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According to a few blogs and articles I read, I should present myself as an expert of some sort. I am supposed to sell you an image that would make me marketable. However, I don’t see myself as an expert; I never saw myself as one—life is a continuous lesson.

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.




is a story of unconditional love; it is about the ties that bind a family together. The story revolves around the character of Osama, who after a series of transformational incidents, finds himself feeling deeply alienated from family, friends and greater society. The story is set between modern day Cairo and New York, spans Osama’s life from childhood to fatherhood, and positions his personal struggles within the context of major political turning points of the last decade.

Osama struggles to define his identity as an Arab, a Muslim and an American, which ultimately forces him to question everything he has grown to know, and the intentions of everyone he grew to love. His unique and unusual first-hand experiences transported him between local Gay bars in New York City, and as far as Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It gave him a different perspective on his own life, as well as life in general, and taught him important lessons about tolerance, acceptance and unconditional love.


Osama’s Jihad is a story of an Arab/Muslim-American as he struggles to find his place in the world. Osama struggles to define his identity as an Arab, a Muslim and an American. He also struggles to define his own sexual orientation, which ultimately forces him to question everything he has grown to love and know. His unique and unusual first experiences throughout his life give him a different perspective on his own life as well as life in general. It teaches him important lessons about tolerance and unconditional love.


Osama’s Jihad explores the social norms of Arab-Muslim societies; it explores the lives of Arab-Americans through the e yes of an American born Arab. It tackles social taboos as well as religious ones. It tackles issues like women’s rights in Islam and rights of Lesbians, Gays and Transgender in the Muslim/Arab world.

Osama’s Jihad also attempts to bridge the widening gap between westerners and those of Muslim or Arab origins as it addresses some of the major stereotypes and false media portrayals.




review1“I have had the divine privilege of reading the un-edited version of this incredible novel. It’s not very often that I come across a story that touches my heart so deeply that it resonates with my every emotion. To say that I fell in love with the story and its characters from the very beginning would not come close to accurately depicting the intensity of my admiration for it. It is my strong belief that Hani Selim has impressively found a way to create a story encompassing so many important topics affecting the world today. He has accomplished this in a selfless effort to magnify humanity. I am not an Arab, I am not a Muslim and I am not a Homosexual. I am a mother. As a mother, it pains me to think of all the hatred that some children have to face because of such classifications. To be a supporter of this book and its continued production, would be a step in the right direction on the path to a better world. I know that whoever reads this novel will walk away with an increased knowledge of what it feels like to be a person placed in such categories. They will be exposed to the struggles one must face in an effort to secure basic freedoms deserved by all human beings. This novel will pull at your heart strings and dig deep within your soul to distinguish a new sense of empathy. It really is a story that has ‘something for everyone’, but in the end it all comes down to love. I predict a definite “best-seller”. I am so proud to be a supporter of such a wonderful project.”

Heather Deviccaro


“Thank you for having the guts to write this. Homosexuality is a reality in all communities but in most Middle Eastern and Muslim communities, it is never spoken about. It is just too taboo or “haram” so it is ignored. Most people have the mentality of “never my son or daughter”. Now, people will be forced to face the reality and maybe come to terms with it. People are people. Congrats!”

Nehmat Sabra


“I am one of the lucky few who has read the unedited novel and I cannot wait for it to be completely finished and published so everyone else can read it too, it is fantastic!I The story is intriguing and entertaining but at the same time, and more importantly, it really makes you think about how your actions and way of thinking affect both those you love and those you may come into contact with throughout life.”

Nicole Orfanidis

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