When Moroccans think I am foreigner (many of them don’t), there is one place they consistently guess is my watan – my homeland. The balad, country, they attribute my roots to is none other than Saudi Arabia. I have got that assumption over ten times now, so I guess there might be something to it. Of course there are Saudis that look like me, but the overwhelming majority don’t….for obvious reasons. So there must be something else about the way I carry myself or speak Arabic which would make them think that. So I asked some of my Moroccan friends, and the people that ask me. It boiled down to things as simple as the way I tie my scarf!? Yea, that is one reason. Moroccan women like Turkish woman, Syrian women, Egyptian women, and Khaliji women, have their own way of tying their scarves. The Moroccan hijab is closer to the face, does not typically extend over the chest, neatly tucks into the shirt, is of satin fabric, and has no volume in the back. — The complete opposite of my style. I think it would be a stretch to say that the way I wear my scarf is khaliji, but it is similar. It is interesting how a piece of cloth covering your hair can tell people where you are from and what cultural values you may hold. That’s is not the only thing people assume about me. Many people think I am non-Muslim, even though I wear hijab. Very strange. One cheese vender offered me a sample. A lady next to him said, “why would you give her some, she is fasting”. Shocked he asked me if I was Muslim…Duh. Anyways, he proceeded to ask me if I was really fasting, if I prayed, and then tried to show me how to pray….. -__-. Maybe it has something to do with me hanging out with foreigners? Or being one…Who knows?
My Moroccan nights have been mizziyan bizzaffff (Moroccan for very good). It have been soaking up the benefits of being walking distance from the nearest Mosque, which has been packed to the brim since Ramadan’s start.
*Update: I just asked my Arabic teacher why I get Saudi a lot. He said that the color my skin is closer to theirs than to “Africans” *~!@#($. Time for an excursion to Saudi and “Africa?”