Youssef Kromah does everything. He’s a poet, an artist, an activist, an educator, a scholar and an

optimist.

 

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

go.”

 

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

double entendres.

 

“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

reading meetings.

 

“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