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SB: Thank you for inviting me; I am glad to be here.
PBR: How did this book come about, and what was your primary motivation to write A Dream is Just That?
SB: The idea had been sweltering in my thoughts for many, many years. I was reluctant and concerned because of the political and religious implications. I was somewhat frightened of the possible consequences, but I came to recognize that “a coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but once.” Quite honestly, I had had enough of political correctness and I needed a message to go out that we must not tolerate the intolerable.
PBR: What other books and on what topics have you written?
SB: I have written several academic textbooks and a collection of short stories (sudden-fiction) titled Tango under the Same Moon, which is also published by CreateSpace.
PBR: You tell us much about your childhood in your book. Overall, for the benefit of readers of this interview which might not yet have read your book, tell us briefly the characterizations and differences between growing up in Egypt as compared to what you now know as our culture for kids growing up in America.
SB: In spite of the political and religious turmoil, I believe that growing up in Egypt had a positive impact on me, most significantly on developing a sense of social responsibility that, sadly, many of us, not only in America, but throughout the world, lack. When one lacks that sense of being socially responsible, a domino effect of negative characteristics ensue, such as unreasonable sense of entitlement, lying, cheating, abusing, and selfishness.
PBR: You mention in your book that your PhD is in English. What other languages are you fluent in?
SB: In Arabic, or course since it is my native language, but I can communicate in French, and Spanish. And I have a limited proficiency in Italian.
PBR: I am always curious to ask people with multiple language skills, tell us please in what language are your thoughts? You know, when you are “talking to yourself.”
SB: I think in English and have been since my early twenties.
PBR: In the second half you go on to articulate your conflicts with “Corporate America.” Do you feel the US is rather unfair and apathetic to immigrants without basic resources to contest greedy policies?
SB: This is certainly true, but not only to immigrants; “Corporate America” is ruthless to everyone. Adjectives like ‘unfair” and “apathetic” are too polite and mild. I would use much stronger and accurate adjectives.
PBR: What would you suggest to be a “fix” to these situations? How would you go about making changes?
SB: I believe the government should play a more proactive role in protecting the citizens from corporate abuses; that is why we have governments. In order to achieve that, citizens must realize that citizenship comes with responsibilities most important of which is to be active participants in the democratic process, or democracy would be just a meaningless word. This can be accomplished only through education and promoting that sense of social responsibility about which I talk and write.
PBR: Do you have any plans for future books in the making?
SB: Yes, I have many ideas racing in my head.
PBR: We wish you the best of success with A Dream is Just That. Thank you again for your time.
SB: Thank you, again, for the opportunity.