About the founders of Forever Stories
My name is Robert de Leeuw. I live in The Netherlands and this is my story about Forever Stories.
In 2020, my father became terminally ill with advanced-stage lung cancer. After 14 years of studying to become a gynecologist, I knew what to expect, more or less. During his illness, I was also confronted with the memory of my mother’s sudden death when I was 11 years old, which made me want to find out more about her. I looked at some old photos that I had scanned years earlier and flipped through some old albums but, except for some old letters, I couldn’t find anything to read about her. So I did what all of us do in these days, I Googled her. Unsurprisingly, I found nothing; she died well before the internet was a household thing, so this was to be expected. But nobody had ever mentioned her online. Nobody wrote about her friends, her family, her work. It was as if she had never existed, except in my memories. Of course, the memories of others are where we live on. Still, not being able to find anything about her online somehow did not feel right. I wanted her to have a digital presence. I wanted future generations to find something when they Google her, just to let them know that she was there. I thought of starting a Wikipedia page. What a beautiful memorial that would be, making her exist on Wikipedia! But there was a problem: Anybody could change my story about her. It also didn’t feel right to give her story a place in an encyclopedia-type environment. I didn’t want her to have a Facebook page, either. That was just wrong. I wanted to write her story, collaborate with my niece, and have it online forever. The easiest way was to make her a page on my own personal website. That did make sense.
Then, in September 2021, my father died, and I noticed that more people wanted to tell his story. I did find some information about him via Google, though. Some old Facebook posts and his LinkedIn profile were the first few hits, but that was not his story. Sure, there was more than there was about my mother, but it was not his story. It was impersonal, and it did not seem to catch his life story at all. That’s when I realized that I wanted to write a personal story and keep it online forever. For future generations to find what I believe was his story. With my wife and co-owner, we started to work on the idea of Forever Stories© that day.
We registered the idea of Forever Stories© in 2021 under i-Depot number 134931 at biop.int and as a trademark under number 1456304. The platform is created by IDEACT as part of their IT services. The inventor of Forever Stories© is Robert de Leeuw, who is also the co-owner of IDEACT, together with Tariq Ahmadali.
Forever Stories© is the fruit of collaborative work by Robert de Leeuw and Rubeena and Tariq Ahmadali, who spend their evenings discussing and developing the concept. We started this journey by aiming at that magical 100,000 stories to reach the “digital forever threshold.” And, just like every journey, our project started with the first story.
If you want to read more about Robert, please go here: www.robertdeleeuw.nl