These two pictures sum it all up.
A proud Circassian Syrian immigrant embracing American ideals.
A writer with an imagination for the impossible.
Building bridges across cultural boundaries is my underlying objective. My father was ahead of this time and taught me, “Love is a Universal Language.” It was an early lesson among gangs that taught me the most basic human instinct is the need for each of us to hold on to our identity and be respected. Clearly, the new fascination with DNA testing of ethnicities proves this hunger to claim our identity and our legacy. The individual remains a social being and we all just need to be understood.
That’s been my journey. Observing East vs. West psychology and sociology and finding the funny, the charming and the mysterious stigmas that prevail over time. Why do Arabs insist on paying for dinner and why do Europeans split the tab evenly? Why do Circassian parents withhold affection, yet project such fierce passion to protect their clans? Why do Americans limit their ethnocentric identity by forsaking foreign language development when Europeans thrive confidently in their own cultures, yet learn 2, 3, 4+ languages so easily?
My favorite fascination has been how people deal with failures. I have a P.h.D in the Art of Failures from the University de Vie. Anyone that knows me, knows I command that science and defy the gravitational pull of it. Yes I go down. Hard. But my life has been defined by the recovery process. My inspiration to others seems to be exactly that. Bouncing back stronger, higher and more defiant is my legacy.