A Citizen of The World…

This post was originally intended to be titled “Being Iraqi”. But since I was born as an expatriate, and the only connections I have to that place are the relatives that I love and a piece of paper that says I am originally from there. I wouldn’t be the best man to know what it’s really like to be a real Iraqi. I honestly used to have days where I didn’t know what to be and from where I should pretend I am.

I don’t know how many of you recognizes from where I am. Some of my old readers have seen my older posts when I was visiting Ur ruins, among other places too in Iraq. I have been raised abroad, although I lived in many places. I have almost spent half of my life away from loved ones. I started this blog, and my writing quest, with the policy to never mention from where I was, unless someone asked me of course. Even my author name is an abbreviation from my true birth and family name. But, and due to recent events that have happened, I decided to share my story, and I hope everyone will listen. So… gather around this shimmering screen, join me in a tale of sadness, laughter, hardship and naughtiness. This is the story of a citizen of the world.creative-ideas-are-all-around-us18

I was born as an expatriate, with no real country, but I was never homeless. The home my parents have come from was suffering from a dictatorship. The last straw was the time in jail my mother had to spend because they suspected her being from a rival political party. She was a math teacher, and she made me fall in love with numbers. She told me “To understand the universe, learn physics, to understand the soul of the universe, learn math.” I nodded like an idiot at the time, thinking. “Gosh, lady! just let me get back to playing football.”

For those hailing from the American continents… football = soccer.

It is a hard thing being a kid from another country… but it was twice, even thrice as much difficult to be from a country and studying in a country yours just came out from a war against only months ago… needless to say, kids were tough on me and I had little friends. This, however, forced my imagination to go through a spurt growth, and I managed to forge portals to new worlds. I’ve never been alone; in my yard, I would be the only one using the slides and swings in a way they were not made for, to try and find a way through the walls and pretend to be escaping, and trying not to fall on the lava below me that I imagined from grass and sand, I remembered my walks back home from school; I pretend to be following someone… I was six and probably never watched or understood a thing named a spy… but I was doing it, hiding from one tree to another… gosh I was a dork.

I grew up, and my talents grew with me, separately… I became somewhat a musician… even though everyone I know listens to music; most of them frown at the knowledge that I play the piano as if I am committing a sin. My writing burst out of its shell one day when I was in Emirates, after I mentioned ideas that I have in my head. And recently, I started to use a different form of story-telling, drawing.

I mentioned something about Comic Con Dubai and how I am a guest artist. Well, I’ve never written about it here because it never happened… the thing is, they refused to let me in because of my passport. They said I need a whole month before I can issue a new visa. I don’t know in what world we live in, but when you are invited to be a guest artist and you get an official invitation, you should be able to go… but then again… being Iraqi is something out of this world.

At the time, it hurt… it was a thing I was working for for almost three months, issuing two comic books… a combination of 430 colored drawings I might add, and I have only learned how to draw digitally recently… oh… plus I was studying for my MFDS exam and I drew this as a gift for Comic Con, as a tribute to the recently demised Leonard Nimoy.

Nimoy tribute

 

Life took all the lemons and I had nothing to squeeze. But… my art… writing, drawing and music… are my passion… They are the only thing I have in me that worth to fight for. I never stopped, I moved on, spread my words around locally.

It is said that when you really want something the universe conspire in your favor… and the universe did. I landed a publisher. Yes… I no longer pay to publish anymore. I got lucky and met a person who was looking for a new publisher to publish in more than one language. I got accepted. And ever since, I promised to never question anything that happens to me… because it is all part of the creator’s plan.

sklled sailor

 

Here are the books I am going to publish with them by the coming months… one in my native language, and the other is in English… Don’t worry, I’ll translate it one day.

سلسلة نور

Short detective series. The first book is called “Suppressed Hatred”

the remnant cover

Renamed it… again 😀

Goodbyes are the worst part when I write to you all… so instead… I’ll leave you with my recent drawings that I made for four special people for me… Cheers everyone.

My older brother got promoted to head department at the Australian university of Kuwait... I drew this for him as a gift. He's a big fan of Game of Thrones... I'm not.

My older brother got promoted to head department at the Australian university of Kuwait… I drew this for him as a gift. He’s a big fan of Game of Thrones… I’m not.

 

For my brother in law's  birthday. I had a severe lung infection ad he saved my life. He's a chest radiologist.

For my brother in law’s birthday. I had a severe lung infection ad he saved my life. He’s a chest radiologist.

My oldest two nephews just got accepted into Murdoch university in Australia. I'm sure they'll be better engineers than what I drew.

My oldest two nephews just got accepted into Murdoch university in Australia. I’m sure they’ll be better engineers than what I drew.

The Journey Back

So my seven days leave from work is over and I had to go through the thing I hate most, which is going through the day before my departure, a day I really despise and it have always made me feel as a death-row inmate waiting for the electric chair… But at least I got my last meal, they made one of my favorite; puff pastry chicken. My youngest brother is in Canada doing his masters in mechanical engineering, which means I am now the youngest one available… Which also means I am the family’s Geisha. So they decided to take advantage of me on my last day. Got to get my nephew from his kindergarten, which was cool, I always enjoy riding with him.

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I look like a fly… I always go tropical on vacations

I was on my very early flight, and midway through my boring trip, I looked up as I sighed… You know… One of those “I’m getting too old for this…. Stuff” kind of sighs?… When I came across this…

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Hmmm… If I was crashing, I would be glad to know where that vest is… So why would they put that up where I can’t see it?? I know they always show us those instructions video… But I was too tired, I slept through the take off. Also, I was sitting next to the emergency exit, so the vest must be available on the spot, because I don’t want to be the first one to drown… No… That would be embarrassing.
A thought came at the time… Maybe it is the right place to tell us where the vest is… No, let explain!! You see… You are falling… Fast, wishing you sat next to someone named Jack (those who watched Lost and understood me… Gracias) feeling your cheeks meeting with each other behind your back (and I’m not saying which cheeks I’m talking about) you would look up and say ‘oh god oh god oh god’… Then suddenly… A sign… Life vest under your seat. So?? Pretty convincing. I glanced in front of me and saw that the same was written but it was in Arabic and not like the one above me… The same scenario replayed but with a different ending.
‘Oh god oh god oh god’ looks up.. Can’t read Arabic ‘no no.. I meant Allah…’ Pooof… Plane explodes for no reason. 🙂
What if it was made from China and it was written in Chinese?? Well if it was made in China then it won’t matter… I am just kidding, I have the greatest respect for every culture… But you have no idea how boring my flight was.

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Does that makes me a Wing-man?

Now I am back, working again on my third novel, waiting for the cover design for the second book in my series and still in the search for an agent. My book will hopefully be out in the summer. My intern is almost at its end. So starting from tomorrow, I will be back in the clinics.
I hope you enjoyed my bit on how my journey ends, and how another starts. Wish me luck… I can never get enough of it.

~ A. H. Amin

Kids say the darnedest things

The following conversation took place today between me and my five year old nephew.

Nephew: Uncle, I want to grow up to be big.
Me: why, kiddo?
Nephew: So I can be able to punch.
Me: Who do you want to punch?!
Nephew: I want to be able to punch girls.
Me: No, kiddo. That is not right. You don’t hit anyone.
Nephew closes his eyes, shaking his head dramatically and says: I’m sorry uncle, but I have to do it.

What had happened to him that made him decide that it is his destiny to do that. I laughed so hard at that. Apparently he is pushed around by his two sisters and he is kind of annoyed from them. I love that kid.
He asked me how to spell my last name (Amin) and he wrote the letters in the air. I could have swore that he wrote Agru instead.

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That’s him, really cute and funny.

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Why Valentine?

We celebrate it every year, I celebrate it twice since it’s also my mother’s birthday. But why what should be everyday is marked on a day and named Valentine? Curious me went out to seek the answer then came back home after he realized that it’s the 21st century. I went to use Google and I found out that Valentine’s day has actually a very moving and beautiful origin.

Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius and Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.

Saint Valentine receives a rosary from the Virgin, by David Teniers III (Wikipedia)

Saint Valentine receives a rosary from the Virgin, by David Teniers III (Wikipedia)

Quite moving. I wanted to share this not just because it’s Valentine’s day, but to remind everyone to never lose hope in finding that special someone, it doesn’t have to be a partner, it’s a day of love, so share it with everyone around you. Valentinus did to the very last moment of his life. My valentine’s morning was spent by taking my little 1 year and 8 months old nephew to the barber shop, and as you can see, we look happy…

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See… happy!!

 

Happy valentines day, may this day stretch its limits and shelters you for eternity

~ A. H. Amin

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And I thought I’ll have more time for myself when the vacation comes…

Hello everyone,

I have been away from blogging and it has been fun… well, most of the time.

I’ve been pulled away from every inch of my body every time a family member notices me. I am on vacation right now and I am surrounded with so much sweet love I could get diabetes, and since I missed blogging and my readers, I thought it’s important to have me an insulin post.

thinktherefore

I always like to have a little swim in the thinking tank we call blogs, I love learning about people from all over the world. You can meet anyone from everywhere these days through a little stroll inside a mall (At least, that’s how thing are where I am), but to truly get to know a person’s days, their jobs and most importantly, their souls is something that can be achieved through reading their piece of mind on the screens.

Every time after I press the publish button when I write a post, I often wonder what kind of a person people are seeing through my words? How do they imagine I talk? How I look? (… Right… My picture is already there… But I’m talking about the world of WHAT IFs…).

Another thing I like about blogging is when I go fishing for a nice post. This thinking tank is filled with great fishes.

Today was a great day for me, I started jogging in the morning, I received a package I have been waiting for for a long time (will share later), I got to laugh so hard my jaw hurts, I got to spend time with my brothers, they keep beating me in every videogame they have, and soon I’ll meet up with someone I started seeing recently.

Re-reading my previous paragraph, I saw that each sentence will provoke a sense of curiosity. If I read that paragraph on one of the people I follow page’s, I would want to know more about that, a simple comment will be a good way for me to introduce myself.

Bottom line is, I missed you all and I will see you more often now.

Enjoy your days.

~ A. H. Amin

Try to imagine, and be grateful…

Do not place yourself in someone’s shoes only, Instead, try to replace your whole life with theirs… you can keep your shoes.

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My reminiscence chose to be my company today when I started to think that I have only two days left for graduation. My brain took me far back in the past that it shattered my chronological barrier and went the extra distance to the times before I was born.

I looked at my origins, at how my father had started, as a son working in the farm with his own father… my grandfather. He was a farmer who had always found time for his studies even after his whole body is depleted, in the times where old Iraq was conflicted by the varieties of political parties. I can never understand what kept him going? My only answer would be family, they did everything for my father to keep him in the university.

He graduated, and as he went through the bumps and highways fate had constructed in his path, he eventually became one of Kuwait’s most successful AC engineers. My life was easier, I only got to live the hard parts of life when I went to college. I never saw my life more clearly than today, I saw how different my life would have been if my father didn’t keep pushing himself. I tried to see how I would have done if I was in his shoes him. I am a writer, and I honestly can say that it is impossible to channel him.

I got to see ‘Life of Pi‘ two days ago. One quote from the movie had stuck in my brain, it was this quote: ‘I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.’ I couldn’t find the rest of the quote in which he goes on saying how he had never had the chance to thank his father for everything he had done for him.

I called my father that day, I told him I was extremely grateful for giving me more than one chance to set a direction to my life, even though he got only half  a chance when he was younger than me. That made him concerned, he thought something was wrong with me. I simply told him ‘I’m fine, I said that because everything I’m doing right now I do so I can have a chance to repay you… and if I failed, at least you’ll know I’m grateful for all that you have worked for’.

Only two days left for my graduation, and once the day comes, I’ll be working my whole body and the aura that surrounds it toward printing the second chapter in the Psych series, ‘The Remnant’, and toward starting the third book in the series, ‘Ib….. you know what? I won’t share the name yet, will do so once book two is in the open.

Cherish those who are around you, and never judge them, just look at their shoes and picture yours instead.

~ A. H. Amin

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Looking behind at 2012 before I pass 2013’s threshold…

2012 was by far the most overwhelming year for me, I am one step away from leaving it behind, and I almost feel sad in a way.

Today I went through my laptop to view my 2012, my way to glance over my shoulder as I part ways with a year that left an impact on me, a year people thought the Mayans had marked it as the end, a year I can’t even celebrate leaving so easily.

If I decided to talk about my 2012’s experience, you will never see the end of it, so I will let the pictures tell you most of the story and I’ll fill in some details, they do have thousands of words, emotions, and thoughts to pass on to you all…

In the first month of 2012, I got published...

In the first month, I got published by my first publisher…

I met for the first time my sweet niece, Sara...

I met for the first time my sweet niece, Sara…

Giving my 8 months old nephew, Ali, his first music lesson...

Giving my 8 months old nephew, Ali, his first music lesson…

Humiliated on Fifa by my nephews...

Humiliated on Fifa (a video game) by my nephews…

 

 

First Book Club to pick my book...

First Book Club to pick my book…

 

My book making it to the best selling list in Kuwait...

My book making it to the best selling list in Kuwait…

 

 

I lost my grandmother...

I lost my grandmother…

I lost love...

I lost love…

I started fresh with a new publisher...

I started fresh with a new publisher…

Had my words acknowledged...

Had my words acknowledged…

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reader-appreciation-award

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Lost an icon...

Lost an icon… (Niel Armstrong)

 

 

Gained another... (Felix Baumgartner)

Gained another…

 

My newly published e-book got to be known to a wider audience...

My newly published e-book got to be known to a wider audience…

I got to attend my Per-Graduation celebration...

I got to attend my Per-Graduation celebration…

Acquired a new member in our family, princes Lara... can't wait to meet her...

Acquired a new member in our family, princes Lara… can’t wait to meet her…

 

First prank related to my book...

First prank related to my book…

 

 

Survived the Apocalypse...

Survived the Apocalypse…

 

Looking at those pictures, I can now pass by with confidence in my steps. I hope in 2013 I will see more growth and much interesting pictures to go along with the year, my start is already a strong one indeed, by the end of January, I’ll graduate and I’ll be a full fledged Dentist, also, my thriller, Psychs, will be available in paperback edition out there, by March, my book will be at the Tucson Book Fair, and, the big one, The Remnant, the second book of the Psych series, will be released… 2013, here I come.

Happy New Year to you all, may this year brings you infinite joy, health, wealth and prosperity.

~ A. H. Amin

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Sara’s first year on earth…

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My niece, Sara, our sweet strawberry had experienced  all the four seasons for the first time in her life. Being half Egyptian from my brother-in-law’s side, a dear and one of a kind man, this outfit fits perfectly, since it is now strawberry season in Egypt, she is celebrating in the time of prosperity back home, the same prosperity I hope for her future life in our family.

The only thing I’m sad about is not being there to celebrate that one in a life time day, the first birthday. Also, the cake looked amazing!!

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Happy birthday my dear niece, may this year be the door which beyond its threshold lies health, wealth and prosperity.

~ A. H. Amin