Typical Story

I’m bi-racial, shocked? I didn’t think so. My mom is American and my father is Arab. Typical Story, to be honest. They met in college…got married…had me! No, wait…they had my brother first!

I have lived in Jordan and America almost equally but I will always be stuck in-between. I will never be all American nor will I be all Arab.

The older I get, the more I realize that…it doesn’t matter where I fit but who I am. Tell that to a confused 12 year old. It’s hard to grasp because all you want to do is fit in and be like everyone else but in the end…I figured it out.

I was talking to my student, I teach English on the side, and he was telling me that being bi-racial should be seen as a benefit. “You already think outside of the box” because I am technically “outside of the box” I’m more of a triangle thinker.

I have found it to be a benefit. I like to think that I see the world a little differently and it gives me insight into different cultures that most people don’t understand or only understand a part of it. Some people are shocked when I tell them I am bi-racial…others know it just by looking at me. It doesn’t matter how you find out, what matters is how I am treated.

I have met various people who have similar backgrounds as me…and most of them get it. It’s like we have a secret code and no one understands except us…We live in a world where we are constantly on the edge just waiting for someone to call us a fraud…call me out on my half-ness.

There are times when people tell me that I am “too American” apparently, reading is an American habit or that I am “too Arab” because I like to sit on the floor, which I am doing right now, but if I am “too Arab” or “too American” can’t I be “too Samar”? because all of these habits make up who I am and not who I am supposed to represent.

I’m just me, Samar. A Muslim Arab American and that is all I want to be.

Who do you want to be?

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8 thoughts on “Typical Story

  1. I guess you took the good stuff from both , you are a hard worker who believe that time has a value ” as an Arab we dont appreciate time ” while you practice Islam better than most of Arabs , too Samar is too much just be your self that is the person I really admire you and hold a great deal of respect towards you .
    I see what you are going through , give it time and you will become Samar , the great Muslim Arab American .
    and for your last Q I want to be ?
    I want to be me am happy with who i am

  2. I was born and raised in Kuwait for 15 years. My father is from Jordan and my mother is from Syria. At each stage of my life I liked living in a country more than the other. I used to love Syria so much but now Jordan is where I feel I belong although I lived there 10 years only out of my 37 years.
    I understand how your situation is more complicated since yours is bi-racial. I have known many young Arab Americans here and as you said Americans don’t consider them Americans and Arabs feel they are too Americans and don’t have the Arabs’ culture.
    Nice post!

    1. I think we are all displaced a little…Jordan is a good place, and I’m glad you feel like it’s where you belong. I think I have gone through that as well…Sometimes I feel that I should be in the US and other times I think Jordan is where I want to be…It’s a tough call!
      Yeah, it’s def. confusing for someone but it’s to be expected. No matter where I live, I will miss someone.

  3. You are an older version of many of my friend’s kids. May God help you with the thought of anyone thinking you are ‘too much’ of anything. You are ‘just right’.

    My nephews are half Chinese ethnically, although my SIL’s a 5th gen American and we are only 4th. They are tall, skinny Asian-faced with blonde highlights. They are atheists in a Christian neighborhood.

    My kids, although very American outwardly, have very Arab hearts. It trips them up sometimes in the US, and we have long discussions about personal space, being intrusive, and overly animated when discussing politics. Their little buds just don’t get it. But, with friends like my kids, they may eventually.

    The world desperately needs the best of the Arab world and the best of the American world to shine, that is a good goal.

    1. Thanks Kinzi! I think I will always be “just right” but not “just right” for everyone πŸ™‚
      That is a very interesting mix, to say the least! Yeah, I understand what your kids are going through…I find it hard to mesh the two as well because it’s so much a part of you that you aren’t sure what works where and how to understand all the different social cues and signals that are given. They will get there πŸ™‚
      Yes, I would have to agree…the world does need the best of both worlds. I hope the world realizes this and acts on it πŸ™‚

  4. You are the best of both worlds! You are going to have to act soon, my friend! πŸ™‚

    I’m very interested by your story, I have a friend who is also bi-racial, but he lived most his life in Jordan and just recently moved out. You have spent parts of your upbringing in both Jordan and the US, which is what I think gives you a unique perspective.

    And there has to be some mental blocks, but I mean, who doesn’t have them? πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not sure about the acting part! Best of both worlds, that is a pretty huge title πŸ™‚

      Interesting, I know people like that as well. The thing is for me, I spent my early years in the US…Elementary, middle and a part of highschool in Jordan but the rest of my highschool, college and beginning of professional life was all in the US…Makes ya see things a tad different.

      Oh, I agree. I think we all have those whether we grew up in Africa, US or the middle east.

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