I met my husband at a Renaissance Faire, where he was with his camera taking wonderful shots, as always. He was a part of the Guild of the House of Boann, whose guild master was (and is) the celebrated Katheryn Matthews.
My two boys, Yousef and Omar, got into the Renaissance picture pretty quickly, dressing up and stepping out with me to play act with mom. Could there be anything better? I love playing with them, as I know does their father in his own way. I feel happy my children have learned to live as inheritors of two cultures.
Yousef is studying for his architectural license. When he was a teen, he left beautiful, detailed,imaginative drawings scattered everywhere. Coming to live in America precisely at the moment he would enter high school was an amazing experience for him. He had never been allowed into a school with girls before (at least, not since kindergarten). All of his male cousins in Saudi Arabia were jealous. Besides architecture, Yousef enjoys art, traveling, bicycling, and meeting new people . He used to have an art gallery and still maintains one online at Ousfaughn.com. If you try it out, click on a cloud and keep clicking. . . even on the opening of the tent. It is an unusual and imaginative website! He does amazing artwork on pre-Islamic themes. Recently he has just taken a new job with an architect who is branching out on his own.
Omar is also artistic although computer programming is his passion. He prefers retro games–platform, 2-D. Like his brother, he is good at drawing and likes to put movies together. He put one together of himself dancing, when he was perfecting the shuffle. It got 6,000 views on Youtube, under the title Arabian Shuffle. That kind of dance can described as walking on air to electronic music. To me, the dance conveys the bridge between cultures that so many of us have crossed in our lifetimes:
A few years have passed since the picture with Uncle Steven to the left, and as for all of us, my family’s goals have changed a little–but not that much.
My father, Ray Simpson is a retired senior engineer at Philco-Ford), ex-marine, inventor and car enthusiast. He reads the L.A. Times book reviews every Sunday and then calls me to ask, “Why aren’t I reading about you in here?” His pride in the quality of my writing is the best award a writer could ask for, especially from a father who has been reading interesting books all his life. Sadly, he hates that I am a Muslim.
I have enjoyed writing and teaching writing these past years, and I will enjoy it as long as God gives me life. Inshallah!