20 Nov

Getting to know Nas from Nas Daily in 10 Questions

He’s travelled around the world, making 1-minute videos each day. Through these short videos, he’s shown us a side of the world we may not have known. And now we had the opportunity to invite him over to find out a side of him we may not have known!

Meet Nuseir Yassin from Nas Daily in 10 Questions!

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1. Would you say you’re a voracious reader or a laid back one?

I wouldn’t call myself a voracious reader—Alyne, my girlfriend, reads far, far more than I do.

So I would say I’m a laid back book reader—I choose my books carefully, because each one is a 20-hour investment from my side to fully read. So I focus on non-fiction books that have the chance to change the way I view the world fundamentally. Sadly, these books don’t come by easily. 

2. Has your 1000-day journey around the globe affected your reading choices?

It has affected it heavily. I had no downtime to read a single book in 1000 days. I feel guilty about it—but I was laser-focused on creating these videos that I couldn’t see anything else.

3. You’ve been to many places in the world. What’s one place in fiction you’d like to travel to?

I am not much of a believer in fiction. I like to play with the cards I am dealt with—so I focus entirely on visiting places in the real world. 

4. Dr Seuss once said, “Reading can take you places you have never been before.” As someone who has travelled to many places, do you agree? Were there any experiences from travelling that you felt could not be replaced by reading and vice versa?

This is a tough one. I’m incredibly privileged to be able to go on this 1000-day journey around the world. Not everyone in the world gets to do this… but my answer to your question is: yes, but mostly no.

I think reading is a great way to experience places you have never been to before, but it’s also essential to be aware that many of the narratives of the world may be misconstrued. A few experiences come to mind:

Nebraska: a flyover state; you think boring, corn, and more corn. Definitely not the case when I visited.

Africa: you think danger, poverty, and backwardness. But I like to think progress, technology, and talent.

I could go on and on and on.

Many of these stereotypes exist all around the world, and it isn’t just limited to countries. And I hope with the book that I’ve written, we could change how we tell the stories of the places we haven’t been giving much attention to.

5. On to your book! When you were writing Around the World in 60 Seconds, did you feel more energized or expended as you wrote it? Why so?

Part of me was energized, the other was expended. It is much harder to write than to film, in my opinion. But I knew the goal was more important than what I felt. The goal was to reach an audience that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach.

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Source: http://po.st/RITgI9

6. What was the most impactful memory while crafting this book?

When I saw the design of my book, I was mind blown. It was so hard to translate the 1000 video experience to text, but I think the designers did a fabulous job. 

7. You mentioned in this video that your book contains content that even the most loyal of fans who watch every single one of your videos have not seen before. Could you provide a teaser to our readers what some of these are?

Without spoiling too much, I go far, far deeper into the stories and characters and the production behind the 1-minute videos. Think of it as a behind-the-scenes feature, that I guarantee you will never know about—even if you’ve watched every single one of the videos!

Also, you will get to know something about me that many, many others would be too afraid to share. And that’s already within the first few pages 🙂

8. In that video, you also mentioned that the message of this book is ‘tolerance’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘diversity’. How do you see the book instilling these values in the reader?

Throughout my 1000-day journey, I challenged myself to see the world and to break stereotypes. Like many conventions and traditions, these things are deeply rooted and incredibly hard to break.

Some of my videos have been called controversial, and some of them were subject to quite a lot of vitriol. But within this book, I hope that every reader leaves wide-eyed; to see that the world is huge and that the people living in it are diverse. Yet, at the end of the day, we’re all actually just the same. White, Brown, Black, Asian, American, male, female—it doesn’t matter. 

We’re Human. 

What the world needs today is tolerance, acceptance, and diversity. I truly believe that. 

9. When writing your book, did you turn to any books for reference?

Not really. There isn’t anything out there that resembles the book I wanted to write, so I decided to write it without looking outside for inspiration.

10. After finishing your first book, how similar or different do you find writing a story is compared to writing a video script?

Writing a book is HARD! In video making, I can just film a scene and say: “look at this!”. But you can’t do that in books. So I had to describe exactly what I was seeing, what I was feeling, etc. Books are a lot more expressive and I think that experience forced me to look inward and understand my experience better. 

At the end of the day, however, the basics remain the same: story is king. And everything else is secondary.