arab girl problems

Protect brown girls from the idea that emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse is an inherent part of poc culture

If your parents belittle you, call you names, dismiss your passions and interests, prevent you from doing things that make you happy– 

If your parents don’t let you have age-appropriate independence, or if they never let you defend yourself, or if they passive-aggressively manipulate you into feeling guilty for disappointing them– 

If your parents slap you– 

If your parents say it’s just “tough love,” or that you’re too young and naive to understand right now, or that your parents are the only people who know what’s best for you– 

Your parents are wrong. This isn’t normal. This isn’t just “brown culture” or “poc culture.” This is emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse. You deserve better. Please never let your parents’ actions define your self-worth. You are so much more than just the flaws your parents are so fond of pointing out. You are bigger and better than the way they treat you. You are kindness and passion and determination and beauty. You deserve the world.

“I’m just going to run to the barn real quick to turn my horse out...”

*Rode two horses, lunged, hand walked, clipped, bathed, pulled manes, wrapped tails, cleaned tack, polished boots, fed supplements*

*crawls back to car, falls asleep, wakes up, drives home*

Freedom

So last night I went home for the weekend because I’ve been crazy missing my family.

If there’s one thing I have learned from living alone, it’s that you really begin to appreciate your family.

We’ve all been there…dreaming of the day we move out so we have more freedom, especially us arab ladies.

However, you really start to miss them. I recently moved out for school, and I am telling you, every time I come home, I feel so loved and so special. You begin to truly understand the importance of family. If they’re not there for you, then who will be?

As an Arab Muslim girl, I’ve been through many frustrations where I couldn’t  stand my parents at times. I did not understand why I couldn’t do the things my older brother could. It would make me want to erupt in fury at my parents for what I believed was “sexist.” I would dream of the day I live alone and go out and do whatever I wanted. Once the time came, I realized the freedom wasn’t as sweet as I always thought it would be.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom. But, I slowly began to realize why my parents were so protective. The world can really be a scary place sometimes. You feel vulnerable at times, and lonely. My parents aren’t here to make my life miserable, they love me enough to want to protect me from the bad of the world and keep me on the right path. I appreciate that so much. But I believe there has to be a balance. 

A son or daughter is going to face the bad in the world regardless of how much a parent protects them from it. If you are too strict, they will rebel. I guarantee it. I have seen it happen one too many times. They will have to experiment with the world, experience new things. A parent should find a balance between what their child can or cannot do. If the answer is always no, that’s just a ticking time bomb of rebellion. I understand the concept of overprotective parents, but it’s just not realistic. How can one learn without facing the good with the bad?

Moving out for school has shown me just that. I experienced things I would have never had the chance to if I still lived at home.

Doesn’t make me a bad person, it makes me human

8 Simple rules for being an arab daughter

1) It is your obligation to serve food/beverages if you are the youngest competent girl in the room.

2) You should ALWAYS serve with the right hand - otherwise you’re being very disrespectful and offensive.

3) You should never ever ever respond with “Haaa”; acceptable responses include na3am^ and inshAllah^.

4) Your parents can scold you/curse you/throw things at you (i.e N3al zanooba^)/hit you (with a wire hanger), and you should stand there and take it quietly because after all, you do deserve it..if not for something you’ve done, then its from something you’re going to do!

5) Relative: How are you?

Arab daughter: Zaina^.                                        - WRONG ANWER! *Super flying n3al thrown at you by mama*

Acceptable scenario..

Relative: How are you?

Well behaved arab daughter: Al7amdillah^.          - You should always be thankful to God, even if you’re on your deathbed.

6) You will not point your feet or soles at elders/people you should respect.

7) Your twin is entitled to your respect and s/he can order you around because, you guessed it, s/he is older….BY TWO WHOLE MINUTES!

8) At events, you will tail your mother, let her introduce you to women and you shall greet them warmly..they might be MOPHs*!

*Na3am: Yes

InshAllah: God willing

N3al zanooba: flipflops

Zaina: good

Al7amdillah: praise/grateful to God

MOPH: Refer to “Slave markets disguised with extravagance” post to understand the abbreviation.