It all started in journalism school

When I was earning my degree in jour­nalism from Wayne State University, I thought about starting my own Chal­dean newspaper. In 2002, that began to come to fruition. I was researching and talking to com­munity members and at the same time, a group of young Chaldean men were looking to purchase an existing news magazine covering the Middle Eastern community. The late Rosemary Antone suggested we meet with each other, since her son was among the group; she thought we should col­laborate on the paper and so we did. In Febru­ary in 2004, we launched the Chaldean News. For the past several years, Mike Sarafa, Martin Manna and I have been owners and publishers of this community magazine.

In many ways, this publication has been like a child to me. I birthed it, I guess you can say. As a mother, I nur­tured it. Much like having a child, it has been joyful and painful at the same time. It has come with sleepless nights, tearful days, triumphs and heartaches, but I don’t regret any of it. We have shared stories and made our share of mistakes. From those mistakes, we learn and grow. I like to believe, in many ways, we have brought the community together through this platform. Like children, they grow up, evolve and move on.

After more than 15 years, this paper is in transition and will soon be moving in new directions. I am not sure of my role in the paper as it evolves but I do know, it will always be a baby to me. I am proud to say I am a founding publisher and original Editor-in-Chief. Regardless of its future, I can always be proud that I launched this news­magazine that has won awards and has been read globally.

Telling the story

I am a journalist and story teller by trade. It is what I do. I have written and broadcasted stories for various platforms including WJR AM 760, Women’s Healthcare, Ave Maria Radio, Catholic Television Network of Detroit (CTND), Chaldean Voice, for various social media platforms in­cluding Chaldean Moms of Metro Detroit, among others. I have produced even more programs for television net­works around the globe through ECRC’s Mar Toma Pro­ductions. I will continue to use various platforms to share stories. I also create platforms for my Denha Media Group clients. We tell their stories. I am wired to find outlets to tell stories whether I am writing them myself or pitching to other publications; if it is a good story, I will want to share it. It is who I am.

What’s Your Story?

That has been a question I have asked more than any other over the last 25 plus years. I ask that of community members and clients. As a journalist, my ear is trained to hear good stories. Hundreds of people have heard me say over the years, ‘wow, that is a great story,’ while engaging in a casual conversation. That question is part of my com­pany’s marketing slogan. We all should be asking ourselves: What’s the story?

Change is hard but often necessary. As much as mov­ing forward comes with trepidation, it must be embraced. Although the platform may change, the messenger won’t; being a storyteller is truly part of my DNA. I will never stop wanting to share the story.

I have been so blessed to have interviewed so many talented, faithful, engaging, bright, successful and in­sightful people. What I love more than the story are the people who share them with me so I can tell them to you and others. I am truly grateful to everyone who has shared their stories with us over the nearly 16 years I have co-published this magazine.

The Journey continues

As the door revolves and I walk through it, my journey continues. The business I am in today, the professional hats I wear, the work I do every day as a communications strategist, evangelist, leadership coach, and content cre­ator all started in journalism school.