I was born in a small, quite unassuming village resting on the bank of the Egyptian Nile delta. The narrow streets, the mud and windless houses connected like an old stalled cargo train. People’s lifestyles hadn’t changed that much since the time of the pharaohs, and local demographers couldn’t find any dramatic census changes for a long time, around a 1,000 with a slim margin of error.
Villagers lived the simple life of a farming community, and their interest in the outside world went only as far as the edge of their corn fields. At dawn, men left with their animals for work and came back at dusk, while their wives stayed home, busy preparing meals and raising kids to work on the farm as soon as they mastered their first steps. Women seemed to consult with the same fashion designer, where their costumes were traditionally made. People went to the same mosque, celebrated the same holidays, and for generations, villagers kept the gene pool very much confined to a singular gene pool!
Life for people was a simple one, rhyming with nature, everyone knowing everyone else. The village had one street, one barber shop, one grocery store, one school, one cemetery, and one mosque and everyone ate one kind of cheese; always feta, and always white. Egyptians look at cheese as a live food, and they don’t as a rule throw their cheese away; when it gets old they just give it another name and eat, from Qareesh, Barameely, Creamy, and when it gets rotten they call it, “Mesh” (Yacky Cheese).
Continue reading My First McVisit … was another American disappointment !!
Naomi Wadler, 11, an elementary school student from Alexandria, Va., spoke during the “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence last Saturday in Washington, D.C.
There is an Arab proverb that says “You eat alone, you die alone”, one which also applies here in America, albeit with a slight change; “You march alone, you die alone.”
Continue reading You March Alone, You Die Alone
International Women’s Day (IWD).. is a day that the world celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, “ March 8th, was designated by UN to not just celebrate women rights, but to call for actions to improve women rights and gender parity. However, Arab and Muslim women who have a long history of struggle for their economic, legal and social rights, their stories mostly ignored.
Continue reading Here are some Arab/Muslim Women to Remember on International Women’s Day!
White Privilege kills!!
For those who say people kill not gun, I would say what really kills is white privilege, not guns. We are living in a time, where a black kid could be shot by the police for holding a toy gun and young Muslims can be sent to life in prison for daring to think of a gun. At the same time, white folks are actually, buying and carrying, machine, and assault weapons, threatening and intimidating neighbors, teachers, friends and classmates under the watch eyes of our law enforcements, as in the latest shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. During the Summer of 2016, the Twin Cities watched the second biggest terrorism trial in America, lasting 17 days. Three young Somali men with ‘no history of violence’—which is actually the name of a new documentary by filmmaker Ellie Bernstein–were put on trial, and sentenced to a combined 95 years in prison for allegedly plotting to join ISIS although the three men pleaded not guilty. I attended some of the trial, where none of the jurors looked like peers of these young men. And question like “When you visited the mosque, did you recite jihad verses’ was asked of defendants.
Continue reading Guns don’t kill, White Privilege Kills,
Some people start their morning facing hard questions such as ‘what breakfast or coffee will I have?’ and ‘what shoe or shirt should I wear?’. Every morning however I wake up and ask myself, ‘who am I?’, ‘what identity am I wearing today?’. A time of anguish and doubt, an identity crisis in the making, my identity keeps on forming, evolving and regressing and is questioned every day.
When I left Egypt more than 30 years ago, I was a disgruntled, confused Egyptian, an Arab Muslim who was shopping around for a better life and better identity. Living 25 years of my life under a despotic dictatorship in Egypt, my personal identity was as a proud Egyptian; Arab or Muslim. That didn’t work well for me though, and defeat after defeat I left for America and escaped to a faraway place, a place that is as glamorous as their movies and seducing as their bottles of Coca-Cola.
Continue reading Muslim Americans: An Identity Crisis