Growing up in Southern California, I knew the white bread, middle-class life of American suburbia held no interest for me. The feeling came early that, for all the shiny cars and designer clothes, a sanitised life is not much of a life at all, and I set off to see the world. By the time I was eighteen, I had visited Europe twice, Israel, and Morocco, and it was only a matter of time until I set off for a new life on foreign shores.
If “life” was what I was looking for, I could scarcely have made a better choice than Israel. On any normal day running errands around town, one is bound to encounter a European shop owner, an ultra-Orthodox missionary, an Iraqi immigrant at the open market, and a seemingly non-religious bus driver with a picture of a Hassidic rabbi and the traditional Hebrew traveller’s prayer stencilled on his dashboard. Israel is a hodge-podge of immigrants from every continent on Earth, each clinging to old customs and habits while integrating into a new culture.
The thrill of meeting new people, hearing new languages, smelling new things, continues to excite me. More exactly, it is the old I appreciate— age-old ceremonies, traditional music, the flow of an ancient language— and the interplay between tradition and progress in our society. Though I can’t exactly pull myself completely away from political analysis and opinion writing, my focus is clearly on writing about interesting people and places.
Thanks for visiting my website. Enjoy the people I’ve profiled, write to those I’ve criticised, disagree with my opinion pieces. Most of all, let me know what you think. I’ll look forward to hearing your comments.