Today it is my privilege to feature an interview with Tanya Preminger, a resident of Israel, who created and manages Life-Memo.com, a website jam-packed with slices of life from the four corners of the earth.
Tanya recently contacted me about the possibility of trading web-links. When I visited her site, I was profoundly moved. Wanting to forge a stronger bond with her work, I invited her to tell you more about her site.
I have spent hours reading selected stories there. Each is profoundly touching. Although some are light-hearted, many are heart-breaking, filled with darkness, despair and fear that most in more privileged parts of the world prefer to avoid dwelling on, lest we feel guilty, helpless or depressed. You can’t read these stories and remain unchanged, even if all you can do is send compassionate thoughts and prayers.
The Life-Memo site is powerful testimony to a belief shared by many that Story is the key to helping people across political and cultural boundaries realize that “what happens to one, happens to all.” As growing numbers become attuned to a united beat within the heart of shared Story, the craziness must end!
I urge you to spend time on Life-Memo.com. Read the stories listed below and keep exploring on your own. Leave comments. Contribute stories yourself. Your heart will be bigger and stronger for doing so.
And now, Tanya’s story:
What led you to start Life-Memo.com?
I was always fascinated by people's life stories. What led them to where they are, what led them to be what they are, how they were as children, what life has brought their way. Peoples' paths are different, but we all share the same feelings, troubles and hopes.
The last trigger was when my both grandmothers reached 80 and wrote their memories, and I discovered their inspiring survival stories which I wasn't aware of all my life. Their stories were the first stories in life-memo.
How long have you had the site up, and how has it grown and evolved over time?
I stared planning Life-Memo in 2007, but the site was up only in 2009.
I did the design, the user interface, and the architecture. I even collected and wrote the first 10 stories myself. The site slowly developed naturally. Today there are 351 public and private stories from 27 countries.
What are your hopes and dreams for Life-Memo?
I hope the site will grow and have more stories from different countries. I hope that the stories will be meaningful and will enrich and open the minds of its readers and bring them closer. And, of course, eventually – world peace?
How many countries are represented by Life-Memo writers?
So far, 27 countries. Two biggest major contributors are the US and Pakistan. The US has 133 stories, I guess because it’s the largest speaking English country. Pakistan – I suspect that some 6th grade school teacher in Pakistan discovered the site and gave his students an assignment to write a story in Life-Memo. So the site has 177 stories by 13 years old Pakistani kids.
Tell us about a couple of amazing stories people have submitted.
There are many courageous and inspiring stories, a few which are so horrible I can't decide if they are true or made up.
- Amazing medical recovery and survival / USA:
- Family history- glimpse of old times in America / USA:
- Coming of age in Iraq / Iraq
- Why I hate alcohol / Australia
- A survivor of abuse, fighter against clinical depression / USA
- Dysfunctional family / Ireland
- Don't open the door to strangers / Tunisia
- Losing your mum / UK
- Personal account of the Ugandan massacre / Tanzania
- Jewish holocaust /Austria
How can readers get involved?
Users can read stories, or write their own. They are invited to enjoy stories and share them in Facebook or Google Plus posts. It's all completely free at http://life-memo.com. Thank you Tanya, from the bottom of my heart, for your vision and efforts on Life-Memo.
Tanya Preminger is a writer, a web developer and an internet entrepreneur. She was born in Moscow and lived in New York City. She currently lives with her partner and six-year-old son in Israel, where she works in internet marketing.
Write now: think of some aspect of your life that would interest people around the world. You might want to share some of your fears, hopes for the future, or simple childhood memories. Maybe you have stories to inspire dreams and hopes of freedom. No preaching – just heartfelt experience and reflection, please. Write the story and post it on Life-Memo!