Tuesday, June 16, 2009

but I don't wanna go home where they all stare at me

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!


  1. Don't think fitting into a culture is necessary. Being "alienated" can actually be quite a good thing. That way, you don't have to sit there and accept stupid practices and conversations as "tradition," and you can say whats on your mind. Imagine sitting there and being part of a group of grumpy old people being materialistic or racist and accepting their conversation like its normal talk... That's what fitting in will get you.

  2. this blog is what goes on in my head day in and day out...but i've come to accept it and be happy that im not the same as everyone else. :)

  3. I'm 100% saudi and I still feel the same because I've lived here for almost my entire life. But I really do hate being the other, cause like Sarah I'd rather just blend in. I don't like people automatically thinking of me differently before they've even had a chance to speak to me.
    But then again I am so happy that I've had a chance to live here because if I didn't I'm afraid that I truly would be another female Saudi android
    ..I don't know, even in my head my thoughts are contradicting lool

  4. i'm the exact same way mimi...

    and yeah i've accepted it and grown glad of being different, too. it just gets annoying sometimes.

  5. okay first of all, i've officially fallen in love with you. okay, i know it's sounds creepy and all out of the blue.

    but i am gonna be using most of the stuff in this post in my speech tomorrow. :)

    i am a half breed so i can totally relate to this but my topic demands justification about this subject which you really put it so well Not that I can't write myself but it's late and who would n't like a good grade on a platter. huh?

    you're my hero, BYE!
    and believe me you do NOT want to know who I am! So just call me a creep and move on. :)

  6. that happens quite often. i truly am irresistible :P glad i could be of service for your plagiarizing speech writing needs.

  7. you know what i'll send you the entire speech. i actually used just part of the first paragraph but that really gave me a back stage pass to being half breed. :P whatever that means lol

    but my professor loved it and he'll be giving us a grade next week.