I’m Syrian. Currently based in
BostonSan Francisco. I’ve lived 6 years in Damascus, and 16 years before that in my hometown As Suwayda. Damascenes religiously remind you that theirs is the City of Jasmine, but all I could ever smell there was smog. Whatever they were smoking, I was not.
I was a Red Crescent Volunteer for roughly 9 years. Good times, wonderful people, and unforgettable experiences. There, I focused on First Aid, and Disaster Response and Management. I slept on hard floors with no blanket, mattress, or pillow; then I slept in tents in the freezing cold where I missed the cold floor, at least it didn’t have rocks sticking in my ribs. I worked with Iraqi, Palestinian, and even Lebanese refugees. Some faces I will never forget.
Experimentation with blogging for me began in 2005. Quite embarrassing. It was full of typos, teen angst, and even a cheesy poetry attempt or two. Nonetheless, it was really significant in shaping who I am today, because it 2007 it was blocked, along with every other blog hosted on Blogger. That day I felt invaded, and I knew that I would always be at odds with censors, no matter how trivial – or vile – the material in question was.
I have a passion for languages. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a well worded poem. In a perfect world I would speak Spanish as fluently as I speak Arabic and English. For now If I find my self in a Spanish-speaking country I’ll have to settle with knowing how to order food and getting directions in the form of left and right turns to find a pharmacy nearby. For many reasons, I would much rather read a book in the squiggly of my native Arabic than read a book in English.
Being the digital native that I am, creating quality Arabic content online is one of my priorities. I contribute to Global Voices Online Arabic Lingua, and I translate Wikipedia articles, localize software, and write for an Android focused tech blog, all in Arabic. Another side of my passion is generally making the web more resourceful to Syrians; I’ve put a lot of work in Google Map Maker mapping Syria as part of a volunteer team. Huge progress. I’m proud.
I suspect I have ADD, and that I’m part of the percentage of people who can’t see 3D.
Care to learn about my work? Work page is coming shortly.