i wrote a few posts ago about how i feel completely at home both in america and saudi arabia. well, i think it's important to point out that, while that's true, i also don't really belong in either place, both see me as 'other.' and while i am comfortable with both people, with both cultures, i'm not really a part of either. in america, i'm seen as a saudi. in saudi arabia, i'm seen as the american. so while being half saudi-half american may get me back stage passes to both cultures, i'm definitely not considered part of either band.
i'm scrutinized in both places - everything i say, everything i do. the nuances of the rules of arab society sometimes fly straight over my head, but that's okay because "i'm the american." i'm expected to not know how to do anything, to make a complete idiot of myself. people wait for it to happen. and though the people in america may not be as watchful for every sign that i dont belong as some of the people over here, they are still watchful, or some of them are at least. i'm muslim, i'm saudi... which, to some, means i'm trouble. even those that don't think that, still see a difference between me and themselves, despite the fact that we are both americans.
i'm a person that likes to blend into the background. i prefer not to be the center of attention. but no matter which place i go, though they are both home, people stare. it's not alllll the time, and you get used to it and barely notice it after a while, but it's still there. the two cultures are polar opposites, so it's natural that they won't overlap smoothly, but sometimes i kinda wish they would.
it might seem impossible that i can feel completely at home and completely alienated in both places at the exact same time, but therin lies the paradox.
*War Sweater - Wakey!Wakey!