This morning, my mother came up to my blog-office (yes that is the name of it now), and she was all giddy. She excitedly said, “look up my last name on the internet. My cousin’s daughter, 28 like you, first name like her grandmother’s, has a picture online, and looks like YOU Mona!”
You may wonder why in the world my mother would be on the internet. You see, my household is your typical home. My mother has her own computer in the basement, my dad has a computer, and my sister has a computer. Each person has a computer! However, I have a kick ass desktop, a wickedly awesome laptop, cell phone with 3G internet networking, and an office! I am fully loaded eh?
So, my mom only knows two things:
1. Internet Explorer.
I know! So old school! But hey, better than nothing.
Us searching for that relative
I did what she wanted, and searched for her last name on Google. Both my mom’s family and my dad’s family are very Palestinian. Meaning, both their surnames are very well known to be found in certain regions. Therefore, we make an assumption that a person born with the same last name is related to us, and not many of us are online! I told her, “what link did you click on? A Facebook public profile?” She said, “no, what is this? Google? No, I didn’t use Google.” I then nodded my head and gave mom a dissatisfied look, and went to the address bar and typed Yahoo.com to use it for searching. She then looked at the search results, and she said, “That one!”
It was a Plurk profile, and I saw the picture. I angrily said, “mom! She looks nothing like me!” She said, “no no, she does!” I said, “NO! God! She looks like no one! I look like no one! Why do you insist? Because she is related to us?”
What happened this morning reminded me of another event that happened two or three years ago.
Them searching for us
One day, out of the blue, I got an email to my work address, because my about me work profile is online, from a guy with the same French spelling of my last name. Yes, there is a British spelling, (my current distant cousins living in Jordan spell it that way), and French spelling, or how Lebanese would spell it. However, the first name threw me off. The name was Elias, a biblical name. I thought I entered the Twilight Zone or something when I saw it. I got a cousin with a hardcore Biblical name? Interesting.
I read the email, and he thought I was his cousin Mona, the daughter of his uncle George, who fled from Australia, and is hiding somewhere in North America.
I know, totally bazaar!
I emailed back and told him, “you must be mistaken. I am not who you think I am. Are you Palestinian like me? My parents are born in Lebanon though, and I am Muslim.”
The dude had a serious problem with what I said. He emailed back saying, “How dare you deny your roots and religion! Our family is Lebanese and Maronite Christian. Why are you lying to me? Are my uncle and you afraid to be found?” Blah blah blah.
WOW! The confusion! After that day, we realized that our last name is shared by a Lebanese Christian family. Very interesting.
Just remember, your last name may not be yours only!