Having lived abroad for two decades, you can call me a Third Culture Kid (TCK), please see definition below.

I grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 1968-1975. I often heard the term TCK, Third Culture Kids or global nomad—soon to realize that I was a part of this niche. The following educational and insightful book is a must read for everyone, “Third Culture Kids The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds” by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken.

Denizen defines “TCK” here: http://www.denizenmag.com/third-culture-kid/

What Paris and traveling to exotic places with my parents has given me is a fondness for exploring the unique value of our inherent and interesting cultures. This all helped me to discover how each culture played a unique role in determining who I am. As we embrace and enjoy these cultures, we break through and move closer to one another.

The Kindness of a Perfect Stranger

Two months ago, I received an email from an unknown person, who resides in Saudi Arabia. I always resorted to my father’s photos in anticipation that they would assist me throughout my writing journey. Previously I developed several YouTube videos from my beloved, late father’s library of photographs. His plethora of pictures chronicled excerpts of our life in Jeddah from 1968-1975. I shared my YouTube videos on the internet because I, merely, wished to share with others a seemingly rare glimpse into historical Jeddah.  This unfamiliar person contacted me in response to my YouTube video “About Jeddah”.

Shortly, I would hand my manuscript to my publisher. However, I received this foreigner’s particular and captivating email from Jeddah. I immediately thought about what my parents taught me “don’t talk to strangers”. Notwithstanding that this complete outsider contacted me via my father’s pictures; and, by virtue of the fact that he had “SO much to talk about” intrigued me, moreso. Still, this wonderful foreigner honored remarkably my father’s fifth anniversary of his death.

I immediately contacted two of my father’s buddies, and I performed my due diligence. They both confirmed that this newly-found visitor, Mansour S. Al Zamil, is Deputy General Manager of a leading industrial company. Mr. Al Zamil also founded a small museum in old Jeddah called “Jeddah Our Days of Bliss Magad Museum”, better known as “Jeddah Bliss” www.jeddahbliss.com. Two days thereafter, I replied and wondered: What on earth would my aforementioned newcomer, from a land of my past childhood, ever desire totalk SO much about’?

I share with you how this perfect stranger reciprocated via email with the most eloquent and honorable act of kindness which I’d ever witnessed:

What people did is they downloaded your video from YouTube and paused at each picture and took a screen shot of it.  The result was pictures which were not clear.  However, some people must have found a site where some of your Dad’s pictures were posted, because their pictures are a bit clearer.  Do you know of any site with your Dad’s pictures posted on them?This is also to show you how grateful we the people of Jeddah are to your Dad for taking these pictures and showing us today what and how life was like then. My museum would love to sponsor the publication of your book in return for the non-exclusive rights to usage of copies from these photos. I will create an event in my museum in memory of the beautiful man who took them. I am publishing a book called ‘Jeddah 1969’.”

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Mansour’s heartwarming gesture filled me with joyous tears. His email arrived in the timeliest fashion. I embraced his graciousness. I shall forever remain grateful for my friend’s flowing benevolence.

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