Who am I ? A difficult question to answer. I was born in March in 1955. In the same month Claudette Colvin – a fifteen year old African American girl – was born. She decided not to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white woman after the driver demanded it. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his political debut fighting her arrest. Poets and storytellers where inspired by the choice she made at that time. Even recently, in 2009, Phillip Hoose won the 2009 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for his biography ‘Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice’.
On the thirtieth of that month my life started. I was born left-handed, a fact that is still relatively uncommon. One of my favorite famous individuals, Leonardo da Vinci (the Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, and writer) was left-handed.
I’m sure that these facts guided me to become the person I am: an independent left-handed woman who takes the words dignity and authenticity very serious. Of course the fact that I was born in Belgium in that part of the world where individual development was highly praised helped me to develop my skills first as a teacher, then as a coordinator of social projects finally becoming the journalist and the writer I am.
My writings gave me the opportunity to travel a lot in Europe and China, which resulted in lots of articles in several magazines and journals European wide, an International Journalism Award in Italy, three travel books and a book on modern Eastern Europe art. And last but not least my first novel ‘The Earth has Fever’ my debut. My writings have also put me on the road to the Sultanate of Oman, to Salalah in Dhofar, the Southern region. The place has inspired me to write the book ‘ The DNA of Salalah, Dhofar. A Tourist Guide’ (English). On general demand I decided to release a second book that was smaller in format, easier to carry around and was in two languages – Arabic and English. “I wanted it to be suitable for two worlds and its readers.” This book, Treasure Chest Salalah-Dhofar,also includes more photographs and tips on things to see than the previous edition. This guide led me on a journey of discovery and to the blog al’arba. And now there is my third book ‘Whispers of Oman’ (English), as e-book, with 38 portraits and photos. ‘Whispers of Oman’ is an inspirational book, mainly about women who took the opportunities their country offered to develop their skills and peruse the things they were good at. And still I am doing research…..because writing is a microbe. Being a journalist is a pleasure. Writing books is a dream come true.
And still I am dreaming on…