I assume most of you have already this story of Firras Hassan, the American teenager of Iraqi origin who went to Iraq to practice “immersion journalism”.
What I think this kid’s story shows is the wide difference between middle eastern and western culture and the effect of each culture on the way people behave under influence from each one.
My first reaction to the story was “if he had lived in Iraq, he would in no way do what he did, no matter how idealist he is”.
I admit that I have heard stories from my parents and people of their generation about young Iraqis fleeing the country to Czechoslovakia because they were communists or fleeing to France because they had pen pals or girlfriends over there but that was back in the 1950s-1960s.
Since totalitarian regimes took over Iraq, that spirit of adventure and making initiatives began to fade away very fast and all what people cared about since then was survival.
Farris’s move was certainly naïve and idiotic but I can’t but admire his spirit.