On a semi consistent basis I hear the questions “Khalini ashim nafasik wa idik kaman.” This is translated to: “Have you been drinking? Smoking?” For those who don’t speak Arabic it’s actual translation is ”Let me smell your breath, and your hands as well.“ What all of this really translates to is the balancing act of my transparent double life and how I can achieve maximum utility.
I was once a religious Muslim girl.
I started to wear my hijab back in the Summer of 2009. I scheduled my life around my prayers. I only ate halal and attended as many lectures as I could. I got my friends and family to become more religious and I preached whenever I could. This all changed exactly two years later when I met an Iraqi guy who unknowingly changed my life. Alaa - in some twisted joke by the universe - was my epiphany. It was through him that I let go of my religious reservations and looked into my life’s kaleidoscope. At the time it was black and white with areas of gray. Those gray areas soon took over my life. They lead to questions, doubts, anger, sadness, finding myself, my happiness, and most importantly who I am today.
If you ask me today have you changed? I’d reply “Terribly!” I’ve become everything I said I wouldn’t although I have no regrets. I’ve done it all and broken almost every rule in the book except eating pork. You know you’re Arab Muslim when you drink, do drugs, have sex, and go partying/clubbing but never eat pork. Go figure! It wasn’t always like this though, it never occurred to me that I would end up living like this. I never thought I would have an issue with drug and alcohol abuse. I came from a good family.
Where did it all go wrong?