Karim Shamsi-Basha immigrated from Damascus-Syria to the United States in 1984 at the age of 184. He attended the University of Tennessee and acquired a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After that, he pursued what he loved – Photojournalism and writing. His photographic work has taken him to over 50 countries including China,
Turkey, Chile, Mexico, France and Italy.
Karim’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Coastal Living, People, Time, Southern Living, NJ.com, The Alabama News Center, al.com, Aramco World magazine, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and many others. Karim’s children’s book, The Cat Man of Aleppo, won the 2021 Caldecott Honor, the Middle East Book Award and five starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly among others. Currently, Food & Culture Columnist / Photographer with nj.com and The Star Ledger in New Jersey. Karim is a single father to three precious human beings: Zade, Dury, and Demi. He lives by the motto, Carpe diem, seizing every moment of this beautiful life.
Karim’s honors are many. He won two prizes in the 84th Writer’s Digest International Competetion – one for a poem and another for an essay. He has two blogs on the Huffington Post: Arab in Alabama, and See Love Run. He has written extensively for several print and online publications including the Alabama News Center and the Birmingham News/al.com. Other publications include B-Metro, 78 Magazine, Portico, Birmingham Magazine and Aramco World magazine. He also wrote an essay for the book: Alabama Christmas alongside Helen Keller and Truman Capote.
He has published three coffee-table books. The Beauty Box, was a coffee-table book about beauty parlors in The South. Shelter from the Storm, is a collection of portraits and quotes of the homeless. This book was commissioned by the Salvation Army and has received worldwide accolades. Home Sweet Home Alabama, shows Alabama as one of the most beautiful and friendly states. In 2005, he was one of 100 photographers commissioned to photograph for the book: America 24/7. He is curently working on a YA novel and a picture book.
He has written the book: PAUL and me, A Journey to and from the Damascus Road, From Islam to Christ. The book has quickly become an international phenomena and landed the number four best seller spot in religion books on Amazon. It has received coverage on The Huffington Post, National Public Radio, The Christian Post, The Blaze, The Associated Press, The Birmingham News, The Australia News, and even the Fiji Times! With the book, Karim aspires to build a bridge for better uderstanding and acceptance of different worldviews.
He is an activist who seeks to increase the world’s understanding of faith and acceptance and love and peace. He is the recipient of numerous awards including Best Annual Report, Pictures of the Year International, Writer’s Digest, The Addy Awards, and Best Book for Shelter from the Storm. He has been on the faculty of numerous workshops including the Southwestern Photojournalism Seminar in Dallas, and the Radius of Arab-American Writers in Detroit. He is a single father to three precious children: Zade, Dury, and Demi, and lives by the motto: Carpe diem – seizing every moment of this beautiful gift called life. Karim’s photography work can be viewed at his website: www.HireKarim.com. His writing can be seen at his popular blogs on the Huffington Post, and at www.arabinalabama.com , and www.seeloverun.com.
Thank you for the opportunity to spend time with Karim. What a wonderful man.