When Rebekkah Gelles suspects her husband, Avram of not only lying to her, but also contriving not to have the children she so desperately wants and embezzling money from his business, she wants out of their marriage.
Her life gets complicated when she falls in love with detective Nick Rossi. Convinced Nick’s wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing—she walks away after they share a night of passion. Nick warns her even though he loves her, he won’t beg. Their budding relationship seems to have ended.
When Rebekkah finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test, she wavers between joy and sadness. Motherhood wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
Karoline Barrett - I've had the honor of knowing her for a few years now. She is one of the most talented, helpful and patient writers I've known throughout my own writing career. So, naturally, when I was informed that her tour will kick start with my blog post, I was ecstatic!
I asked her a few questions to get to know the writer in her better. Here's a slice. I hope you enjoy :)
Tell us a little about your book – inspiration, why you wrote it, etc.
The Art Of Being Rebekkah is about a talented Jewish artist, who finds out her husband has a frightening dark side, and wants out of her marriage; but her life gets complicated when she moves back to her parents’ home in Park Slope, Brooklyn and falls for the charming Italian detective who’s investigating her estranged husband. Convinced he’s all wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing — Rebekkah struggles with love, faith, family, and a surprise pregnancy.
I wanted to write something that the market wasn’t already saturated with (like vampires); there isn’t a lot of Jewish women’s fiction out there.
Why should one read your book?
It illustrates the female journey, is character driven, emotional, and suspenseful.
Are characters/story based on real life?
Only loosely! I love making up lives for my characters, I don’t want to pull from my own life, or anyone else’s.
Some writers tend to segment their writing life into a reading phase and a writing phase. Do you do that? How do you manage it?
I usually write a big chunk, then go back and re-read, then repeat the process. When you’re writing a novel, at least for me, there’s a lot re-reading, so I can remember who said what, when.
How do you write – techniques, outlines, tools, drinks, drugs, food, clothes or lack thereof...?
First, I outline. My outline changes as I go, but I can’t write without one. I do my outline on software called Snowflake Pro, but actually write in Word. I do wear clothing, and my drink of choice is Coke! My snack is Goldfish crackers, or chocolate.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Why?
Is this a trick question? I have to say Humeira Kazmi and Shamila Ghyas. I just read their book, Aoife and Demon: Cursed be the Syhlain. I don’t read fantasy, and they captured my interest, and held it. You should read it!
What are your current projects?
A cozy mystery set in upstate New York.
Do you see writing as a career?
Hopefully, one day! Before I’m too old…
Why be a Writer?
Because, I hate math and have a very vivid imagination, which lends itself well to story-telling! I love making up characters and turning them into multi-dimensional people.
How do people react to your ‘writer’ job title?
Some are thrilled, some are “meh”, some want to know if they can have a free copy, some apparently have no idea of what reading actually is, and some regard me as a goddess. I made one of those up…
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time management is huge; sometimes too, I get a big case of writers block, and I can’t make a scene work well. That’s when I blog, or update Pinterest, stuff like that.
How hard was it to get where you are today as a writer?
I didn’t start to seriously write until later in life (after twenty-five we’ll say for laughs---you don’t have to actually laugh). I took two courses through Long Ridge Writers Group, and I started getting short stories published. The hardest part was querying for an agent after my novel was done. I am so luck to be represented by Frances Black of Literary Council. She’s wonderful. But, what else would I say, right? She could be reading this. Kidding, she really is wonderful.
Your book cover is very refreshing. Who designed it? Why does this cover work for your book, in your opinion?
Thank you, Humi! It was designed by talented illustrator, Martin Blanco. It works because it shows who Rebekkah is; an artist who finds her happily ever after, despite a bumpy journey getting there.
Are your character names important to you?
Yes! Fair or not, certain names conjure up certain images. My book’s main characters, Rebekkah and Nick, would not work as Harriet and Elmer!
Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Yes. Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. And, no matter how many times you look at your manuscript, you’re still going to find way too many people sighing deeply, way too often. Ok, that might just be my issue.
Any bad reviews? How do handle them?
My book will be out December 9th, and since this is November, I have not had any bad reviews yet! But, let’s say I get one or two, from disgruntled people who obviously don’t appreciate a good story when they read one. Probably feel really bad for a couple of minutes, then move on to a good review!
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Your favorite excerpt.
Thank you for asking. It’s not my favorite; I had a hard time picking my favorite! Here you go:
The majestic tile mosaic of Jerusalem on the walls surrounding the mikveh was a reminder to Rebekkah of her heritage, and made her feel a kinship to all other Jews.
She ducked under the water, and felt her soul go still as she offered prayers to God. She spread her arms and legs and left her eyes open. Her hair floated around her like seaweed, and she heard nothing from the outside world. This must be what it feels like to be in the womb, Rebekkah thought.
Yanna left her alone to recite in Hebrew as she immersed herself, “Praised are you, Adoshem, God of all creation, who sanctifies us with your commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.” She ducked beneath the water twice more, and took a few minutes to ask God to open her womb.
When she was through she returned to the prep room to dress. Thinking of Avram, she slipped on her new lace teddy. She knew he would love it. The rest of her anger seeped out as she thought of his body joining with hers to create a new life. Just as her body was now ready for him, she wanted her spirit to be ready. She didn’t want anger to serve as a barrier to a new life.
About KAROLINE BARRETT:
She was born in upstate New York and has lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. At the moment, she lives in a small Connecticut town with her husband. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, spending time by the water, traveling, and doing anything that has nothing to do with math.
She’s currently working on her second novel, a cozy mystery set in upstate N.Y.
Adela (A Book from the Guardian Series) By J.L McFadden Adela: Is a beautiful young woman of a very wealthy family in Eastern Europe who is fending off advances from an older aristocratic German business man that has an evil presence about him. She falls madly in love with another man to see her father and his followers come under the attack and clutches of this barren try to use the enslavement of her father’s land and people to force her to be his own. BUY LINKS Paperback CreatespaceE-Book Amazon
About the Author
Jamie Lee McFadden is the Author of the Guardian Series: Guardian, released, Adela, release in September, Chooses, release in December, Adela’s Lost Guardian, March, more to be named at a later date.
McFadden spins tragedy and romance into all of his stories with picturesque descriptions that vividly paints and melts the scenes into your pleasure cortex that is a valid and important part of every reader’s mind.
McFadden was born in a mixed Celtic and Slavic family in the river valleys of Pennsylvania. In his earlier years he played in bands in New York and ended up working his way into H.Q of the largest musical retailer in the world Guitar Centre; while working at the store level he managed multiple departments at once and handled all the stores merchandising logistics. He has explored the world and became the first American to be accepted into the Interregional Federation of Aikido Aikikai of Crimea & Sevastopol, where he enjoys learning from great masters from around the world, where he has developed himself. He explains that the people, rich and colourfully different people he has met, spawned a lot of his characters.
I’m being educated. Halloween is not all about candy. How awful :'(
My initial response were more in the vicinity of a confused frown. I didn’t think suicide bombers were a ‘culture’. I didn’t understand why a child would associate himself with a suicide bomber. I didn’t find it funny, didn’t think it was the spooky costume of the year nor was I particularly offended. I just found it distasteful – like a bad aftertaste of some new recipe.
Most of the commenters exasperatedly yelled that it’s Halloween, get a sense of humor, political correctness is tiresome and such with many Muslims jumping on board.
It all made sense. I was pretty ready to leave the thread and move on when I read this:
Such comments weren’t many but they were there alright. Some were less vile while others outright attacked the Prophet of Islam, his religion and followers, the Arab culture. There was nothing light-hearted-Halloween-fun about these comments. They were hateful and insulting and ignorant.
Suddenly, the poster didn’t seem quite so irrelevant. It did have a target audience – the arrogant and the ignorant sitting on the other side of the fence.
Yes! That boy could just well have been a Middle Eastern Christian
protesting this stereotype because it’s hurtful to his
Middle Eastern roots.
I’m not a fan of political correctness. I guess none of us are till lack of it really steps on our toes. This poster initiated a barrage of costume ideas, most pushing buttons to see how high the tolerance threshold was on either side:
- A pedophile priest.
- An Irish Protestant.
- An American flag or Lady Liberty with a drone mounted on her head.
- A fat-suit complete with meaty fast food accessories.
- A Whiteface to rival a Blackface.
- Then, there were images of a dog or a robot or a sci-fi/fantasy character mimicking the poster message. The net is riddled with these, apparently.
I wondered if there really is a line that needs to be drawn here. When does a joke cease to be no longer funny? When does a costume turn offensive?
Yes, I remember the good ole times
when it was funny to make fun of fat people, of ethnic customs, certain dialects, of skin color – but then it started translating into actual hate crimes. And then it was funny no more.
I think I’ll just grab my witch hat and go get some candy. After all, the Happy in my Halloween comes from lotsa dark chocolate; not dark humor.
Nina Davuluri was just crowned Miss America and I’d just about accepted the fact that Twitter indeed is accessible to loud-mouthed twits and their tweets.
That’s fine. Free speech, y’all. And while we’re at it, let’s mix in loads of hate speech as well.
In the wake of all this, my friend posted an article via CAIR
telling a story about one district that ended field trips to mosques in Nashville, TN when a group of parents objected. We all commented: some expressing regret, some joking and rolling their eyes and moving on, others hoping for better times when this
dude decided to leave his mark:
Of course, I had major issues with his post.
- You’re writing, not screaming above a noisy crowd so go easy on the CAPS LOCK. We would still read and laugh at your comment with or without the use of that particular key.
- “Just us INFORMED Americans who understand the Muslim Movement…”
First of all, if you’re going to shout at me, I insist upon being thrashed in proper English. It’s your mother tongue. Don’t shame it. And secondly, there’s a Muslim Movement? Where do I sign up?
- “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE YOU MUSLIMS!”
Sigh. My eyes.
But to reply – Yes, I Muslim. So, you go separate church from state. I won’t say a word. Promise!
Till then, let me introduce you to your new friends, Mister Comma and Miss Sentence Case.
- “Go back to the deserts in the Middle East and continue killing each other!”
I’m not from the Middle East (though Jesus was), and my friend is a Caucasian American so I seriously think the guy needs an atlas. And some history books, a dictionary – okay, let’s face it – an education.
- And lastly - Lord knows, I pay my taxes to run this country!
(Just thought I'd make that clear.)
He didn't stop at this. He privately messaged my friend who obviously looked
American (white skin, blonde hair), while I looked like the cover of my book. No, seriously. Look at my DP and buy my book (available at Amazon). Anyway, apparently, our guy felt the need to inform her that Muslims beat their wives into submission and teach their children to hate. And he called her Sweety.
Oh, you done it now bud!
If she wasn't turned off by the fact that he was so excruciatingly ignorant that he’d tell a Muslim what Islam is (I mean did he not read her name?!), his lack of respect for women and spell-check surely did the job.
But to be fair, I can relate to this guy’s fear of the unknown. What I can’t comprehend is why won’t he turn the unknown
Before you grab for hate, grab a Muslim and ask him what his freakin’ problem is – and then listen
to him. Chances are he’ll make sense. Chances are that the bigot Muslim cleric who freaks you out is the same one he wants to push over a cliff as well. But if you’re
the bigot, then IMHO you need to follow the cleric down the cliff.
I recently read somewhere that Bill Maher blames poverty for hate. He may be right though I’m more intrigued than ever as to what his
excuse is, but his theory may hold some water. May be it is the growing divide of the haves
and the have-nots
. May be that’s why the poorer countries hate America. They are the have-nots
while we here have
everything. Quite justified, yeah?
I don’t think so.
But I’ll willingly give you a Snickers bar any day :)
Graphics Interchange Format. GIF for short.
Note: click on ALL the images in this post to see how they react to your click.
I haven’t discovered them recently. I’ve just discovered my manic love for them very recently. I think they’re really much underused. I mean come on! This is the glorious digital age. An age for ebooks and Kindle and YouTube and everyone’s fifteen minutes of fame.
An age where every format is overlapping the other and evolving into something new.
And if Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Bad Kitty can have cartoons doodled all over their pages and still be classified as 'literature' and of a good kind too - surely ebooks MUST use GIFs to express an author's true state of mind...?
Just think! One wouldn’t have to explain expressions that probably take up an entire paragraph and still don’t even come as close to if you actually saw someone do it.
I may want to write this:
But only be able to word this:
Or, on a second try, this:
And as the circumstances may warrant, sometimes in the heat of the moment, the readers may read this:
When what I really meant was this:
I’ve seriously decided on inserting GIFs for every comment in writing that displeases me. My personal favorite for the task:
Which if I wrote down, many would read as:
Well, more power to me and to writers in general. I just might take out a GIF loaded novel in the near future...
And some mornings just turn from way normal to downright SUPER!
Thanks to this awesome review, courtesy of K. K. Shahid and Pakistan Today, we have our first ever published review. Yes, we're talking newsprint :)
So, thank you KKS! You make us sound so cool, i'm splitting at the seams with pomp.
Yay for us, Aoife & Demon and all their fans! This day was big for us all :)
For a complete picture of the pages layout, please visit Pakistan Today
Mostly when I’m angry, I tell myself I’m over reacting.
Sometimes, that is true. At others, I go into a shut-down mode to have an internal dialogue. That’s not because I’m so sane, oh no! That’s just me focusing on my image as I’d like to see it in my flashback bubble where I don’t want to recall myself as a raging purple minion. And usually, the issue is resolved before I can really get involved. And people end up thinking I’m cool
Yeah, I’m that
So naturally, when an issue causes me to react (over
react) the same way that it did the first time, every
time I come across it, even I’m compelled to step back and say, “Wait a cotton pickin’ minute! I think there is something there to be wary of.”
Such was the thoughtful moment when a group claiming to promote new writers, with a page on Facebook, and who shall remain nameless because I’m such
a noble person or else what I truly feel like doing to them is – (deep breaths, over-reacting!) – Okay, let’s start over.
According to this particular group’s overview and mission statements, it is:
- a unique platform for South Asian writers.
- an organization committed to furthering literary awareness and growth in South Asia.
- a writer’s haven for aspiring writers of South Asian descent.
New writer. South Asian descent.
Shami and I fit the description. Naturally, I contacted them. I told them about Aoife & Demon; told them we’d be glad if they reviewed it or promoted it on their page, showed us some love.
If you’re a new writer, you’ll understand the courage it takes to put your work out there for someone else to peer into. It also takes patience as you wait for a single reply – and you wait on pins and needles. This particular exchange took only about a day, fortunately. They told me they didn’t promote novels. If I had a short story or a poem, then they’d be interested.
Of course, I didn’t pester them with any of our links after that.
But I liked what the group had to say and so continued to follow their various posts until I stumbled upon a post by the group itself celebrating launch of a new writer’s sci-fi novel.
I wasn’t amused.
I wasn’t jealous of the new writer or the spotlight he was getting. I didn’t want to overshadow the new guy’s success nor steal his thunder (as if I could); neither did I want to be a sourpuss, dumping all over the post like a loser.
But I felt lied to. Whoever it was from the group’s admin who told me, We don’t deal in novels. We simply don’t have the capacity for it, unfortunately, wasn’t exactly honest.
I had to say something!
I commented and tagged Shami in the post. She left her comments, too. Then, a friend, who had actually bought and read our book and liked it, posted a link to it under the same post.
It wasn’t until the Group commented on the post that I was truly sure of whatever we had done under the post was good.
We didn’t take it positively?! I think my friends and I were very civil.
I didn’t call them out and thrash them for their “we don’t deal in novels” stance. As a writer’s group, a haven for aspiring writers, I expected them to embrace us and acknowledge us with that other writer even if we were being silly. I think they handled it all not so well.
But for what it’s worth, the link to our book got noticed and was liked multiple times. And no, not all were our friends and it felt great ;)
I'm thinkin'... I should over react this way more often...
“You didn’t go to school here?” He knotted his brows while combing through my passport.
“Nope,” I said plainly.
I knew he wasn’t looking for a missed port of entry/exit stamp. There were none. He’d checked them all. My file on his computer had already told him that and more. Neither did he doubt my answer. Nor was he pulling my leg or else he wouldn’t be smiling so amicably at me. He was saying something else –
“Well,” he said handing me back my papers. “You don’t have an accent.”
I’d heard that before. And I do not agree.
I think I still carry a strong, pseudo-British slant in my words. That’s how we speak English in Pakistan. I agree a decade of living in the US must’ve ruined that but I’m convinced the damage isn't much. Another thing I’m certain of now is that carrying an accent is just a teensy, virtually insignificant part of being bilingual. Believe me there are worse things in store for writers.
For instance, which language to think in before beginning to write…?
My grade 8 Language teacher told me if you want to be fluent in a particular language, you should learn to think in that language first.
Now, if you’re not multilingual you may not grab this concept. But here’s the thing – we always tend to think in our native tongue or in a language pushed at us as our first language. If your native tongue is English, you most probably think in it and write in it, hence, you do not go through the struggle of switching from one culture to another.
Yes, culture. A language is just that in words.
That is exactly why we invented Akina for our Aoife & Demon Series because we decided to give our parallel universe, the Realm, a different culture – a culture different from the one Aoife grew up in. There were plenty times when I found myself thinking in Akina, commenting on my co-writer’s Facebook posts in Akina while she replied in the same way. We’d rush to private messages, secretly asking each other what the phrase one of us had just popped out meant. It was new and exciting and fun. It meant our Realm and its culture were real. Akina was real.
After putting out the first book in our series, I needed a break from Demon. I needed a distraction; a new manuscript. So, I took refuge in Zaed. Sophia slipped into place in Aoife’s stead. Realm was replaced by Pakistan and Akina with Urdu. And my problems magnified with that change since now nothing except the characters and their story was fictional.
Urdu was real and I knew it. I knew the culture it encompassed. I knew the nuances, the tones, the flavors, the meanings; and I knew that translating all that into my writing medium of English was excruciating.
If I thought in English, I’d lose the essence of the culture woven with Urdu. My characters wouldn’t act like characters in Pakistan should. Instead, they would be very – English. Their slang would change, their demeanor would become western, they would feel uncomfortable in a monsoon rain. And it would become difficult for me to make them pray to Allah. Jesus felt more appropriate.
If I thought in Urdu, then Zaed – my American male lead – would go stand in a corner and glare at me for estranging him. He doesn't know the country, he doesn’t understand the language. He is most likely to have never seen a real dhol or a dhoti.
I’m not the first writer to ever attempt writing about a culture in a language that is foreign to that culture. Tehmina Durrani, Khushwant Singh, Arundhati Roy, Khaled Hosseini, Mohsin Hamid, Amy Tan – to name a few – have done it splendidly before.
But I haven’t. And I’m not very sure if I should.
One thing that always unnerves me about writings in English on India or Pakistan is that it is always too pensive. I suppose since the subject matter of those books is usually pensive, the serious way with which they’re written, the heavy language and diction add to their essence rather than take away.
But that just adds to my problem.
My problem is I don’t write in serious shades. English suits my various moods of writing. It is just the appropriate amount of heavy and light. Urdu on the other hand is too emotional for me to handle most of the time. And that is not specific to Pakistan. That is the way of the East.
I’d almost given up hope of ever trying to cover the Orient in a western tongue on my own terms. Then, I read Amy Tan. She was fluid. She was coherent. She was funny. And she was so descriptively Chinese in English. I never felt burdened by her culture. I understood her culture.
I’m not Amy Tan, though I hope to be. At the moment, I see myself as this one indie writer I recently read and couldn’t get past the sample chapters. She bravely weaved her Hispanic culture in her writing. Actually, it was just the language; not the culture so much. And it made me feel – to quote my co-writer here – as if the book was in full-time staccato mode.
It was perhaps good for word for word vocabulary but not for reading, let alone understanding, the script.
I hope Zaed is better than that. And if it means it may take me years to switch thinking caps between Pakistan and USA, between Urdu and English just so I can get the correct flavor of both these worlds, I’ll give it that much time.
Meanwhile, I’ll savor gems like these and be inspired.
About this video: John Hanson is an American who works for IMF and lives in Washington DC. He is fluent in more than 15 languages. Urdu is one of them. He has spent some of his time in Pakistan as well.
There are few channels in the universe that dedicate themselves to handing over loud speakers to loud-mouthed twits.
My country has its share of timed segments propelled by right and left wing morons alike but the beauty of a timed segment is – you can switch it off for that period without having to swear off the entire channel.
However, since everything is on a grander scale in America, they have Fox News; complete with a twenty-four-seven display of general hysteria and freak-outitude (thank you Jon) by anchorpersons that could sensationalize the pants off any blitzering wolf at CNN.
OK, we get it!
OBL was a Muslim. All terrorists are Muslims (except the 94% that aren’t). The Quran surely must command O ye who believe! Kill Americans! Especially the white ones ‘cause like – there are so many of those! So, obviously Islam is the root of all evil.
Let’s freak out further, shall we?
Hitler was a Christian. (OMG! How’d that happen?!!)
Some say he was a self-loathing Jew so please take your pick and detest that religion accordingly. I never knew him personally so I’d go with the popular belief. And since we’re blaming religion for the deeds of its followers, Hitler being a Christian alone should suffice for hating Christianity and all its followers till Kingdom come. No need left for any other Holy Book to order thus.
After decades of victimizing the Jews, the Christian world suddenly remembers what Jesus had taught them. And they set off to help the poor people – not by turning the other cheek and accommodating them in their homes but by handing them a piece of land in a way that was bound to make it disputed territory. So now, aside from Hitler, Muslims hate the Jews too. And while the Jews and Muslims bomb each other, the Christians sleep cozily in their warm beds.
As if helping the Jews wasn’t enough, USA (now synonymous with the West/Christian World in the new world order) decides to help Afghanistan. They create Taliban, who fight off the Russians for the Americans. The Americans tell their people and the world of how they stopped an oppressor while Pakistanis are left to clean up the mess and aftermath of a war in the neighborhood. We take in thousands of refugees from a very war-torn Afghanistan. They give us heroin as gratitude while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (brought to you by Lawrence of Arabia and ilk) gives us, and the rest of the world, Wahhabism.
The Christian world again
sleeps cozily in their even warmer Arabian oil wells...I mean beds.
Then 9/11 happens; perhaps the first incident in ages that actually rocks the West as it is a direct attack on American soil. Approximately 3000 deaths and 6000 injuries dish out a mixed plate of emotions. The Americans go from being stunned to feeling cheated to livid to downright war-mode ballistic.
We, in Pakistan, get confused.
Some of us are truly devastated, deeply sad for the loss of lives but angrier about the crimes committed in the name of Islam. We’ve never heard the name al-Qaeda before. We don’t know who OBL is – perhaps an ex-CIA who felt wronged by the Agency regarding something we have absolutely nothing to do with – like Mir Aimal Kansi. But none of that helps us ignore the fact that this is massive. And is done in the name of Allah and must be set right. We want to help. But we are in minority.
The majority amongst us are those who have paid dearly for years first for the Divide of 1947, then 1971 and then for a war that the Americans claim to have won ages ago (remember Afghanistan v Russia?). They hear of the 9/11, the 7/7 and all other similar tragedies and feel sorry but cannot cry because they are busy nursing their own wounds and burying their own dead. Truth to tell, for them this is Frankenstein gone home. And when the Americans scream it’s the Muslims! They blink in surprise and say Oh no honey, it’s you. Your prodigal son’s just come home to you years after devouring us.
And then there are the Talibans and their sympathizers. They’re a minority on the other side of the spectrum but can make noise very effectively. They have their tools to harvest a fresh crop of militants every season: poverty, unemployment, lack of education, misfortune of the locals to never really have known peacetime so that the only way of life they know is war at most and gang mafias at least, the Islam-hating-Muslim-profiling West…take your pick, they got more.
Let’s add to this, the wafer thin knowledge base of the general American public regarding their Enemy #1 – the followers of Islam. I mean…seriously. This is humiliating. After more than a decade of obsessing over Islam this much must be evident, wouldn’t you say:
- Sharia Law is not synonymous with Taliban and/or al-Qaeda Law.
- Snatching a hijab off a Muslima’s head drives one clear message home: you are the non-Muslim equivalent of Taliban. They force women into hijabs, you force them out. See a pattern here? The ideology of force, coercion and overall lack of respect for human dignity sound familiar?
- If you decide to hate a country and/or believe a country should be wiped off the face of the planet, we’d expect you to know where it is on the planet.
- Pakistan is NOT in the Middle East (for the gazillionth time) so do not expect us to even listen to conversations beginning with If you understand Arabic… Now if you were to say Urdu, Hindi, Sanskrit or even Persian, many of us would rise to the occasion (God bless South Asia, Iqbal’s poetry and Bollywood).
- Iran and Afghanistan are not part of the Arab world. They have more in common with Alex the Great Greek Guy and Genghis Khan rather than Muhammad Bin Qasim (and no, for the love of Christ, this Muhammad is not The Prophet Muhammad).
- While every word falling out of an Arab’s mouth may sound like a Quranic verse, rest assured it is not. Therefore, if one is flinging insults at you, they’re less likely to be in the name of Allah and more in the name of O ye ignorant American.
- Lashing out at Muslims in general does not help fight against terrorism. The Quran burnings and Let’s Draw Muhammad days do not help either. This merely confirms that when the going gets tough, mass hysteria prevails regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, intelligence, age, economic status and address.
- Most of us immeegraannts do not drop by all willy-nilly to chow down the country’s GDP for free. We work very hard to build our lives here. We pay our taxes to build this country. And in case it still needs to be said, everyone knows about the Native Americans a.k.a. not the European colonists. So please, get over the them foreigners, us locals frenzy.
- Even we don’t understand why the Islamic radicals insist upon using underwear and kitchen utensils to terrorize public when clearly the NRA is exceedingly in favor of guns.
- A mop sink is no reason to cause alarm – seriously.
I wonder if the panels of mixed nuts at Fox News or the Right Wing rallies they cover are seriously as mentally challenged as the participants have me believe. They must’ve vowed to never make sense! But then I reprimand myself for being so unfair. It’s not their fault. It’s the way God made them
– petty and insecure.
It is a mindset. A mind set in paranoia.
The same mindset that ridicules American Muslims attending a community fundraiser also compels people to chant obscenities at an American marine’s funeral. Bigotry, thy weapon is fear
. It surpasses all boundaries. And like a friend of mine said, it is the same mindset that we first struggled against in our countries and then finally escaped from when there was no hope left for betterment.
I’ve read about a country thrown to hate and bloodshed (my father’s homeland). I’ve seen
a country devoured by hate and bloodshed (my homeland). I do not want to see the same happening to my children’s homeland. But hopes, dreams and wishes can only go so far if denied constructive action.
Peace be with us and within us.Related articles:Not All Terrorists Are MuslimsMuslim Radicalization StudyExclusive Interview With Noam Chomsky
There are radio channels that have made me want to wreck my own car while driving. Sirius XM The Blend
is one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great channel. Plays music without interruption twenty four seven and if you’re into pop and soft rock that can excite your senses into a stupor so you can go wreck your car while driving – you’re good. Just walk that line without humming to Bruno Mars’s Grenade
and such or the officer on site might wanna throw one at ya!
So why the waste of energy and time and – uhm – cars? Because I need a song for my book. I could use my old playlist
but the sequel is a new book or at least should be treated as one; it calls for a new spirit, new energy, hence, new songs aka songs that aren’t part of the old playlist.
My new find did well in introducing me to bands and singers that I’d heard my friends rave about but never tried myself. For instance, Maroon 5. No offence but the nasal quality of their vocals makes me want to gargle my chords out. Just for the record, I never forgave Axl Rose for it either. Who else could stand taller? And then after hearing Jon Bon Jovi “take a stand because we can!”
for the fifteenth time in two days (and I adore Jovi), I wanted to run someone over to demonstrate my
right to freedom of expression! But I didn’t because I can’t
So, not much luck there; apart from the occasional Adele. My quest then took me to a concert. I’d been listening to Shehzad Roy
since I was in school on account of him being one of the 2.5 stars in our then comatose music industry (him being the 0.5). I admit I’m not a fan but when you’re living oceans away from your native culture and as desperate for a playlist as I am – you buy a ticket to any fundraiser that promises musical entertainment. You gladly welcome a severely jet lagged singer from back home who looks nothing like the dolled up icon you see on TV but you think what the hey, he’ll sound better.
And he did. I realized he had a very nice voice and listened intently as he talked
(not sang) about his NGO Zindagi Trust
, ran 2-minute clips on the screen that was inconveniently blocked by a bejeweled column of a floral centerpiece at the VVIP table in front of us, and had his singing performance interrupted, sorry - refreshingly paused, by the rigorous hand-me-your-wallet fundraising tactics of the admin. Twice.
And moving on.
Mr. Roy’s melodic bass voice did inspire me seriously to donate. And I’m pretty sure I would’ve found a tune that inspired me to write too if only he’d sung enough.
Hence, several hours, a spicy dinner and four songs later all I could think of was I gotta go home and pay my babysitter. I scrambled out of there an hour before midnight while the singer was still warming up. Well, if nothing else I learnt how nobly he was dedicating his songs and life to his cause. I like that. Good boy Roy!
But then…I still need a song. And The Blend
is free and still plays to the hilt in my car. And here’s a slice of Roy for you –