Monday, December 14, 2009

The other box..

Where r u from?
An Arab Iranian American..
Mixed up in a world.. no real belonging.. no real fit..
The paper says nationality?.. which box do I check.. will "other" work?
Will it explain the culture.. the experience.. the history I contain..
Will "other" be enough to distinguish me from the rest? To show the group to which I belong?
To which group do I belong??
I was never Arab enough for the Arabs..
Lack of Arabic bes bifham kol ishi.. I read and write but I don't speak..
I know Tale Spin.. not Adnan Wa Lina..
Handala around my neck but could I ever really understand?..
I'm the American in Jordan.. I'm the girl from New York.. the girl who's not like "other Arabs".. ghareeb…
In America I'm the Arab.. the chic with the weird name whose culture sets her apart from the rest..
Koran on our walls.. humus on our tables.. Um Kalthoum through our speakers..
I'm not American enough for the U.S of A...
A mystery of religion and rules and regulations..
"the girl who believes in Allah.. not God".. laa elaha ella Allah.. it's the same thing…..
In Iran I was asked not to speak.. "down with America" were signs painted on the walls.. It was dangerous…
Walking with my head up.. cloths too tight.. head scarf on wrong.. hair showing.. haram..
Raised by an Iranian father who lost his roots.. an "American"..
I was ignorant to the beauty of it all.. no knowledge of Ferdowsi or Isfahan..
Farsi harf namizanam...
I wasn't Iranian enough for the Iranians..
I am an "other"..
no real place.. no real group.. a mix of bits and pieces..
A combination of the freedom and opportunities of "the Western World".. the vastness.. the passport..
yet I contain the richness and culture of the Middle East.. the religion and the passion.. my malja'ee..
I am a mut in this world… a melting pot of my own kind..
Im proud to be an "other"!…


*bes bifham kol ishi- but i understand everything
*Tales spin- famous american cartoon
*Adnan wa Lina- famous arabic cartoon
*Handala- Palestinian political cartoon character
*ghareeb- strange/weird
*Um Kalthoum- famous Arabic singer
*laa elaha ella Allah- there is no god but God
*haram- sinner
*Ferdowsi or Isfahan- historical things from Iran
*Farsi harf namizanam- I do not speak Farsi
*malja'ee- sanctuary or shelter

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