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Creative writer, aspiring musician and educator on the sacred dimensions of the creative process

A powerful epiphany descended upon me today while attending a local jet-ski show named Livin’ the American Dream! … the band Pilot, whose voice serenaded the loud speaker, sang the line that brought me into deep introspection:

Not a penny in my pocket, Keep on but not alone, Keep the flags flying at home!

I was immediately taken back to my Oud practice earlier in the day, when I was learning one of the oldest Arabic folk songs titled This beautiful One! by the Egyptian composer Sayyid Darwish. In that song, the same line above reincarnates in a similar context:

by Dr. Ali Hussain

The Last Guardian

I have never played a video game that so impeccably conveys the organic and messy movement of life like The Last Guardian. Between the occasional absent-mindedness of Trico, the gentle giant and mythical beast, and clumsy movements of the protagonist, simply known as the boy, I found myself often frustrated at my inability, as the gamer, to make everything happen immediately. Then, at sudden epiphanic moments, I come to realize that The Last Guardian, despite the frustration, is brilliantly conveying the natural trajectory of life: organic, unpredictable and at its own pace.

You play as an…

What is the role of language in expressing what artistic inspiration and the creative state seek to achieve? Can human speech even allude with limited letters, imprisoned words, and narrow sentences to the insanity of the artist whilst they reside in a space outside of place and in a moment distant from time?

This is how I introduce the chronicle of my journey with the creative process, Art in Memoirs: Setting Forth in the preface. …

by Dr. Ali Hussain

Photo by Saj Shafique. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Growing up across the East and West, I always felt intuitively that distinct cultures exhibit different aspects of the transcendent Sacred. The emotions evoked by Arabic music, in its rich modal system of maqāmāt (stations), vary tremendously from the subtle harmony of Western music. Likewise, the vivid display of passion in Eastern drama contrasts with the illusive narrative tension that pierces through the skin of an actor in the Western moving arts.

Of course, underlying these various forms of cultural expressions lies the spring of language. It is the distinction in languages that highlights the kaleidoscopic…

Ali Hussain

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