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Hello, my friends! Today’s show is an interview with Arab-American author Hend Hegazi, who has just published her second novel about gratefulness, forgiveness, and the universal yet hidden struggles we all deal with.

“Sometimes you’re missing that forgiveness in your own life, or you’re missing that love in your own life. And when you can write it down — when you can make a story — then you can get to feel those emotions that you so desperately need.”

Hend, who currently lives and writes in Egypt (and had to Skype in at something like 1:00 a.m. to make this call happen), is originally from the state of Massachusetts in the USA, where she studied at Smith College in preparation to become an optometrist — until tragedy struck her family.

“I try to be grateful for everything… but that doesn’t mean my life is free from difficulty.”

I loved Hend’s frank honesty, sense of humor, and insights about truth, faith, love, hatred, inclusivity, and being different — both as a Muslim-American in her life in the USA and as an educated, English-speaking woman living in Egypt.

“I’ve been a minority my entire life… When you’re the only girl in your high school who wears hijab, you get used to it. You have no option but to just be strong enough to deal with everything that comes your way.”

And bonus — Hend treats us to a reading from her newest book, Behind Picket Fences.

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode. You can listen to it using the controls above or on iTunes — and, while you’re at it, be sure to get your own copy of Hend’s books, visit her website, or follow her on Facebook. 🙂

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