Adonis Diaries

Why Not DATE An “ARAB GIRL”? Again who is the “Arab” in your biased culture?

Posted on: August 11, 2020

Why Not DATE An “ARAB GIRL”?

Again who is the “Arab” in your biased culture?

From where is this girl? Has she any other identity?

Is she harder to convince and more complex to understand than the ones on the big screen?Pictures, photo-shoot, videos that have convinced you of her delicate and timid nature?

  published this Feb. 5, 2014 (selected as one of the top posts today)

DON’T DATE AN ARAB GIRL

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She is not oppressed, like those caricatures on the news

Her long, flowing hair has not grown dark and strong to guide your eyes

 

To her curvy figure, which exists not to twirl into shapes

That she many enchant you to the beat of the group vigorous Dabke dance.

 

The “Arab” girl is born

With a fire in her belly and

Has inherited the strength of her fore-mothers.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl for she carries the Middle East on her shoulders

Every war and every invasion pushes her to tears

And she fights those tears back

 

To be replaced with a brave face for her brothers and sisters;

Starving, homeless and grieving.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl, she inspires revolutions with her passions and her protest

She will come home late: she stays amongst the dissenters

Until she can feel the winds of change.

 

Don’t fret, the Arab girl is protected from the cold

By the Keffiyeh (scarf) around her neck; she is the one sharing her last droplets of water

To quench the parched mouths, dried shouting for freedom in the midday sun.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl, she will fill your shelves and your mind with poets

Qabbani, Said and Mahfouz.

(And songs of Fairouz and the Ra7bani brothers)

 

The rivers Euphrates, the Jordan and the Nile run through her veins.

The spirit of Cairo, Algiers and the West Bank satiate her heart.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl, you will too often hear her sigh in longing

for the sound of the Muezzin in the morning, the taste of ‘real’ olives,

the smell of freshly baked bread and for the feel of the sun’s rays

Biting the nape of her neck in the late afternoon.

 

Do date her because you believe in her struggle, when you can match her passion

and feel her pain.

Date her because you can hold her as she wavers

under the load she carries

 

As the strength of her mother fails

For a short moment.

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This poem was inspired by the Arab women I know and the Arab women I don’t know but still look up to.

Cover art is by Lalla Essaydi and the poem’s form was inspired by Charles Warnke and Adi Zarsadias

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