15 April 2008

Can you hear me now? Equality and Bedou

NOTE: I included tribe's names in the post. It's not meant to offend or belittle anyone. It just reads more authentic with then when I wrote it without. Tribes names were not changed. No bedou/7athar, Sunna or Shi3a were harmed in writing in this post.

Last night, I was at a friend's monthly girl diwaniya. Meeting new people is a lot of fun.

Minor problem, several girls were saying things that made me extremely uncomfortable:

On elections:
"Mako wayed i3yal 3awayil nazleen bilinti5abat, a'3labhum..." she then makes a squirming face and a belittling hand gesture. (translation: there aren't that many candidates from large families i.e."Sunni, non-bedou, rich people" running)

On the freak storm:
"Bricks from our neighbor's house fell onto their covered garage and damaged their cars," upon expressing our sympathies, she adds, "3adi, 3awazim." (translation:it's okay they're from _a certain tribe_.)

On family:
I asked a girl who her mother is (she started it!) and she says "Al-Ajmi, bes moo bedou wallah." It turns out her uncle was a co-worker of mine and I know his family well; they are bedou.

The same girl turns to a girl sitting between us (who, like me, happens to have a tribal last name) and asks her about her mother, upon hearing the last name (a common but unfamiliar name) she goes, "Ee ya3ni zaineen." (translation: "yeah they're okay.") (awkward.)

We say a lot when we think we're in a safe setting.

Equality, my bunions.

Upon getting ready to leave, I pulled out my folded abaya and hijab and unraveled them while talking to one of the girls. She gasped, "you wear hijab?!" The other six girls sitting around chimed in, "I didn't expect that." "I didn't imagine...you don't look like the type!"

What was that about? I'm taking it as a compliment that my hair wasn't flat.

There's a hijab-wearing type?


Big Pearls said...

OMG..I would have been very uncomfortable with such ppl..and yeah..what is the definition of 7ejab-wearing type?!

eshda3wa said...

i hate ppl that sit and just talk family names

oo shino ee ya3ni zaineen

betgool 7ag elbnaya ahal omich moo zaineen mathalan

malat 3ala hal 3aqleyat!

Deema said...

you made me thank god for not having a lot of social activities recently.
gosh people just say things they don't know anything about, even how old they might seem, the culture is traveling through the different ages in an ignorant factor with more loss in reasoning!!!!
i hate that (mn 3ayyab ibtala)

Anonymous said...

I cant stand it when ppl start talking 3an flan oo flana oo shloon flana khathat flan oo shloon flan khatha flana 7itan law ahala ma kanaw ratheen ..

I think ppl talk like that to make themselves feel better, cuz they're so insecure about something in their life.

yo3eeebo il nas wal3aybo feehum :p

Shoush said...


Anonymous said...

aham shay fee 7ijab wearing type... lools... some people...

oh and about the whole family thing... screw it... wallah ta5alof ta5alof ta5alof ta5alof... lal7een 3aysheen eb the shadow of el jahileeya....

o blethab6 shnu ga9dha zaineen...?!! 6ay7een men 3ainha mathalan.... malat!

Moniker said...

about the part when they were surprised about you being mt7ajba - weird! i thought only westerners would gasp and be surprised about someone being mt7jba :| lool.


lol this reminded me of a time when an old lady asked about my name,

she had a big smile on her face when she heard my "familiar" family name,

fa she kept talking? entaw ayhom ely bil****?

i was like yea e7na blah la blah!

ba3dain faj'a s'latny 3an my studies and so,
her smile went wider and wider until the moment i answered her "mno omich?" question

(not from a "familiar" family in kuwait)

wagt'ha ta7lfen ena a7ad kat 3laiha may bard wila s6arha s6ar!

3afya shradat 3alay?!

wana agol esm omy VERY PROUD OF HER!

shradat 3alay 3ayoz ilnar?

6ab3an wayha e3tfas o ehya tgol "laaish?"


o mara 3oda akbar min omy shard 3laiha balh!?

shno ya3ny agolha esm omy tgoli LAISH?

at the moment i just smiled and said, "lanha omy"

bas bdakhly 7sait bados ib ba6nha!

fa yea, bilnhya mojtm3na mojtma3 "7asharat"

FourMe said...

Screw their mentality! they don't know equality even if it slapped them on the face. Its wrong to differentiate between badou w 7athar a human being is a human being regardless of his/her name or upbringing.

G.E&B said...

big pearls: i think i'm cooler than other hejabies (j/k).

eshda3wa: that was a tactless moment. when in doubt say wilni3im and shut up.

deema: it was actually a lot of fun. it wasn't all bad wallah.

boredq80: why do all kuwaiti gatherings end up being 3 degrees of separation games?

shoush: ugh. is right.

hamitaf: it was obvious inna 6ay7een min 3ainha.

moniker: it was more the "you don't look like ur the hijab wearing type" than oh hijab..why?

?: that's just plain rude!!!

fourme: in theory thats true. but we do it ALL the time. what p's me off is that bedou do it but the acknowledge that they do it (as in yes I do think i'm better than so-and-so) while MANY "liberal" enlightened 7athar do it while claiming that they believe in equality and are against discrimination!

Admitting the problem is the first step towards the solution right..?!

Hassan said...

a friend once wrote these " abyat " as a response for someone who kept nagging about his tribe and how they are related to the profit .. I think its applicable to all of us :)

الشريف اللي تشرفه الفعايل = لا الشريف اللي تشرفه القبايل
والفخر بالدين وبطيب الخلايق = لا الفخر في ذكر الجدود الاوايل
والفتى إليا فخر كل ما تكلم = الله يعينه على كسب الفضايل