Charima Daoudi

English: Cape Coast Castle is a fortification ...
English: Cape Coast Castle is a fortification in Ghana. The Castle was built for the trade in timber and gold, later it was used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, today it accommodates a museum operated by the Ghana Heritage Trust. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grounded by her past, Charima Daoudi is poised to step into her future.  It’s refreshing to meet a young woman, barely out of her teens, who has such a firm grasp of where she’s going and how she’s going to get there.

Statuesque beauty and soulful dark eyes attract me to the quiet intensity of Charima.  She is apparently unaware of her charm as her words bring to life her vision of how she intends to use her life.  She has a definite sense of destiny, which seems unusual for someone of her generation.  Even Charima’s college choice demonstrates an appreciation for her personal history and responsibility.

Front cover of the June 1985 issue of National...
As a little girl, Charima dreamed of writing for National Geographic.  Her dreams were, at least in part, inspired by her talented and traveled family.  Her Dutch grandmother is an author of books about the African Diaspora, the dispersion of Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Her mother and her Algerian born father told Charima stories, in foreign languages, of far away lands.   Charima understands that her past helps define who she is today.  Still, she knows it’ll take hard work to make her future happen.


Without the daily banter of her parents, the French that Charima learned as a little girl faded.  But the lure of really knowing a foreign language is still alive.  To sharpen her ability, Charima spent four months in France and immersed herself in the culture.  In Paris, she found it possible to find tourist savvy French who could speak English. But during the time spent n the countryside and quaint villages like Dijon, where English is rare,  Charima began to actually think in French.  After her four months in France, Charima traveled on to Netherlands where she connected with some of her Dutch relatives.

The seal of Knox College (Illinois)

Charima is a full-time student at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, ranked “Best Value College” and “Best in Midwest” by Princeton review.  George Washington Gale and other strong antislavery Congregationists and Presbyterians founded Knox College in the 1830s.  The liberal arts degree that Charmina seeks promises to focus on issues of our time and our ancestors.  Her combined major in Anthropology and Sociology will prepare her for her life’s work.

Charima hopes to put her education to work in the field of emerging cultures. Coupled with her guest student study of journalism at National Louis University, Charima’s photo-journalism class rekindled her childhood dream.  With her talent and dedication, I will  be surprise to see her as a regular contributor to a well-recognized journal.  Perhaps Charima Daoudi will be a featured journalist in National Geographic, just as she imagined not so long ago.

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