Welcome to Rising Up
A newsletter about cultivating hope, in a world that feels like it’s imploding
Welcome! Thanks so much for joining me here.
I’m Yasmin Khan, an award-winning author, broadcaster and human rights campaigner. This newsletter brings together three biggest passions of my life - activism, wellbeing and the power of a good meal. I hope you’ll join me in building this community.
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Why did you start this Substack?
I started this Substack because I was looking for a space online that would enable me to feel more hopeful about the state of the world and my place in it.
Well, you don’t need me to tell you that we live in challenging times. From the cost-of-living crisis, the climate emergency, structural discrimination, the polarisation of political thought, the rise of the extreme ideologies and seemingly never-ending conflicts across the globe, sometimes it can feels like we’re running on a treadmill of bad news - the impact of which is crippling on our mental health.
At the same time, many of us are also fighting a myriad of personal battles, in workplaces where we feel overworked or undervalued, in relationships that flounder or fail, with health issues, fears for our future, or worry about how we can financially continue to meet our household needs.
This is a newsletter about how we get through it.
Drawing on my twenty years of activism on some of the biggest social justice and human rights issues of our times, and over a decade's worth of immersion in wellbeing practices, each week, I’ll share a mixture of essays, interviews, tips and strategies on how to not only survive but thrive in today's world.
As well as hearing from me, you'll hear from my amazing community. Friends, colleagues and people admire from the worlds of writing, creativity, activism, psychology, food, music, health and wellbeing. People whose wisdom has really helped me over the years - both personally and politically - so I have a feeling they probably be able to help you too.
In doing all this, I’m hoping to build our collective resilience, spread a little joy, and help us become more effective, more engaged, more compassionate and more connected.
Because in the end, we’re all in this together.
I’m a food and travel writer. I’ve penned three best-selling and critically-acclaimed cookbooks, The Saffron Tales, Zaitoun and Ripe Figs that share stories and recipes from my travels through Iran, Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean and challenge stereotypes of the Middle East.
I’ve also an activist. I’ve worked for NGOs and volunteered as a grassroots organiser for over twenty years, campaigning on issues such as war, militarism, racism, Palestine and refugee rights. For many years, I specialised in supporting families who had lost loved ones at the hands of the state and co-ordinated the Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign before going on to work for the charity INQUEST.
Over the years, I’ve run many local, national and international global justice campaigns and have provided campaigns strategy and training for a wide range organisations and individuals - from campaign groups, to trade unions, to Members of Parliament.
My life-long dedication to activism has meant that by necessity I have built up toolbox of wellbeing practices I lean on when times get tough. I’m a qualified yoga teacher, a trained NLP Practitioner and a lifelong student of Ayurveda amongst other things. I also believe that activism can be one the greatest sources of connection, community, resilience and energy that we have access too, and I hope that through this newsletter, I’ll inspire you to feel that too.
By subscribing you’ll ensure you’ll never miss an update! The free subscription gives you access to the weekly newsletter, filled with stories, advice, resources and links. You can choose whether to get in your inbox or to read it in the Substack app.
Paying for your subscriptions means that you get the full Rising Up experience. As well as my weekly newsletter, you’ll get full access to my community conversation board, Q+A’s and workshops. You’ll also get exclusive news and special deals for my books and live events.
More than that though, you’ll be supporting my work.
We live in a world where people don’t think twice about paying £3/$5 for a cup of coffee but can’t bring themselves to pay for a newspaper subscription. That’s a messed up situation on many levels but it’s particularly terrible for journalists and writers, many of whom contribute a huge amount to helping us understand ourselves and the world around us.
I want to make a case for paying writers for their labour and to push back against the idea that all content should be provided for “free.”
After a decade of spending thousands of unpaid hours creating content for Instagram and Facebook (which essentially is a tool for making advertising money on the back of content creators), it feels radically empowering and inspiring to step out of that model and communicate directly with my readers. Writing takes time, commitment, imagination and work. Each week, this newsletter will take me hours to organise about, hours to plan, hours to write. If you enjoy it, please support it, so I can keep doing the kind of work I do.
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