Welcome to Rising Up
An online community championing personal growth, social change and creativity
Welcome to my Substack! Thanks so much for joining me here.
I’m Yasmin Khan, an award-winning author and human rights campaigner. This newsletter is where I share musings on the big passions of my life – creativity, social change, personal growth, travel and food. If you are interested in these topics too, I hope you’ll join me!
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Why did you start this Substack?
I started this Substack because I wanted to share stories and strategies I’ve gleaned from 20 years of human rights work to help others grow in resilience and creativity.
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, and 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 20 years of activism on some of the biggest issues of our times, and over 15 years immersion in personal growth and wellbeing practices, each week share a mixture of essays, interviews 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 a from the worlds of writing, creativity, politics, psychology, food, health and wellbeing. People whose wisdom has really helped me over the years, so I know they’ll have some nuggets for you too.
In doing all this, I’m hoping to build our collective resilience, spread a little hope and 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 writer and activist, currently based in London, but who has spent much of the last two decades travelling extensively across the world.
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 written for newspapers such as the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal and magazines such as Bon Appétit, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Condé Nast Traveller and I host the occasional podcast and radio programme too.
I’ve been immersed in campaigning for social change for over 20 years, working for NGOs and grassroots groups on issues such as militarism, racism, and refugee rights. I’ve run high-profile human rights and global justice campaigns and continue to consult 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 to lean on when times get tough. I’ve been immersed in the study of yoga for 15 years and qualified yoga teacher back in 2016, adding to my studies by every year since then with new trainings. I’m also passionate about NLP which I believe is a life-changing modality and I trained as a coach in 2013 after seeing how impactful it was in my own life.
I also believe that connection and community are the cornerstones of a happy life and I hope, through this newsletter, we’ll build a little space of inspiration for us all.
By subscribing you’ll ensure you’ll never miss an update. The free subscription gives you access to the weekly newsletter and you can choose whether to get in your inbox or to read it in the Substack app.
Paying for your subscription means that you get the full Rising Up experience. As well as my weekly newsletter, you’ll get full access to monthly recommendations round ups, recipes, 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.
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 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.
Rising Up is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.