Afghan Woman For Somali ManbySamuelx©
Gently I kissed Wajiha Fahim on the lips as we stood inside the quiet, secluded park in Vanier, Ontario. I've wanted to do this for so long, I told her breathlessly. Wajiha smiled and kissed me back, hugging me fiercely. There we were, just a couple of young people in love, hanging out in a park at night. It was raining quite a bit, kind of unusual for the Capital region of Canada in late June but hey, global warming is causing temperatures around the world to be bipolar. I could care less about the weather when I'm around my beloved. Hand in hand we made our way to my apartment on Donnelly street, giggling like a pair of clowns.
My name is Ali Abdullah, and I'm madly in love with this young woman. Wajiha is the one for me. I've known this since the first time I laid eyes on her on the quad at Carleton University in the City of Nepean, Ontario. She's the one for me. The only snag? Her family strongly disagrees. I'm Somali and she's Afghan. Apparently, we can't be together. You see, there's a lot of racism in the Muslim world. Although the Koran states that all Muslims should care for their brothers and sisters in Islam regardless of race or background, that isn't always the case. The Arabs see themselves as first-class citizens in the Islamic world while everyone else is below them. If asked about it, they'll deny it till kingdom come. Another inconvenient truth in our faith, eh?
As a Muslim, I know this implicitly. You see, I was born in the City of Perth, Ontario, to a Lebanese father and Somali mother. I know all about Arab racism because I used to feel it myself. You see, a lot of mixed Muslim brats with Arab fathers and Black mothers tend to embrace the Arabian side of their heritage. That's what I did for the first few years of my life. My father might be married to a Black woman, but that doesn't mean he likes Black people. He has nothing but disdain for the Black race, especially Black men. At our family table he referred to Black men using the N-word, and my mother kept her mouth shut. What an awesome household I was raised in!
I stayed away from anything Black because that's not how I was raised to see myself. All that changed when I left the town of Perth and moved to the City of Ottawa for school. Carleton University was much bigger than any of the schools in or near the town of Perth. I was unprepared for its sheer size. I met so many students of African descent there it's not even funny. Haitians. Nigerians. Jamaicans. Mauritanians. Somalis. Afro-Brazilians. Ethiopians. Afro-Cubans. African-Americans. They were lively and friendly, not at all what I expected. I made so many friends among them. Slowly they changed how I looked at the world, and at myself. I could finally see that there is beauty in Black people and Black culture, something I wasn't allowed to see in the house I grew up in.
I stand six feet two inches tall, broad-shouldered and muscular, with light brown skin, curly Black hair and hazel eyes. People say I look like Hollywood actor Lee Thompson Young, only a bit taller. When people asked me about my ethnicity and heritage back then, I used to tell them that I was Arab. Now I tell people that I am Black. I don't say mixed or biracial. I am a Black man. Like Obama. Like Kobe Bryant. Like Malcolm X. Like Reggie Bush. I came to Carleton to study criminology, but I also took African Cultural Studies as an elective because I wanted to find out more about my heritage. I befriended a Somali student named Mohammed Hassan, and we became best buddies. He introduced me to his mother Choukry and his younger sister Fatima. They were so nice. I would visit Mohammed on weekends and we'd hang out together. In many ways Mohammed Hassan was the brother I never had but always wanted.
It's through Mohammed Hassan that I met the young Arabian woman destined to change my life forever. Wajiha Fahim, a beautiful young Afghan woman who came to study at Carleton University from her hometown of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. There was a sporting event for Muslim students off-campus and Mohammed and I went. While watching the basketball game, I noticed Mohammed speaking to a fine-looking Somali sister, the lovely Miss Amina. Sitting next to the Somali chick was a gorgeous Arabian chick and I asked Mohammed to introduce me. Smiling, my buddy did just that. Thus Wajiha and I were formally introduced.
Like many young Black Muslim men, I find Arabian ladies alluring. The thing is that even though lots of Somali guys are friends with Arab guys, they don't like it when they see us being 'friendly' with Arab women. If you pay attention you'll notice that there are lots of Arab men with Black wives/girlfriends but have you ever seen an Arab woman with a Black man? If the answer is no, pat yourself on the back for your excellent powers of observation. Of course, most Black Muslim men don't seem to mind that ugly double standard, nor do they talk about it. Apparently it's okay for Arab men to get with Black females but it's not okay for Black men to be with Arab women. Does that sound fair to you? Not to me it doesn't. What can I say? I'm not like the others. I was interested in Wajiha Fahim and nothing short of a resounding no from her would stop me. You hear me?
The next time I ran into Wajiha Fahim, she was in the school library, working on something. Like the good Samaritan that I am, I offered her my help with the English literature homework she struggled with. I spent the next two hours chatting her up, and by the end of that conversation, we added each other on Facebook and also exchanged phone numbers. Wajiha and I became friends, and since she didn't know anybody in Ottawa, I offered to be her guide in this wonderful Capital of ours. Four days after we first met, I took her to the movies and then to Parliament Hill and the National Gallery of Canada. I took her to the galleries on a Thursday afternoon since it's free to the public then. Yeah, I'm slick like that.
Wajiha Fahim wasn't what I expected. When I first laid eyes on this five-foot-eight, cute and slender young Arabian beauty with the bronze skin, raven hair and almond-shaped honey-brown eyes, I thought she was mighty fine but had no idea how special she was. She told me that she'd been fascinated by North American culture long before she set foot in Canada. The gal had been collecting Jay Z, Eminem and 50 Cent CDs back in Afghanistan! When I asked her who her favorite rapper was, Wajiha smiled at me and told me she worshipped Da Brat. Hmmm. Not bad. Personally, I think I'll always consider Eminem and 50 Cent my favorite rappers. I like their style.
Yeah, this Afghan cutie was full of surprises. One night while we were hanging out, she impulsively asked me to take her to the adult video store near Rideau Street. You should have seen the look on the plump White female clerk's face. A tall Black man walking in with a hijab-wearing Afghan woman...and we were smiling while checking out videos and toys. Wajiha shot me a naughty look and showed me a porn video titled Black Bi Movie. I've got nothing against gay or bisexual people but I am straight as an arrow. I checked out a lesbian video featuring Janine Lindemulder as a sexy pirate instead. Wajiha and I left the video store half an hour later, and I bought three DVDs while she bought...certain items that she refused to show me. We both left with smiles on our faces.
Yeah, I was smitten with her and she with me. Wajiha Fahim and I have become inseparable. I honestly think I'm in love with her. We've been seeing each other discretely for a while now. I want to be with her always. What's standing in our way? The oldest prejudice in the Muslim world. The Arabs consider themselves superior to other races, especially us folk of African descent, and no Arab man will permit his daughter to marry a Black man. Without having met Wajiha's family, which still lives in Kandahar, I know what we're up against. That night, I took her home, cooked for her, and then we made love. I woke up in her arms the next morning. Wajiha kissed me tenderly and wished me a good morning. I ran my hand through her silky raven hair and kissed her forehead. I want to be with her always and won't let her go. What are we going to do?