November 30, 2016

Pretend I’m Not Here

Pretend I’m Not Here Previously published in Yes! Weekly on November 30, 2016 *** Sarah didn’t say she would be bringing a friend. They sat down across from me at The Green Bean coffee shop on Elm Street, Sarah in a champagne satin hijab, her friend in maroon cotton. “Pretend I’m not here,” said her friend, paintings of jellyfish-kitten hybrids on the wall, duct tape around the thick duct stretching across the stamped-tin ceiling, Sarah’s cell-phone adorned with gold glitter-studded mouse ears and a silver neck-lanyard because she’s always losing everything. “It’s just cuts,” she said, referring to her memories […]
August 16, 2016

A Friend in the Desert

Eight years ago I traveled to Iraq as a freelance journalist. What I saw there changed my life. But what changed my perspective on that country most was something my father said to me just before I left: “Who are their heroes? Who is their George Washington? These people are struggling but all we ever talk about is ourselves. What about their story?” My father was right. America has never been more self-absorbed. Now more than ever, the Iraqis seem a faceless and nameless mass of misery. Muslims, in general, are the whipping boys of our zeitgeist, a block of […]
May 2, 2016

The Chuck Norris Archive

“Facts” from Iraq:  The Chuck Norris Archive FACT:  We don’t have a military.  We have Chuck Norris. FACT:  In 2003 Chuck Norris went on holiday to Iraq.  Later the United States invaded the country, blaming Iraq for having a weapon of mass destruction. FACT:  When George Bush said “Mission Accomplished,” he didn’t realize Chuck Norris wasn’t finished yet.   FACT:  Behind every successful man, there is a successful woman. Behind every dead man, there is Chuck Norris. FACT:  Sadddam Hussein was not found hiding in a “hole.”  Saddam was roundhouse kicked in the head by Chuck Norris in Kansas, which […]
January 21, 2016

The Challenger

The Challenger….Where was the mastermind of 9/11 on the day of the Challenger explosion? (previously published in Mayday as “Phantom Jets”)   I remember nothing negative about Khalid. But people change. This guy was brilliant. If he used his knowledge in a good way, he could have been a Nobel Prize winner. -Sammy Zitawi   Imagine a disaster from an engineer’s perspective. Khalid looked into the equations on the board and saw a world where ductility, rotating shafts, stress concentrations, pulsating torsional fatigue, flat leaf springs, high-frequency ripples—it all came together in a master fatigue diagram—an axis fanning out into […]