29200 Hoover Rd.
Warren, MI 48093
Safe Space for Storytellers Sharing Pain
Narratives of Pain is a safe space for storytellers and community engagement, including a session where anyone has the opportunity to share his or her feelings in front of an audience. The stories range from song, to spoken word, to physical artwork.
Through this storytelling and community atmosphere, we create an environment of healing and recovery. To date, we have had several Narratives showcases, spanning five southeast Michigan cities. We even held a Narratives showcase in Toronto, Canada.
We are storytellers who come together to share that which pains us in beautiful and creative ways.
The Beginning of Healing for Unheard Communities - Unapologetic, Safe, and Raw
We launched our first Narratives of Pain showcase in March 2015. A few month’s prior, Hammad Ali and Zain Shamoon found themselves in a coffee shop discussing the need for experiential methods of healing by way of expressive entertainment, especially for people and communities whose voices go unheard too often.
By contrast, the two decided that these voices need to be elevated and shouted from the rooftops. To invite people to express themselves in this way meant we needed to be critical about how we could create a safe environment to do so. So, we worked to create a new platform that was unapologetic, safe, and organic.
Our shows are first and foremost a space to tell and witness raw stories. The synergy with mental health meant that the team would utilize the 7th Muslim Mental Health Conference in Dearborn, MI to hold our first showcase. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about these challenges and it can be difficult for others to understand them.
This was the birth of Narratives of Pain. It. Was. Awesome.
Most importantly, we are a family where a helping hand will always be found for consolation, encouragement, and love.
When someone gains the courage to reclaim their story, there is to be no interruption, trivializing, or gossip during their experience.
Narratives of Pain’s staff includes mental health professionals, with a background in safety and confidentialality protocol to ensure that emotional safety is protected as best as possible.
Chief Financial Officer
Aamina Ali joined the Narratives Team in 2016 as Chief Financial Officer. She first got involved as a pianist at the first show in March of 2015, and has since been recognized as the official house pianist for all subsequent shows. With a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Aamina has much experience with business strategy, financial analysis, and organizational management. While passionate about both music and business, she also believes in the importance of providing dedicated platforms and resources for mental health. Aamina spends much of her time jamming with other musicians, writing music, and performing at shows and events. She also harbors a strong entrepreneurial spirit, involved with many professional events and startups around the Metro Detroit area.
Co-Founder and Director of Narratives of Pain
Hammad has long pursued his passion for education and mental health advocacy. He holds a B.S. in Psychology, an M.S. in Medical Sciences, and has completed his first two years of medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Additionally, Hammad is the CEO and Founder of Ally Learning, an education consulting company partnered with the State of Michigan seeking to reach the educational goals of adopted youth in the Metro-Detroit area. Through Narratives, Hammad has co-created an opportunity to continue advocacy, spread awareness, and promote community through engagement, understanding, and artistic expression.
Marianne Caddy has been with Narratives since their second show. She is a licensed social worker, serving older adults at a local non-profit. Marianne was part of the Michigan State University Slam Poetry Team during her years in East Lansing. She was a strong advocate for mental health awareness and resources on campus, and worked with other students to create a community healing event called Embrace the Rain, a feature of Michigan State's Mental Health Awareness Week for three years now. Marianne's favorite things include bruschetta, red pandas, Space Jam, miniature things, and the super hits of the 70's.
Zain's educational background is in Human Development and Family Studies, receiving his masters in family therapy back in 2011 from Michigan State University. Alongside his studies, Zain has always been interested in the meeting place between art and healing. Specifically, Zain is always trying to find ways to create spaces where people can tell their personal stories on route to their own growth and wellness. While at Michigan State for undergraduate and graduate studies, Zain a seven-year director of a student-acted theatrical show called the Tunnel of Oppression. In March 2015, he helped launch Narratives of Pain with Hammad Ali. Currently, Zain is telling his own story through music and art, and is completing his PhD in Human Development come Summer 2017.
Director of Public Relations
Zain is in charge of public relations and expanding the reach of the organization. He works with team members to coordinate tasks within the organization and makes sure things run smoothly with potential partners, venues, and storytellers. Zain is a graduate of Communications and Media Studies from the University of Michigan. As a singer and songwriter, he was a featured storyteller in the first Narratives of Pain showcase and was deeply moved by what he witnessed and experienced. He has been a key part of the organization ever since. He has a huge passion for art, is a proud husky owner, and is a world traveler.