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A good read is one where you feel, the whole gamut of the teller s emotions as if it were you This telling lets you experience the vulnerability, frustration, confusion, fear of a moment when all your good life seems to go sideways Something that keeps you thinking long after the finish How can we as a society do better at keeping perspective and maintaining compassion [[ READ DOWNLOAD ]] ☈ Stranger in the Pen ⇬ July,Three days after the terror attack on Bastille Day, Mohamed Asem is detained overnight by British immigration officials without cause In an elegantly digressive, self interrogative style, Asem describes the boredom and uncertainty of confinement, and how this specific kind of helplessness leads, inevitably, to a self reckoning What series of events has led to this moment As a teenager, he was stranded in Paris with his mother during the first Gulf War, while his father remained in Kuwait He spent his twenties dutifully trying to follow the blueprint for manhood back home in the Middle East, only to cast it all aside after his mother s early death Stranger in the Pen examines the burden of being disconnected from one s homeland, unpacks the emotional toll of racial profiling, and illuminates the quietly surprising ways in which grief can change one s life If you have traveled internationally you ve likely had your patience tested dealing with immigration, but with having an American passport, usually that s the extent of it Not in Asem s case He takes us through what nightmares are made of He creatively weaves his current situation and his past which draws you in Without needing a plane ticket, he also vividly takes us to a London neighborhood and introduces some cultural norms of Kuwait I liked the pace and the writing style A great book f If you have traveled internationally you ve likely had your patience tested dealing with immigration, but with having an American passport, usually that s the extent of it Not in Asem s case He takes us through what nightmares are made of He creatively weaves his current situation and his past which draws you in Without needing a plane ticket, he also vividly takes us to a London neighborhood and introduces some cultural norms of Kuwait I liked the pace and the writing style A great book for a weekend get away Given the US versus THEM attitude of many countries nowadays, Mohamed Asem s Stranger in the Pen, provides a timely portrait of how awful it is when xenophobia, prejudice and racism replace justice, compassion and reason In his book, Mr Asem arrives in the UK and because his lifestyle doesn t quite fit the norm, customs officials behave rudely to him and place him in the pen What should have been a five or ten minute passage through the bureaucracy of border control becomes an overnight or Given the US versus THEM attitude of many countries nowadays, Mohamed Asem s Stranger in the Pen, provides a timely portrait of how awful it is when xenophobia, prejudice and racism replace justice, compassion and reason In his book, Mr Asem arrives in the UK and because his lifestyle doesn t quite fit the norm, customs officials behave rudely to him and place him in the pen What should have been a five or ten minute passage through the bureaucracy of border control becomes an overnight ordeal During this prolonged insult Mr Asem flashes back to his personal history in Kuwait, Paris, the U.S and offers the reader interesting insights into his past and Kuwaiti culture His flashbacks reveal much of his character, which like the central story is well told and compelling The writing is sharp, descriptive and moves along at a fast clip Put Stranger in the Pen on your reading list It s informative, entertaining and well worth your time I read this book on a plane flight from Portland to San Franciscoand while waiting in the airport.Mohamed is my neighbor so you can take these words with however much salt you care to apply He and I have had many encounters during the gestation of Stranger in the Pen about a great many subjects and over a great many cocktails I knew generally that the book was about his detention at Gatwick but didn t know any of the details of the story Mohamed was not very forthcoming about the det I read this book on a plane flight from Portland to San Franciscoand while waiting in the airport.Mohamed is my neighbor so you can take these words with however much salt you care to apply He and I have had many encounters during the gestation of Stranger in the Pen about a great many subjects and over a great many cocktails I knew generally that the book was about his detention at Gatwick but didn t know any of the details of the story Mohamed was not very forthcoming about the details of the incident in our conversations Now I know whyWhen I finally got to read Stranger in the Pen , I found myself drawn into a world and a situation for which I had no reference in my own life In the easy switch between flashback reverie and present of his detention, Mohamed takes you on a journey through his family, childhood, questions about his nationality and about his home I found it fascinatingagain since most of the situations are so foreign to the experiences of my own life.In a short discussion after my return from San Francisco, I compared Stranger in the Pen to Stephen Hero a posthumously published original draft by James Joyce of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Joyce was unhappy with it and tossed it into the fire Joyce s wife Nora saved the manuscript from the fire I read it in the early 1970s.Some of the themes are similar what is my relationship to my family what does it mean to be Irish Kuwaiti where is home what is my place in the world what is my future etc The seamless shift among epiphany flashback reverie and the real world is a similarity as well.I found Stranger in the Pen an immensely satisfying readmostly in the ultimate strangeness of the central event of the story to my own experiences I enjoyed it very much You will too This short and engaging book takes you through the history of the author s detention at Gatwick airport, where he is placed in a holding area the pen to await a series of interrogations On the surface, the book is about that event, and how it is in our modern world that someone who doesn t fit a normal profile stands out for further scrutiny.What makes the story so powerful and engrossing is that while Mohamed is in the pen, for no reason other than who he is, he takes us on a journey throu This short and engaging book takes you through the history of the author s detention at Gatwick airport, where he is placed in a holding area the pen to await a series of interrogations On the surface, the book is about that event, and how it is in our modern world that someone who doesn t fit a normal profile stands out for further scrutiny.What makes the story so powerful and engrossing is that while Mohamed is in the pen, for no reason other than who he is, he takes us on a journey through his life while he searches for what it was that brought him to this point We travel with him through his past, to the places and cultures where he has lived in search of the place that he can call home Along the way, we learn about love, family, identity, and the burdens and blessings that they carry Mohamed s introspection becomes our own, and that is his gift to us Stranger in the Pen by Mohamed Asem is an honest, introspective memoir spearheaded by twelve hour of detention in UK customs It is a short book packed with raw emotions and flashbacks that enhance our understanding of the writer s character and personality People who live internationally and have non traditional social backgrounds will identify with the themes in this book the issue of identity and where do we belong in a globalized world that confusingly also requires us to fit into a cert Stranger in the Pen by Mohamed Asem is an honest, introspective memoir spearheaded by twelve hour of detention in UK customs It is a short book packed with raw emotions and flashbacks that enhance our understanding of the writer s character and personality People who live internationally and have non traditional social backgrounds will identify with the themes in this book the issue of identity and where do we belong in a globalized world that confusingly also requires us to fit into a certain category And what if you are neither here or there I would highly recommend this book to gain perspective and understanding of these issues Having heard that this book was coming out and having the opportunity to meet the author, I was excited when it was recently released In Stranger In The Pen, Mohamed Asem tells a story known to many international travelers of suspicion, prejudice and profiling This is nothing new in Occidental countries but has become far worse over the past several decades The fact that this could take place in England to a legal resident and homeowner who also carried a US passport, and in the end for no go Having heard that this book was coming out and having the opportunity to meet the author, I was excited when it was recently released In Stranger In The Pen, Mohamed Asem tells a story known to many international travelers of suspicion, prejudice and profiling This is nothing new in Occidental countries but has become far worse over the past several decades The fact that this could take place in England to a legal resident and homeowner who also carried a US passport, and in the end for no good reason, seems hard to imagine The only good to come out of this experience is this terrific book This is far from being only a story of 24 hours of terror and adversity Mohamed moves seamlessly from the present to stories of his past, his family and his friends His ability to describe through these flashbacks provide a greater clarity to the story of his detention I found this story enjoyable, rewarding in a literary sense and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who loves good writing I hope this success will lead to other works of this quality Sam Pierce Airport detention narratives are becoming a genre of their own these days, but beyond all that Asem tells a lovely personal story about what it takes to live an authentic life as a citizen of the world Born in the US to Kuwaiti parents, who later got divorced, with his mother settling in Paris and his father returning to Kuwait, from the beginning of his life, our protagonist has had complex set of loyalties, family and regional alliances He doesn t take any of his relationships lightly, which Airport detention narratives are becoming a genre of their own these days, but beyond all that Asem tells a lovely personal story about what it takes to live an authentic life as a citizen of the world Born in the US to Kuwaiti parents, who later got divorced, with his mother settling in Paris and his father returning to Kuwait, from the beginning of his life, our protagonist has had complex set of loyalties, family and regional alliances He doesn t take any of his relationships lightly, which leaves him in particularly precarious state Loyalty is difficult to maintain when the people you love have become scattered in the world Maintaining loyalty in his case comes at the expense of finding and committing to his own path, or perhaps, he s still in the beginning of his process of discovering his voice and language French Arabic English Our protagonist is also a charming narrator, weaving the pieces of his story intricately to both create tension and tell us all that we need to know to understand the complex sources of his personal strife This was a deeply personal memoire which enabled me to truly feel the fear of being caught in the no man s land which is airport immigration However to leave it in that place, the room in which Mohamed was unjustly held, would be to do the author a disservice because he also paints a picture of his unsettled life outside Unsettled in as much as the picture he paints is of his almost nomadic life, leaving you feeling palpably what it must be like to not really know where is home, where truly This was a deeply personal memoire which enabled me to truly feel the fear of being caught in the no man s land which is airport immigration However to leave it in that place, the room in which Mohamed was unjustly held, would be to do the author a disservice because he also paints a picture of his unsettled life outside Unsettled in as much as the picture he paints is of his almost nomadic life, leaving you feeling palpably what it must be like to not really know where is home, where truly feels like home Because home means so much to me personally the idea of not being settled or knowing where one belongs is a kind of nightmare The airport space pen in which Mohamed is left for so many hours is vividly described I felt I was there with him whilst at the same time being fascinated by his meditation on love, friendships and family It was a book which inevitably left me feeling sad but at the same time enriched by the insight into another culture and what it means to be degraded by the suspicion of others