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Category Archives: Family

Childhood in Gaza: Of Coffee Cups, Figs & Letters

“You have to pick them before the birds do in the morning.” “At 10?” “In the morning…earlier, Maha.” “9?” “No.” “It’s the weekend, seedo. The birds will be sleeping because…


10 year anniversary & Min Fami

Today is this home’s 10 year anniversary. Yeah, it’s as unbelievable to me as it is to you, my seven readers. Last night, I participated in my first ever panel…

Wedding RINGS have dislodged me

Editorial Note #1:This article was originally published 11/11/02. I am currently on holiday and unless titled Dispatches, then what you are reading was scheduled for publication in advance of my…

Allah does not discriminate (a.k.a. “On Bein’ Single”)

Editorial Note: Originally published on 2012/11/19. ——————– “Since masculinity is defined through separation while femininity is defined through attachment, male gender identity is threatened by intimacy while female gender identity…

Muslim families, they’re just like you! *Crazy*

I couldn’t have been older than six or seven years old when this happened in Gaza. It was around Eid festivities and so the family had lamb. Precisely like the…

Full moons, mascara, and baba

“Jills! I need a big favour on your way in — I am having a makeup emergency!!” was the first of many hysterical text messages I sent to Jills this…

Mamaisms

My mum and I were recently in a shopping mall when I noticed that some women do very strange things to the heads of their infants, like taking the only…

Dunya is the Arabic word for This World

This is the first photo taken when in 2008 we landed in Tunisia for Nizar and Sissina’s wedding. It is with my aunt, over the moon was she that her…

Know-It-All: My fiance and I don’t agree on how to treat our parents

Hi Maha, […] My fiance and I are hitting a serious roadblock. His mother is in an old age home even though she lives in the same city as us. It didn’t…

Immigrants + fatsos

Of late, I have been quite heavily and v happily wrapped in citizenship issues and questions. I understand this struggle of immigration on a personal level and also the depth…

The Family Day

Have I mentioned that my family is predominantly one of Alpha Males? Today, two of them came over — my baba, and one of his brothers, amo (Arabic for uncle,…

York Uni press likes your girl, it seems

Two months back, I was caught not knowing what to write. Often, my head is so filled with thousands of stories that the only thing I can see with my…

Christmas trees adrift…

The early years after my parents fell out of love with one another and divorced, I didn’t much act out against my mother. One way I did act out is…

Home really is where the heart is

Every little thing is packed, and although it’s only 8.30pm, I am in bed still with this headache. At least it now ebbs and flows, and when it flows it…

The Monzer Hammer (where there are no second chances)

Let me tell you about that amazing and heart-warming moment between my baba and I when he, well intentioned, took my crushed heart and hammered it like he was on…

Know-It-All: Evil Step Mothers

Editorial Note: I have witnessed first-hand step-mums who have done their best and tried their hardest and plowed through to the best of their ability and strength…only to be met…

Girls As Women

I am the little one, with head shaped like a potato. The beautiful woman is my patrilineal grandmum Standing by the Mediterranean’s wintered coastline at Gaza, in approximately 1980, my…

In The Hands of God (by Mustafa Davis)

In The Hands of God from Mustafa Davis on Vimeo. At a time when y’all are preppin’ to throw down some cash in the name of Baby Jesus (♥ +…

I can’t wait to start peanut buttering sandwiches

To Mothers By Baraka Blue To those mothers who buttered sandwiches and lit loves lanterns when sweet dreams turned into nightmares- and cloaked us in radiant safety net bear hugs…

Youssif

If you are Muslim, I need you to today please read Al-Fatiha for a little baby named Youssif, only three months, flown up to heaven this early morning. If you…

Even baggies have hearts

A little girl, asked where her home was, replied, “where mother is.” ~Keith L. Brooks Often, I have teased my mum about the weird seeds she saves in her fridge….

That time I fell and then was dragged

One evening, my uncle decided to run out and pick up some movies. Fool that I am, I decided to join him though it was freezing cold. And slippery. I…

Fathers

I was at a stop light watching a child who couldn’t have been older than four years old. She was holding on to her father’s hand and hanging, legs and…

A Childhood Photograph

When my matrilineal grandmother – teeta – died, found in her night table drawer was the most important photograph she’d carried with her throughout her life. Teeta came from what…

Mama

The saying “Paradise is at the feet of mothers” is rooted in the following: A man asked the Prophet Mohammed whether he should fight in a war. To this, the…

the Prolific Immigrant (me)

Dear Reader, Oh look. I’ve gone and changed the title again. As starting point, I would like to introduce you to the lunatic + lovely coupling which brought forth yours…

That day I nearly peed myself while stuck to the side of a mountain in Denver

During the spring of 2007, I was visiting my American cousins in Denver. In no particular order, their names are Dumb.Ass, Raging Maniac, and Really Just So Fkn Stupid Sometimes….

A Pint Sized NYC

Exceptional first night in NYC; evening started out with an in-depth literature and film discussion with Laurie. (Who is, quite possibly, one of the prettiest women on whom I have…

My baba’s blog

Alcanaanite. Politics, humanity & religion. Comments closed. Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tumblr it Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this…

Singing with Baba

As previously ascertained, baba thinks he procured a complete lunatic in me. I have not done anything to dissuade him of this particular perspective as I don’t see it at…

Red Light Hooker

  That’s the mac light which Baby Jane brought as a gift for my Treehouse. It now sits in my bedroom window and I have decided that I shall use…

Parents roasting tomatoes over a friend’s fire

.1. Do you keep forgetting that your momma and poppa are individuals before they are parents? That they had and continue to have dreams and that they may look at…

Mama, The Eccentric Weirdo

The good news is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The bad news is that I discovered mama hides her large squash-like homegrown vegetables in the basement….

Where the Wild Things Were

Four years old, seated in the gymnasium of the community center where mama, new immigrant, was receiving language lessons. I was shy (then) because I had trouble communicating in the…

As an only child, I have a hard time maintaining only one train of thought (Sparkle = Good)

People hold the very strange assumptions that being an only child renders one somewhat spoiled and incapable of sharing. As most of you know, I am an only child and…

Groundhogs don’t vibrate

I used to think groundhogs were cuddly and cute, until this past weekend when I started battling mama’s groundhog. Actually, he’s not my mother’s and I’m not quite certain it’s…

100 acres of land

Is one of the properties my (father’s) family owns in Gaza. On this land were thousands of orange, grapefruit, lemon, olive & valencia trees. We’ve owned this land for generations…

I’m Out of Touch

Hi all – okay… (1) For those of you new to me, please understand that the mobile is perhaps the bane of my existence. I rarely have it on and…

Babies are collapsible as well as spring-loaded

Please say hello to my niece Sophia: Whose papa called me a few hours after the above photo was taken on March 8th, 2008, to leave me the following message:…