Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where are you from?

At my placement, clients are absolutely fascinated by my ethnic background. After I help them with whatever they need, they insist on asking me where I'm from. At first I used to answer with a smile and a generic "I was born in Toronto." But it doesn't fly.

No, no, where are you really FROM?

So I gave up. I now just tell them I'm Egyptian. The next question is always: "oh, do you speak Arabic/3arabi?" I can't understand why some clients ask this when they themselves don't speak it.

I've noticed that poverty makes tact a frill.

Also, this is slightly unrelated but I need to say it anyways: why do non-Muslims always pick the most peripheral issues in Islam to talk about? I was at another community agency and this employee was talking to me about Islam, and the only concern he had about it was that Muslim women were not allowed to marry non-Muslim men. Was he at all concerned with Islamic creed? Issues around terrorism? Wars? Life after death? Nope. Just "what if a Muslim girl falls in love with a Christian or Jew or Hindu???"

He gave me a headache.

I lose my patience with people pretty fast. I'm starting to think social work isn't the right field for me.


Anonymous said...

oh dear! be strong! finish the year well, you'll have plenty of time during the summer to contemplate weather or not you should continue.

plus, you're also a novelty in this field. its like, the being the first black president ever. well sorta. its a novelty at first. but by the time we have like 3-4 black presidents, no one will even flinch or ask where they're from, etc. you'll be a norm.

so, perhaps, see it this way, you're clearing the way for lots of other hijabis who might wanna do social work.

keep on smilin'

7 years old with attitude(s) says: said...

So you are an Egyptian?? amazing, I have about three people in my workplace are Egyptians, two of them are really nice guys and the third man need to be in a gas chambers. he is such a bag.

the common thing between the three of them that they are speak loudly especially when they are eating.

I love Egypt, i almost watched every historical movies from Histroy channel to BBC to NG, it is an amazing place??

have you been there before??

Yeah, don't worry about when ppl asking you where are you from, the majority do ask it because they are interested in you and they would like to know more about you?? it is sort of breaking the Ice.

why do non-Muslims always pick the most peripheral issues in Islam to talk about?

ok, try to pick a subject or a topic or a matter that you are totally ignorant about it, like Math, chemstry, astronomy, and try to understand the "peripheral issues" in any one of them, and then only you will understand why
do non-Muslims always pick the most peripheral issues in Islam.

it has nothing to do with non-muslims or muslims, it has do with us humans, our back ground, and how much we know about whatever.

also the employee in the other center, that is the best he does know about islam, he does not know as much as you do, so do not expect him to ask you a question you have a prepaid answer for it.

relax, you get a lot of headaches these days, and do not lose your patient, that if you have one already.

Owl said...

Yeh, I get asked what I am all the time too. I find "a black Jew from Peru" shuts up most.

Asmaa said...

7 years old, why do you write so much?

7 years old with attitude(s) says: said...

Why not?!!