Healing through Storytelling: Amira El Noshokaty
Nevertheless, she persisted….
You will find her walking through a storm with a big smile on her face and an unbeatable determination. You will find her counting blessings on memory lanes through the stories she tells. Indeed, a free spirit, who early on set her eyes on her dreams and nevertheless, she persisted!
Amira El Noshokaty, A storyteller, Writer with 2 short stories collections published (Khatwa Aziza and Bel Tafseel), a Deputy Managing Editor of Al Ahram Weekly, Founding Editor for the Folk Section in Ahram Online and Welad El-Balad, as well a Teacher of Creative Writing in Cairo University. She is also a wife and a mother of an aspiring 5 years old superhero!
You would say, handling all of that entitles her to a magic wand, but with a grateful heart that sees every intricate detail as a blessing; and some serious seeking for inner peace. Gratitude and meditation are her magic powers!
Being as enchanting as she is, she was the first in line to inspire us with her inner journey amidst a society, where wellbeing is a challenge.
Confidence – where do you get it from?
Confidence comes from my therapist.
At a certain point in my life, I was not confident enough because I was socially conditioned that I am not the right size. It took me 15 years to admit I needed help and that in itself was an achievement. Now, when I look back I realize I was not even chubby, I was okay. I learned I am beautiful the way I am, inside out.
But how do you build your confidence in a city with too many faulty systems?
In one of my stories inspired by my Aunt, I wrote that I am the President of my own world. I have learned to build my world, looking for people and services on the same wavelength, and then gradually building my little circle, until you find your own state within the state.
In all that noise, how do you live with a trusting heart?
There is an Indian saying “God hid the truth in our hearts because this is the only place we don’t look”. We tire ourselves by looking outside, whilst all we need is within. With that belief, I learned to trust my heart as a compass and filter my choices regardless of how challenging the environment is.
When you walk into a room, you are?
A lot of women. I remember when I was studying acting, I used to kick-off on roles given to me during the workshop with a big smile. Be it tragedy, melodrama, comedy. That says a lot about my philosophy of entering new spaces and breaking walls.
The people who empowered your journey….
I grew up surrounded with some amazing women.
My Grandmother, who was just happy with our “being” there, regardless. She lives in my memory as a saint. After she died, her best friend, a Turkish lady, continued in her footsteps and harnessed more of that “being” sense in us.
My Aunt, who always motivated me to work on myself when I am faced with challenges.
My mum, who is a refuge for everyone’s intimate story! It took me years to realize the blessings in the things I have in common with her.
All of them, I keep them alive within and their inspiration empowers my life every day.
Would you say, your writer spirit is inspired by women?
Women always have the stories, no matter what, they seem to grasp the power to put a happy ending to their stories and those of others.
When in discomfort, what do you seek?
Playing with my son in our private 1:1 time. Also, my closest friends, where I find hugs and solace when needed.
When alone, do you feel solitude or loneliness?
Always solitude. My private time is for writing and my little projects. For example, whenever I travel to Paris, I collect vintage postcards and stuck them to my room wall like I did in high school and there you go, I am in old Paris every morning! I create my positive energy.
Amidst this busy life, how do you make time?
I kick off the day and end it with 20 minutes of Transcendental meditation, it gives me space to grow, keeps me focused and supports me manage my time more competently.
What kept you going?
Gratitude, believing I deserve good things and the stories of others.
What is the most challenging when dealing with the public?
Not being part of the herd.
Would you say you have taken the road less travelled?
Yes, but the more I walk into it I meet people and know that I am not alone on this road.
What situations made you who you are today?
Getting a Life Coach; coaching made me face my problems. I have learned that I am not a little God, I can’t save the world but I can make a positive impact by changing myself.
What is the value of time for you?
Through meditation, I learned that time is on my side. I follow my heart, focus on what suits me best and naturally. I evolved and started seeing that the most important thing in my story is being honest to myself. Only then, I will attract what I seek.
Just raise your hands and what you need will happen.
Do you believe in abundance?
Yes because science is on my side, recently they discovered that there are time waves and people can time travel in their mind. Spirituality and science walk in parallel! Now, you don’t need to go up a mountain to find your Zen, on the contrary, you have the tools to empower you to do it here, right now. Your intentions can always make or break the deal.
Is it important to be loved in order to keep going?
Yes. In the realms of pure love, you are empowered to be a human being.
My Life Coach once said we are human “beings” not doings, so “be”. When you are seen from this perspective, you are loved because of who you are, not, what you do.
What is it being you?
Passing on your blessings whilst connecting to others.
What is your biggest fear?
Being disconnected from my son.
How do you deal with it?
I remind myself that I am not a little God, and I let go whilst doing the best I can.
How do you live knowing that life must come to an end?
I will find inner peace and happiness in what I have – and I will be in the now.
Do you identify yourself as a writer, editor, journalist or a human being on a quest?
A human being on a quest with a passion for writing.
As a writer, what do you want to achieve?
I have stories to tell and I will stop when I don’t have any. I want to tell more stories about Egypt through the heritage and inspiration found in stories of grandmothers and mothers cooking and singing in their kitchens…in the comfort of their homes, making history!
What bothers you in this world?
It is too harsh.
What would you say to: You will not happen in my home?
Violence; abuse and harassment…
What knowing gives you freedom?
…that I believe.
What are things that would empower our society to regain its wellbeing?
Honesty! In the past, people sat in balconies and talked together. Through sharing, stories came to light and empowered a holistic feeling of togetherness, healing, and wellbeing. But now, people need to open up their windows, kick out the darkness, confront, be honest and let the sun cleanse through.
What are your thoughts on the concept of banning?
Ridiculous – What is forbidden is always desired.
What would you say to someone who feels like their life has stopped?
I am not in your shoes, but let me tell you a story; one day when I started training as a Journalist, my supervisor used to take my notes and throw them in the bin, without even discussing them with me. This could have pulled me down, made me stop. Now, I have become a well-established editor, journalist, and writer with 2 published books.
What would you say to your inner childhood spirit?
Never stop playing.
In a society that judges everything, how do you avoid being judgmental?
My son loves going out with costumes. Eventually, I made him live his choice. I found myself walking with Batman in the streets of Cairo! He gave me more freedom to be when I gave him more freedom to be. That is how it works, be and let others be.
Having a child is another world inside a writer’s world, how does it work?
By knowing you don’t own him! You deal with him as your best friend. You show not tell. And we learn to make harmony together at our own pace.
Storytelling is a fundamental healing tool, how do you empower others to tell their stories?
All our heritage is in the stories we tell. If we give people the choice and space, they are empowered to perform an act of courage and tell their stories.
If there is one thing you would like to be remembered for, what would it be?
That she listened…
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