I was snuggled in my favorite corner seat on the B train, enjoying a quiet night on my way home. My stop coming up ahead, I reached for my trusty little purse and rooted for my keys, fruitlessly. A little more frantically, I reached into my jacket pockets, pants, and turned my purse upside down for a thorough check. Still, nothing.
Speak Arabic, they cajoled. Speak your mother tongue: Once it flows, it will flow like the sweetest honey.
Recently, I felt close to understanding my purpose and meaning in life. Yet, if you asked me what that exact meaning was, I couldn't tell you. I just know I felt challenged, alive, and right where I was supposed to be. Happy, even. A day or two later, the spark stuttered and weakened. I don't say … Continue reading #52essays2017- Week 3 – A prayer
The fragrant smell and steam of basmati rice and stew waft and mingle in the air, warming the house. Yet, my 16 year old hands grip the wood banister, fingertips turning white hot with rage. I look down at my exasperated mother who paces in the living room below.
Week 1- Am I really doing this? "ENFP (extroverted, intuitive, feeler, perceiver) personalities tend to get excited by big ideas but have a hard time finishing through." I still remember the first time I heard that statement and how defensive my reaction was. I can start and I can finish! Just watch! ... Often times, I … Continue reading #52essays2017: Week 1
When you're white, the world is made for you. Is it just me? I glance and try not to stare, wondering what it's like not be an Other. I look away bitterly whist fully yet I know I want to be myself. Do I? Want that? To be Me? For when you're white, the world is … Continue reading Who is the world made for?
Today I put on my hijab in solidarity with Muslim women afraid to step outside, along with all other minorities being verbally or physically attacked. I honestly thought that the most impactful part of my day would be going to and from work, and any shopping I do after. I didn't think it would matter to people who already knew my background.
A lone Arab cop leans against the curlicued black railing, eyes darting back and forth. A faded sign that says "Ahlan Wa sahlan" (except the "ah" is technically missing) and the translated "welcome" is propped up on the Yemin storefront cafe.
A few years ago, I was having lunch with a friend and was sharing what it felt like to keep my secret from my family. I felt guilt at hurting our relationships and the distance it created, I felt fear that they wouldn't want to associate with me, and I was constantly in hiding. I imagined … Continue reading On acceptance
In hijab, you can't really hide. You become used to being seen, noticed, judged, or even gawked at. More than ever, it's become an act of courage in the face of hate.