The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity, to put it simply.
Lovers often invest their first meetings with retrospective significance, as if to try to conjure the elements of the numinous out of the stubborn witness of the everyday.
Religion is part of the human make-up. It's also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy.
If you look at any Muslim society and you make a scale of how developed they are, and how successful the economy is, it's a straight line. It depends on how much they emancipate their women.
I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Not necessarily designed to exclude others, this can establish a certain comity and, even after a long absence, re-establish it in a second.