I have been trying to write this post for a week! I was determined to finish it tonight, yet I have been staring at my screen for a couple of hours trying to figure out how to put into words the feelings that have overwhelmed me ever since the 9th of Nov.
I usually pride myself in my ability to use the English language to express myself despite the fact that it is not my mother language but for the first time in my life, I find myself at a loss for words. Unable to translate my thoughts and emotions into meaningful sentences! Cecilia so eloquently expressed in her post” I am an immigrant” how anyone who has lived through the experience of being an immigrant or an expat can relate to the deep rooted feelings of fear that the results of the American elections have stirred.
I have never been to the states but I have been an immigrant or an expat all my life and I can tell you with confidence that every expat knows exactly what it means to feel like you don’t belong. It is not the big things ,by the way, that give you that feeling, it is actually the small day to day things that keep gnawing at you
“Oh I can’t really pinpoint your accent, where are you from?”
” No, I mean where are you REALLY from?”
” Why are you here?”
“Why don’t you go back to where you came from?”
Jokes that try to sugar coat racism and hatred and the fact that you have to smile and pretend that you believe it is a light hearted joke!
The injustice and despicable prejudice that you have to deal with on a daily basis. People only look at you for a split second and then judge you by the way you dress, talk,walk or simply by the way your last name sounds!
Being called “the others” “the foreigners” ” them”
The cruel remarks that cause your kids to come home crying.
Having to explain to your kid the things that they can say in public and more importantly the things that they can’t! and I am not talking about manners here!
Having to work 3 times as hard just to break even
I can go on and on but just writing this list is making me uneasy.
I just wish people would learn to look beyond the skin deep differences. When you look close enough we are really more alike than different!
If I have learnt one thing from interacting with people from all over the world through this blog , it would be that it doesn’t really matter where you are from, what color your skin is, what language you speak. We can connect through the simplest human experiences, a story, a memory, a recipe that is handed down from generation to generation, a good book, an adventure, a human emotion.
I have faith in that connection and in the goodness of people. You can call me stupid, you can call me naive but in the face of all this darkness, I chose to believe in the light. I know dark days are coming but after a week of allowing negativity and despair to run free I have chosen to put one foot in front of the other and to keep going. I will light my own little candles, be it sharing more about my culture, heritage and religion,in the hope that someone would read my words and finally understand that Arabs, muslims, women, are so much more than the pictures that the media and racist people paint.
I will keep on sharing the recipes that I grew up with along with the memories and stories that make them so dear to my heart, in the hope that a story, a recipe or a memory will be a light bulb moment in someone’s mind and it will help them to finally see that “she”is ..or “they” are ..actually not that different!
I will keep raising my kids to be the best human beings they can possibly be, because no matter how dark and hopeless today is, there is always hope in tomorrow.
I promised to post this recipe a couple of weeks ago when I shared pictures of it on facebook. I love using dukkah (a middle eastern spice blend) in salad dressings. Just mixing a couple of tablespoons with some yogurt will give you a wonderfully rich and creamy dressing that is loaded with flavor (and mind you , it is actually good for you! No cream, sour cream or mayonnaise required!)
Roasted pumpkin and cauliflower with spicy yogurt dressing
1 medium cauliflower cut into florets and washed
1 small pumpkin cut into 2 cm wedges
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 cup brown and wild rice mixture
Dukkah yogurt dressing
1 cup yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoons homemade Dukkah
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon lemon finely grated lemon rind
1.Preaheat the oven to 220 C
2. Arrange the cauliflower florets and pumpkin wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with coriander and cumin
3.Roast for 20 to 25 minutes (until the cauliflower is tender and you can insert a fork easily in the pumpkin)
4. While the vegetables are roasting cook the rice according to the instructions on the package (Mine asked for 2 cups of water per cup of wild and brown rice mix)
5.Make the dressing by mixing the yogurt with the dukkah
6. Arrange the cauliflower and pumpkin wedges in the serving dish, add the parsley, sprinkle with some dukkah and drizzle some of the yogurt dressing all over the veggies. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side
وصفه اليوم طريقه صحيه للاستمتاع بالخضار الشتويه. القرنبيط مع اليقطين خليط قد لا يخطر ببالكم لاول وهله و لكنه بالفعل لذيذ مع الدقه و صوص الزبادي
اليقطين المحمص والقرنبيط مع صوص الزبادي بالدقة
1 قرنبيط متوسط الحجم مقطع الى زهرات
1 قرع صغير مقطع الى اصابع بحجم 2 سم عرضا
1 ملعقة صغيرة من الكمون المطحون
1 ملعقة صغيرة من الكزبرة المطحونة
1/2 كوب أوراق البقدونس
1 كوب من الارز (انا استخدمت خليط من الرز البني و البري)
1 كوب زبادي
1-2 ملاعق دقة(بامكانكم ان تجدوا وصفتي للدقه الفلسطينيه هنا)
1/4 كوب بذور اليقطين المحمص
1 ملعقة صغيرة من برش قشر الليمون
1.نسخن الفرن إلى 220 C
2. نرتب زهيرات القرنبيط وقطع اليقطين على ورقة الخبز و نرشه برذاذ زيت الزيتون، و الكزبرة والكمون
3.نشوي القرنبيط و اليقطين لمدة 20 إلى 25 دقيقة (الطريقه لمعرفه ان اليقطين استوى هي عندما يصبح من السهل ادخال شوكة في اليقطين)
4.خلال فترة شوي اليقطين و الزهره نقوم بطهي الأرز وفقا لنوع الارز و عاده من الاسهل اتباع التعليمات التي على العبوة (انا استخدمت 2 كوب من الماء لكل كوب من مزيج الأرز البري والبني)
5.نخلط اللبن مع الدقه و نضعه جانبا
6. نرتب القرنبيط والقرع و الارزفي طبق التقديم، نضيف البقدونس، و نرش القليل من الدقه على الخضار ثم نصب القليل من صوص اللبن و نقدم بقيه الصوص الى جانب الخضار