My first year at Tufts was anything but easy.
They thought they were helping her - protecting from the pain of grieving - but what they did damaged my mother in a way that I had never seen before.
To me, it was a transaction that could only be compared to something like buying a car.
I was the only person knew the details of the constant violence and the brute force used towards the Palestinian territories.
Women who are broken after their wedding night, forced to smile the next day for celebratory walimas and parties.
Why is it that when I tell people I am a political science major that they always want to talk about Middle Eastern politics with me?
I am not a houseplant or a goldfish to be left by the window.
I felt alienated, on top of everything else I was feeling.
I was just white to this stranger I had just met. This stranger suddenly knew I was white. I didn’t even know who I was.
I didn’t realize at the time that my secret desire to be blond was in fact part of a deeper confused identity as to where I fit in as a brown hijabi girl in a predominantly white city.
None of my friends had curfews, and none of them seemed to have concerned parents, either.
I find that I often lack confidence in daily situations.