Hi. I’m Omar. I tell stories.
One of my earliest memories from elementary school is when I received an assignment in which I was required to choose a career path. I’ll never forget the bewildered look my older brother shot my way when I told him what I wanted to be. While most of my classmates had chosen lofty goals such as doctor, astronaut or scientist, I had opted for the humble position of postal worker.
My brother looked at me with a smirk and asked incredulously “Of all the things, why would you choose to be a mailman?”
I explained that it simply seemed like a lot of fun to walk around my neighbourhood, explore the community and talk to people.
Nearly 20 years later and I’m still doing the same thing…albeit in a different capacity. As facetious as it may seem, I sometimes wonder if what sparked my adolescent interest in delivering mail is the same thing that compelled me to become a journalist. The prospect of seeing the world and never staying in one place has always fascinated me. As a youngster, I had the opportunity to witness the effects of war and poverty in a developing country. This (among other things) provided an additional push for me to pursue a career in journalism. I still hope to one day work abroad.
Personally, I have always believed journalists have a responsibility to write stories that make people think and feel. I don’t care how or what it makes you think or feel — as long as I elicit some kind of reaction from you, my job is done. Yes, we also have to inform the public and monitor those in power, but my favourite stories are those about real, everyday people, the experiences they go through and the issues that affect them.
As a reporter I am primarily interested in print and online formats. I am currently focused on non-fiction writing and taking a hiatus from poetry and short stories. I had hoped to publish a book by 25; that goal seems harder and harder to achieve these days, but not impossible.
When I’m not writing I love reading, learning, socializing with like-minded people, and unearthing the hidden gems of my favourite city in the world: Toronto. I like to consider myself creative, open-minded and imaginative. I have a good (if at times morose) sense of humour and appreciate the absurdities in life. I don’t like when people are ignorant, rigid or intolerant. My vices include: preoccupation with fantasy, a very unorthodox method of organization, reluctance to do math of any sort, and cheese.
Oh – I also like really cats. Like seriously.
- Literature (science fiction, fantasy, crime)
- Poetry (romantic era, beat, contemporary slam)
- Journalism (news, human interest, slice of life)
- Music (see below)
- History (especially early Americas, Mayan/Inca/Aztecs)
- Philosophy (existentialism, metaphysics)
- Politics (environmentalism, transit, sustainability, public space)
- Arts (visual, cinema, theatre)
- and existence.
- The Basketball Diaries
- Menace 2 Society
- Clockwork Orange
- Star Wars
- Natural Born Killers
- Fight Club
- Requiem for a Dream
- Dead Poets Society
- American Beauty
- Pulp Fiction.
- I am primarily into forward-thinking, atmospheric Drum and Bass/Jungle with a harder edge. Some of my favorite artists include: Goldie, Loxy & Ink, Outrage, Photek, Source Direct, Gremlinz, Stranjah, Doc Scott, Digital, Spirit, Technical Itch, Dylan, Fracture & Neptune, Nolige, Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch, Ed Rush & Optical, Calyx & Teebee, Sabre, Paradox, Equinox, ASC, Amit, Dillinja, Sabre, Fanu, Instra:Mental, Hive, Keaton, Evol Intent, Dom, Break, Breakage, Icicle, Future Cut…
- Alternative Hip-Hop/Rap (Wu-Tang, Cannibal Ox, Jedi Mind Tricks…)
- Instrumental Hip-Hop (Shadow, Krush, RJD2…)
- Trip-Hop (Portishead, Lamb, Massive Attack…)
- Alternative Rock (Rage Against The Machine, Tool, Moist)
- Breaks (Crystal Method, Icey, Prodigy…)
- IDM (Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin…)
- Atmospheric/Ambient Electronica (Bitter:Sweet, Delerium, Lull…)
- Punk & Ska (Leftover Crack, Choking Victim, Suicide Machines…)
- Some Metal (Especially Viking/Pagan, I.E Falkenbach)
- Classical (Tchaikovsky, Bach…)
- And any random obscure tune that pushes boundaries and yet maintains its soul.
- I take a lot of inspiration from existential authors. I also love literature from the gothic and romantic eras, as well as fantasy and science fiction. Some authors I enjoy include:
- Marie-Claire Blais
- Edgar Allen Poe
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Philip K. Dick
- R.A. Salvatore
- Franz Kafka
- Aleister Crowley
- William Shakespeare
- Robert Frost
- Robert Coram
- William Blake
- J. R. R. Tolkien
- Jim Caroll
- Søren Kierkegaard
- Aldous Huxley
- Lewis Caroll
- Allen Ginsberg
- And so many more…