Why Gate37?

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First off, if you’re on this page, let me start by thanking you for taking the time to find out a bit more about this little project we’ve got going here. In simple terms, Gate37 is the first imprint of Keeward Publishing, and it is ostensibly a publishing house aimed at spreading creative projects, mainly writing, by those who have grown up in cross cultural backgrounds, those commonly known as Third Culture Kids.

This idea didn’t emerge in a vacuum. So here’s a bit of a back-story. I grew up in London, to Lebanese parents. Now, that in itself is deeply uninteresting. What is slightly more interesting is that my whole life I never quite figured out where the hell I was from. I mean, I spent hours obsessing over this notion of home, belonging and identity. I wrote academic theses on the subject. Granted the essays were rushed and poorly researched, much like most of my graduate education, but I was obsessed. Then one day someone told me about this concept of Third Culture Kids, TCKs. The idea that there was a sizable chunk of society that felt as rudderless as I did, and for the same reasons, gave me a peace of mind I’d never really experienced before. At the time I was working as an advertising copywriter, and fiddling about with a blog, so I didn’t know what to do with this newfound information, beyond talk about it around me.

A couple of years later I had published my first book, very much informed by the TCK experience, and started work at Keeward, a media company genuinely interested in changing the approach to a bunch of traditional media industries. I was also surrounded by people who understood what it meant to be disillusioned and deeply thankful at the same time. For the first time, I was surrounded by TCKs. So one day, during a chat with Cyril, my CEO, we were discussing ways to start an English-language publishing house.

I was blunt. I said I was obsessed with making it happen, but I didn’t want it to happen in Beirut, because the readership would be too small. I wanted New York. I said this half-jokingly, completely conscious that the mere suggestion of it was slightly ludicrous. But Cyril didn’t flinch. He’s one of those dreamer types, you see. He agreed. I told him we needed to stand for something though. Something big. I told him about my obsession with TCKs, with their inability to belong, and I wanted to start something where that was exactly what they could do: Belong.

Gate37 has been a labour of love. It’s been slightly delayed, but then again, any project worth doing suffers a set-back or two. So, here’s the plan for Gate37, and how I hope you’ll be involved. It’s starting as this rough draft of a website, just so we can get the word out, and the proper website will roll out in a couple of months. In the meantime, we’ll be producing e-books, videos and digital writing. Does that make us a publishing company? Well, today, yes. Publishing has always been about the production and dissemination of information and culture, and there’s no reason why in 2013, our message can’t be relayed through a series of different mediums. The story is same, whether its coming through your eyes, or your ears, or your gut. The story is the same.

Thank you for being interested in us. If you feel you fit into this category of people who can’t answer a question as simple as “Where is Home?” Get in touch. If you’re a photographer, a filmmaker, a musician. Get in touch. If you’re none of those, get in touch. That’s what it’s all about.

Nasri
Gate37, Founder.

Gate 37 Team

This is a product of the Gate 37 minions.

    11 Comments

    • Reply September 3, 2013

      MK

      I’m in. Love the concept.

      M

      • Reply September 10, 2013

        Nasri Atallah

        Thank you MK! Much appreciated.

    • Reply September 3, 2013

      Farah

      Hi,

      This sounds interesting although I haven’t totally grasped the idea yet. I am Jordanian, went to an American high school here in Amman, but did the English IGCSEs & A-Levels, I had also been sent to many summer boarding schools in various parts of the UK. I finished my BA at the American University of Beirut, in Lebanon & now I am married to an Englishman, Rob Stevens, who is a radio presenter, & who I met through Facebook.

      What really intrigued me to contact you is the fact that just a couple of days ago I was attacked by an anxiety of frustration & depression about where I belong & how I assort my loyalties & priorities.

      Good luck in this project & hopefully it will help answer a lot of questions & open a lot of minds that restrict the notion of “home” to the country of origin…

      Best,
      Farah

      • Reply September 10, 2013

        Nasri Atallah

        Hi Farah, I think part of the charm is that the idea isn’t easy to grasp. It’s all part of the introspection and solution-finding. Your panic attack is completely normal, I have one on at least a weekly basis. While I’ve given up on the notion of a tangible ‘home’, there’s still something missing in the set up. We need to have something that helps us belong somewhere. Starting Gate37 is my attempt to do that. Thanks for taking the time to get in touch.

    • Reply September 4, 2013

      Brigitte

      Hey there,

      I’m a TCK myself and I completely identify with this idea. I hope something fruitful will come out of it and best of luck to you on this project!

      Here’s a video that -even though the project is now over – I think is great and may serve as a tool/resource, or simply inspiration for you, too. I liked it a lot.

      http://www.indiegogo.com/whereishome

      Brigitte

      • Reply September 10, 2013

        Nasri Atallah

        Hey Brigitte, thanks for the kind words. We’re all this together, so if something fruitful comes out of it, I hope we can all learn from it. Thanks for the link. N

    • Reply September 4, 2013

      Stephen Greene

      My story is almost the opposite of yours. When I was a kid I knew what I was: English. As I got a bit older I started to assume part of my parents’ Irish identity as well. When I went to University I liked the idea of being European. Then I started travelling and it got very confusing. I now live in Brazil with my Brazilian wife (who thinks she is Scottish) and Brazilian/British/Irish son. As I have got older I have found I have moved further and further away from any stable notion of what I am and where I belong.

      • Reply September 10, 2013

        Nasri Atallah

        Ha! Stephen, that is brilliant (do you deep-fry cachaca when you think you’re a Brazilian-Scot?). I guess you fall into the category of what I’d call self-proclaimed TCKs (there’s a lot of material on existential migration, I’ll try to put together a post about that soon). That means that despite not having the developmental confusion related to TCKs, you still feel more fulfilled somewhere outside your ‘home’ culture. Also, there are worse places to end up than Brazil!
        N

    • Reply September 6, 2013

      reem khaled

      I’m work for qatar foundation in qatar, and have been living in the gulf all my life but don’t consider this place home at all and the govt makes sure i know that it isn’t which makes me hate my job and my life here. After 25 years i’m now looking to move out and start a life somewhere that i can consider home even if it isn’t where i’m from but at least somewhere that i feel a sense of belonging. Really like the idea of this project, keep it up and i’d love to help!

      • Reply September 10, 2013

        Nasri Atallah

        Reem, thanks a lot for the encouragement. What can I say, I guess it’s a lifelong quest. Even if that sounds cheesy. But definitely, some countries are more welcoming of diversity and crossculturalism than others. I’d head to one of those if I were you :)

    • Reply November 2, 2013

      BennyA

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