Community Spirit--Dr. J'miah Nabawi

Published: Mar. 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM EST
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Dr. J'miah Nabawi
Dr. J'miah Nabawi

Between computers, video games, and all of those high-tech gadgets for kids, you might think storytelling wouldn't be quite as popular as it once was. But we found out that's not exactly the case. In fact, it's getting more popular.

For nearly 20 years, Dr. J'miah Nabawi has been bringing stories to life all over the country. Three years ago, he and his wife moved to Savannah. They quickly hit the road running.

Nabawi is on top of the world when he's telling stories. "When I see children in a room like that I get turned on, I become this other person," he said. "I'm ready to tell them stories and interact with them and let them know they are special and let the adults know it's okay as an adult they can act silly too."

Nabawi takes families on an unforgettable journey around the world, sharing the many unique cultures and languages. Librarian Judy Strong told us, "It passes on tradition, teaches languages and helps develop the history."

"I want them to take away the idea of being self-sustained in their own creativity rather than having creativity imposed on them," said Nabawi.

This has become a family affair. Nabawi's wife Dana works along with him. She signs the stories he tells the children, opening up the experience to the deaf and hearing impaired. "It's so exciting to see children who are deaf laughing as hard as the hearing children," she said.

"It's an extended visual component to what I do," said Nabawi. "I have all of the sound, body movements and facial expressions, while Dana is signing it adds another visual effect."

For his unique way of capturing the imagination of children, showing them learning is fun, Dr. J'miah Nabawi is part of WTOC's Community Spirit.

Dr. Nabawi also wants to take his stories on the road by going to different communities telling stories and giving away books.

Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker,