Photo by myself in Summit, New Jersey. This was probably the back side of some stores in the middle of a quaint town.
Mark and I walked around Summit this weekend, after his nephew's birthday party. Nothing was open, except the nail salon, which was packed.
Recently I heard an amazing segment on the This American Life podcast. There are tons of billboard ads in the subway stations about the televised series, which runs on Showtime, Sundays at 10 pm.
In this particular episode, host Ira Glass interviews Haider Hamza, the son on an Iraqi ambassador. At the age of nineteen, he worked for the Ministry of Intelligence, as representative of the country.
Hamza appeared on television shows as an 'Iraqi youth', and was coached by psychologists in what to say, and how to behave. Then the war started, the tables turned and he had to flee the country with his family.
Hamza is intelligent and eloquent. He describes in accented, perfect English his complicated relationship with his parents and equally complicated situation as a cog in the Iraqi propaganda machine.
What's Hamza doing now? He's living in New York as a Fullbright scholar.
To be sure, not everyone living here has such colorful back story.
For the This American Life podcast, click here. For the Hamza episode, click here.
Related posts: On Dopplegangers and Memory