Well, I ain’t from around here y’all.
I was born in Damascus Syria in 1965 to a loving family. My father was the Poet Laureate of Syria, and my mother was a lawyer. I came to this country in 1984 at the age of 18, and have reveled in the freedom we have. I mean, just to be able to eat peanut butter on Sundays.
I have written a few books, the last one did pretty well: PAUL and me, A Journey to and from the Damascus Road, From Islam to Christ. It was the number four best sellers on Amazon in religion books. It has received coverage on The Huffington Post UK, National Public Radio, The Christian Post, The Blaze, The Associated Press, The Birmingham News, The Australia News, and even the Fiji Times!
I love to build bridges for better understanding and acceptance of different worldviews.
I have also done a few coffee-table books. If you don’t have a coffee table, they can be pretty picture books. Home Sweet Home Alabama, Shelter from the Storm, and The Beauty Box – all did well, and are still in circulation.
I do have to brag because this is my bio, but just so you will know, I am not a big fan of doing so.
I won two prizes in the 84th Writer’s Digest International Competition – one for a poem and another for an essay. I have written extensively for several print and online publications including the Alabama News Center and the Birmingham News/al.com. Other publications include B-Metro, 78 Magazine, Portico, Birmingham Magazine and Aramco World magazine.
One of the coolest things I have done was write an essay for the book: Alabama Christmas alongside Helen Keller and Truman Capote. Come’on. Me? With those two giants? That was far out, and it made me happy as a dead pig in sunshine.
I do speak Arabic and English, last time I checked.
Time to drop some names. I have worked as a journalist for National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, People, Time, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Portico, The New York Times, The Washington Post. I have traveled on assignments to countries including: China, France, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Turkey, Italy, and Chile. In 2001, I founded Portico magazine in Birmingham, which quickly became the fastest growing magazine in the state.
I also did the teaching thing. I was a professor of Photojournalism at Samford University in Birmingham for ten years.
I am an activist who seeks to increase the world’s understanding of faith and acceptance and love and peace. I have received numerous awards including Best Annual Report, Pictures of the Year International, Writer’s Digest, The Addy Awards, and Best Book for Shelter from the Storm.
I have also been on the faculty of numerous workshops including the Southwestern Photojournalism Seminar in Dallas, and the Radius of Arab-American Writers in Detroit.
I am currently teaching a class titled: Insight into Islam, at my church. The purpose is to eliminate misconceptions about the religion of my youth.
OK, some family info: I am a single father to three precious children: Zade, Dury, and Demi, and I live by the motto: Carpe diem – seizing every moment of this beautiful gift called life.
My photography work can be viewed at the website: www.HireKarim.com. My popular blog www.seeloverun.com, is for the upcoming book: See Love Run, Marriage Advice from a Divorced Guy. You should check it out, even if you are married.
I think that sums it up . . . thanks for stopping by.