Last night my school had an “International Welcome Party”, which I thought was pretty self-explanatory. When I told some people about it, their response was - I kid you not - “Oh, well I’m not very international” or “But I’m not an international student”. SMH. I really question whether college will help some of these people.
On another note, I ran into some Arab international students I had met before and some I hadn’t and I sat with them for awhile. This made me realize just how much I need to practice my Arabic. Or maybe it was just the fact that I never had very many Egyptian friends. Anyways, the conversation very quickly turned to politics (for my non-Arab and/or non-Muslim followers, most Arabs’ and Muslims’ conversations are centered around politics). It was the first time in a long time that I actually felt comfortable just discussing politics, but, more importantly the first time in a long time I felt comfortable, as a woman, voicing my opinions in a mixed setting. I’m not naive enough to assume that my experience is the same as all Arab or Muslim women. I do think it is important to note, however, that while I was in the Middle East, I never felt that my opinion was devalued because of my gender (because of my age, maybe, but never my gender). It wasn’t until yesterday that I really realized how societal expectations of women in the US have impacted my personality. In the last two years I can count on one hand the number of times I openly discussed my political views, and it was mostly among family and close friends. And when it wasn’t around people close to me, my opinion was dismissed - at least until a guy reiterated what I had just said.
Anyways, aside from maybe pointing out how messed up the world can be, I’m not really sure what the point of this post is, so I’ll stop rambling.