Arab Femdom in Boston

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Raindrops keep falling on my head as I stride through the busy, crowded streets of Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a late Monday afternoon in early September and feels more like spring than fall, mainly because of the hot rains we still get from time to time. It’s times like these that I miss home the most. I am a daughter of the desert. It’s who I am. I don’t believe in hiding who and what I am in today’s world. I don’t believe in compromising. I have to be myself.

My name is Aamina Rashida Rafiq. I was born and raised in the town of Gaza in Palestine, and my family moved to the U.S. when I was much younger. I attend Harvard University, and I like my life these days. Sometimes, everything just seems to fall into place. Three months ago, my life and my world changed forever. I met someone I would never forget. Antoine Saint-Mathieu. A young man of Haitian descent hailing from the City of Montreal, Province of Quebec. We don’t get a lot of Canadian students at Boston University, so I was quite intrigued by this six-foot-two, lean and wiry, absolutely gorgeous young Black man with the kind eyes and wickedly sexy smile.

Antoine transferred to Harvard University from Concordia University in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec. We had a class together, Fundamentals of Criminal Psychology. Our professor, Miriam Khan, the only foreign-born female Muslim faculty member at Boston University, was a really nice lady. She paired us together for a class project entitled Psychology of Deviance. We had to get inside the mind of the modern criminal, figure out what makes him or her tick, and build a semi-anthropological study around it. Antoine, never one to stir away from controversy, chose to focus on the mindset of terrorists in the region of Palestine and their eternal war against the State of Israel. I bristled in anger when the charming Haitian-Canadian gentleman sitting next to me chose this project. Just what I needed. I get stared at all day as I walk through Boston because I wear the hijab.

As soon as Antoine and I had a private moment, I asked him what in hell he was thinking. And he ended up surprising me. Antoine chose to focus on the true motivations of the so-called terrorists from Palestine. And he amazed me with his empathy. Many Americans are frighteningly simple-minded. They see all Arabs as potential terrorists and they see nothing wrong with the mistreatment the Israelis dish out at the Palestinians every chance they get.

I am a Palestinian-American woman living in America. I have felt the anti-Arab sentiment which emerged in the U.S. after 9/11. I was a mere child when it happened but it’s not something I ever forgot. I remember my father Mansur, a devout Muslim who’s as conservative as can be, asking my mother Sabah not to wear the hijab because he feared for her safety. And my mother refused to allow bigots to affect her conduct in any way, shape or form. That’s my mother, one tough Sirah ( lady). Who says Arab women aren’t strong women? Yes, my family has been through a lot. I remember coming home from school one day and finding our house vandalized. And our once-friendly neighbors, a mix of Irish, Italians and Puerto Ricans, glared at us angrily as we removed the hateful graffiti painted on our walls.

I have seen the hatred many hold for my people. For these reasons, I found myself really pissed off at Antoine for choosing such a topic. He’s a Christian. What in hell does he know about Islam? And why choose something so damn controversial? I found myself scrutinizing him throughout the project. Antoine was handsome and charming. Had his charm blinded me to his faults? Was he a bigot who hated Muslims, like so many folks in North America and Europe did? Antoine Saint-Mathieu’s outlook on the whole Israeli/Palestinian conflict surprised me. He drew interesting comparisons between the Israeli paramilitary state and the Apartheid Government which terrorized Blacks bahis siteleri in the Republic of South Africa before the Rise of Mandela. I looked at Antoine, stunned, as he explained his reasoning to me. I really wasn’t expecting that.

Antoine told me that the Israelis of today were like the Afrikaners of South Africa. A misanthropic, deeply prejudiced minority with a sense of entitlement who seized power in a land that wasn’t theirs and relegated the indigenous population to second-class citizenship. The Israelis were doing to the Palestinians what the Dutch and the English did to Blacks in South Africa and what Europeans did to Natives in the Americas and Aboriginals in Australia and New Zealand.

I listened to Antoine, captivated by the passion in his speech. Man, the brother could speak! With a dangerous light in his eyes he told me that he longed for the day when the United States of America would cease to act as bodyguard to the Israelis as they constantly mistreated the Arabs who surrounded their tiny nation. Sighing, I wondered aloud if such a day would ever come. Antoine gently touched my hand, and looked me straight in the eyes before continuing. As a devout Muslim woman, I’m not supposed to allow men to touch me. Yet I didn’t mind Antoine’s touch. Even though he was a Christian and not a Muslim, even though he’s Black and not a Persian, he’s a lot like us. At heart, he seemed like a son of Islam.

Antoine told me something I sort of knew already but never truly factored in my thought process. America was changing. A day would come when the majority of Americans were people of color. We who were called minorities for centuries would become the new majority. The Blacks, the Hispanics, the Asians, the Native Americans and the Arabs, along with the mixed-race peoples. As America becomes mostly non-White, it could cease to be an imperialistic pain in the ass. Maybe it might actually become a peaceful nation once it was no longer mostly composed of people with a sense of entitlement based on the pallor of their skin and nothing else.

I smiled when Antoine said that. Wow. I really liked the sound of that. What a glorious day that would be. Too bad it was decades away. Antoine smiled, and reminded me that the biggest states, like Texas and California, were already mostly non-White states. The rest of the country wasn’t far behind. I asked Antoine what he thought of Obama’s actions concerning the Israeli/Palestinian issue. Antoine told me that Obama was no enemy of Muslims. Rather, the President’s hand was forced. The pro-Israel Lobby of America was powerful enough to compel both Democratic and Republican politicians to bow down to the Middle-East’s sole imperialistic force.

That explanation didn’t really satisfy me, but I knew enough about politics and human nature to find that explanation plausible. I took Antoine’s hand in mine and shook it. He smiled and I smiled too. This young Black man simply amazes me, folks. Seriously. Antoine is so different from the African-American guys I knew growing up in the City of Boston. Most of them saw nothing wrong with America’s way of dealing with foreign powers. They complained about racism in America but rarely had a global perspective on the issues of the day. Antoine was different. This guy was smart as a whip, ambitious, driven and insightful. I have never seen the likes of him before.

Antoine and I began hanging out as friends while working on the class project together. I found myself fascinated by him. His kind smile. His charm and wit. His keen intelligence. All that drew me to him. One time, I asked him to have dinner with me at Copley Mall in downtown Boston. We met in the Food Court, and had some delicious Chinese food. After that, we went to the New England Aquarium. Once again he amazed me. Here was a guy who knew how to be smart without sounding pompous or boastful, proud without arrogance, flirtatious without canlı bahis siteleri being disgusting. I mean, he walked a fine line. All the time. And I wanted him.

Now, I’m not exactly what most people think when they look at me. A lot of folks think us Muslim women are insufferable prudes and that we’re born to be submissive. Before 9/11 happened, I was a radically different person. I seldom wore the hijab. I made out with guys and girls. I smoked a little weed. And I didn’t go to Mosque unless my parents forced me to. I didn’t like speaking Arabic or Farsi at home. I spoke English, and my friends were always Hispanic, Irish or Black, never Persian. I avoided my fellow Arabs like the plague.

Then 9/11 happened, and it made Islam much more than a religion. And it profoundly changed me. I began learning a lot about my religion, and the culture which spawned my parents. Thus, I began learning about myself. When I turned eighteen, I made the decision to dedicate my life to Allah the Merciful and wear the hijab daily. Now, it wasn’t always easy. Sometimes I got taunted, and other times I got tired of wearing it. Following the rules of Islam and traditions such as Ramadan wasn’t easy for me, a gal who grew up on burgers and fries…and had the body to prove it. I’m five-foot-nine and dangerously close to two hundred pounds. My body is chunky no matter what I do. My breasts are huge, my hips are wide and my buttocks are enormous. Dieting for any reason never appealed to me, but during Ramadan I did it for Allah’s Grace.

Sometimes, I had relapses. I missed sex, and I enjoyed sleeping with both men and women. I’ve considered myself bisexual long before I dedicated my life to Allah and I felt conflicted at times. Was it possible to be a good Muslim and a bisexual woman at the same time? So many questions, so few answers. And now things were getting more and more complicated. For I am falling for Antoine Saint-Mathieu, the handsome Haitian guy from the City of Montreal. What was I to do? The day of the class project presentation came, and Antoine and I geared ourselves up for it. We were up against a lot of smart students with interesting projects. A cute, petite Jamaican gal discussed feminism and gay rights s in minority communities with the help of her obviously queer Caucasian male partner. A Japanese-American guy discussed the effects of social norms on functional sociopaths. And so on. Yet it’s our project that had tongues wagging. For we had ventured into super controversial territory.

The professor was really critical of us. And that annoyed me. Antoine told me not to worry, that professor Miriam was just doing her job. Being a Muslim woman teaching at Harvard University couldn’t be easy. She walked a fine line too. Our critic of Israel’s imperialistic and divisive policies toward the Palestinians apparently struck a chord in the assembled students. Many of them agreed with us, to my immense surprise. Little did I know I was in for even more surprises. We won first place! I was so happy I threw myself in Antoine’s arms and showered him with kisses. In front of the entire class. Yes, you read right.

By the time I realized what I was doing, my tongue was playing tonsil hockey with Antoine’s, and the entire class was cheering us on. Professor Miriam tried to restore order as folks hooted and hollered all around us. I smiled shyly at my classmates. Antoine put his arm around me and looked at me adoringly. To hell with it, I thought. Then I kissed him again.

Like I said before, Antoine changed my life. And I knew then that he was destined to become my husband. Of course, we had a lot of stuff to work out. He’s Black. I’m Persian. He’s straight. I’m bisexual. He’s a Christian. I’m a Muslim. He’s a fitness fanatic. I’m a couch potato. However, Antoine convinced me that love could conquer all, if given the chance.

This man changed my life in ways I couldn’t predict, canlı bahis but ultimately I was thrilled with those changes. Antoine taught me to look at the world in a new way. Until he persuaded me to go with this controversial topic for our class project, I had mainly kept my hatred for American imperialism deep inside of me. I rarely expressed it around friends. Antoine, a Canadian guy of Haitian descent, helped me see my fellow Americans in a whole new way.

Whenever I would lump all Americans into the category of xenophobic anti-Muslim fools, he would remind me that our classmates supported us when we expressed our views. He also pointed out to me that many Americans, Europeans and Canadians were embarking on flotillas toward Gaza to help the Palestinians and that the Israelis were ruthlessly turning them away. Not all Americans agreed with the imperialistic bastards and bitches who ran the country and foolishly sided with Israel as they bombed innocent Arabs in Palestine.

Antoine taught me how to be optimistic again. He reminded me that the wise and wonderful Nelson Mandela waited nearly three decades in an Afrikaner prison for his time to come and he liberated his country from the racist regime of Apartheid without bloodshed. Antoine offered me hope that someday, Palestinian independence would be recognized by the entire world, and certain high-ranking Israeli military guys and gals who bombed innocent Palestinians in Gaza would go to trial like Nazi War Criminals accused of crimes against humanity.

Antoine also reminded that in times of conflict, even good people can do terrible things. He pointed out to me that there were voices of dissent among American Jews and liberal Israelis. Many American Jews disagreed with the Government of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and so did many liberal-minded Israelis. Things weren’t as simple as Black and White. I regret to say that in my passion for my people and my empathy for them, I sometimes forgot that not everybody was our enemy. Antoine helped me see the light. And he taught me to love myself. I’ve often cursed myself for being a chubby Arab gal in a world made for skinny Caucasian women.

My Antoine taught me that real women had curves, and curves were definitely in. I looked at my naked body in the mirror, from my round face to my big breasts, from my round belly to my wide hips, chubby legs and huge round butt. And I found myself beautiful for the first time in what seemed like forever. Oh, yeah. I thank Allah for sending Antoine Saint-Mathieu into my life. I introduced him to my parents. My folks were a bit surprised when they met him. He wasn’t what they expected. A supremely charming, intelligent and charismatic Black man who spoke multiple languages, including Arabic. A proud Canadian who disagreed with NATO’s actions in the Middle East and their policy of staunch inaction when Israel mistreated one of its Arab neighbors. My parents were thrilled with Antoine once they got to know him. Especially after the four of us marched through the streets of Washington D.C. together one weekend ( along with hundreds of others ) to protest America’s treatment of innocent Arabs caught near the Israel border. This we did shortly after the tenth anniversary of 9/11, believe it or not.

After that, I had my parents blessing to bring Antoine into our family. They already saw him as the son they never had. Antoine and I are living together now. We got engaged, and he put a pretty big rock on it. I am one happy woman! He still wants to go back to Montreal in a year, though. And he wants me to go with him. Apparently he misses Canada, especially the Province of Quebec where he was born. I have a much better idea. Antoine is going to stay in America with me. He excels in his undergraduate Law classes at Harvard University. Why not go to Harvard Law School afterwards? I totally believe he can do it. I’ll file for him to get his permanent residence, and eventually his U.S. citizenship. And I know just the thing to do to bind him to me. Let’s just say two is about to become three. Don’t look at me like that. A woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do.

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