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Najwa Zebian: A writer and an activist empowering women through her words

Whether you are a painter, a writer, a poet, or a designer, there would be countless times in your life where you felt alone against the world. This weight can be crushing sometimes, and life itself can throw curveballs your way, but what matters is your attitude towards the challenges and how you take them. One of such people, who has found a way to turn her vulnerabilities into her strengths, is Najwa Zebian.

This week for our ‘Women in Arts’ segment, we are looking at the life of Najwa Zebian in the hopes to inspire anyone out there who may be having their own struggles.

When we talk about contemporary poets, it’s impossible not to mention Najwa’s name. Her eloquent recitation of her insta-poetry in her calming voice has garnered her more than a million followers on Instagram. Najwa self-published her first collection of prose and poetry in 2016, and ended up selling more than 250,000 copies of her three book. In 2019, she launched Soul Academy, a digital school, and a podcast, Stories of the Soul. Her work has been featured in renowned magazines such as HuffPost, New York Times, and Elle.

The path to self-awareness

As a Lebanese-Canadian writer, Najwa rose to fame because of her raw and passionate writing that instantly gripped her audience. She is not just a speaker and a poet, but also an activist. Her books and poems are usually centered on identity, healing, and empowerment. She has used her own life experiences and poured her heart out in her books and poems, in the hopes that her audience might find the strength to heal their broken spirit. Touching on vulnerable subjects such as mental health and abuse, Najwa quickly became a powerhouse to be reckoned with.

Najwa Zebian

Najwa started her career as a teacher, and got her doctoral degree in educational leadership. Her first group of students were refugees, which hit home for her as she had also experienced displacement at the age of 16 when she moved to Canada from Lebanon. Najwa always felt inclined to write and connect with others. She also taught in schools for over a decade and led initiatives related to leadership and mental health.

It wasn’t until later that it dawned on Najwa that her writing is not just a means to heal her students, but also herself. Her acceptance of what she had gone through was the first building block that led to numerous books, ted talks, and an academy. Through all these mediums, Najwa has shared with the world her truth. She has drawn from her experiences of abuse, discrimination, and displacement, and presented a solution to everyone: to not be afraid to take their place in this world. The catalyst behind Najwa’s writings has been one thing: to be seen, heard and loved. According to her, she has searched for home throughout her life, and that has played a huge role in the decisions she has made so far.

Being a published author

At a young age, Najwa has achieved what many writers dream of. So far, she has written seven books which include Conversations on Letting Go, Welcome Home, The Book of Healing, Trust Your Heart, Sparks of Phoenix, The Nectar of Pain, Mind Platter.

I write because I believe words have the power to transform the world through inspiring authentic change.

Najwa Zebian

Najwa began her career as a writer with her first collection of writing, Mind Platter, where she talks about experiencing life in silence and how she came to find herself and her voice. 

Highlights from Welcome Home – Taken from Najwa Zebian’s Instagram

Her rest of the books revolve around similar themes of self-acceptance and letting go. She talk about forgiving others, not for them, but for your own self. Her books provide the readers with advices and practical tools that can actually help them implement those words into their own lives.

Books written by Najwa Zebian

For Najwa, it’s important that you accept your vulnerabilities and self-worth, and her book ‘Welcome Home’ addresses that topic in detail. To be on the path of healing yourself, it’s important to confront your past. ‘Trust Your Heart’ provides insights into healing from past traumas with family members and relationships, and focuses that the most important person in your life should always be you. Najwa’s new book “The Only Constant” is coming out in March, 2024.

Speaking her heart out

I came across Najwa’s Instagram feed a few years ago, and was touched by the way she used her words to convey such complex emotions. It’s like she has a gift, and we, as audience, are lucky that she chose to share it with the world.

For years, Najwa has tried her best that her voice reaches the masses. With her Instagram reels, TED talks, interviews, and podcasts, she has made a massive impact in transforming people’s perspectives on why healing is important and what it’s supposed to feel like.

Conversations on Letting Go By Najwa Zebian

Recently she has launched her own podcast “In the Clear”, where she invites guests to talk about living authentically, being aware of our limiting beliefs and developing a responsible mindset.

I’m on a mission to empower people to build a home within themselves; to live, love, and create fearlessly.

Najwa Zebian

Najwa also uses her voice to empower those who need it the most. In her Ted talk “The Power of Me Too”, she talks about her own experience with abuse and how she was let down by the people around her.

Bren Brown says shame thrives on three things, secrecy, silence, and judgment.

Najwa Zebian
The Power of “Me Too” | Najwa Zebian | TEDxCentennialCollegeToronto

Her account of how she tackled her own abuse, and how she mustered the strength and courage, is an example to all the women who have been hurt and exploited.

I’m an activist to myself first and others second. When I’m not writing books, I’m sharing a message on stage or educating.

Najwa Zebian

Creating Soul Academy

Najwa Zebian

As if her writings did not provide enough motivation, Najwa decided to use all her experiences and put them into something that would generate results. Najwa created Soul Academy in 2019 in the hopes that it will transform the students from the “inside-out”. This digital school is designed to help people heal from their past and be the captain of their own ship.

Your demolition might not be in your hands, but your reconstruction is.

Najwa Zebian

In this academy, students find tools and strategies to restore their confidence and clarity on what they want to do with their life. It also provides people with the opportunity of connecting with a community where they can be feel seen.

Najwa’s own healing journey is as amazing and inspiring as it can get. From her taking control of her life to building something of her own, she is a guiding light anyone, especially women, who wants to take charge of their lives. It’s never too late to start your healing journey, and Najwa’s numerous books and interviews are there to hold your hand through it all!

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