Interview with Mr. Josef  Karkouty, Shouroq Magazine

Gladys MatarOn this huge planet, where do you like to live?

Well, I seem to have managed to turn my laptop and an internet connection into some sort of a virtual human society of my own, where all the rules, the individuals, and their values fit me well. The economy has turned the space, or location, into a mere “idea” exactly as politics did to love!

There are mistakes man may commit, which one you tolerate in yourself?

The only blunder I can forgive myself for is giving those who have harmed me in one way or another, over and over again yet another chance to make good. At the end of the day, it is not healthy for one to live in a bubble of distrust. Love is the only “mistake” that flattens the road to trust again and again.

Who is your ideal icon when it comes to happiness on this earth?

Happiness is sort of an inner and very personal thing for me. I can’t simply copy an “ideal icon” or duplicate his/her actions or feelings. So, I don’t know about that. But what I do know is that when I complete an action or project I am most content and happy. Also, every time I cause someone to smile, or help him/her in whatever way, I feel happiness.

What do you think is the most attractive quality in a man?

His ability to be content and the feeling that lies behind that state of mind.

What do you like the most in a friend?

Loyalty! It is a rare, beautiful value.

What are your most valuable talents?

There is a very personal “ability” that I will share with you. I feel that I am perfectly able to sort of “own” whatever feeling, object, situation, etc. that come my way. Everything I lay my eyes on, I feel, becomes “mine” without having to actually own it. If I feel its presence it is mine without ownership, if that makes sense to you. I believe that everything you become aware of is yours. Richness is not “owning” something as much as perceiving it deeply. That makes it possible for me to “own” anything in the world and I tell you this is a most enjoyable ability.

Who are your real heroes on this earth?

We live in an age that is most closely likened to a “minefield” of time where we are all heroes as long as we are surviving. The simple man who is still surviving is my hero!

How do you wish to die?

Quietly and peacefully in my office, with my unfinished manuscripts, like a warrior in a battle field with his swore still dripping blood.

Which talent you wish to have?

If indifference is considered as a talent, well sometimes, I wish to have that. The matter of fact is that I am so concerned about what is going on around me that one day I may ask for healing.

What is your best quality!

Well, I don’t know. I am in harmony with myself…if we could consider this as quality!

How can you describe your state of mind now?

I guess I m like a movie director! I know life by heart…I sort of make it… but for intent and purposes I am practically still crawling on my four feet.

What do you hate the most?

A smile that is not a smile but covertly malicious and sarcastic.

Who are you? Did you choose your bourgeois life on purpose or you inherited it?

I don’t know if “seasoning” my talk with some French words here and there and playing the piano in the afternoon constitute a bourgeois life. My father was a very humble, highly learned and educated man that was loved by many due to his popular nature. I guess I am like him. I am a very simple woman and like simple life and enjoy the company of simple people. I understand deep down in my heart that life is illusive and frankly doesn’t seduce me a whole lot. I’d rather pay attention to what is more imperishable and immortal, i.e.: love and art!

How, then you describe love?

It is that feeling that allows a man and a woman to jump beyond their physical traits as man and woman. Love is the only spiritual “force” that is capable of “reshaping” humans beyond their man/woman existence. Otherwise, it could be instinct or lust or anything else but not “love”!