“Outlier, outlaw, outcast: The improbable scientific career of Tamer Elsayed“–Jeffrey Mervis, Science Magazine
“Elsayed has just self-published an autobiography, Inadmissible. It is not your usual story of a life in science. In frank and poignant prose …”–Jeffrey Mervis, Science Magazine
“Once he was incarcerated, however, survival skills took precedence over book learning. He learned to endure all manner of random violence …”–Jeffrey Mervis, Science Magazine
“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, and the University of Southern California also wanted him.“–Jeffrey Mervis, Science Magazine
“Even more painful, he writes, is the inspiration for the book’s title: a permanent ban on returning to the United States, where his young daughter lives …”–Jeffrey Mervis, Science Magazine
On December 29, 2014, I was contacted by Jeffery Mervis, Senior Correspondent for Science Magazine:
“Tamer: I just finished your book, and it’s an amazing story! My editor thinks that our readers would be very interested in hearing about the incredible things that have happened to you. …”
This was the beginning of the email I received and I had to pause for a few seconds to get a hold of myself. The world famous Science Magazine is interested in my story, in my book! I certainly didn’t expect that! I wrote the book as self-therapy and thought it could help motivate others. I am humbled by the reaction to the book and the article in Science. Please take a look at it when you get a chance and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog:
This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Writing this book has been agonizing because I had to relive a lot of painful memories and try to remember them in detail so I could put them on paper. The saying “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover” applies here; read it first then you can judge away! But the story is amazing, almost fictional in some parts; the roller-coaster ride I’ve been on for the past twenty-something years is over. I’m finally at peace and proud of what I’ve accomplished. Go to http://www.InadmissibleTheBook.com and take a look; you won’t regret it!
Inadmissible chronicles the unlikely story of a young Egyptian who emigrated to the U.S. in pursuit of the American dream, and how his one mistake—claiming to be a U.S. citizen in order to qualify for federal student loans—landed him behind bars along with some of America’s most notorious offenders, and slated him for immediate deportation upon the end of his prison term.
Five years later, however, the Egyptian student would earn his PhD from one of the finest scientific research universities in the U.S.—Caltech—only to find himself, once again, on the wrong end of the American justice system. Only this time the separation from his American daughter would be forever, as he remains in the eyes of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Inadmissible.
The memoir chronicles the flaws in the American justice system that mark felons for a lifetime of discrimination, and immigration laws that rip apart families and leave the most vulnerable—the children—without parents.
It’s an account of innocence and youth; of persistence and heartbreak; of unsuspecting underdogs and egotistical overlords. But ultimately it’s the true tale of one man’s journey, lived through believing in himself and believing in the good hearts of the people who stuck by him.
Have you thought about writing and publishing a book? Well, I have! The experience is fun and very fulfilling. I started by writing, just writing, and it was exciting at the beginning but then the whole thing fizzled down. It’s hard to stay focused and continue the long journey—86,000 words in my case. I had to first look up the genre of my intended book and found out I needed to write between 75,000-90,000 words for my book to be taken seriously. After a hot start, I started to get lazy and postpone my daily assigned tasks. Maybe because my book is a memoir and having to live some of the hardest moments of my life all over again was very tough. But I found my pace of 1,000 words per day. After that, I entered a stage of cruise-control and was able to finish my first draft. I bought a very good book titled “APE: Author, Publisher, entrepreneur” by Guy Kawasaki, which is ranked one of the top ten books in the field of self-publishing. I learned that the process involves 3 stages: writing, publishing, and marketing. I also learned that I must hire a professional editor to copyedit my book, which is a must for all self-published authors. In parallel, I set up a website for my book, reserved a Facebook page for it and did everything needed for the marketing stage myself. One important thing I also learned is that one should not write a book just for the sake of advancing a career or gaining credibility; it has to add value to people’s lives, inspire others to become better. I also learned the intricate details of which publisher to pick in order to reach a wide audience, and how to do the formatting myself to meet the requirements of the various venues through which the book will be distributed. I also approached a freelance photographer to obtain the rights for my book cover. Inadmissible, the title of my memoir, will be out next month. I will keep you all updated!
Tamer’s website is in the process of moving to a new host. The first blog post is coming soon!