y For anyone who knows me personally, they know I love to do dabkeh (a Middle-Eastern line dance.) There is a certain feeling of empowerment when you’re able to really celebrate your culture- even though you’ve never been back home. The last time I was in Lebanon, I was five years old. There is a huge void I try to fulfill by being as closely knit as possible to my culture. That includes food, dance, and traditions. My grandmother made sure she taught us how to do dabkeh and dance to Arabic music at an early age. Safe to say, it really stuck with us and by us I mean my entire family. It is truly one of my pride and joys, though it may be mediocre to someone one else.
Leading the dabkeh line at a Palestinian henna party was what led to having my first (and only) scarf thrown at my legs. Yup. A five-dollar H&M black scarf, thrown right at my legs in a room full of women. At that exact moment, my mom pulled me off the line and went charging for the woman who’d thrown the scarf. I was in disbelief. I was leading a women’s dabkeh line at a separated event with men on the other side of the hall. I immediately tried calming my mom down, until I looked down at my dress. Had I really done this to myself? Did I bring this embarrassment onto myself and my mom? No, I thought. My knees are not 3ayb (inproper.) Women blame themselves for so much of what occurs in their lives. Why should I have to blame myself for what wasn’t okay to someone else? That was her issue- not mine.
What may be 3ayb for you, may not be 3ayb to someone else. The truth is, we all were raised in different households with different leniencies. We may all follow one book, but that doesn’t mean we have to follow the same exact culture or traditions. Our parents work so hard to raise us and teach us right from wrong and it is an insult to them when some random tries to discipline me. My family may be okay with an open back wedding dress whereas yours may think modesty is more appropriate- and that’s OKAY. But what is not okay, is when we so invalidly and heavily impose our views onto someone else and expect them to follow.
Being a woman is so excruciatingly difficult to begin with. Society imposes ideologies of what we should or shouldn’t do. The government imposes what we should or shouldn’t do with our bodies. Our men impose chores we should do. Our employees impose how much money we should or shouldn’t make. Excuse me while I allow my wardrobe to be mine and mine only. My closet is mine and I fill it (too often) with things that make me feel good. That shouldn’t be your concern- unless you’re filling it up for me, and even then, your intake on my wardrobe should be limited.
“Nourhan, to the bench,” I read as I stood on the crosswalk waiting for the pedestrian light to change. Wait a minute, that’s me! I am Nourhan. I look around to see my sisters and three cousins smiling at me with their phones out, recording my expression. My smile lights up from ear-to-ear. I knew exactly which bench he’s talking about. When Mohanad and I first got to know one another, I sat on a bench waiting for him so we can picnic at Central Park. His Jersey instincts thought it would be cute to scare me from behind the bench, as my New Yorker instincts were to jump, ready to defend myself.
“Wait, I thought you got engaged already? Didn’t that happen way before thanksgiving?” Cara asked. “Well, yes- technically. But he didn’t propose, or anything,” I answered. “So what do you mean you’re engaged if he didn’t propose? I am beyond confused” huffed Sasha. The confusion took over her face. I giggled lightly, but continued to explain to my American friends how exactly he proposed twice.
I came across this quote online and it really resonated with me. It made me think of the past year and all the changes I went through and how it was nothing less than an evolution.
My fab five friday edition is in full affect. Each Friday around this time, you'll get a post from me regarding my top five choices in a randomized topic such as eye creams, facial masks, restaurants, hair products or even movies! I'm also open to suggestions of what you guys want as well!
Blogging has literally taken over social media and I can’t even. Being 2017, anyone and everyone can basically format their own website (more, or less.) Digital influencing has dominated traditional marketing and advertising, such as commercials, newspapers and radio. But why has blogging become so relevant? It is the ‘it’ thing to do for so many various reasons.