prove just how positive SoulPancake is and how contagious positivity can be, one episode drew over 14 million views, many celebrities, and helped raise over $750,000 for Osteosarcoma. Then there’s Have a Little Faith– one of my favorites. Zach Anner, the show’s host, is funny, open-minded and hearted, and is on a mission to find out about different religions, a topic he says he doesn’t know much about. He started the first episode with learning about Islam from nineteen-year-old Marwa. I’m sure we all could learn a bit more about many religions. Watch the show to learn about Quakers, Jews, and Baha’is from those who practice the religions themselves and you’ll discover just how much our beliefs and the principles they teach share in common.

Yallah! Go watch an episode or two, you won’t regret it! Plus, don’t you just love the name? SoulPancake. Fluffy and yummy comfort food for the the soul.

For more information, visit SoulPancake’s website and YouTube Channel.

Qomrah 2 logo

Qomrah 2 Call for Ideas: Your Chance to Create the Media You Want to See

Uncategorized, Writing

Yesterday, September 30 2016, was the award ceremony for the first season of Qomrah, Ahmad Alshugairi‘s new Ramadan show, which strives to create meaningful media through a competition of short videos anyone around the world can participate in. Some of the winning videos from season one covered themes such as hope, child refugees and autism. These are just a few of the themes that fit the categories of the first season.

This year, the chance to participate-and with that, the chance to win- is open to an even wider audience. Starting today, October 1st and until the end of this month, anyone with an idea for a video can send the details and if the team likes the idea, it will then be posted on the website for the second phase, where filmmakers can choose from the ideas suggested and be financed by Qomrah to create the video. If your idea wins, you have the chance to win up to 500,000 Saudi riyals.

The idea can be about anything from a work of art, to a social experiment or volunteer work and the categories include health and fitness, history, self-development, philosophy, technology and more.

So what are you waiting for? Think of something you’re passionate about and think it’s important for more people to know about and submit!

For more information: Watch the Qomrah 2 promo video and visit the Qomrah website and you can also watch the videos from season 1.

Bilal movie poster

Bilal: A Must-See

Uncategorized, Writing

The movie Bilal was released in Jordan cinemas this weekend and it should not be missed! This movie is inspired by the tale of Bilal ibn Rabah, Islam’s first Muezzin. Barajoun, the Dubai-based company behind this one-of-a-kind animation, sums up the movie’s premise as follows:

A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home.

Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change.

Here are a few reasons why I loved the movie:

1-Beautiful animation– bright colors and rich details, whether in the depiction of the buildings, the desert or the characters, kept my eyes glued to the screen.

2- Universal ideals-Bilal tells the story of social justice and equality and tackles the issue of slavery, which affects and is a shared history among millions of people around the world. It also discusses themes such as family, brotherhood, conviction and freedom.

3- Relatable heroes- Though this is not the focus of the movie and is not made explicitly clear, Bilal and some of the other inspiring characters are Muslim and/or Arab characters. and this is important because they give viewers in the region, especially young ones, real heroes from their own culture, religion and history, that they can relate to and be proud of.

The feeling of empowerment, stronger faith and pride this movie made me feel are what I appreciated most about the movie.

What are you waiting for? Book your tickets now!

For more information visit the Bilal movie official website and Facebook page.