Yes, I have a couple of degrees from reputable colleges, and I focused on International Politics, Human Rights, Middle Eastern Studies, and communications. Work wise, I worked in various fields; I worked in my mother’s pharmacy as a teen; I worked in retail and sold the latest gadgets; I worked in a sneakers store; I worked in a check cashing place—that didn’t last long—I worked for telecommunication company, followed by a religious-travel agency, and I spent a good number of years working for the United Nations’ Department of Public Information. I also had a short stint teaching Arabic at Baruch University.
I can’t say that I am an expert on one topic. The school of life, the various educational institutions, and professional experiences, taught me a great deal of lessons reflecting the various realities existing within our world. I learned all about philosophy, theology, history, politics, women rights, child soldiers, water crisis, genocides, sports and development, poetry, autism, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, nuclear agreements, transatlantic slavery, terrorism and its victims, migration, the refugee crisis, and diplomacy. I also got to learn about the Ancient Egyptians—after all, I am Egyptian—and many of the ancient civilizations, if not most. Life experiences taught me all about the Islamic pilgrimage, and its inner works; life taught me the power of knowledge, and the importance to balance what I read in books with a rich and diverse social life. I have dined with royalty; I have dined with the much less-fortunate. I have traveled around the world in first-class seats, and I have traveled in broken down train cars with childhood friends. I have seen and held dead bodies; I have seen new born cry into the world. I have loved; I have hated; I have allowed love to reign over my being. I have slept in mansions, and I have slept in cardboard huts. I have experienced many of life’s pleasures, and I have every intention to continue the adventure.
Through it all, writing has been the only constant; it has helped me cope and understand the world around me. My notebooks, pens, smart phone and keyboard have been the best friends I could have asked for on this journey, we call life.