I am very tired of defending myself from Omanis who know me well, who should know me well enough to know I think no nation superior in intellect or manners to another overall, or that English is a more pleasing language to Arabic (beyond my own personal preferences) etc... Just as I am bloody well tired of defending Muslims, Arabs in general, Omanis at times (though people from most places in the world only know where Oman is if you say its near Dubai), and especially Saudis (who Allah knows have enough wrong within their country not to add to that with misconceptions from those outside the fold of KSA who have no Saudi female friends, Islamic religion, or say in the running of that country and its people) from the ignorance and Colonial orientalism of others.
I know, I should be patient. I should possibly even change myself. But Arabs and Muslims take offense too easily, regarding a comment about one wrong thing in their way, to be that we Westerners are looking down on them as a whole, and think we are better than them (this is a foolishness but that is the culture---I should know that and deal but I am tired).
And I love wearing black abayas. Please, stop saying oh Saudi men get to wear white and the women wear black yada yada. It is women performing the female circumsions in this part of the world, it is the women judging the dress of other women that make it okay for me to wear leopard print trim on an abaya or no abaya at all, or something ghastly dreadful out of fashion and bland. Not men in KSA, thanks be to God/Allah for that. North Americans. You drive me bonkers, as if scarves and robes and cloth were the important social issues Arabs/Muslims truly have to deal with.
My rant precedes from the following. The incident went like this.
"Oh look that's a famous Omani actress," says OMANI WOMAN #1 to OPNO.
"She thinks we're all looking at her," says OMANI WOMAN # 2.
OPNO: "Is she very famous? I don't know her at all."
OMANI WOMAN # 1: "Well excuse us. I guess Oman isn't as high and mighty as your country [Canada], we don't have anyone as famous as Celine Dion or anything."
OPNO: "You guys have Sinbad the sailor, the original one."
Both Omani woman #1 and #2 glare at OPNO.
OPNO (trying to fix this): "Would I know her if I was a Saudi woman, who speaks Arabic. and watches Arabic dramas?"
(Apparently not the right thing to say, both both Omani woman #1 and Omani woman #2 stop speaking to OPNO for about an hour).
Which, of all the childish pathetic things, led to me being called a racist eventually, even though that is ridiculous. My Omani husband calls me racist sometimes, because I don't like to listen long in Arabic. And apparently I am even more racist to say I am glad I never have to listen in "german".
Yes, I do know much of English is a Germanic language. however some accents grate me ears. I don't think that's racist, it is just like and dislike. Not better and worst. Now if people get that much into a huff about an Arab actress, imagine how much more so that they do when you confront their understanding of Islamic practice, their cultural rudenesses, etc... It is a very hard line to walk and to live a life of self-balance in such a society.
In my own land, far and away, I have to insist to people that Muslims are put upon.
My own Uncle argues with me, that I must be exagerating, that I was never harassed walking down the street, or hurt by someone, for my religion. He, not a Muslim, me, both someone who once was not, and now am a Muslim.
My father defends me, havng witnessed but twice, the hate people gave me for dressing as I do, and my Uncle insists my father's testment is not enough. Apparently I am at fault, even though religious dress is included in my country's rights and charters of freedoms, for dressing as I do, as anti-of-the-country-I-am-from and that's like asking for bad stuff to happen to me. Although I myself, would think actually it to be far more unpatriotic of me, to bend to the will of ignorant others, and not stand up for those rights in the charter of freedoms by trying to please ignorant and violent others who do not embody the ideals of my nation-of-origin.
It doesn't matter to me much. But then, this was a goodbye visit, with both the Oman (my new nation) and the land-far-and-away, and I wonder if there is a place someone can truly belong to without offending anyone, and yet being true to one's own self and ideals.
Many nations expouse values that are in line with the ideals I hold for myself, and that my religion extolls for myself, and yet those nations themselves seem not to recognize their own ideals in practice. I should end this rant with that, and say that while I know it, I do not 100% accept it, and I suppose that shall always bug me. Since there is no way ranting about thise will change anything , should I delete this post?
Since I all too much like the sound of my own voice it seems:) so inshaAllah got that off my chest for the moment.