The Power of Stories – zehra studio Skip to main content
Stories are the one thing that has kept all of us connected to humanity. Since the beginning of time, human beings have told stories even before the written or oral culture came about. Through cave paintings and primitive art, human beings established themselves as the master storytellers of our world and that has made all the difference today.
According to Harari, the infamous author of the book, Sapiens, the one thing that has been binding all of humanity together for aeons is stories and imagination. Unlike any other species inhabiting the planet, Humans have the capability to conjure up worlds and fantastical ideas. Through imaginative narratives, human beings established communities and ensured unity despite the staggering population density.
Stories touch the soul of humanity. It stirs up empathy, a core element of what it means to be human. Stories remind us of where we came from and give us hope and an outlet to anticipate a better future.
Growing up I was a sucker for stories. I always begged my poor mama to tell me a bedtime story even if it meant that she constructed one right that second. I would get excited to sleep because I knew that meant visiting the magical dreamland that was full of mysterious stories, half of which I wouldn’t even be able to recall after but that didn’t matter. I was just happy enjoying the fleeting moment of being part of a story and that was enough.
As I grew older I found myself delving more and more into the various worlds of stories. From movies to novels, I’d devour them all. I was always known to be that person who had either seen every movie or read every book. I was always that restless child who would get bored easily. However, when it came to stories that never was the case. How could it be? How can anyone ever get bored with stories?
Luckily, my papa was an enthusiast when it came to movies, television shows and even books. We would often spend the hot summer days together either reading or watching a movie. Him and I would often discuss stories, something that I truly enjoyed. See? Through stories my relationship with my father solidified as well *hint: stories truly bring us together!* Through such discussions I was always reminded of the magic and power that oozes out of a well told story. It always astonished me that every time I confronted a powerful story, I was introduced to yet another aspect of humanity that I was unaware of before. Through reading, watching movies, and pondering over an artwork or design, I always discovered a part of humanity unbeknownst to me. These tiny discoveries always created a sense of contentment and happiness for me.

A well told story can be magic...

Jo Lynn Valerie

Stories are a communal currency of humanity.

Tahir Shah

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.

Ben Okri

We're all stories, in the end.

Steven Moffat

People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around.

Terry Pratchett
To me, every story is valuable. Every story has an element of magic no matter how mundane it appears. It is our job to seek it. By understanding a story, we understand an element of our world, of us. Each story reflects a part of our existence either of the past, present or a probable future. It allows us the insight needed to see things beyond what they seem. If you don’t think or realize that stories can be powerful then, I feel, you have failed to comprehend the story properly in the first place. Now, there are pieces that claim to be stories but that is not always the case. I am not talking about such pieces. I am solely talking about real stories. 
So what accounts for a real story, you ask? I will talk about it in detail in another piece but for now I’ll try to explain it as concisely as I can…
A story, to me, is a narrative that summons the magic inside the world of our minds. A narrative that helps expand our mental horizon by building on our intuition and empathy. We are all an intricate web of stories. It is empathy that keeps us connected and bound together and it is stories that help us develop such empathy. Without empathy and compassion the world would be a hollow place. Stories help us develop empathetic traits that allow us to understand the complexity of human nature and therefore create an environment of love and understanding. They help expand our imagination, a vital element when it comes to building a better future. Through imagination we experience hope. Through hope we build a better future because a part of us really believes in it, needs to believe in it. Thus, stories build our future – a better future –  by binding us together through our past.
Now, stories are not primarily resorted to books and films alone. Stories can be anything. A good design is a story. A photograph is worth a 1000 words, because it tells a story. A person in a cafe drinking a cup of latte while it is pouring outside is a story. An old victorian brick building that is still standing through the test of times while a modern skyscraper tries to overshadow it is a story.
Anything can be a story, we just need to give it life.

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    A true storyteller at heart, a wanderess in search of magical lands and an aesthete who is perpetually dazzled by the enchantment found in the every day. Fatima's love for stories and the magic they ooze out, led her to co-found Zehra Studio, an atelier of magic. As the Chief Branding Officer (CEO), her intention for Zehra Studio is to help brands form authentic connections with their audience through storytelling and intentional design. Crafting stories with a touch of magic, Fatima has worked with a range of awesome clients to help them find their voice to tell their stories and elevate their brands while doing so.

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