One of the memories that leaps to the front of my subconscious very often is a picture of my father standing at the Immigration desk in Mirabel Airport; Montreal's then international Terminal for fresh newborn naturalised citizens. He stood with his back to me, as though leaving his past behind in the lap of his youngest child, his future. Little did I realise at the time the sacrifice he and my mother were making for us to see a brighter, and hopefully, more prosperous future for my children in return. You would think violins were playing the background in my mind when I flashback to this but all I can hear is Michael Jackson's BAD.
Fast forward 25 years later, I took my pilgrimage back to Arabia, moving myself and my wife to my birth town of Dubai, in search for a new future for my kids. One where I can offer them a reintegration into a language and culture fleeting from us every-so-often in our search for identity lost above oceans in airplanes. At the precious age of 24, when I married my lady, I was going through a severe crisis of self. Who was I as a man, an artist, an Arab, a Canadian, a husband and a son? I recently let go of those fears, as easily as my peppered beard grows now in my third decade on Earth. And I am surrounded by Pepsi Ads for Michael Jackson's BAD 25th anniversary EVERYWHERE.
The reintegration to this side of the world hasn't been as easy as I thought. I took for granted many of the guarantees of North America that come at costs that are as invisible as the taxes we pay. I took a Leap Of Faith, believing that it was as easy as shipping my personal belongings across the seas and oceans. But it wasn't. I'll spare you the details, but it's been hair-greying, to say the least. Beautiful thing though.
As my father turned around with freshly stamped papers to a future unknown, he smiled at me. We were exhausted, a 20-hour trip later across memory lane into the wilderness of Montreal's Winter Wars. And they struggled, shipping their personal belongings across oceans, though they never showed us what we were missing. As I grew up, the main tenet my father instilled in me was "make the best of every situation". Sometimes, I wonder if he said that to me, his reflection, to say it to himself.
Times are different now. We are a distracted generation. The tension is rising in our nations, as it did during our parents generation. We have been witness to media wars, and wars through media. We have moved, seen the world. We speak in 140 characters and hashtags. I communicate in my 'meetings' in Dubai in Arabic, English and sometimes French; while retweeting, insta-spamming, facebooking, e-mailing, business carding and cell phone calling. I end my days over-caffenated, underwhelmed, saturated and flabbergasted. I wake up the next day and promise myself I won't be as involved with my electronics, yet here I am, typing away in a blogger box. There is no escaping the individuality of narcissism in modern society. As the Wu-tang asked us, can it be that it was all so simple then?
Of course, it wasn't.
I wanted to challenge myself, and the listeners of my music, to a new phase in my sound, life and music. Tomorrow I will be releasing a free EP online called Leap of Faith, as, well, it is exactly that. A leap into the unknown, a new phase, a new sound. A new voice that I've found. As part of the music release, I wanted to test just how engaged we are in our social medias. Are we engaging with ourselves or with each other? In Blog we Trust.
I am asking people to take a leap with me. If everything is so free, will you make the best out of a situation as well? Share your story as I have with you. Post a picture, a video, a song, a word. Anything. Share with us your fears and insecurities. Your Light and your Love. Join us in really engaging in art, and making a collaboration that we can save forever (or as long as the internet doesn't dissapear). Maybe one day, someone will find these megabytes buried deep in the subconscious of the internet and discover there were an international body of people who loved to work together, not just tweet, email, and toggle back and forth between machines...
My father recently said to me 'I don't want to chase visas to live in the Arab World anymore, I am too old to feel like I want to belong again'. I don't blame him. I wonder if I will feel that way at 60 too. I have a feeling, soon, I'll be picking up my mother and father from Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Airport in Montreal, in December, to move them back to their new home in Montreal, Canada.
Full Circle never felt so revolutionary,
Download 'Leap Of Faith EP' for Free HERE: http://www.mediafire.com/?qcde1u7zoqpn9
Stream it here:
Join the .com-versation: http://www.theleapup.tumblr.com
Follow Yassin Alsalman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thenarcicyst