When I was a kid, there was a repeated question my father used to ask and it came to my mind today. When I was 10 years old I took piano lessons, a hobby my father supported, but at the same time I was having Taekwondo Classes, an activity my dad really disapproved of, though he gave me the freedom to pursue it. He always repeatedly say :”You are an artist, you should be a sensitive guy, why are you doing Taekwondo?”. That question, in its essence, describes me, and the reason why I am thinking about it is because of my works.
To be honest, I was the one surprised from how my father thought about it. Even though I was a kid, I found it strange that many people are surprised when someone has an interest in things that might appear to be dissimilar, and now as a 33 year old grownup-ish kid, I realize that my way of thinking is a base for the ideas that I created throughout and in the coming years. Examples that might shed some light on my obscured topic is the contrast that can be palpate between my first two books; Psychs is a thriller with ghosts… yes, as weird as it might sound, that story has all the characteristics of an action thriller with some scary elements that ended to be a fine blend. So when my next book, Kima, came out some readers expected to taste the same dish. Instead, the folklore story That both appealed to kids and adults tasted sweeter. Another example is the independent movie which I wrote and directed, Callous. Callous is a horror story, and when you hear what podcasters say about it, you would be surprised when you learned about my next work, The Last Mile.
So how can I explain that split personality in my writing? Let me try.
I think it could be traced back to my upbringing. I am by, nationality, Iraqi, but I was not born in Iraq, no, I was born in Kuwait. Now I know what you are thinking; “So you have a Kuwaiti Passport and a couple of oil fields?”. Well, the passport point would be true if I was born in Europe or the Americans or perhaps any place in the world. I couldn’t get a Kuwaiti Passport, so I was born as an expatriate and that’s how I lived my entire life. I traveled and experienced different lives and cultures, made friends from all over the world. Experienced happiness, sadness and melancholy, most probably the latter made me a writer. So that heterogenous combination split my story genres and made them more diverse. I write when I feel excited about an idea that I have, no matter what genre they are in, and I don’t like to stay committed to one genre. Also, every story I write is a combination of genres where I like to play with different emotions, because that’s life, and I like to make my reader relate to anything to their lives, in hopes that it might add something important to theirs’.