Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Bed of Red Flowers...

Yesterday I had the honour of interviewing Ms. Nelofer Pazira for Beyond. For those of you who aren't yet familiar with Beyond,it is an astonishingly beautiful and award-winning Canadian publication that explores what it means to be "truly human." I've known Karen, Beyond's publisher, since my student days at the Nazarene College in Calgary, and she has become a real creative mentor to me. Her tenacity and vision have kept Beyond all content. Yep, this magazine has NO ADS, intentionally! It's part of their philosophy. It's also got a lot of humour and charm. So it's been a privilege to write for Beyond over the past couple of years, and now I'll be doing a little more as a contributing editor. The theme of this upcoming issue is "a sense of place," so why don't you just head over there and subscribe?

Nelofer you may remember from the film Kandahar. She played the reporter, the main character, who returns to Afghanistan in the days of the Taliban to be reunited with her sister. The sister has vowed to committ suicide before an impending lunar eclipse, and the reporter goes through great struggles to intervene. The story behind Kandahar is actually based around Nelofer's own journey back to Afghanistan in hopes of seeing her best friend, Dyana. Now a gifted journalist and filmmaker living in Montreal, Nelofer has written a book called A Bed of Red Flowers, telling her family's story of life in war-torn Afghanistan, as well as their eventual journey to Moncton, New Brunswick as political refugees. It's a great book, which I wholeheartedly recommend. So I had a good talk with Ms. Pazira yesterday, and will be preparing the article as a narrative piece around our conversation. She has thought quite deeply about places and sacred spaces, and I, at least, have many questions about that theme, too.

So why not go subscribe to Beyond?

You may also like to see the charity that Nelofer has recently set up, the Dyana Afghan Women's Fund.


Blogger kimberley said...

your days aren't boring, are they?
i'm so proud of the good work you're doing Matthew. God loves you so much, to fill your days with such assignments.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Mira-cle said...

Wow, Matthew. It is so awesome to see you involved with this. May God strengthen you in all of your works!

10:17 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Thanks so much, Mira.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Congratulations on the interview! I reviewed Kandahar for Books & Culture way back when, but I've never interviewed anyone in connection with it.

I should probably check into Beyond magazine some time. Alas, I have a bit of a longstanding feud with one of its contributing editors, which is unfortunate, but what can you do.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Thanks Peter. I'm going to go read your piece.

7:50 AM  

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