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A Note from the Founders

Dear Reader, 



Thank you for visiting us at The DateKeepers. And no, sorry, this is not a dating site. 


"But what does dating have to do with journalism?" we're sometimes asked. 


To which we answer, "Not that kind of date." 


In Tamazight, Itto's mother tongue, “tini” means "date" (as in the fruit that grows on date palm trees) and “ou” means “owner” or “keeper.” Hence, the “Outinis” are “the keepers of the dates” or "the date keeper." 


When we got married in 2022, Mekiya took Itto's last name, and we became "the date keepers," plural. 


When we launched this platform in 2023, it was with a Tamazight saying in mind: a folk expression that translates into English as "The stories move the mountains." 


We believe in the power of stories. We believe that to know someone's story is to perceive that person as a human being, never mind the titles, labels, accolades, stereotypes, achievements, reputations, rumors, and identities that threaten to cloud our perceptions. 


We believe that if we are to build a better world, we'll first need to see each other, once again, as human beings. To do this, we'll need better stories.


We believe that before we can have better stories, we must take better care of our storytellers. Only when storytellers are supported, valued, and provided with feedback that enhances, rather than degrades, their work will they be able to properly care for the stories with which they're entrusted. 


Lately, the mainstream media and publishing industries have not been taking great care of their storytellers. That's why we're experimenting with a different model. We offer nonfiction writers a platform, constructive feedback, creative control, and longterm professional mentorship in exchange for their labor. 


With our support—and also yours—our writers are beginning to tell better stories: stories that transform minds and lives; stories that uplift individuals striving to better themselves and their worlds; stories that cultivate hope and connection instead of sewing distrust, disillusionment, division, and despair. 


Thank you for joining us on this journey. We can't wait to find out what the next chapter brings. 





Itto & Mekiya Outini

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