Author’s Statement

Maybe the quest to explore outside the fringe of normalcy is a legacy inspired by my hometown―Berkeley, fondly called Bezerkeley―a city that thrives on passion, madness, intellect and rapture. Maybe the bliss of a different drum has incited caution to avoid cynics and jaded expats in interpreting and judging new experiences solely within Western parameters. Maybe these mystic allusions have perpetuated my ease to immerse with people from different ethnic groups that represent a spectrum of political and religious convictions, languages, and, not to be overlooked, foods.

My insatiable thirst to witness values through the eyes of others and to overcome cultural bewilderment has been captivating. To laugh with others with unabashed openness while doing so has been refreshing. More often than not, I have seen that people’s heart, soul and curiosity overcome stereotypes, misunderstanding, and intransigence. For me, the rewards derived from these first-hand experiences are a rich, emotional, and unforgettable part of cross-cultural assimilation.

It is my privilege to share with you enlightening personal experiences about my life as an American expatriate living and working in the Middle East with a diversity of international people. My stories may serve to refute myths, conjure candor and provide a laugh.

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