I was recently asked two questions in a public forum that caught me so off guard that I didn’t answer them the way I should have. Continue reading ““Are you religious?””
In almost all of my childhood memories of him, my younger brother seems to be in motion. Energetic in both body and spirit. Often expressive to the point of offence, but in such a way that you knew he would defend you when you were too frightened to defend yourself. Continue reading “The Music Shop”
On January 16th, CNN published an article about a handful Saudi women who decided to seek asylum in the US. Through the lens of these women’s experiences, the article explores some of the human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, like male guardianship over women and the death penalty for atheism. The article also notes that the Saudi women featured might not fit the conventional mould of a refugee or asylum seeker, but that they faced sufficient danger in their home country to warrant an asylum application. Continue reading “Abuse, Asylum, and Agency”
I recently stumbled upon an opinion piece in the Saudi Gazette. In it, the author at best, judges and at worst, shames Saudi women encountered on a flight from Dubai for their clothing, which he spends the rest of the article wracking his brain to find explanations for. The initial description reads: Continue reading “On Double Standards”
I have been very lucky in many ways. Despite the current political climate, I only rarely encounter hate. The vast majority of people react with genuine curiosity when I tell them I’m from Saudi Arabia. Continue reading “Quick Read on Questions”
Everyone hates discrimination.
And everyone hates airports.
The inconvenience of taking your shoes off after untangling your laptop from a bramble bush of wires. The irritation of hearing loud but muffled announcements over a speaker system that is both everywhere and nowhere. The quiet humiliation of being randomly selected every time you show ID that shows a last name that starts with “AL-“. Continue reading “Faceless. Voiceless. Less.”
Beginning at the beginning. Or at least, at one beginning.
I still remember the first day that I had to wear an abaya. It was April. A few days after Easter. I stood in the square hallway between the kitchen and the back door, a small corridor that trapped heat from two directions. Slivers of sun spilled into the hall through the minuscule slits in the frame where the door had expanded and contracted too many times to meet the edges anymore. Continue reading “Remembering My First Time”