I wrote about the Ghost Workers of Israel, Baath party wives escaping persecution in Egypt, love-boys of Sinai, the only governmental department in Egypt where miracles happen [the state circus], the Muslim Brothers choir, and more.
I was Born behind the Iron Curtain, in Moscow under communism. I was a child of love and contraceptive shortages – two years before my parents marriage. I went to military parades and waved red flags and it was fun. I lived my first three years with my grandparents on the Black Sea. My grandfather told me about the Cuban missile crisis when he had time off from fishing earthbound cosmonauts out of the sea. I tried on his military decorations. My father is a businessman at heart, and my mother is a former nurse with a sharp tongue.
In 1987 I was back in the beating heart of the old man with big dreams – the Soviet Union. Collapse came as a surprise, the bank notes couldn’t keep up with zeroes. My sister and me found a stash of money in the garbage of about 20 thousand roubles, oh we dreamed big of Barbies, leather jackets, and foreign sweets from the black market. Our parents explained to the little us that the money was worthless. I learned inflation hurts. Then came the first Macdonald’s and I knew that from now on things will be different. The fall of communism will always be associated with the taste of hamburgers for me. At 10, I discovered that the scariest thing is to get old in a gloomy room thick with the smell of excrement, and mistaking cockroaches for raisins until you die alone in an elderly house. Death through decrepitude smells of chlorine. I got my first wages at the old people’s home where my mother worked.
I was educated at the late Saddam Hussein’s finest school and got into fights with male offspring of alcoholics back in the hood. I discovered writing then, trippy writing.
I was transplanted to Egypt as a teenager. I went through the Egyptian education system. Pierced my nose. Hitchhiked. And tried every possible career in my head; archeologist, psychiatrist, scientist virologist, doctor, writer, hacker, cosmonaut, etc. It came down to one point – I want it all. One job that gives open the doors to fashion babes changing rooms, NASA’s mission control, and brothel chambers and free lobster – Journalism.
And after four years in the mass communication program and a few years in the field, here I’m, your humble comrade. As for the future, I will travel to space.
I am a chronic dreamer.