TrueStoryASA is a group of two young Muslims that live in the US; Sheikh Akbar and Adam Saleh. Business Buzz was able to reach out to the young talent Adam Saleh, a Yemeni college student living in New York.
Adam Saleh is one half of the TrueStoryASA team; a 20 year old ambitious young man that does his best to spread the message of love and peace. Adam uses YouTube as a platform to create all kinds of videos ranging from pranks to comedy skits to social experiments. What TrueStoryASA mostly focuses on is spreading the message that Arabs and Muslims are peaceful, loving people.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how TrueStoryASA started?
I don’t know how to talk about myself. Anyone can describe me, but I can’t. I’m a weirdo. I’m random. I like to do random stuff and smile. I like to give people a positive message about Islam and Arabs. TrueStoryASA started in 2012. Sheikh, Abdulla, and I went to college in New York City. One day we were really bored and we just decided to do a video for fun. We started to upload videos on YouTube and Alhamdulillah (thankfully) it got us to where we are right now. We had a lot of interviews on TV shows.
What did you face as an Arab-Muslim in the US?
I’ve been through a lot during middle school and high school. The media there in America shows that Islam and Muslims are bad people; which is not true. I try to show the opposite because we are good people. I don’t like the way they did that. People would bully me because I was Muslim. At one point I was even afraid to admit I was Muslim. When we started making videos it motivated me and started to make me proud I’m Muslim. It helped me teach people who are ignorant about Islam and teach them the positivity about it. A lot of people liked it and they wanted to know more information about it. They loved it.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in spreading the message that Arabs and Muslims are peaceful?
We actually have a video that’s called “Meet a Muslim Person”. There were a lot of people passing by and meeting us. There was one person who never met a Muslim; I was the first Muslim he ever met. Everything went great except towards the end. This racist guy came up to me and said he killed Muslims in the army; it was hard for me handle. I put up the camera to his face to show the world who he is for saying that negative thing and he didn’t care. I just stayed quiet and let him go.
Why did you create TrueStoryASA?
Sheikh, Abdulla, and I each had our own channels. We then decided to film together because it would be more fun. We first made videos to inspire our families and look up to us. Then suddenly out of nowhere more people started watching us and they started sharing, and so on. That motivated us to do more and more positive videos and to more funny videos that made them smile. We used to do all these crazy stuff outside to show them that Arabs are not serious all the time. We’re fun too; we’re human.
What is your most memorable video and why?
The most memorable one was “Praying in Public”. We did that almost a year ago. I just love that one. It was an amazing feeling. At first people thought it was yoga and I had to explain to them. That was just a great experience.
Tell us about your niece REEMA!
Oh Reema… she’s amazing. She’s a really good actress; she might even sign with Ampli-Truth Productions with us. I do a lot of Instagram videos with her, a lot of videos with her. The Instagram videos she acts it up; she’s only two years old. She’s crazy; she’s been with me since she was born.
When people of the younger generation look at you and TrueStoryASA, they see courage, fun, and dedication. What would you like to say to the young generation that watches you all around the world?
I just want to tell them stay in school. Always be happy. Keep smiling and never let anyone bring you down. Always stay positive and never surround yourself with negative people. If you do, then you’ll go to a negative path. Stay with positive people and you’ll go to a positive path.