It seemed right to layer the call of the muezzin in Abuja, which I recorded early this year over the call I recorded in Eastern Anatolia. Culture doesn’t clash. It reverberates. Sometimes there’s dissonance. Sometimes the resonance is too much, causing a bridge in Tacoma to collapse into the Puget Sound. But culture doesn’t clash. Culture’s not two trains that either collide or don’t collide. It’s waves intermingling. It’s music. That four-year old boy on the Ferris wheel waving in southern Maryland’s named Issa: the Quranic name for Jesus.
Nate Haken was born and raised in West Africa. After college, he was a reporter in Illinois, a cook in the Caribbean, homeless in Texas, and a hitchhiker in Mexico (where he was repeatedly told by truck drivers that his Spanish is very poor.) Nate disagrees. He feels that his Spanish is excellent. His haiku was once published by a Buddhist temple in Japan. His fiction was once translated into French. He now works on conflict assessment and early warning projects in Africa. You can read his blog, which he occasionally updates, here.