It’s a confluence of many things. Of many an intertwined tale. With many an excuse on offer. But this isn’t about those things. It’s rather a simple admission of new beginnings.

The gist is that I’ve given up the trappings of a formal 8 to 5 job to engage better with what I care about and am perhaps even somewhat reasonable at – writing. From today forth, I am no longer in full-time bondage to the man, but eking a life through pen and keyboard.

To a backdrop of warning klaxon blaring, my scribblings diverge into two camps.

To keep body and soul together and a roof over the both, I am appropriating the guise of professional pen for hire for businesses, magazines and newspapers. I’ve been doing it in professional capacity for a number of years, and know enough to toss the dross in favour of pointed simplicity, with a dash of elegance if you will (Did I mention my modesty is a also key selling point?). A separate web portal for my copywriting work is in progress, and will be up and running soon. A shout out here to Mr Burgess and the crew at FishBallon Creative who have been very handy with advice.

I am excited about this, because I have in past work lives seen many maimed and tortured words. I would want to pen pristine copy that will put these poor lettered creatures out of their misery.

The longer term goal is to persist in trying to make whatever minute difference I can by harping on community events enriching our collective existence. I will continue to scribble columns paid or otherwise, blog, work with regional initiatives and generally contribute whichever way I or my pen can.

With the mornings to call my own, I want to become more involved in volunteering for noble initiatives such as the PCRF (Palestinian Children Relief Fund),  which sends injured and maimed Palestinian children abroad for treatment. 30 of them were in Dubai recently, and it remains a sore point that I could not contribute in any way to their well-being or stay here.

There is also a Dubai novel somewhere in the works, but I would be getting ahead of myself if I said it were any more than a pipedream at this stage.

It’s not presumptuous to say that we – all of us – are building in Dubai a community we can be justly proud of: from Bold 2010 to the Geekfests, the Al Quoz art galleries run by determined young women to the worker care package initiatives, the shawarma entrepreneurs to techy startups, brilliant morning radio talk shows to student-run streaming channels; youth websites to blogger freedom movements, amateur theatre to literature festivals; all of it.

#IamHereBecauseILikeDubai, as I know many of us are. After much contemplation, I am standing up to be counted in any way I can. The plunge will at first be painful, but that sordid parachute must open at some stage. Right? Right. Viva La Community!

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