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Drummers, Dancers, and Actors Needed for Music Video on Healing from Cancer through Music

My band, Iraqis in Pajamas, is filming the music video for our song, “Cancer Is My Engine.” Click here for song music, lyrics, and back story. We’ll be filming scenes with extras on Sept 3 and filming with the band only on Sept 4, in the greater Seattle area. We need extras for drumming, dancing, and acting out a chasing scene. Here is the current storyboard for the music video. Please contact me if you are or you know someone who might be interested in participating.

  1. Opens with Loolwa in dark forest, eyes closed, holding candle tight – image of faith – sings words, “Cancer Is My Engine,” words magically light the candle. 
  2. Loolwa begins walking through forest with candle in front of her – walk of faith
  3. Cut to drumming circle (incorporating social distancing, shooting at separate times, doing composite footage so it looks like one cohesive circle).
  4. Cut to doctor, surgeon, insurance reps who appear and start chasing Loolwa. She starts running, deep into the forest, away from them.


**This article first appeared in Moxie magazine in 1999.**

I waltzed into the crowded Elat kosher market just two hours before doors closed for Passover. It had been years since I lived in Los Angeles or New York, and I had forgotten the feeling of being able to buy everything within my grasp. With the excitement of a child in a toy store, I walked around gaping at the aisles and aisles of shelves displaying “Kosher for Passover” products, stopping dead in my tracks when I saw ten brands of rice staring back at me. I grew up seeing gefilte fish, herring, chopped liver, and every other Ashkenazi food in Passover selections, but never ever the rice or beans my Mizrahi family was permitted to eat for the holiday. Tears welled in my eyes as Persian Jews swirled around me: I was on home turf.

I eagerly sized up the many options before me, trying to figure out the best menu for my two-day stint in a dorm room with a mini-refrigerator. As I zipped past the cucumbers on my way to the potato salad, I was struck by the beauty of a young man standing straight ahead of me. As always, […]

Drawing Lines

**This article was first published in Moxie magazine in 2000.

In the United States, what we have come to know as “Jewish” encompasses just one subset of the Jewish people – the Ashkenazim, Jews from Northeastern and parts of Northwestern Europe. There are in fact many distinct Jewish communities from around the world. This essay refers to two such communities: Mizrahi Jews, or Mizrahim, lived in the Middle East and North Africa from the beginning of the Jewish people, four thousand years ago. Sephardic Jews, or Sephardim, are Jews who eventually ended up in Spain and Portugal but were murdered or expelled during the Inquisition of 1492. Those who escaped with their lives settled throughout the Ottoman Empire – encompassing many Mediterranean states – and countries throughout North, Central, and South America.

It was the holy day of Shbu’oth. I traveled up from Eilat to spend it in Jerusalem. I had the option of going to a free Jewish youth hostel in the old city. The hostel managers set up travelers with families, for Shabbath (sabbath) and holidays. But it was hopelessly Ashkenazi. And ultra-orthodox. It was out of the question. I went to a pricey youth hostel in the new […]