Youssef Kromah does everything. He’s a poet, an artist, an activist, an educator, a scholar and an
Youssef grew up in a Christian and Muslim household. His parents did not pressure him to choose a
religion but after being left with so many questions and being unable to understand the foundation of
Christianity he embraced Islam.
If you follow him, you may know of his nickname, Mr. Traveling Man.
“It started off as a joke,” he said. “People would say I never stay home, I was the traveling man. I took
hold of it when I read this narration from the prophet Muhammad that said we should live in this world
as a traveler.
He said from it he learned that gaining goods and money were not the most important things to focus
on in life. To him, this world is just a stop.
“The final destination is not this world, it’s the afterlife,” he said. “Once I understood that concept it was
something I thought I could aspire to be, a traveler in the physical and spiritual sense.”
Since the age of 7 Youssef has been traveling and exploring the world. He has traveled to Saudi Arabia,
Cuba, Dubai, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Canada and more. He says his trip to Palestine is really what
changes his life.
“Going to Palestine had the greatest impact. It was both negative and positive. I got to the airport and
they obtained me for seven hours and interrogated me because I had a Muslim name and just complete
blatant prejudice and racism. That was the first time I experienced just complete, direct, in your face
prejudice. They don’t give a damn, whether you’re American.”
During his visit he saw oppressed people and visited the wall created to block Palestinians from entering
their country and he was floored.
“It really was a paradigm shift for me. I really needed that to feel my vigor in terms of trying to achieve
social justice,” he said.
Now, at the age of 25 Youssef is working on a Traveler’s guide to expose all of the secrets he has learned
during his travels.
“A lot of my travels have been by way of blessing. These blessings have come out of nowhere, it’s not
my doing,” he said. “I have some really good people in my life. I let my talents take me where I want to
Youssef has also just released an album called Prey for America. The album is a combination of spoken
word and music and it speaks to what’s been going on it his community.
“My latest album was a bi product of my boiling frustration and desperation of the African American
narrative,” he said. “It’s frustrating. That frustration is building and building. All of those things can be
found within the album.”
He created the title to describe America’s complicated situation. As a poet he has always enjoyed using
“African Americans, minorities in general, we’re being preyed upon while we’re are praying for better
days,” said Youssef.
Youssef is also working on a youth symposium, which is a part of his Do It for the Dean project. The goal
of the symposium is to unite the children in the community with back to school programs and weekly
“I wanted to find a way to organize youth,” Youssef said. “A lot of times I get requests from parents and
family members to mentor their children. It’s very difficult being one man.”
The youth will be expected to come in once a week to a physical class, there will also be phone
conferences and a bi-weekly event for team building and to keep the youth from getting into trouble.
Youssef hopes to attend Graduate School in Saudi Arabia. If he is granted the opportunity he says he will
build a school and become a professor of Islam.
Check him out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKsM90qeqcg