The dual transformation of John and Tania is the most American part of this story. What is America, if not a promise of infinite possibility, and ability to transcend one’s origins? John grew up wealthy, Christian, and patriotic; now he is poor, Muslim, and full of hate for his native land. Tania’s metamorphosis has taken the precise opposite form, as if the universe demanded symmetry in their stories, and decreed that she resume the prosperous suburban life that he left behind. They met in the middle, trading fates. His ending is probably already written. Her life, if she’s lucky, is just getting started (via).
What stuck me most about this story is the assurances of truth. John and Tania, on either sides of their transitions, are so very confident in what they know and how they know it, allow it to guide and direct their lives, even to the point of radicalism.
Which isn't all that different from so many of us. We may not be joining ISIS, but we are just as confident in our truths and way of life - we too have certainty in what will happen when we die, and it guides and directs our daily lives, even to the point of radicalism.