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tv   Anan Ameri Discusses The Scent of Jasmine  CSPAN  July 29, 2017 5:00pm-5:58pm EDT

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also on booktv, the road to somewhere, the revolt and the future of politics. >> you see this in the contempt publish people in any e-mail chain after brexit. left-wing professors say why give these people a vote without some kind of iq test? >> thank you for coming, and i want to bring your attention we have c-span with us and they're recording the whole thing so if you have a question, please raise your hand and then they will turn the camera to you. aim correct? okay. so, thank you for companying. i really, really freshing it.
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ing this is a wonderful place, one of my favorite spots. used to come here forlorn. think the lunch was two dollars then. i'm going to do a presentation. of course you know about my book "the scent of jasmine" that just came out. it's kind of a memoir, what they call creative and it couldn't be exactly what was said at the moment, but the name of the book "the scent of jasmine, coming of age in jerusalem and damascus", jasmine is indigenous to the
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arab world. they call damascus the city of jasmine because there isn't a home that doesn't have jasmine and it has very, very nice scent, and my mother from damascus -- we lived in many homes between '48 and '52 and wherever we lift live she would bring a plant of jasmine and plant it in our home. so every home i live in has the jasmine. damascus is a city i spent a lot of time in and my mother has a large extended family, and they say it takes a village to raise a child, think that extended family raised me and many children of my generation, and these two cities have impact on me and i believe they have impact on the world. it's really sad to watch what is happening in both cities today.
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so they mean a lot to me, these citiesment -- cities. s was born in damascus but my family was living in jerusalem and then '48 happened and we moved to west jerusalem and it's like my first few years i spent there, and damascus, i spent a lot of time. the memoir is like more short stories, and i wrote them at one point, i was just writing stories, things happen in my life at one opinion, and then i came to realize the extent to which my life really reflected what was happening in the arab world at that time. so i hope the read, when you read this book -- and i hope you buy it -- you will get a sense of the arab world i grew up in, which is very different from what it is today. as i mentioned i was bornin'
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19 -- born in 1944. when it happened i was only three and a half years old but you will be amides what i remember and when the say the first three-five years, is what most formative, i think these years had the most impact on me and i belief many of my life choice is made had to do with that experience. so, three and a half years old. my father had a job in jerusalem -- jerusalem was one city historically, was never two cities. one city. it became one to -- half of the city fell under the israeli control so we left in west jerusalem and after '48 we became refugees refugees and wed from west to east jerusalem and then ultimately -- my father, you know, side of the family, because they're palestinian, i
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grew up with their sad stories. that always talk about palestine. i don't remember a gathering of my father's friends or his relatives, one gathering, that the issue of palestine did not come. what we call the disaster. that is what they referred to 1948, did not come. i've seen men cry and they didn't cry because of a loss of property, also a loss of pride, sense of defeat, sense of humiliation that came with 1948. my mother extended family was from damascus, and they were very affluent and my father, you know -- the time i grew up in was interesting because there was a lot of diversity where i grew up. religiously ethnically. my grandfather was religious, prayed five times a day at the mosque down the street from his
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house, and my father wassing agnostic at best. we never preside any religion but i don't ever remember my grandfather or anybody in my mother's side of family who practiced religion said anything bad about my father because he didn't practice. they love him, respect him, because they thought hi was a good man. had a lot of integrate and very honest. and my uncle on my mother's side was politically very conservative. my father was a socialist, they just disagree over politics but enjoyed each other and were good friends. the neighborhood i grew up in is called mango street, named after three rich families that had three big villas at the end of the street, and the street was named after them, but in that street there were middle class, like i call my family, there were poor people, rich people, christian, muslim, jordanians, palestinians, syrian, lebanese,
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lived in the neighbor. armenian. chechneyan, also lived in the same neighborhood, and we went to same schools visit with each other, played with each other and never thought of us versus them. we were -- this is our neighborhood. that was the neighborhood. now, i also grew up in a muslim country. the arab -- i grew up in theory in a muslim home but i never really knew whether i was a muslim or -- i knew i was muslim but never know whether we were sunni or shia until i went to high school. so this concept of sunni versus see ya, not a concept we grew up with. and i also became of age in the '50s and '60s and while america had their own '60s we had our own '60s and they weren't much different.
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is in country people against the vietnam war, against tradition, against certain dominance. we rebelled against male dominated society. we were for international, arab nationalism, and i anticolonialism so that era shaped a lot of people of my generation. my mother -- i also grew up with very strong women. the concept of arab woman as weak, submissive, they have no voice, is such a big myth. tell you, it's a myth. i grew up with very strong women. my mother comes from many and her family was very rich. she hated housework, had nothing to do with and it she work outside the house. she owned her own business. she had a print shop. and downtown ammann and she managed -- and her pride didn't
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cam from cook or clean house but from her business. many of her friends were really professional women. we have artists, ph.ds, outside indicators, we have the -- educators,poets-activists and they did not use concepts like feminism but women liberation but everything about them told me this sky is the limit. the role model i looked at and these are my mother and her friend, i knew i can be whatever i want to be. so this is the arab world i grew up in. i really -- if you buy the book -- i hope you buy it -- i would really suggest you read the introduction, people don't like to read introduction but it does put it in a context. now, as i mentioned that my parents came from a very very different background. my mother came from money, my father came from a middle class.
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my father was very neat, very clean, very quiet, intellectual. he want to read books. my father was noisy, she loved life, she loved to travel, and she -- i don't think she even enjoyed bag mother, you know. it wasn't her. so, just to give you a sense of my parents, i came home one time -- they never lived happily ever after. came home one time from school. we used to go to school and at lunch you go home to have lunch, and my father was home, and he and my mother were at each other throat, yelling at each other, screaming at each other, and i stood in the corner, not daring to come in the hallway and then my father saw me and he saw me and wents' slammed the door and said this kitchen is a mess.
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can even get myself a glass of water. so he walked in and my mother walked in the kitchen, walk after her and stood at the door. she sitting there, dressed, latest fashion, hair cut, highheel, lipstick, red suiter, and just liked out of place and said i start hate you, referring to her father. may god never forgive you. she said referring to her father, and you both came into the marriage, look at me, having to deal with all this mess. we are the -- please, mama, don't crimple'll clean the kitchen, i said, joining her crying. she said, referring to our live-in help. she told me she was going visit her family for a week but has been gone for almost ten days. the house was in the late 40s
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had been living with us, was stocky, moved slowly and was in pain when she had to mop the floor or feed the wood stove but she was extremely organized and super clean and that made my father happy. she knew how to cook, which made my mother happy. twice a year, she would visit her family who lived in a refugee camp in the west bank, and whenever that happened i knew trouble was on the way. mama, it's been only four days since she left. she left on thursday and today is only monday. don't argue with me, my mother said. sorry, mama, i'm sure she'll come back soon. your father, she yelled, as if i were responsible for him -- he is such a neat freak. can't handle him. hate housework, hate being married. never did any work at my parents' house. we always had help. i help you, mama, please,'ll
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help you. so i always wondered how my parents end up with each other, you know? when palestinian, jordannan, middle class. so very different in personalities. so, hi have heard so many stories about -- when i was about 11, my cousin, who was four years older than me, explained it this way. my father was in love with someone -- he was a flamboyant -- that wasn't the sort of husband they had in mind for their lovely daughter. the talked her into marrying your father. don't believe it, said. no one can make my mama do anything she doesn't want. no, it's true, she said -- my sister -- i even know who she is talking about. right? she was telling us.
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shut up, you swore not to tell. i never tell you anything anymore. well, my father had a different story how he end up marrying my mother. want to marry an educated woman, and my syrian neighbors in the south knew your mother family and led me to her. my father was working in a city in jordan at the time, she was a school principal. so he was working there. and he has neighbors in syria and they took him to my mother mitchell. my measure said when i met your father isensed immediate attraction because he looks like -- i was young and foolish. my cousin, the oldest cousin on my mother's side, only 11 years younger than my mother, claimed to know the ultimate story. don't listen to any of them. know the story. he loved women. that is why she never got married.
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when your father asked for your mother's hand, her love was living in the south and asked your mother to marry your father so she could visit south more often. oh, this is a big secret. don't tell anyone, she said. she made us put our hands on the -- and say i swear we i will never tell. so, whatever the story about my parents getting married, don't know, but i know my mother -- she is from damascus, going to live in this small town and she said, your father expected me to live in south. the house was smaller. the whole house was smaller than the upper part on my father's house. so, she ultimately -- my father found a job in jerusalem, and he was the head of the arabic radio
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station there, and my mother was happy. jerusalem is not unlike for my mother compared could damascus. she said people in jerusalem didn't like people, not as grand, but life was good. she had a better house, better salary, you know, she has two daughters and even have two puppies. so, life was great until '48 happened. then everything was shattered. they had to leave. they became refugee, and they have to restart their life all over again. so, when '48 happened my mother sent me and my sister to damascus because there was fighting and they want us to be safe. so we spent a lot of time in damascus. as it turns out we spend a lot of time later in damascus, every summer we good to damascus to my
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grandfather house, and my mother, every time she want to deliver a baby, one of the children, she go to her family, deliver the baby, spend her 40 days -- the tradition for a woman to regain her full strength and come home -- and then we go there for holidays, for summer vacation, and we went there when my mother was -- she was -- when he had the fight with my dad and that happened a lot so we spend a lot of time in damascus, and dam masses discuss has a lot of impact on me. and so damascus also the city of jasmine but damascus is a city of ritual. one of the oldest cultures in the world. the only continueusly inhabited city in the world. so they have during everything is a ritual. i they want to take a bath it's
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a ritual. a turnish bath. if they wand to have friday lunch -- my grandfather, his kids and grandkids, every friday. on monday, my aunt was the head of a political party, and then all these people came to have a political meeting at my grandfather house. and so then -- the woman day where woman will be home and everybody knows if you come on monday to anan's house she will be there all the women will gather and you get all the juice gossip, who is getting married and who is getting divorced and everything. so i'm going to be a little bit about damascus for you. this is about my grandfather house. my grandfather house was build in 1737. older then america, and my grandfather was born in the house, my mother, all the kid
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born in the house, midnight of this grandchildren, and my other sir ling were born there. so this is in damascus about 1955. we emerged from the various part's my grandfather house and gathered in the courtyard. the day was still brought but the there was a genting breeze. the aroma of turkish kofi fee filled the air. the house was grand. 28 rooms them large court yard with the colorful tiles, flowing fountain, and scented flowers made this place feel imagine camp wasn't could help bit be missionmer -- mesmerized. this elegant house told a story of money and power, and as well
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it told of end of an era. it was built upon an extended family without uncles and lots of children but i only remember my sister, my two aunts, and -- who never got married and my cousin living there. now, my aunt was a teacher. she loved kids and took time to explain things to up. when i asked her why do they live in such a big house, she said in the old days those born in this house stayed, eve after they got married and have children. how come they don't live here anymore? i asked my aunt. because they became modern and they want to have their own home. they don't want to live with others. i didn't know modern is good or bad but i figured my parents must be modern because we live on our own. now, my other aunt -- my two aunts who never got married -- my other aunt was like the queen
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offed -- of etiquette. she is living -- like an older finishing school. taught us how to dress, how to talk, how to walk, how to set a table, how to come -- welcome guests and how to be respectful of elderly, be kind to the younger and even tried to teach me how to sing but she gave up very soon after. the day of her -- before heading for her afternoon nap, she would tell us, today i want all of how to have a long nap. don't want to hear you arguing, talking, playing. want anan to sleep in my room. you go with your -- my cousins you go to the lower room. as soon as my aunt fell asleep we would quietly get out and gather in the car with my two
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cousins. three yeares older than me would sneak into the kitchen, bring ice to demonstrate to us how to keep our good -- by rubbing them with ice. i want to try it, please give me some, begged. but you don't have any boobs. lifting my shirt i would place them on my flat chest and only to watch them melt and run down to my belly and my underpants. look, don't have any. don't worry you only 11, you'll have some soon. so when you grow up your mother and grandmother, they don't talk about sex, they don't talk about love, lust, none of that. but you keep it to your older cousin, bit the time you his puberty you learn it all. in my grandfather house we have the housekeeper, and she came to
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live at my grandfather house when i was six, and she died at age 70 or 80 within the family mitchell. and she came from -- she lived there and had her own remedies and she believed her own remedies were better than my aunt's doctors. these doctors tell you this, take your money, but my remedy work much better. so when i was young, was dark, i still am so my grandfather used to call me sudan because of my skin was much darker than the rest of his family mitchell great-grandmother was a turkish blonde and that with my mother's family source of beauty and ride. even my mother who claimed to have married my father because
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he used like randy, used say my father is so beautiful so-under all at my sisters, blond with blue eyes, just beautiful. well, win i was growing up, i seen relatives talk a lot about girls and their beauty. my older sister was very beautiful. people used to say she looks like sophia loren. my two cousins both went -- won the syria beauty path gents. so between the beauty queen and sophia loren i never felt beautiful nil went to college and saw boys. god my period and i didn't real do -- i did not know exactly what was happening itch started crying, and i said, i'm bleeding.
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she comes, so excited, oh, my god, you're a woman now. and i said, what you mean i'm a woman now? oh, you are -- this is a good day, and then she said, listen, i'm going to make you the -- among your cousins. was short and dark and young and still short and dark, but she said i'm going to make you more beautiful than all of you. she was dark like me. so she used to suffer from migraine and her relatives would bring her leeches and a jar of water who when she get the migraine, she get the leeches on her head and they would draw blood and drop. you never use leeches, are you? she said, don't worry but this is a secret between us. so, okay. take me down stairs and put me in the kitchen, asked me with
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this heavy wool blanket. this is damascus in the summer, must be 100. i said i'm hot. you shouldn't get called when you get your first period. how aim going to get cold in his house? don't worry, just listen to me. love you. so she is some hot water and something in the hot water and she said, drink this. what is this? she said, it won't kill you. it was -- she said, this is going to make you white. so, after she make my drink it and i'm almost throwing up, she's holding me still so i don't throw up, and when -- after half hour she know i'm not going throw up, she take me and this she grabbed me, i'm small, and make my swing. oh, when this is done -- i'm crying. i woken kill you. this is going to make you taller.
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trust me, going to make you taller. i'm going to be white and tall. so for a whole week she did this to me. for a whole week she would wait on my mother and aunts to take their afternoon nap and then have we drink this sauce and swing. by the time the week was over, i felt sicker than a dog, and my aunt -- arms were so sore i could hardly move. i was grateful for a woman's period did not include leeches or any other strange creature. on the seventh day when everyone went to the afternoon siesta, she got the bathroom wood-burning stove tavern going, she took me and washed my hair stentimes, she scrubbed my body seven times. when i was clean enough she starts pouring warm water on my head from a brass goal while reciting verses from the korean
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and have me -- the koran and have me repeat after her. would look into the mirror every morning and stood next to her to see if if got in any whiter ore taller but nothing changed. look, you made me suffer for nothing. be patient, my heavy patient, by next summer you are going to be the whitest and the tallest girl, all your cousinners are going to be so jealous, you'll be so happy we did this. when the next summer arrived i was a little tall her and a shade lighter but we were always lighter in the beginning of the summer. as iboard my grandfather house, she hugged me, then stepped back so she could examine me carefully. i could see something in her face. i'm sorry, it didn't work. give it time. it will work. now it will. then she hugged me and we both laughed.
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so, now we're going to go into a little bit serious, more serious stuff. now, jordan in the '50s where we grew up was like damascus was the place where you go and play and get new clothes and -- always something happening in syria. ... >> and there was the station all over the country.
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in jordan and in many cities, they organize and i don't figure out how they organize. they leave school, they marched to the middle school, and people descended from differentneighborhoods and downtown all through the area . we were going downtown so the kids come from high school. they come from our school, they chant with backpacks so all of us, we leave our bags in the school and run and join the demonstration. so i'm goingdown , i'm done with colonialism, done with imperialism and i have a loud voice and one man picked me up and put me on his shoulder and we get downtown, we get
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to like a classic mosque and there was the army on horses and bats and the leader of the demonstration said we are here for a peaceful march. and then they told me these people do nothing, they engage in no violence and then all of a sudden the army starts moving. they start moving and people start screaming. i don't know howor when i got off this man's back and i ran home . i ran home and there was tear gas and i was crying from fear, crying from teargas and i get home and mama said where was i? i was with the neighbors. why are you crying? i just fell down. because she had told me that and you come home and i said okay. so i stand in a closet with
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police at our door and i they asked about my dad and i was so scared. i had been scared all day. so the police come in, my father, they go into theroom, close the door, they talk . then my father comes and he said come here, i want you to come. i'm walking with my father, my legs are hardly moving. so my father puts his head on my shoulder and gently pushed me ahead of him and he said this is anna and the police looked at me. i looked almost younger than my own age. he said are you sure this is your daughter anna? what do you mean am i sure, of course i am. i went to the neighbor and borrowed a kid? clearly there's some misunderstanding. do you have an older
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daughter, they asked my dad? 21 years older. please accept our apologies, there must be a mishap. the officer looked at his colleague and said we should leave. when the police left our home i was glad to see them go without me. my lease lasted only a few minutes. my father pulled me to the study and asked me to close the door i knew i was in big trouble. anna, where were you today? i was at a demonstration. did your mother not tell you to come immediately home in case of trouble? >> yes father she did. and why did you go to the demonstration? i thought of a good answer and he said because we are against hezbollah. my father remained quiet. i could see he was trying to hide a smile but i was too scared with my eyes. we? who are we and what do you know about hezbollah?
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i am not sure, i said, but i know it's a bad thing. next time, don't become part of the demonstration if you don't understand what it is about. you can go now. i left my father's study and went to my bedroom as quickly as i could just in case he changed his mind and decided to punish me. for once i was lucky to be short and skinny and look younger than my already young age. my mother walked into the room and asked are you all right? yes mother, i just want to sleep. tears start to swell in my eyes. my mother said don't be scared and he turned out to be dead, next time you better listen to what i tell you. i will mama. come and have dinner with us. she said i'm not hungry, please mama can i go to sleep? that's fine. she kissed me and i said good night and close the door. i lay in my bed sure the police all came to find me. i covered my head and cried
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like never before. i'm going to leave one final thing. and this is about jerusalem. and if you talk about jerusalem you have to drink or cry, i don't know which so i'm going to drink. you know, as i mentioned, we lived in jerusalem and then we moved in the early 50s but we continue to go to jerusalem with the distance between a man and jerusalem is a giant.we would go there and go shopping, and that's about the distance. we go to ramallah sometimes in the summer, there's food
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in the afternoon, go to jericho in the winter. but then came 1967. and east jerusalem and the west bank is the optic occupation so we couldn't go there anymore. i was able to go back, left the island of it all in 1980, i became an american citizen and as an american citizen i could go to jerusalem. that's where i was. whenever i visit palestinei cannot wait to go to jerusalem . my sister's side who lives in ramallah and is the only connection we have to our homeland doesn't understand why i don't want to visit other cities. he keeps telling me there are other beautiful places in palestine. maybe tomorrow, i reply. today i want to go to jerusalem. tomorrow comes and i go back
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to jerusalem. i headed there as it i'm going to meet my first date. in east jerusalem i walk the streets of my childhood neighborhood. the scent of jasmine holes me along, reminding me of the small city my father mother came from in damascus. they still somehow hold my earliest memories. the birth of the board on a warm spring day that i walked with my mother, the warmth of my father's face giving me a baby lamb as a gift i've been asking for. my mother and i playing doctor with the boy next door and the first time one of my father's said a warm-up. after i went through my childhood neighborhood, like a ritual i always enter through damascus there. there's something majestic about the state although i was almost stopped right there.
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the rest of the 1989 when i came to participate in an international peace march. he as well as the master are able to fill the place. i was very frightened. an italian woman left her i. my heart eight for her. she came all the way from rome. she left with one eye. in the old city i buy gifts. i buy blue glass. i also by an embroidered peasant's vest. also i can take two pieces of jerusalem and smells back to the us, to my home in the us. which with each shift am i never able to bring back this particular familiar scent of jerusalem. no matter how much i try it's somehow hard to adjust to life in the new world.
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thank you very much. [applause] thank you. thank you, thank you. okay, now we have some time for question and answer so as i said, raise your hand so they will move the camera towards you . yes? he's right there, the woman. what were your favorite foods while you were growing up? >> i change as i grow up. as a child i used two love
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raspberry charts with the meat and stuff and i love eating just cheese and bread and watermelons together. that was in the summer, putting everything great together. >> i want to know who taught you how to cook so deliciously. who taught you how to cook? >> my husband, i really don't know. people say i hope i'm a good cook, i hope i am and i don't know how i learned to cook. i don't know how i learned to cook but i like to cook, i think i'm a good cook. yes, here. >> would you tell us what motivated you to write this book and how you feel now
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that it's written? >> this is what happened. my mother asked me how did i decide to write this book. in 1993 i took one year in advance from a job i was working a long time. i said i'm going to take a year off and not do anything to figure out what i want to do next and because i always like to write and when you have time you reflect on your life and i want to know where, i was working on, with the palestinian organization. they worked hard for many years and i didn't see any progress in that front. things get even worse, sometimes i said maybe i should stop working, maybe things will get better so i left my job feeling defeated in a way if you want. and so i would just not know.
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i said just like kind of, i would think what makes us who we are? what makes us do the things we do? i was thinking where i want to go next and i would remember that had an impact on my life, like this illustration or my grandfather's house and i would write small episodes or more reflection and then i had to find a job and when i found a job i put it away. i would go back to it one day and that they did not come until maybe 20 years later when i decide for my job. and then i sat down and i already said my life as i looked at it is really flat. it's become much more political the second time . and in my life i feel it reflects the era, what i did living and going to jerusalem
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or left jerusalem and went to buy beirut and everybody was going to beirut because that's where people, i went to cairo because nasir was there. it was a time of a non-alliance, anti-vietnam war so all these events affected me.so i look at my life and i say it's interesting, every phase of my life is reflected with for certain things happening socially or politically in that part of the world. i bring all these stories together and get a picture about what life might look like for a young woman growing up between damascus and jerusalem. how does life look like? it's something very different from what you see on television and i hope the reason we come to understand that part of the war is from
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a different perspective. >> be there is a question here. >> as you look back and reflect on growing up, it was not traditional compared to what i grew up with. how do you see, what are you thankful for, what did you get out, are you grateful? do you wish they would have done things differently? >> i don't think anything in my life and if i die to be born again i would do everything and to be honest with you, i don't. it's different. there is a big difference between british life and city
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life. different people, there's a division there between the and in the villages people are more concerned about preserving the village, preserving the family. there's a lot of divide happening within these families. like being british, so these traditions and in cities people come from all walks of life. as i said, if you go to the village you came from, everybody is from beijing now. if you go to him on, they are syrian, lebanese, christian. if you go to jerusalem, if you go to nazareth, if you go to python, there are different. and in that sense, they are more open i think. the same thing in america. if you grow up in a small
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town, small farm, it's different than if you grow up in the city. a couple questions, one, two. >> when you become political ... when you became political did you see any similarities for the civil rights movement that was taking place in the united states and what you were experiencing in your country? >> can you stand up? i can't quite look. >> i said when you became political in your country, fighting the different things or sectarianism or what have you, you see any similarity to what was going on here in the 60s? >> she said i grew up in the 60s, there are similarities
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in the 60s and you know, feminism, sexism and racism in that part of the world. i think the 60s, you know, we were the generation of the 60s but it was issues, all these issues look different but in reality they were the same. for example here you talk about martin luther king at the civil rights movement. martin luther king, mama was a hero. nasser who was the president of egypt was one of the elders of african unity. cairo was the capital of african unity or african leader group and i want to read something for you. and i skipped it because of the time that i'm going to read it. >> okay. >> now, when i was a child, my aunt this, wanted a transistor so i have a
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transistor and i wanted this transistor so bad. you know what a transistor is, many many younger generations. is this more towards portable radios and i was fascinated by the script so i came in my dad years to give me a transistor and he kept saying you don't need a transistor. finally i did very good in school and he gave it to me as a gift. and the transistor, you know, in the beginning the transistor was a toy. i go out in the streets , the kids would carry. i would go up and down the streets . very proud. i'm popular, kids coming here. then you know, after my radio was no more, that was popularity in the neighborhood. >> we would send our passionate egyptian self
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operas and romantic songs for preludes, and is, we start singing a famous popular singer. although talking about mother love around us, love songs played at home. as a sword and in taxis, people listen to them day and night. thanks to my radio we were able to listen to them as well, even when we were hanging in the streets or in some neighbors backyard. in those times i became the most popular kid in the neighborhood. a few months later, after i got my radio, i started talking about war and about the egyptian nasser. i even heard my girl talking about possible war. nasser is going to rationalize this with now. >> he should, responded my mother. the canal belong to the egyptian people, >> both a possible war dominated that organization and all the newark.
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physically we were kids anymore. thanks to my transistor, like of international songs do nasser, and to the egyptian commissary. i you nasser could defeat any trends put together. i toldmy friend. i that you can, send my friend. and i grew older , my radio assumed that a project to separate the name of the kids. there were us, the good kids or the nationalists. love nasser and we love the same. we, the good kids would gather in a balcony, in a room or backyard, or in a street corner to listen to my radio. from that small box i learned about arab nationalism, african unity and the non-allied movement.
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on my radio we learned about revolutions around the world, we learned about now , castro and shea and we learned about martin lutherking and malcom x , through my radio, i moved with all these people around the globe. i did not know how that small war, but i learned from my radio. my magic box. so i had this answer to your question. it was just the era we were. then it was a hero for my generation, there was an ally movement, so it was this international and an international colleague a if you remember. >>. >> can you hear me? i'll project. looking back at the path of the region, the progression, like 48, 67, 82, you characterize your view as being more cynical or do you still have some degree of hope ? >> i did really have hope,
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very sad and my heart, sometimes i feel like a break, how i see it. i don't want the news, i don't want, there was so bad about mussolini, there's not this understanding of what they are celebrating. this is an era where civilization starts, a cold indicator of civilization. and there's all this, i don't know how many would be inferior. >> night people, they define everything and you see a way that, this city is to, it would come back. i have no doubt in my mind that this, how long it takes i really don't know but i know that it will not be our fate as the arab nation because we have in the world a lot.
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and we don't, we come from deep roots. we're deep-rooted in our humanity. and you know, i said don't worry aboutsomething , they will come back. i know this is not our faith, it's castro space. >> sure. >>. [inaudible] >> as i said i wrote it sometime, i wrote usually but as it people i made it public because as i tell you, people need to know, even our younger people need to know.
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that what is happening today is not our faith and cannot be our faith. this is not who we are. okay? we arepeople , you know, your neighbor, armenian, chechnya and, it doesn't really matter. we are the people who gave the world the religion that people live together, all religions. so i'm hoping people will read it to know that you know, that's a great part of the war. >> and for the young people to know that this is not our faith. >> but you know, i'm happy. >> i'm going to write this book for this person or that person. >>. >> okay. >> there is a question here. >>.
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>> did you write this your notes and things compiling the book, did you start off in arabic for example, did you feel more comfortable? >> i came to this country 1974. >> and you know, this is my first time in the united states which is 20 years later. so i became english is an idiom for me. >>. >> very much. >>. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. i am sorry that the ia was supposed to have the book, they don't have it. and i'm unhappy about that but if you want to order the book, i know amazon will sell it a little bit cheaper but the people who publish my book, they really donate to a good portion of this income, of their process to good causes. they gave 400,000 dollars for clean energy. >> so the few dollars you pay more, think about that as a donation to a good cause. it's a really good very progressive cause and he gives to not only, he gives to good causes here so interlink the publisher and if you put his name you will find a publisher . i really hope you buy it somewhere, of course if you want to buy from amazon you can let's help people who
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help other people, that's my theory. >> thanks. >>. >> there is no book signing, i'm really sorry. they promised me it would get the book. and they didn't. >>. >> you can email me and i will sign the book. >>. [inaudible conversation]

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