Dear friends,

Some of you might remember that I have mentioned in the past that I was planning to do a “coming out” of my “anonymity closet” on the 10th anniversary of my blog, on May 1, 2017.  Well, turns out that I had a better opportunity to do that just a little earlier upon the request of my friend Sheikh Imran Hosein who talked me into agreeing to a video interview for him.  I will be honest, I absolutely hate public speaking of any kind, and a video camera, even my own, makes me feel like I am sitting on a mount of red ants.  Also, this was my first video interview ever.  By temperament I am a *student* first and an *advisor* second: in other words, a “behind closed doors” kind of person.  I hate the limelight and I am much more comfy with my very-thin anonymity as “The Saker” than showing my face (and overgrown belly) to the public.  But I just did not find the courage to say “no” to such a respected and dear friend like the Sheikh.  So, friends, folks and neighbors – here I am for all to see  (sigh, cold shiver down the spine, deep breath).

I have a request.  Even though my anonymity is pretty much long gone now, let’s just keep things as they were, okay?  Keep calling me “The Saker” – just think of it as a pen name if you want.  And, please, don’t focus too much on me.  What matters are the issues and what a person *does*.  Not who that person is.  So let’s pretend like you don’t know my real name and like you “forgot” who is interviewed in this video.  Believe it or not, I am kind of shy and not a social, nevermind public, person at all.

Still, I am happy that my “coming out” was with a Muslim friend.  Not only will that rattle some stinky cages, but it is also a tribute to all the kindness shown to me by my Muslim friends.

One more thing: there is no need to tell me that I don’t deserve the exceptionally kind words of praise of the Sheikh.  I know that.  Be assured that this praise is in no way a reflection of me, but it is a reflection of the Sheikh’s immense kindness and compassion for his fellow human being.  The fact that I am so unworthy of this praise says everything about the Sheikh’s kind heart.

Cheers and hugs to all,

The Saker

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