On Wednesday 19th of October 2016, I met someone who I have wanted to meet for quite some time now. Not only an author, a journalist, speaker and champion for human rights and refugees, but also the most influential Arab in the world, Mr. Chaker Khazaal.
I went there, filled with questions, and I didn’t hesitate to ask. Immediately, I said “do you feel a certain pressure about your title of being the most influential Arab in the world?” to which he answered “I don’t think about it really, it’s nice to be get these rewards of course, but that isn’t why I do what I do. In the end, you just wake up and go to work.”
He was extremely humble, down to earth and just simply amazing. Words cannot describe the feeling and sensation that you get by just being around him, you just feel incredible, invincible even. That maybe, all those voices in your head that fill you with doubt, get quashed by his aura. His story, is one worthy of remembrance.
So what happened then? I pounded him with one question after another, and I felt like he was my big brother, to whom I was just complaining about the hardships of publishing a book in the middle east, and what I got from him was to just keep on trying, and to never be ashamed of my work.
And then, I told him about the doubts that I had in my mind, and how it sometimes feels crazy and hectic. Sometimes, the inner doubts that one can have, are his only demons and obstacles to success… And then, he told to first, sign a copy of my book, and then READ him a part of it. It was an amazing exercise to be honest, and one that definitely helped. In his own words “I hope by doing this, you’ll remember what you have done.”
So in the end, I’d like to just say to every aspiring author out there, and to anyone who is having doubts about sharing their work… Just power through it! Remember who you are, be okay with making mistakes, learn from them and be the very best that you can be. Because in this day and age, we do not have the luxury of having an excuse why we didn’t do something.
If you’d like to check out Chaker’s book (which I totally recommend by the way, go over to www.chakerkhazaal.com
And to Chaker, I say: It was an honor meeting you, and I hope that we will meet again soon (and this time, have you sign my copy of ‘Confessions of a War Child’).