- Published on Friday, 06 April 2012 09:07
- Category: Grand Central Stories
This week’s Grand Central Stories Column comes in the form of a goodbye letter. Denise Romano, our beloved columnist and friend, is moving on with her journalism career and pursuing an exciting opportunity in her hometown, the Big Apple. Her departure is bittersweet. Denise has been an integral part of our team and she has set the bar high for the Grand Central Stories column. We wish her much success and happiness.
When I started my Grand Central Stories column just seven months ago, I never imagined I would be saying goodbye so early.
While I enjoyed my time freelancing, I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse: the local paper I was a stringer for, The Home Reporter News and Brooklyn Spectator News, offered me a full-time staff writing position. This means I will be covering issues in and writing about the neighborhood I live and grew up in.
During my time at Aslan Media, I met people who were inspiring beyond words: Lena Alhusseini, who founded the first child protective service in the Middle East; Charlie Sahadi, whose family started their imported foods business on Washington Street, which is still running today in Brooklyn; Ashraf Gabralla, an Egyptian immigrant who runs a wildly successful Turkish restaurant and just this week Maria Clara Pinheiro and Iman Bibars of Ashoka Arab World, which gives support to social entrepreneurs around the world.
My experiences have been extremely rewarding. I was able to cover the one of the most controversial subjects out there: the FBI/NYPD surveillance scandal. Thanks to Aslan Media, I was given a platform to make voices so often silenced heard. When One Police Plaza erupted with “Fire Ray Kelly!” chants on February 3, I was glad to have witnessed and documented it. After hearing heart-wrenching stories of wrongful arrests and innocent families being harassed, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around how over half of New Yorkers could support these practices. I guess there is just more work to be done…
My leaving Grand Central Stories doesn’t mean it’s over. I feel I have only skimmed the surface of stories to tell and happily, this column will continue to be a part of the wonderful dialogue the Aslan Media community has fostered. Since I hate goodbyes, I will use the words of the lovable Disney character, Tigger, “Ta ta for now!” It’s been a pleasure being Grand Central Girl.By Denise Romano, Aslan Media Columnist
About the Columnist: Denise Romano
Denise is a freelance reporter extraordinaire. She is Brooklyn born and raised with a Print Journalism degree from Brooklyn College. Though not of Middle Eastern descent, she started a blog to tell the stories of Iranians and Iranian-Americans after the 2009 election fallout. Ever since, she has been dedicated to giving voice to those who are marginalized by the mainstream media. When she is not writing, Denise spends time with her husband, sings in a barbershop chorus, cooks Italian food, and watches Saturday Night Live. Because she is in tune with the beat of the Big Apple, she launched this blog to share the everyday concerns of New York's Middle Eastern diaspora communities exclusively with Aslan Media.