I made this piece in san francisco in year 2000.
in year 2001 my 'industry' (I.T) 'crashed' .. my company went under . i lost my job on my birthday in june 2001.
paradise lost .. the dream of freedom and dignity slipped again from my fingers .. that freedom i was only able to feel in the United States of America.
I am serious. I felt a connection with the land and the people. I felt i am able to belong , and belong and belong. I was able to live my different identities . i was able to be an Arab , an artist , a woman, a geek , a Canadian even , I was able to be a better Canadian in the USA. I was able to wear my Palestinian Koufiyeh and my Jordanian shmagh without fear.. I was able to get involved and express myself as a citizen even though i wasnt even a US citizen! True I was living in a very special place , California is a special place. I was involved in politics without fear. I love that place!
i had to leave. jobs were scarce after the hi-tech bubble burst .. and after 911 there was no chance on earth for me to get a job .. an Arab and not even an american , arab looking and with an accent .. not the perfect age or gender or skin color either .. no way.. i tried very hard.. but ..no way
i couldnt afford it ... i realized my generous severance package will run out soon if i dont do something ...
so much soul searching..
so much .. day and night
battling with my fear
barely any support
i came up with the decision to go back to Canada! after all i am a Canadian citizen , this is my country too.. it is my country in a different and special way .. a country of choice. I jumped through hoops and loops to make it my country . I studied and passed. I went through rigorous examinations and had to live in freezing cold for years to earn my Canadian citizenship.
i was drawn to Canada because of the reputation it has, the values it preaches . not because i was starving in my country. I thought it was a place where people have dignity and freedom and equality. and everyone has the same opportunity and respect. I wanted to live in canada because i wanted to live in a democracy and in peace and have opportunities and be able to help others in the world. That is why I chose Canada to be my new country.
Living in the east wasnt bad. The culture in Montreal is awesome . there is racism but at least there is culture and passion and good food. but the weather is very cold! it's just frigging cold ! so so so cold ! no one can comprehend the intensity of this cold except people who live in it.
the gas used to freeze in my car . i once cried from the cold. i made the mistake of taking off my mitten to try and open my car door , the lock was frozen , the exposure of my hand without the mitten for a few minutes made me cry , i felt my fingers will fall off ! it was so painful!
no way would i go back! so cold!
i decided to go back to school to become a film director !
i decided to move to Vancouver. and i didnt know anything about Vancouver. just that it's the closest biggest Canadian city, never been there and met maybe only 3 or 4 people from there in all the years i lived in Canada!
I drove up all the way to vancouver. I slept in the car at night and drove during the light.
I had a dream long before this happened. It was strange because I dont know much about vancouver, I never think of vancouver. It was sometime in 2000/2001 I was working in silicon valley totally enjoying the sun and the freedom and the opportunitues..
i had a dream one day , in my sleep; I dreamt i was in Vancouver , and there was an earthquake ..
i was alone .. and the earth was shaking .. but a voice inside me was telling me not to be afraid .. i was ducking under a small construction that looked like a box made out of concrete and i was feeling safe and that everything will just be allright!
this song was my canada re-entry theme. i drove up all the way to Vancouver.. it was fall time and the colors of the leaves was fascinating .. on my way i found a safari zoo , and then a bird sanctuary .. i stopped and visited ! i felt free and in bliss.
l never ended up living in vancouver or going back to school.
my life took turns like i had never expected..
i discovered that the east is not like the west . the frost of the cold is mercy compared to the cold fire of the racism.
what a hard decade ! I call it my British Columbia decade!
the hardest in my life but fantastically transforming!
I thank Canada , I love Canada , and I am a proud Canadian , still inspired by the canadian values of human rights and freedom and protection of the environment and animals and caring and helping other people of the world.. etc.. which are unfortunately being stepped on by our government while canadians watch silently!
so there you go , that is the story of this music
may it be THE year where the deepest human aspiration of peace and fulfillment of basic need becomes reality