30 Struggles Of Being An Arab Girl

Originally published on BuzzFeed July 21, 2014

“Arab, huh…that’s pretty exotic!”

1. “Are you sure you’re Arab? You don’t look Arab…”

Um, white folks, you may have forgotten, but you colonized the shit out of the Middle East (still kinda do). We come in all different shapes and sizes.

2. You ALWAYS get “randomly selected” for extra screening by the TSA.

Pulling an old white woman aside for extra screening doesn’t pardon your racism.

3. Who is this diet you speak of?

Food is our first love. Mensaf. All day, err day bruh!

4. You feel obliged to give a disclaimer when you start dating someone new.

I’m sure it’s a lovely restaurant but it’s in my uncle’s neighborhood. Lets go somewhere else…perhaps another city?

5. “Oh that’s interesting that you go to school. Your family is ok with it?”

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6. When you bring friends home you have to give them a mini orientation about your family’s unusual…rituals.

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Baba, can you please stop yelling at the TV, you’re scaring Tiffany!

7. People assume you’re Muslim by default…

NEWS FLASH: We’re not all Muslim! We’re Christians, Jews, Atheists, and Beliebers. Get it straight.

8. Your siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, their spouses, and offspring have the capacity to populate an entire village.

9. As an Arab girl you get categorized into one of two groups, you’re either a Haifa:

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Or a Nancy.

10. When your grandmother calls – you answer reluctantly.

Hey Teta, I just got a new job!

“If you loved me you’d get married, yalla…I’m going to die soon!”

11. We share an unspoken language with other Arab women.

A three second gaze can translate to: Yeah we should go soon, I’m down for pizza after. The score is 4-1. They say it’s going to rain tomorrow. Can I borrow that top? Of course I recorded Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

12. Your parents typically have nothing nice to say about you…unless it’s to other people.

“My daughter had a full scholarship to study abroad and now she works at the top firm in the state.”

13. During your college years you had the luxury of using the library as a cover for just about everything.

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I hope my mom isn’t reading this.

14. “Girl, why are you so conservative?”

It’s called class.

15. You get called awiya for speaking up.

Brains, beauty, and sass. BOOM bitch!

16. Western media has fooled the world into thinking we’re oppressed.

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Don’t believe everything you read, except this post…everything I wrote has been scientifically proven*

*This post has not been reviewed by any scientist

17. When your aunt tells you there’s an ‘3arees’, you’re secretly lightweight curious.

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He doesn’t sound like a complete loser…All right, I’m listening.

18. But after you meet said 3arees you feel the need to pay your aunt a visit

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19. Every birthday some jerk-off relative has to suggest that you’re ‘expired’.

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“You’re running out of eggs…When I was your age, I already had five kids.”

Don’t you have a cliff to drive off of?

20. You give people a simpler way of pronouncing your name but they insist on pronouncing it the ‘ethnic way’.

21. “Speak in Arabic…it sounds so sexy!”

ye3lan youm eli shoftak fi.

22. “Sooo how do you feel about America?”

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That’s like asking us how do we feel about pie. We love pie. Who doesn’t love pie?! End of discussion.

23. When you attend weddings, you’re hit with waves of “you’re next!”

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24. At any given moment a stranger will approach you and ask if you’re blah blah’s daughter

“I remember you when you were this little!!”

You must feel honored.

25. When you were younger, going out used to be more agonizing than going to the DMV.

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“I don’t know if you can go out. Ask your dad, ma khasne.”

26. “So when are you going to show me some belly dancing moves?”

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You, sir, are out of pocket.

27. “My friend is Arab — maybe you know them!”

Don’t assume we know all Arabs…although I probably do.

28. Being asked our opinion on the Arab Spring, Palestine/Israel conflict, Iraq War…

Do you have 17 hours to spare? It’s not exactly small talk.

29. You take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge of the Middle East and tell people you’re somebody important whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Because what the fuck do they know?

30. Your mom has tricked you into revealing secret information when reading your fortune in cup of coffee.

Shit.

But at the end of the day, we have our habibis and our hummus and we wouldn’t trade them for the world!

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