Raza Ali’s story with its intense narrative is like a trip to Libya as you get a glimpse of life there closely through these lives.
Misurata– that sleepy town some two hundred miles east of Tripoli– had been in the news lately. It had become a key centre in the revolt against Gaddafi. Its quiet streets and the town square had become scenes of bloody and brutal conflict. To Faraz, it all seemed so far away and his time there a distant dream. He remembered the interview in a hotel in downtown Toronto some three decades ago—the first step in the process that had led him to a town that he had never heard of—to a job that even then had seemed like something of a mirage.
Job interviews had always struck him as somewhat bizarre. How could a twenty-minute encounter with its series of fake questions and answers determine whether you would turn out to be a good employee? Or whether the job would turn out to be the “right fit” for you? This particular interview was even more bizarre than most. The interviewer had never identified himself for one thing; for another, he had not asked Faraz any questions about himself. Nothing about how his students would describe him, or how he saw himself in ten years. It was sufficient that his resume indicated he had university degrees, and to his relief, he did not have to explain the periods of un- and under-employment which were somewhat glossed over in the resume.