I was going through my image folders from a backup I made nearly 4 years ago when I found some pictures I thought were lost. They sure brought back some memories.
Back in the Summer of 2001, I was interviewed by a television crew from STV, one of the leading television companies in Turkey. The television crew interviewed roughly 30 Americans for broadcasting with Yeni Hayatlar (New Lives) during the 2001 Ramadan month in Turkey and the Turkish speaking world. My story was quite interesting for them for my experiences with Islam and the Muslim communities in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic (See my website Salaam Central Asia to learn about my experiences in Turkey and Central Asia).
The interview went very well but I was not able to see a finished clip until December, 2001. I forgot about it until I met with Fetullah Gulen and his community in Pennsylvania on my way to Istanbul. I remembered that he told me that I looked different in person (he had already seen my program on STV via satellite). I had no idea what he meant until I arrived into Istanbul a couple days later.
During an advertisement for Yeni Hayatlar, I saw a ‘fat’ looking, umm, me on TV. Oh my God, nobody realized that interviewing me outside in very humid conditions, sweating profusing to boot, would, umm, make me look fat. The footage inside my apartment, I looked normal, but outside, oh my God!!! 🙂
Anyway, the series was a success and books are still being sold in Turkey. I still get occassional emails from Kazakhstan from Central Asians who saw me on STV. Finding me at SaigonNezumi.com kind of boggles them, I am not like the guy STV portrayed me as being very religious and spiritual. For me that is funny since I do not consider myself religious at all, though I am very spiritual 🙂
So have at it, here are my ‘fat’ pictures: