One of the joys of being a blogger is people’s perception of who I am through the words that I write. I love it when people email me saying, “Hey Mona! I know how you feel.” Or “Hey Mona, I am going through the same problems, but I never thought someone else would discuss them or understand them.”
This morning, a guy emailed me asking if my real name is Mona, and I will say this for the last time, “Yes, my real name is Mona! MONA! MONA!” I am not hiding who I am! In Arabic my name means: A wish or desire. In Italian it means: Lady. Hence, Lady Lisa or Mona Lisa. In Irish or Gaelic it means: A Nobel One. So no, it is not a blog name. It is my name, and I appreciate that my mother named me Mona. (She would be happy that I appreciate anything!)
Down Memory Lane
One time, an Iraqi girl that I knew at University asked me this silly question, “Why are your eyes like this? You look like a REAL Arab!” You should have seen my face after she said that. Because I was in shock, I couldn’t reply to her silly and obvious question. I am an Arab. I look like a real Arab. I have olive dark skin, dark brown hair, and brown big almond shaped eyes. I look like my ancestors and the people that came from the middle east. I am an Arab. Even if I try to hide it, to never speak Arabic again, and to change my first and last name, I will always carry not only the outer look, but the blood of an Arab.
I am an Arab. Dammit people! Say it you Arabs out there reading this now: I AM AN ARAB!
Ambassador to Them!
This evening, I got a cute email from one of my favorite Blog Watchers named Incandescent Chimera (Sarah) saying this about me on her blog,
Rebellious Arab Girl is a unique blogger named Mona, who resides in Canada. She is outspoken, self-expressive, deep, honest and digs right to the core of issues surrounding Arabs and her environment. Not only is she a spokesperson and an ambassador to us as Arab youth but as a character who stands out in your typical Arab community. She is down-to-earth and represents a mirror of hope for Arabs who are constantly bombarded with many issues in the environment such as marriage, ethnicity and religious identity. She is a strong character and her blogâ€™s outspokenness which some conservatives may find controversial is a mirror of harsh reality and truthfulness about the pressures we endure in our society. Her blog has made a marvelous unique stance against many social norms and stereotypes we are constantly labelled with frequently. Moreover, it paints a picture about Arab survival and coping mechanisms in the western world. She is indeed an inspiration to all Arab youth and her views lack controversy and contradictions unlike many of us who are constantly faced with social dilemmas we fail to represent or combat appropriately. I strongly urge anyone who is failing to understand Arabs to look at her as an ambassador for all of us. Her topics range from typical daily rants, observations and a straightforward analysis of the truth in simple words. Her writing and composition is indeed beautiful, simple, meaningful and greatly triumphs you into the 21st century life of a typical western Arab who never compromises her values or her identity from back home.
I wrote this because her birthday is coming up and she needs to recognise and be well aware of her achievements and deep influence on the younger generation of Arabs particularly those living in the West. Happy Birthday, Mona! We love you! Keep writing and keep inspiring us to move forward~ Love you always. -Sarah
Sarah lives in the other side of the world. I never met her. I don’t know how she sounds like in real life. I don’t know her habits and the way she acts, but somehow, she figured me out. I think I need to spend more time reading other blogs and understand people too. That’s my other problem as a blogger, no time to talk to other bloggers, but they know everything about me and want to know me more. Sarah and the rest, my new year’s resolution for 2010 is to be a better social networker. I don’t promise I will improve quickly, but I promise I will try to get to know other people that actually like me for who I am.
Internet, what a beautiful invention.