Square graphic with blue and yellow background. The blue is on the top and bottom and the yellow is sandwiched in between. On the right side in a white circle is a photo of Niambe McIntosh. She is wearing gray pants and a light pink top. She has long, straight black hair with some blonde highlights. She is holding a marijuana cannabis pen. On top is an All About Change logo. It's red on top and bottom with yellow sandwiched in the middle. It reads “All About Change with Jay Ruderman.” On the top in red bold letters reads “Niambe McIntosh.” Below in blue reads “Head of Peter Tosh Legacy & Brand on Cannabis Legalization and Justice System Reform.”

Nas Daily has been an internet sensation since its inception, but the man behind it all, Nuseir Yassin, is a bit less well known.

Nas Daily has been an internet sensation since its inception. But the man behind it all is a bit less well known. Nuseir Yassin left a well-paying job at Venmo to travel the world, and do 1,000 videos in 1,000 days about the places and people he encountered. Since then, he’s built a company founded on community, positivity, and storytelling.

Nuseir sat down with host Jay Ruderman to talk about growing up in Israel, how he keeps his company community-minded, and how he’s building a culture that lasts.

Listen to the latest episode of All About Change as Nas Daily sits down with Jay to discuss his internet stardom, the philosophies that motivate him, and the man behind it all, Nuseir Yassin.

To learn more about the Nas Daily, click here.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Jay Ruderman:

Was there ever a point where you’re like, oh my God, this is just too much. I can’t do this anymore. This is too much work.

Montage:

Roughly 600 times.

This is all wrong.

I’d say put mental health first because if you don’t…

Generation of America has already had enough.

I stand before you, not as an expert, but as a concerned citizen.

Jay Ruderman:

Nuseir Yassin, better known as Nas Daily, is famous for his highly produced one-minute videos Nas produced and astounding 1,000 of these videos in 1,000 days.

Nuseir Yassin:

It was a thousand days of torture, but it was the best 1,000 days of my life.

Jay Ruderman:

Those videos were more than a chance for Nuseir to practice his production skills and travel the globe. They were a chance for him to spread the word about all the good there is in the world.

Nuseir Yassin:

No one is there that’s ready to tell you what goes well in the world, what is happening that’s inspiring, that’s positive. I wanted Nas Daily to be that. It’s almost like the antidote to what exists today.

Jay Ruderman:

Nuseir Yassin, thank you so much for being my guest on All About Change. I’m so excited to speak to you and thank you for joining us.

Nuseir Yassin:

Likewise. Thank you for having me.

Jay Ruderman:

So I’d like to start off in the beginning. You did a TED talk where you talked about growing up in Northern Israel in the Galilee, in your village of Arraba, and you said it was a good life. Can you talk a little bit about growing up in your family and what it was like?

Nuseir Yassin:

Yeah, I guess I was lucky. My parents were educated, so we were not poor, we were not rich, we were middle class. I’m lucky in the sense that I got everything I needed, but even from an early age, you could still see that you’re unlucky because you’re born and raised in the Middle East, in general. You’re unlucky because you’re in the Middle East, not in America. You’re unlucky because you’re not Jewish in Israel. You’re unlucky because you’re a middle child. There was some unluckiness happening. But overall, doing better than 95% of the world.

Jay Ruderman:

You spent a lot of time educating yourself, teaching yourself to speak English, teaching yourself the piano, really improving upon your skills. Tell us what led you to decide to apply to Harvard.

Nuseir Yassin:

The issue is that I could see there’s a ceiling back home in Israel. There was a ceiling for me as an Arab-Israeli. I wanted to be where the future was and I wanted to be where there is theoretically no ceiling. That was in America.

The reason I wanted to go to Harvard, honestly, is I had a Jewish-American friend in Ohio, and their brother went to Harvard. They suggested I apply there. I never thought I would ever get in. So really, I owe them a lot for putting that idea in my brain. But I applied to Harvard and for me it was like a shot in the dark really. I didn’t know there was anything special about my application. Luckily Harvard saw something and they said yes.

So that was really probably the best thing that happened to me. But the big idea here is that I think a lot of people want that mobility. I wanted to be surrounded by smart people. I wanted to be at a place where my nationality, my religion, my origin doesn’t hurt me or doesn’t affect my progress. That I found at Harvard.

Jay Ruderman:

And so Harvard was, I remember this clearly, this TED talk where you talk about going from good to better and you’re always trying to improve your life. Was it better for you at Harvard?

Nuseir Yassin:

Was it better at Harvard than at a 30,000 or 20,000 person village in Israel in the Middle East? 100%. 100% it was better to be surrounded by the world’s smartest people. Now Harvard has a bad rep for anti-antisemitism. But at Harvard I made my first ever Jewish friend. At Harvard, I made my first ever Israeli friend, not in Israel. It was at Harvard. So Harvard really opened my eyes to what diversity looks like, what different opinions look like.

I think for the majority of us, we are lost in a way. We don’t know what we want to do or where we want to go, especially as a college person. So for me, education wasn’t what’s important. It was the community. It’s the community of people around you that was important. I knew whatever I learned at Harvard, I was going to forget. What I really wanted to do though is build something of my own and create a company, create something out of nothing. I think that desire has been with me since I was a Harvard student and it’s been like that for the last 13 years.

Jay Ruderman:

So then what led you to take a job at a company? I understand you were working at Venmo. First of all, why take that type of job and what led you to leave that job?

Nuseir Yassin:

I took that job because, one, it was the only job that I could find, and two, it’s the thing that will give you the visa. Also, I wasn’t quite ready to go on my own. I felt I needed a little bit of a shelter, something to lean on. So that’s why I took that job. But after a year and a half in corporate America, I realized this is not for me. It just didn’t make sense to trade your time for money, especially when your life is so valuable, your time is so valuable. It didn’t make sense to trade it for money.

I thought the world is much bigger than the office. Funny, I’m talking to you right now from the office, but the world is much bigger than the office, and I wanted really to see the world and that’s why I decided to start Nas Daily.

Jay Ruderman:

Your decision was to make 1,000 videos for 1,000 days, one minute videos. How did you get to that decision?

Nuseir Yassin:

It’s hard answering this question because there is no clear answer. 1,000 is a number that made sense. But what I really wanted, I felt for the majority of my life, for the first 25 years of my life, I didn’t really have a voice. I didn’t have a voice in Israel. I didn’t have a voice at Harvard. I didn’t have a voice at my job. I wanted a voice. I wanted an opinion to be heard. I thought that video making, telling your opinion in video is the best way to be heard. So I thought, I’ll just make those videos. I don’t know how to make videos. So if I don’t know how to make videos, I should practice every day. If I don’t have a job, then I shouldn’t be taking any time off. No weekends for me because I don’t have a job. So it made sense to do it every day, and it made sense to make it as a video, and it made sense to go around the world and do it.

Is this your working? I don’t know. I have no clue why I’m doing this, but I think it will be fun. Here’s the idea. Once a day, I’m going to make one video that’s one minute long. That’s it. In New York City. Off to Egypt today.

And that’s how Nas Daily was born.

Jay Ruderman:

So Nas Daily, I’ve watched many, many of your videos, but they’re very positive. Was that something that you were purposely trying to do to make positive videos?

Nuseir Yassin:

Yeah, I wanted Nas Daily to be the opposite of what I saw growing up. I think that’s really important for me. What I saw growing up is wars between Israel and Lebanon, between Israel and Hamas, and Israel and Palestine. I saw people labeling themselves, I’m Jewish, I’m Muslim. No, this is this, I’m black, I’m white, I’m Bedouin, I’m a farmer. I saw a lot of casting, I saw a lot of turmoil, and I saw a lot of negativity in the news every single day.

I just thought that it seems like if something bad happens in the world, there are at least 10,000 organizations that are ready to talk about it. They are ready to make it bigger, a bigger deal. They’re ready to publicize it, which is the news, the media. But no one is there that’s ready to tell you what goes well in the world, what is happening that’s inspiring, that’s positive.

I wanted Nas Daily to be that. It’s almost like the antidote to what exists today. I think that’s why there’s a lot of interest in Nas Daily because it’s not just kumbaya positivity, like let’s all be friends, this is great. It’s more like actionable, real, positive impact that’s happening today and is amplified through Nas Daily that smart people like you and kids that are 10 years old can enjoy watching. That’s what Nas Daily is.

Nuseir Yassin:

This is a condom. It’s cheap, it’s effective, it’s nice, and it can save your life. Meet the Condom King.

Jay Ruderman:

Hi, Nas Daily.

Nuseir Yassin:

This scientist can catch cancer just by smelling your breath.

Jay Ruderman:

So the videos are fascinating and I did learn a lot, but let’s talk about making the videos because they’re a minute long and I guess that was the algorithm at the time in terms of getting views. But what went into making a one minute video?

Nuseir Yassin:

15 hours of torture, that’s what went into it. It’s making a one minute video that’s highly produced is five hours of thinking about the video idea, five hours shooting the video, five hours editing it.

Nuseir Yassin:

… five hours shooting the video, five hours editing it, and one hour uploading it. There’s a significant amount of time that goes into each video, and also each video must have an idea that’s new, that’s unique, that excites you to make it. It wasn’t an easy process. It was 1000 days of torture, but it was the best 1000 days of my life because it really took Nas Daily to the next level, and it allowed me to come here on your podcast, so I’m forever grateful for it.

Jay Ruderman:

Was there ever a point where you’re like, “Oh my God, this is just too much. I can’t do this anymore. This is too much work.”

Nuseir Yassin:

Roughly 600 times, maybe 500 times, roughly half the time I was thinking, “This is too much. I’m tired.” But when you commit, I think that’s really the thing that I have that I think many people may not have is discipline. When I commit to something I never cheat. I’m incredibly disciplined and I learned discipline from this 1000 experience, and now I’m trying to sort of be the same discipline with health, with relationships, with work, with building a business. Discipline is key.

Jay Ruderman:

When you started this challenge with the 1000 videos and Nas Daily, how did your family react? How did your friends react? I mean, you were giving up a good job. You were making, I think you said more money than your parents and your siblings were making, so how did they take this news?

Nuseir Yassin:

Well, look, when I called my parents and I said, “I’m quitting my 120K a year job to go to Kenya, Africa to make one-minute videos on Facebook that make no money,” clearly that was not a good thing for them. I think I learned that parents want their kids to live the most risk-free life possible. Parents want to de-risk their children while children want to risk it. And so that’s the primary difference between me and my parents is that at age 24, I want to take risks for the next six years. For them, they don’t want me to take risks until you have enough money in the bank, and that’s why they were not happy. But again, this is why I’m so lucky because they were able to trust me with this. They said, “Just go for it.” And the fact that they watched the videos, liked, commented, subscribed and all that stuff is all I needed.

Jay Ruderman:

Nuseir, every time I see you, you’re wearing a black T-shirt that has life and a percentage of life that you believe that you have consumed. Can you explain that T-shirt?

Nuseir Yassin:

So my T-shirt says 41% of life. So when I was 24, I asked myself, “When am I going to die?” That’s a weird question. I know. It turns out there’s two people in the world that know when you’re going to die, God and Google, and you type on Google life expectancy, and it says 76 years. And so 24 out of 76 was 32%. That’s when I realized I was 32% done with life, and that was a big realization to be one third dead. And so I decided to just put that on my T-shirt and just only wear the same thing for the last six years. And every eight months I become 1% older. So now I am 41% done with life. And it’s just a nice way to track how precious time is, and it’s a reminder to do something important every single day. And it also makes my life much, much, much easier traveling wise and everything else. So that’s what I wear.

Jay Ruderman:

So it’s not a way that a lot of people look at life because a lot of people say, “Oh, I have time.” I think it’s a very unique way of looking at things, and obviously it keeps you motivated to live the best life possible. Are you suggesting that all of us sort of look at life that way?

Nuseir Yassin:

I mean, definitely 100%. It also, it just doesn’t make sense where we say, “You graduated at age 21, then you retire at age 65, and then you do what you want to do.” It’s like, wait, what? So I just think when you think of time in terms of percentages, time becomes a lot more precious. And that’s really what I want people to understand is we think of our money in terms of percentages, our salary or bonuses in terms of percentages. We think of inflation in terms of percentages. We think of discounts in terms of percentages, but we never think of life in terms of percentages. So would you give 10% of your life to a relationship that you do not like to a wife or a husband that you do not love? That’s the question.

Jay Ruderman:

One thing that really surprised me about your work is that a lot of people, when they find the success for them, they tend to hold onto that success and they don’t want to tell anyone about it. But one thing that’s very unique about you is that you want to tell people about how you’ve had success. You’ve had success making videos and influencing people, but you want to tell other people how to do that. That’s a very unique quality. Can you talk a little bit about that and how you want to pass things on and you want to help others achieve what you’ve achieved?

Nuseir Yassin:

Thank you. Thank you for noticing that. I think a lot of people don’t notice that. And actually, I don’t talk about this a lot either, and I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Why do I care about telling you and making videos about how the success was created? This is the hardest video I will make because I am publicly committed that I’m going to get fit finally. Even the fitness challenge, I’m like, “Oh my God, I figured out how to become fit and get a six-pack. I’m going to tell the world about it. I figured out how to build a company. I’m going to tell the world about it. I figured out how to make a video. I’m going to tell the world about it.” And I think it’s something inherent, which is I think many people feel like the pie is fixed in size and we can all fight over who gets more pie.

But in reality, the pie continues to grow all the time. And this is my belief. My belief is that the more you share about your success, the more success you will create in the world. The more success there is in the world, the more pie there is for everybody. That’s how we think about it. And so I really don’t like people who are very, very private, especially when they made it. I think it becomes a moral imperative, a moral responsibility to share how you did it, because we want more Nas Dailys in the world, not less. The world does not need one Nas Daily. It needs 100.

Jay Ruderman:

So I want to tell you, I remember seeing these videos where a guy will tell you, “I have the secret for success and I can help you achieve better health.” And the video will go on and on for 10, 20 minutes, and then at the end he’s like, “Give me $20 a month and I’ll tell you how to do it,” which is a business. But you seem to be much more open to, “Listen, I’ve had success. I’m going to tell you how to have success.” And that is, I guess your form of activism, your form of saying, “I found some ways to have a better life, without charging you anything. I’m going to tell you how to have a better life.” And that’s very unique in this world.

Nuseir Yassin:

Nothing against people who want to build a business. And I’m also trying to build a business and I monetize some stuff as well, and I need to find a way to make money too. Knowledge is the only thing that increases when you give it away. So information should be free. My time should not be free. So I’m happy to make those content and share with the world everything I learned. But if somebody wants a 30-minute chat with me, of course I have to charge for that, right? So knowledge should be free. Time should not be free. I think that’s really the distinction between what I share for free and what I don’t share for free.

Jay Ruderman:

So let’s talk a little bit about how you have monetized your success and you’ve created Nas Academy, Nas Studios, Nas.io. Can you talk about your companies and how your companies operate?

Nuseir Yassin:

So once I finished the 1000-day challenge, I said to myself, “If I die today, everything I build dies tomorrow.” That’s terrible. You want longevity. I’m very interested in longevity of impact, and I’m very interested in making what we’ve built into an institution as opposed to an individual. And so I thought what I decided to build is Nas Company, which is an ecosystem of businesses and products. Each of them have the same mission and the same goal, bring people together. That’s it. My goal is to bring people together. Nas Data’s content brings people together. What else brings people together? Travel. So we’re building Nas Travels. Communities bring people together. So we’re building the community infrastructure for Nas.io, which is basically a community management software.

Education brings people together, summits bring people together. That’s the mission statement. Now, how do you make money from bringing people together? Well, one is you build the platform. Two is you offer services that people want, and three is, look, we said you’ve seen the Nas Daily videos. If you’re a company or a government or a big brand, do you want us to make videos for you on your channels?

Nuseir Yassin:

Do you want us to make videos for you on your channels? So we offer you our storytelling services that we charge for. So now I think NAS company makes roughly 10 to 12 million a year. So we’ve been able to build a pretty healthy business, [foreign language 00:18:18], as they say, thank God. But the goal is to make this into much bigger. The goal is to 10X in the next 10 years. So really, I believe that the more money we make, the more we can hire. The more we can hire, the more we can create jobs. The more we can create jobs, the better the world is. So now I feel like my job was to make a video every single day. My next dream is to create a job every day. Can I create an open position every single day in my company and hire 365 people and hire a thousand people in a thousand days, right? That’s the next ambition.

Jay Ruderman:

Your companies are extremely diverse. Can you talk about why diversity in terms of the makeup of your companies is so important to you?

Nuseir Yassin:

That’s a great question. I’ve seen far too many startups that are hot for five years and then they’re not. I’ve seen far too many tourism entrepreneurship I would call it, which is, oh, I’m interested in this subject for three, four years. I build a company, I sell it, and I move on to the next thing. My goal for NAS company is to be around for 50 years minimum. And if my goal is for this company to live longer than I live, I need to design it in a way that it withstands any shock to the system. So Facebook, YouTube, Instagram disappeared today, we should still make money from NAS Academy.

If COVID comes today, we shut down one part of the business, but the online part of the business grows, NAS IO grows. So they should always be diversified so that the company itself can continue to survive. I think that’s really important to me. I don’t know why that’s important to me, but I feel like I have found my life’s mission, which is to bring people together through content entrepreneurship and so on and so forth. And my only wish for people is to find their life mission as well.

Jay Ruderman:

You’ve been able to infuse social responsibility and community building into your businesses, but yet you’re not a nonprofit.

Nuseir Yassin:

Not a nonprofit.

Jay Ruderman:

You’re a for-profit business. And I think that that’s a formula that’s not well understood by many businesses. How were you able to, from the start to say, “These values are so important, I’m going to make it part of a for-profit business.” How does that happen?

Nuseir Yassin:

So my head of finance asked me last month, he was like, “Are we going to build a NAS nonprofit? Are we going to build a NAS charity?” And I said, “We will never build a charity.” And everybody thought I was a bad guy, and I said, “No, we will never build a charity because I deeply believe that a lot of the work that we do already helps a lot of people. The videos we make on that kid in Nairobi and give them 10 million views and exposure and make no money from it, that is already a form of charity. It’s just not in dollars. It’s in exposure.” So we already give and highlight and amplify so many voices around the world. We don’t need to do charity.

So if we were building a furniture business, I would totally make a charity division of it, because selling furniture does not have that intrinsic sort of thing. What I wanted to do at the beginning is because I quit my job at Venmo, I asked myself, the only thing I’m willing to do, the only thing that will make me spend time in the office from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM has to have meaning more than money. Because once you make your first million or 2 million or 3 million, really the marginal utility of an extra dollar is so low. My life is the same when I had a million and when I had 10 million.

So money should not be the reason we sit in the office, and I don’t want my team as well to sit in the office for the salary. There has to be something more that makes all of us stay until 9:00 PM and that’s why we wanted to build a business that makes us feel like there is a double bottom line, a do good and a do well, otherwise we would never build it because it’s not worth our time. So in a way, we’re privileged in the sense that we can think that and do that. Other businesses cannot afford that. They need to do boring stuff, and that’s fine too. But we’re just in a lucky position, I would say.

Jay Ruderman:

So when I watch your videos or I watch other people on social media and they’re successful, I see a lot of their personality. I see an outside personality. I see people who are very positive, people who are entertaining, people who make you want to watch their videos. How do you sell that to a company or to an individual who doesn’t have the type of charisma that you have?

Nuseir Yassin:

That is the billion-dollar question. That is the billion-dollar question. How can somebody who’s an introvert who doesn’t have a lot of energy in front of the camera, how can they succeed on social media? And the harsh answer today is that they may not be able to, but I think that’ll change in the future, in the next five years or 10 years. I think what you will see is people creating a NASDaily without their face. It would just be using AI, AI generated personalities, and they would just be the brains behind it. They would be the operators behind it. So it is exciting in the sense that in the future, we will move beyond things you were born with. So one of the things that I’m luckiest is I’m lucky to be born with healthy genetics and insane level of energy to scream in front of the camera, but not everybody has that. So I think AI will come to help so it’s just a matter of time.

Jay Ruderman:

So Nuseir, we’re going through a very difficult time in the world, especially from the place that you are from, from Israel and Palestine. Talk about how you think that this region can move to coexistence.

Nuseir Yassin:

So another great question. I have very strong opinions on this. I believe that the region of the Middle East is so infected with hate. It’s so infected with racism. It’s so infected with anger and pain and suffering that we will not get to a point where people vote for peace. We’re never going to get to a point where people willingly say, “Oh, you know what? I’m done with hating. I’d like to go and start loving again.” You’ll never see that. You’ll never see it from Egypt, you’ll never see it from Palestine. You’ll never see it from Jordan. And maybe you’ll not see it from Israel either after what happened. So I believe that the solution has to be forced. It has to be forced top-down. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be bottom-up unfortunately. I just know my people too well. So top-down means we got to work with autocratic leaders in the Middle East to enforce security and stability even when the population disagrees with it.

And this is not a popular answer that I’m giving, but it’s the most realistic thing I can think about. So I really think we need, in Palestine for example, we need a better dictator. We just need a better leader who is a dictator, and this is uncomfortable for somebody in America to hear, but we tried democracy in Palestine, it did not work. We ended up with Hamas, we tried democracy in Egypt. We ended up with the Muslim brotherhood. And so if we want stability and zero deaths and regional wars, then we must limit some freedoms. And I don’t know if that’s the answer you wanted, but that’s the only solution I see for peace.

Jay Ruderman:

No, I understand what you’re saying. As someone who’s lived in Israel and has an office and a home there, and I can be very critical of these Israeli Jewish part of it, where for many, many years the relationship between the Palestinians and Jewish Israelis had been put off, basically kicked the can down the road. And on hindsight, on the Palestinian side, it may be saying, “Okay, there are terrorist elements within our society. We’re not going to crack down on these elements. These elements are going to exist in our society.” How do you get to the point where you have a leader on both sides that says, “Enough with this shit, enough with this fighting that’s going on forever, for generations, let’s move forward.” Because I do think that a country of Palestine and a country of Israel living side by side can be successful, mutually connected to each other. But how do you get to that leader on both sides that says, “Listen, forget about this fighting. We have to find a way to live together.”

Nuseir Yassin:

So I did some research and when it comes to a leader saying, “I want peace”, that is the riskiest thing a leader can say in the Middle East. So in the last 70 years, there has been 11 assassinations of leaders in the Middle East. Eight of them, 70% of them were leaders that wanted to make peace, got assassinated. You are…

Nuseir Yassin:

Leaders that wanted to make peace got assassinated. You are double as likely to die for wanting peace as a leader than for waging war as a leader. Think about that. That is statistically sad. So it actually requires an insane amount of courage for somebody, a Palestinian leader, to come and say, “You know what? I’m going to give up on the historical image of Palestine that we have, and I’m going to settle for this land.” He will be murdered the next day. I think that’s why this stuff doesn’t happen. So for this, I think we definitely need the help of UE and Saudi Arabia. I think UE, Saudi Arabia, UN and the US is the only hope. And I think Saudi Arabia specifically is the number one country I can see that has the power to change course in the Middle East while maintaining stability for the leaders and for the population and for Israel. So I’m betting on Saudi, and I would do whatever it takes to support Saudi and its endeavors, whatever it takes.

Jay Ruderman:

You did a video on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. And at the end when the video was over, you related a story about a boy who was influenced by your videos, and how a year later, his opinion had changed. Can you talk about that story?

Nuseir Yassin:

I found a young boy who came to me and said, “I like your videos because I really want peace.” And I thought that was great. And I thought it’s nice to see young generation wanting peace. Immediately on the call, his father stopped him and said, “Don’t say that.” Saying I want peace is a very dangerous thing, especially in Palestine. The correct thing to say is, in their opinion, “I want justice, and I want to defeat the enemy.” And I thought that was incredibly sad because we have another generation now who is taught the same old concepts of the previous generation and the previous generation. And I just thought we lost another 20 years just from that interaction alone. So that made me especially sad. And I really think we need to start changing terminologies.

Justice is too subjective. The idea of getting justice, it just does not exist. It’s delusional. What we really want is forgiveness and peace, forced peace. That’s the only way forward. October 7th, the events that are unfolded before and after and during the last two months have really solidified my belief in a two-stage solution, solidified my belief that Jews and Muslims need to learn how to live together inside Israel and around Israel, and solidified my belief that at least my people, the Arab Israelis, the Palestinian Israelis have one home. We have a shared home with the Jewish Israelis, and solidified my belief that in front of terror there is no religion and there is no race. Everybody’s equal in front of a terrorist.

Jay Ruderman:

Nuseir, after October 7th, you made some statements about how you identify, and now we’re a couple months away from October 7th. Can you talk about how you see your identity as a Palestinian Israeli, and how you saw it October 7th, and how you may see it now?

Nuseir Yassin:

At least for the 2 million Palestinians inside Israel, we don’t have another home. It’s Israel or bust for us. And so for that reason, we need to learn. I need to learn how to actively work to make a better Israel. And I think Israel needs a lot of improvement. But my number one goal now is how can I improve Israel, because if you improve Israel, you can also improve Palestine, you can also improve Egypt, you can improve the entire Middle East so that a stronger Israel, a safer Israel, a more prosperous Israel also leads to a more prosperous region. Everything is interconnected, and same applies to Palestine. So at least for me, given my role and where I live, that’s my goal. And I think that became very clear after the October 7th events. And I think a lot of people feel the same way, too. A lot of the Palestinians inside Israel feel like we don’t want Israel to disappear. We really don’t. We’re lucky to have a great passport. We’re lucky to live in a democracy. We’re lucky to have some sort of economic opportunities, not as good as the Jewish ones, unfortunately, and we got to work on that, but we’re luckier than average. And I just think we want to continue that. We want to build on top of that. We don’t want to start from scratch. And I think that’s why I made that statement.

Jay Ruderman:

Do you see for yourself any leadership role going forward after this conflict ends?

Nuseir Yassin:

For myself?

Jay Ruderman:

Yes.

Nuseir Yassin:

That’s a question for you. Do you see it for me, and what would that role be? I don’t know.

Jay Ruderman:

Well, I would like to see someone like yourself with a platform who can speak to the Israeli people, who can speak to the people in the Palestinian territories and project a message of positivity and a positive way to go forward, rather than we need to destroy each other. So for me, yes, I’d like to see your message reverberate.

Nuseir Yassin:

Thank you for that. I appreciate the trust. I think personally, I find myself attracted to hard things, like a thousand videos in a thousand days, a thousand-person company. If I achieve my goal of building a thousand-person company, then I feel like my next goal would be something with government, because I do feel like there’s a lot of hard things in governments. And that’s why with [inaudible 00:32:26], we work a lot with governments. We work roughly with five governments around Asia, and it’s a lot of fun. So it’s not something I would say I’m not interested in. I’m definitely interested in it, but depending on the context, depending on the time and everything… But I have a lot to prove still to the world and to myself that I can build a business. And after that chapter is done in my life in the next 10 years, this is going to be the next challenge.

Jay Ruderman:

And how is your family?

Nuseir Yassin:

My family’s great. My family’s great. They’re safe. We’re in the middle of Israel, so far from the south, far from the north. So overall, I think they’re getting accustomed to the new normal. They don’t like, of course, my statements. They’re scared for me, but I understand. Again, they want to de-risk their son’s life, and their son wants to risk it all.

Jay Ruderman:

Right. Well, I wish you to go from strength and strength. And Nuseir, it’s been a pleasure to speak to you. Thank you so much for all that you’ve contributed to our world, and I know you’ll contribute much more, but it was a pleasure meeting you.

Nuseir Yassin:

Likewise. Thank you for having me, and thank you everybody for listening.

Jay Ruderman:

Thank you. Nuseir sits at the intersection of so many worlds, and I’m endlessly impressed with his ability to thoughtfully engage with them all. I’ll definitely keep an eye on him, and I look forward to seeing what he gets up to in the future. That’s it for today’s episode. Join us two weeks from today for another deep dive into the life of an activist. Today’s episode was produced by Rebecca Chason with story editing by Yochai Maital and Mijon Zulu. To check out more episodes or to learn more about the show, you can visit our website, allaboutchangepodcast.com. If you like our show, spread the word, tell a friend or family member, or leave us a review on your favorite podcasting app. We’d really appreciate it. All About Change is produced by the Ruderman Family Foundation in partnership with Pod People. That’s all for now. I’m Jay Ruderman, and we’ll see you next time on All About Change.

You can still listen to all of our previous podcast episodes on our old ‘all inclusive’ website – CLICK HERE