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Memo Ford

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    Native American writer, veteran, and father.

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  1. Assignment I: Story Statement: Defy the order to detonate a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. Assignment II: Protagonist Sketch: Abu Zil, the devil in human form and commander of a terrorist group, kidnapped the protagonist, Muhammad Jihad, and conscripted him as a child terrorist eight years ago in Syria. Now, in Las Vegas where he sent Muhammad Jihad as a sleeper agent, Abu Zil recalls Muhammad Jihad to duty and charges him with detonating a smuggled nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. Abu Zil, who has assumed the identity of a UNLV professor killed in Syria, wants to use Muhammad Jihad to spread hatred in the world and thereby prove himself to God. Through the use of brilliant logic, reason, dishonesty, double-talk, gaslighting, and other devious techniques, Abu Zil breaks down the mind and spirit of his protege. But when Muhammad Jihad continues to resist his orders, Abu Zil--omniscient, omnipotent, and ubiquitous--unleashes mayhem, destroying Muhammad Jihad's bright future of medical school and marriage and bringing him to the brink of madness. Abu Zil is willing to destroy whatever necessary to defeat Muhammad Jihad, but his fundamental weakness is the power of love to overcome his machinations. If Abu Zil cannot keep Muhammad Jihad brainwashed into believing himself unlovable, all is lost. Assignment III: Titles: Nothing is Written I, Muhammad Jihad Assignment IV: Comparable Titles: Kafka On the Shore (Murikami): As with my work, this title is a coming of age story in which a protagonist travels through darkness attempting to avoid a terrible destiny all the while struggling to discern between what is real and what is not, and to reconnect with family, and to discover love in all its forms. Khalil (Khadra): As with my work, this title delves into the psychological torment of a would-be terrorist struggling to find a path away from committing an act of violence against innocents. Song of Achilles (Miller): As with my work, this title portrays the struggle of an epic hero to overcome powerful forces arrayed against him, to overcome destiny, and through acts of courage to earn the right to know love in this world and the next. Assignment V: Hook Line A university student, ordered to detonate a nuclear bomb in Las Vegas, bets his soul against the devil’s promise to cancel the attack if he does the impossible—find one woman who loves him. Assignment VI: Primary and Secondary Conflict The primary conflict is internal. Muhammad Jihad must find the strength and courage to defy Abu Zil's summons to detonate a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas, but he must first overcome the self-loathing and sense of worthlessness that has burdened him since he committed terrible acts as a child terrorist in Syria. Abu Zil, recognizing Muhammad Jihad's vulnerability, attacks each and every one of Muhammad Jihad's relationships to reinforce his sense of isolation and bring him into a state of despair and near-surrender. Only if Muhammad Jihad is willing to silence Abu Zil's voice inside his head and overcome his belief that he is so inherently bad it is impossible for others to love him will it be possible for him to see things as they truly are and choose his own path. The secondary conflict is external. Despite telling everyone in his life about the terrible circumstances and Abu Zil's order, Muhammad Jihad is dismissed as mentally ill, abandoned, and betrayed. Without external sources of validation and support, Muhammad Jihad is rendered even more vulnerable to Abu Zil's deceits. Only a last-ditch gamble, where Muhammad Jihad wrangles Abu Zil into giving him a reprieve if he can prove even one woman loves him, can prevent Muhammad Jihad from surrendering and carrying out the horrific order to nuke Las Vegas. Assignment VII: Setting I, Muhammad Jihad, is set temporally in the past, present, and future. Geographically, the story is set in war-torn, blood-soaked Gaza; in ISIS-controlled territory and terrorist training camps in Syria; in the Las Vegas metropolitan area from swank Summerlin to the Naked City in North Las Vegas to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam; and in NYC at the Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard. The chaos of battle, the burning desert sun, the contrast between social classes, and the pull of contemporary popular culture help characterize the setting. Gaza contextualizes how Muhammad Jihad not only came to harbor ideologies that contribute toward his radicalization but also the countervailing knowledge and wisdom imparted by his aunt, who adopted him on the death of his parents. Syria describes the process of attachment formation to Abu Zil and the commission of the acts that undermine Muhammad Jihad's self-concept as a worthy, lovable person. New York is where Muhammad Jihad hits rock bottom and decides to battle against Abu Zil. Las Vegas is the grand stage upon which the important acts of the final month of Muhammad Jihad's life are played out.
  2. Assignment I: Story Statement: Defy the order to detonate a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. Assignment II: Protagonist Sketch: Abu Zil, the devil in human form and commander of a terrorist group, kidnapped the protagonist, Muhammad Jihad, and conscripted him as a child terrorist eight years ago in Syria. Now, in Las Vegas where he sent Muhammad Jihad as a sleeper agent, Abu Zill recalls Muhammad Jihad to duty and charges him with detonating a smuggled nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. Abu Zil, who has assumed the identity of a UNLV professor killed in Syria, wants to use Muhammad Jihad to spread hatred in the world and prove himself to God. Through the use of brilliant logic, reason, dishonesty, double-talk, and other devious techniques, Abu Zil breaks down the mind and spirit of his protege. But when Muhammad Jihad continues to resist his orders, Abu Zil--omniscient, omnipotent, and ubiquitous--unleashes mayhem, destroying Muhammad Jihad's bright future of medical school and marriage and bringing him to the brink of madness. Abu Zil is willing to destroy whatever necessary to defeat Muhammad Jihad, but his fundamental weakness is the power of love to overcome his machinations. If he cannot keep Muhammad Jihad brainwashed into believing himself unlovable, for Abu Zil all is lost. Assignment III: Titles: I, Muhammad Jihad The Gifter's Bargain The Roadblock Assignment IV: Comparable Titles: Kafka On the Shore (Murikami): As with my work, this title is a coming of age story in which a protagonist travels through darkness attempting to avoid a terrible destiny all the while struggling to discern between what is real and what is not, and to reconnect with family, and to discover love in all its forms. Song of Achilles (Miller): As with my work, this title portrays the struggle of an epic hero to overcome powerful forces arrayed against him, to overcome destiny, and through acts of courage to earn the right to know love in this world and the next. Assignment V: Hook Line A university student, ordered to detonate a nuclear bomb in Las Vegas, bets his soul against the devil's promise to cancel the attack if he does the impossible: find one woman who truly loves him. Assignment VI: Primary and Secondary Conflict The primary conflict is internal. Muhammad Jihad must find the strength and courage to defy Abu Zil's summons to detonate a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas, but he must first overcome the self-loathing and sense of worthlessness that has burdened him since he committed terrible acts as a child terrorist in Syria. Abu Zil, recognizing Muhammad Jihad's vulnerability, attacks each and every one of Muhammad Jihad's relationships to reinforce his sense of isolation and bring him into a state of despair and near-surrender. Only if Muhammad Jihad is willing to silence Abu Zil's voice inside his head and face his deepest fears will it be possible for him to see things as they truly are and choose his own path. The secondary conflict is external. Despite telling everyone in his life about the terrible circumstances and Abu Zil's order, Muhammad Jihad is dismissed as mentally ill, abandoned, and betrayed. Without external sources of validation and support, Muhammad Jihad is rendered even more vulnerable to Abu Zil's deceits. Only a last-ditch gamble, where Muhammad Jihad wrangles Abu Zil into giving him a reprieve if he can prove even one woman loves him, can prevent Muhammad Jihad from surrendering and carrying out the horrific order to nuke Las Vegas. Assignment VII: Setting I, Muhammad Jihad, is set temporally in the past, present, and future. Geographically, the story is set in war-torn, blood-soaked Gaza; in ISIS-controlled territory and terrorist training camps in Syria; in the Las Vegas metropolitan area from swank Summerlin to the Naked City in North Las Vegas to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam; and in NYC at the Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard. The chaos of battle, the burning desert sun, the contrast between social classes, and the pull of contemporary popular culture help characterize the setting. Gaza contextualizes how Muhammad Jihad not only came to harbor ideologies that contribute toward his radicalization but also the countervailing knowledge and wisdom imparted by his aunt, who adopted him on the death of his parents. Syria describes the process of attachment formation to Abu Zil and the commission of the acts that undermine Muhammad Jihad's self-concept as a worthy, lovable person. New York is where Muhammad Jihad hits rock bottom and decides to battle against Abu Zil. Las Vegas is the grand stage upon which the important acts of the final month of Muhammad Jihad's life are played out.
  3. Assignment I: Story Statement: Defy the order to detonate a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. Assignment II: Protagonist Sketch: Abu Zil, the devil in human form and commander of a terrorist group, kidnapped the protagonist, Muhammad Jihad, and conscripted him as a child terrorist eight years ago in Syria. Now, in Las Vegas where he sent Muhammad Jihad as a sleeper agent, Abu Zill recalls Muhammad Jihad to duty and charges him with detonating a smuggled nuclear weapon in Las Vegas. Abu Zil, who has assumed the identity of a UNLV professor killed in Syria, wants to use Muhammad Jihad to spread hatred in the world and prove himself to God. Through the use of brilliant logic, reason, dishonesty, double-talk, and other devious techniques, Abu Zil breaks down the mind and spirit of his protege. But when Muhammad Jihad continues to resist his orders, Abu Zil--omniscient, omnipotent, and ubiquitous--unleashes mayhem, destroying Muhammad Jihad's bright future of medical school and marriage and bringing him to the brink of madness. Abu Zil is willing to destroy whatever necessary to defeat Muhammad Jihad, but his fundamental weakness is the power of love to overcome his machinations. If he cannot keep Muhammad Jihad brainwashed into believing himself unlovable, for Abu Zil all is lost. Assignment III: Titles: I, Muhammad Jihad The Gifter's Bargain The Roadblock Assignment IV: Comparable Titles: Kafka On the Shore (Murikami): As with my work, this title is a coming of age story in which a protagonist travels through darkness attempting to avoid a terrible destiny all the while struggling to discern between what is real and what is not, and to reconnect with family, and to discover love in all its forms. Song of Achilles (Miller): As with my work, this title portrays the struggle of an epic hero to overcome powerful forces arrayed against him, to overcome destiny, and through acts of courage to earn the right to know love in this world and the next. Assignment V: Hook Line Muhammad Jihad, a troubled university student ordered to detonate a nuclear bomb in Las Vegas, bets his soul against the devil's promise to call off the attack if he finds even one woman who truly loves him. Assignment VI: Primary and Secondary Conflict The primary conflict is internal. Muhammad Jihad must find the strength and courage to defy Abu Zil's summons to detonate a nuclear weapon in Las Vegas, but he must first overcome the self-loathing and sense of worthlessness that has burdened him since he committed terrible acts as a child terrorist in Syria. Abu Zil, recognizing Muhammad Jihad's vulnerability, attacks each and every one of Muhammad Jihad's relationships to reinforce his sense of isolation and bring him into a state of despair and near-surrender. Only if Muhammad Jihad is willing to silence Abu Zil's voice inside his head and face his deepest fears will it be possible for him to see things as they truly are and choose his own path. The secondary conflict is external. Despite telling everyone in his life about the terrible circumstances and Abu Zil's order, Muhammad Jihad is dismissed as mentally ill, abandoned, and betrayed. Without external sources of validation and support, Muhammad Jihad is rendered even more vulnerable to Abu Zil's deceits. Only a last-ditch gamble, where Muhammad Jihad wrangles Abu Zil into giving him a reprieve if he can prove even one woman loves him, can prevent Muhammad Jihad from surrendering and carrying out the horrific order to nuke Las Vegas. Assignment VII: Setting I, Muhammad Jihad, is set temporally in the past, present, and future. Geographically, the story is set in war-torn, blood-soaked Gaza; in ISIS-controlled territory and terrorist training camps in Syria; in the Las Vegas metropolitan area from swank Summerlin to the Naked City in North Las Vegas to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam; and in NYC at the Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard. The chaos of battle, the burning desert sun, the contrast between social classes, and the pull of contemporary popular culture help characterize the setting. Gaza contextualizes how Muhammad Jihad not only came to harbor ideologies that contribute toward his radicalization but also the countervailing knowledge and wisdom imparted by his aunt, who adopted him on the death of his parents. Syria describes the process of attachment formation to Abu Zil and the commission of the acts that undermine Muhammad Jihad's self-concept as a worthy, lovable person. New York is where Muhammad Jihad hits rock bottom and decides to battle against Abu Zil. Las Vegas is the grand stage upon which the important acts of the final month of Muhammad Jihad's life are played out.
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