Later that same morning I received a video from my cousin and began watching quietly, until I started laughing hysterically and so called to The Viking to come over and watch with me.
Hysterical. I was completely and totally hysterical because my cousin Rola would start belly-dancing the moment she noticed that the camera was on her. Pretty sure she was perhaps 8 or 9 years old, and always ready for film. She remains like this, in all of her beauty. The Viking laughed and quietly backed away slowly because I was utterly useless, doubled over and unable to close my mouth the laughter was thundering through me.
I watched the video repeatedly and the laughter shifted into something else, about which I wrote here: Girls As Women.
Later that day, The Viking recommended I write about how the video made me feel.
Earlier that week, Aalya sent me a call for a short story collection from York University; stories from Arabic women in or about the diaspora.
I have never submitted a story for publication because I have never felt the need to do so. BB can attest to this, because she has been after me for years to publish publish publish other than my political articles.
After writing Girls As Women, I thought “…well…why not…?” and so I flipped the story over to those in charge of the call-out. And they responded with “…we are happy to let you know that we really enjoyed reading your proposal ‘Girls as Women’ and are excited to include it in our anthology!”
So, there you have it. A little part of my family’s heart will be published between the pages of one of our top Uni presses.
Thank you to Nasr for sending the video; to Aalya for sending the call-out; and, to The Viking for the story idea.
P.S. They requested a short bio, and this is what I sent — shared because I believe you will enjoy it as much as I did writing it:
“Maha’s family came to Canada when she was aged four and still v v malleable to her parents’ will. They are Muslim, Palestinian, and she was was born in Libya; essentially, her identity is where all Axis of Evil points converge. She has written at Prolific Immigrant (https://www.onefemalecanuck.com) since 2004, and has also covered Middle Eastern news stories for several progressive sites, her favourite Rabble(dot)com. Her storytelling inclinations lean left toward the impassioned, philosophical and lunatic side of funny, thought-provoking stuffs, and she is single. (This last, her mum insisted she include.)”
Photo captured from World of the Written Word.