Zeina is a Lebanese writer trying to raise money for her MFA in writing at The New School. It’s so cool that she got accepted there and she’s so close to her goal with 48 hours left so spread the message and let us help Zee make her dream come true!
You can contribute now by visiting this [Link].
I loved Zee’s take on Beirut, check it out: [Beirut, a bruised exotic]
My name is Zeina Abi Assy and I am Lebanese. I am often labeled as a graphic designer because of my degree, a copywriter because of my job, and a writer among family and friends because of my passion. I studied graphic design at the American University of Beirut and minored in creative writing non-fiction. I am a writer and I believe in the power of non-fiction work from this specific area of the world where realities are restrained.
I got accepted to study creative writing non-fiction at The New School, an incredible writing school in New York, and it is my every desire to go. I come from a part of the world where few are contemporary non-fiction writers, set aside women writers, where opportunity is rare, where stories remain unheard, they remain in the dark, tasteless, colorless and insignificant. But these stories are beautiful, they are distinct and they deserve a chance.
And we want to be remembered, we want our stories to have value, our time here, our lives, our culture, our fight, we need them to last, just a bit longer than ashes. And I want to take part in writing the untold story of Beirut, and of Lebanon.
Pieces of my heart still look the same as when they were born. Pieces like my love for my family and my homeland. Pieces that are still afraid of death. Pieces that will never understand war. Pieces that will always empower my words. I want these pieces in me to grow. Mahmoud Darwish once wrote “I was not born to live sunsets but sunrises”, although sunsets will forever move us, we need to see the sun rising, at least once, at least momentarily, at least for a change. Writing is my sunrise. The New School is my sunrise. New York will be my sunrise.
I got accepted but I don’t have the money to go.
I’m making this campaign to raise the money for my tuition fees, which is around $ 50,000.
2 solutions :
1) ask for a scholarship. If your parents have low income, you may be granted one.
2) Take a loan, as the majority of students in USA do.
No need for fundraising.
Thats lame !! people are dying of hunger and she is asking people to give her money to go to new york without doing any effort !! She can work for a year or 2 apply for scholarships or take a loan to go there .
But if she expects people to give her 50K to go to new york without doing any effort , well life is tough , she wont get her 50K . Move your ass , go to work and save the money !!
True thats so lame!! She can take loans, apply for scholarships or work and save some money! People should donate to people with much more need than her, she wont die if she does not do this masters!
That’s terrible. There are other ways she can go about getting into university. This isn’t what crowd funding is all about.
this is sh7adeh in the real sense of the word!
ya 3aybel shoum!
get a student loan or apply for a scholarship if ur that talented, or get a side job to cover ur tuition!
people r dying from hunger & sickness n u r begging for money for ur school?!
PS: this is not a cool thing Najib. I advise to retract this article.
Retract the article?
For someone who has strong opinions, you don’t really get the whole “freedom of speech” thing, do you?
habibi ya desmond ya fehman inta, if I didn’t get the concept of freedom of speech, I wouldn’t be that blunt in my comment, would I?
I advised to retract the article, because it affects the integrity of the blog itself.
y did the article discuss her situation only out of all the other people?! this among other reason…
The sad attempt at sarcasm weakens your argument – your reasoning about the bluntness of your comment actually does show that you don’t get the concept.
Freedom of speech means he is allowed to post anything he likes, whether it bothers you or not, and what on Earth does that have to do with the blog’s integrity? I’ll tell you – absolutely nothing.
The article discussed her situation specifically because the practice of crowdfunding is an interesting concept and fairly new in Lebanon.
Ok I really dont get why I should help Zeina.
I don’t get why this was posted here. She’s not the first to get accepted in that school or the first to write about “untold Beirut” stories.
This is a load of crap.
btw, if she asked for money to fix her “nireh” maybe it would have been better lool…
You want people to pay for your tuition to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world?? The New School is not a top school by the way.. it’s just that it’s in New York
if you really are doing this because you want to study writing you could go to any school in the US who is ready to offer you a scholarship or you can apply for a loan but not beg people for money.
Najib, I’ve seen this posted on many websites before and i’m disappointed that you would post this because there are way more important issues in the world than a girl asking for 25k to study how to “write out her emotions”.
I’m sorry Zeina but if you can write “at your deepest and lowest state” I’m sure you don’t need to go to New York to do that.. and if you really want to, as everyone else said, there are other ways.
I can’t believe people would pay for this when thousands of people genuinely need help in this world (did anyone start a 25k campaign to help refugees in Lebanon? or hungry children?).. barely any of us would donate when there is a child in need for a cancer operation and this girl is trying to convince us she desperately needs the money to go to New York and study how to write? The worst part is that people actually donated
this is so wrong on so many levels
Just realized she is basically begging for 50k not even 25k! my god
You know, i really do not get why people project so much negativity. This is someone who has a dream of becoming a writer, and of doing so by going to one of the top schools in writing. (and yes it is one of the top schools)
This is her dream and she is very upfront about it.
If people believe in her and in her dream they are welcome to contribute or even just share the campaign.. if they do not they can simply ignore it.
Who told you that the girl hasnt been working? or hasnt applied for funding? or hasnt been saving up? or will not be working while shes there? I dont think people should just judge like that for the sake of judging..
What i don’t get is why there is so much hatred and negativity around this topic.
Its not “sh7ade” or begging. Its believing that people can help eachother out. No matter how much money we have, through campaigns like this we are able to give eachother the chance to fulfill our dreams. Even if its through giving maybe 10 dollars. If I can, and i know it can help someone then why the hell not?
I dont see any of the people complaining about this, going around tryng to save all the hungry children and refugees of the world.
At least this way, we are changing something in the world, maybe one person at a time, and one dream at a time.. but at least we are doing something. And at the end its a choice. no ones forcing anyone here.
So Can we please stop spreading so much negativity and start aknowledging when people are just helping eachother out for once?
Well said. While I may or may not agree with the way Zeina went about it, your comment is great.
If you don’t like it, don’t help but don’t bitch at someone who is trying.
Crowd funding/Kickstarters are fairly new and can be pretty controversial. So peoples opinions vary. You can Google Zach Braffs kickstarter to read about how people respond to crowd funding when the person asking for donations seems like they could afford it themselves. To some, its distasteful.
The reason I’m against her campaign is because there are other ways for her to get into that university, this to me just seems like laziness. There are a ton of scholarships that send the best writers/students to schools.
And you’re right, at the end of the day this is a choice. Good on her for taking advantage of crowd funding. I think a lot of people would have done the same if they thought of it first.
I’m sorry I’m sure Zeina is a nice girl, and this is not an attack against her personally, but it is “sh7ade” no matter how you put it. People work hard, borrow money and take up jobs during school to pay off their tuition and living expenses, and she is just looking for an easy way to come up with 25,000 (and even asking for 50,000 if she was able to secure the 25,000). It didn’t seem to me that she wants to work for it.
If she was asking for money and then promising to give it back, I wouldn’t have said anything but what is she offering in return? a shout out and a poem?
If you want to be a good writer, it is mainly about your talent and what you are capable of, not whether you go to NYC (as the title of her page suggests). There are always cheaper options than living in Manhattan and other schools who would be able to offer a similar program. I don’t think the great writers of our generations graduated from the New School. The way I see it, she wants to go to New York, get a masters and do it the fun way, that’s why I see it as “sh7ade”.
If you don’t want to pay for it yourself, apply to those Fulbright scholarships. If you didn’t get it, apply again the next year. There are also many associations and organizations in Lebanon who help out students, try to go there and see how they can help (i myself went through both of these options and so did many people I know who also took out student loans), but don’t convince me that nothing else worked except for this.
That’s why it I am being so “negative”. you are right, we are not doing anything to save those hungry children, or any of the refugees in the world. That’s why when people get so excited about helping a girl “go live the dream” in NYC, for someone who had to work extra hard to go to grad school in the US, I cannot but say something.
I supported Zeina’s campaign because it takes a lot of guts to put that out there. Cliché but true: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. That said, I agree with the comment by “Ro” who said that the negativity wasn’t necessary- if you don’t want to support Zeina, then don’t. Some of the comments sound like they want to tar and feather her. I agree with “Patrick” on this point as well: if other people had thought of it first, they would’ve done it.
I hope in future I see a lot more campaigns like this by people who want to make things happen for themselves. Previously, I also contributed to crowd-funding for an artist in Lebanon (Joumana Medlej) to put out a new graphic novel. She did another successful crowd-funding campaign after the first.
I’m proud to help (however little I can contribute) when people are trying to further themselves in life.
I don’t know Zeina but I can see where she comes from. You may not agree with what she’s doing here, but there’s absolutely no need to be a douchebag about it. If you don’t want to donate, move along. Displaying that you’re an envious asshole is optional. Nobody really believes you care about hungry children or refugees.
The shame is not in using fundraising to fund one’s studies, the shame would be not daring to pull out all the stops to manifests one’s dream. It costs nothing, and hurts nobody, to ask, but we’re a culture conditioned to be ashamed of asking. Maybe that’s where all the bile and hatred is coming from.
Sorry I should have added that I have never met Zeina, nor did I know of her on Twitter. I saw the campaign through someone’s retweet, then I started supporting her.
She got her $25,000. Well done for the effort.
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