I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the spring of 1998 — my senior year in high school. I had stayed a few minutes late after my first period class, Advanced Placement English, to ask my English teacher a question about an assignment. As I was gathering my stuff and getting ready to hurry to my second period class, my teacher casually told me, “You know you’re a good writer, right?”
My English teacher was notoriously difficult. And the class was ridiculously demanding. It was the sort of class where we’d read two books at the same time (and write about both) — one we’d discuss for a few weeks in class and one we’d read on our own and discuss together for only one class (and we were expected to turn in our writing assignment for that book before that class discussion). I couldn’t tell you what class I had for second period or the structure of the rest of my senior year classes. But the stresses and demands of AP English are forever burned into my brain. …
August 2nd marked the 30th anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The invasion uprooted my family’s life and changed the trajectory of my future. Like the nearly 400,000 Palestinians who lived in Kuwait at the time, we had a really good life in Kuwait. It was a life that was built around a large community of friends and family.
And the foundation of that community was my uncle Adel Samara. Khallo Adel passed away yesterday and with him a big part of that life left the world.
Khallo was an extraordinary man. He was so much more than an uncle to me — he was like a second father. The distance of diaspora meant that I didn’t have an adult relationship with him but so much of my childhood included spending time with him and his family. …
I hope you enjoy these two stories and that you dust off your own classic consoles!
I recently wrote about my Sakhr, an MSX based video game console designed for the Middle Eastern market that my parents bought me when I was about 8 or 9. I also wrote that my favorite MSX game was Penguin Adventure but I sadly no longer had the original cartridge.
For years I longed to play Penguin Adventure on my Sakhr. Every now and then I’d look on eBay for it but wasn’t able to find it. I figured it was too old and too niche of a game for me to ever find a replacement cartridge.
After I wrote my story last week, it felt like something was missing. I was really itching to play Penguin Adventure. What’s the point of getting my Sakhr to work if I can’t actually play my favorite game? …
When you’re first starting out in your career, it seems like people just love to give you lots and lots of advice. I believe this advice comes from a good place — these people have made mistakes in their careers and they don’t want you making those same mistakes.
But there’s one piece of advice that I wish people would stop repeating: “fake it till you make it.”
There’s nothing wrong with believing in yourself, having a positive mindset, and setting goals. …
Fall kicks off annual performance review cycles at some companies. I’m getting ready to write my own self assessment pretty soon. Throughout the process, I find that I need some music that makes me feel empowered (and like a rockstar). And sometimes I just need music that makes me feel good. :)
Here are the songs that I’ll be listening to as I work on my self assessment next week:
Happy Friday! Oh, and you got this!