Wednesday, September 15, 2010

almost there

I sat down with Aaron Henkin from WYPR's The Signal yesterday afternoon and we connected with Cairo for the first time. It took a few tries to get a decent line. We called Haneen's cell phone and then land line, fought a few frustrating disconections, but the audio was still a little iffy once we got through. All said, the interview went really well. Aaron Henkin is an expert at making people feel comfortable because he really cares so much. I was surprised at how easy Haneen was to talk to, or rather, how natural the conversation was after years of knowing each other and never speaking on the phone. We were immediately laughing at one another. Joking. Admitting how nervous we were. It was almost like our chat room conversatiosn and emails. Easy.

I was explaining to a friend at dinner last night, what I set out to do with the novel (Falcons on the Floor and MLKNG SCKLS) is already being accomplished with the Understanding Campaign. I feel closer to a culture I used to know nothing about. More importantly, I've gained a lifelong friend and collaborator. Initially, we weren't drawn together through common interests - Haneen was displaced by a war my country (in the eyes of many, illegally) started - a war that has kept her and her family from her homeland for nearly half her life. Sometimes that thought fills me with a rage and sadness I've never felt from anything else.

But through our work, and friendship, we've created common interests. We've created what we set out to do; use art and language to form a meaningful bond between two cultures that truely misunderstand each other. It seems to be working. Sometimes I think, we're doing more good with one word of Arabic than all the words of English I've ever written. But that's not true. It's the combined effort of both cultures and languages that is making this powerful - it's the dialogue - the conversation.

So, huge week ahead. A few of my readers here know about what is going on next week beyond the launch of the UCampaign website and Kickstarter page. All I can say is we have some impressive local news and some even more impressive not-so-local news that will hit between Monday the 20th and October 1st. Buckle up, Secondary Sound.

1 comment:

maggiesmeats said...


and much love!