Differently or with difference?

ea51daebdeab766ed21fd05394bdf438--victorian-ladies-victorian-houses

 

I consider myself a feminist – of sorts. See, I think that women shoot themselves in the foot sometimes in the name of being feminists, and end up giving up on some feminine perks in the name of equality.

Anyway, despite being a feminist- of -sorts,
And advocating for the right to drive in Saudi and all that..
I have to say, it’s not a hardship to be treated like a lady from time to time.

To have the driver not only drop you off right at the door of the store you want, but then to say: ” Madame, wait in the car while I check if the store is open”
Ok… thanks

Or to watch the store clerk and the driver discuss who gets to carry your heavy bags to the car( baby supplies not designer shoes I promise).

Or to have someone become a little flustered, and change their manner when they realize there is a lady in the room.

Again, I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am, and there is a lot to be done for women all over the world. I am a fierce advocate of women’s rights ( just you wait and see what I plan to do here once I get settled¬†ūüí™ūüŹĽ)

I’m just saying, for the sake of my wellbeing..
In the present, in the meantime, while things slowly and gently change with our soft powers of influence, with respect for our history and tradition and the pace of change..

I can either rant about not driving
or enjoy the perks of having a driver

If a man offers to carry my suitcase, I can get all offended and assume it’s a slight to my strength,
Or realize his gesture for what it is was meant: an act of respect and reverence for my femininity.

Basically,

I can be angry that women are treated “differently”
but I choose instead, to focus on how they are treated with “difference”.

Image retrieved from:
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Freefall

fall.jpg

 

It’s supposed to snow this week. I’ve been putting off this poem, but¬†it’s time.

Winter’s coming.

 

I feel my heart fall

 as the leaves fall

in my last fall

in Montreal

I feel my heart break

It’s so high stakes

wish time would slow

To a crawl

It’s my last shot

In the pool game

It’s the black one

Eight- ball

But I’m going home

To remake a home

I won’t be alone

After all

Still it’s so unknown

Though it’s called my own

Have faith, close your eyes

freefa

               a

                   a

                       a

                           a

                               a

                                    a

                                         a

                                             a

                                                   .

                                                         .

                                                                .

 

Wid Kattan

Dreams of Arabian Nights

 

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Lofty dreams

that grew

on palm trees

in the desert dunes

 

 

 

For me

came to fruition

far away

where pigeons croon

 

 

 

Here by the canal

In Montreal

This is where

I started to write

 

 

 

remembered

those dreams

and found my voice

and found my fire

…and fight

 

 

 

soon returning home

with a torch of light

to burn through

my Arabian nights

 

 

Wid Kattan

Lofty

Image: torch

8 sketches, 8 hats

My home page as you can see in this link  shows the many hats  I wear. There are many facets to me, and to you and you and you. When our similar facets face each other, light is reflected back, we recognize our common human-ness. Stereotypes and racism no longer makes sense, because we are too complex, and too similar. If you see me as a human being, as a mother, as a professional, as an artist, it’s hard to fixate on that one facet that may disturb you: my religion or colour or race or name.

I think the whole idea behind my blog is to relate to people. To help you see behind the hats or veils I and you and you and you wear. To help us see each other. In today’s world, this one thing, this capacity to see each other may be the only thing that can save us.

Read more in the About me/us page

 Numbers

Not an “other”

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You would never have shot me

Or beaten me to the ground

If you knew me

If you knew me,

You’d never have been angry or afraid

If you knew me

You’d have loved me

You’d have shed more tears for me

than this blood on your hands

I think you know it

Yet can’t bare to know it

So you avoid my gaze

As the life leaves me body

You may look at me

But you don’t see me

If you saw me,

You’d have seen yourself

Not another

Not an “other”

In February 2015, 3 Muslim students were shot in the head in their apartments. Days ago, a 24-year-old Saudi student was beaten to death by a stranger- who used his fists as bludgeons- outside a pizza shop.

I just don’t know what to say, except: Don’t shoot! It’s me! It’s you..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3893942/University-Wisconsin-student-24-Saudi-Arabia-beaten-death-outside-pizza-shop-6ft-white-man-violent-hate-crime.html
Bludgeon

Who are “THEY”?

they

Please, someone tell me

Enlighten me

Please explain to me

Who are “THEY”?

 

 

And why do we all

Care so much

About

What they will say?

 

 

Do they sit

In mighty towers,

And write rules

Night and day?

 

 

Who selected them?

Who put them on

The committee, anyway?

 

 

Come here

Come close

A secret..

I’ll tell you who they are..

 

 

They’re me and you

Backstabbers too

This joke has gone too far

 

 

By following,

Their silly rules

You’ll never be the star

 

 

Just do your thing

Just find your way

And just be who you are

 

Wid Kattan

Image retrieved from: old nightmares that don’t scare me anymore

Radical Authenticity

Don’t Ban my Sanctuary

mosque

There is a lot of talk about banning mosques and surveying Muslims in North America. Please, Don’t ban my sanctuary.

 

Do you know what a sanctuary is?

It’s a door that squeaks

And stairs that creak

Under the weight of your feet

 

 

Bare walls

A curtain torn

Mismatched carpets

Threadbare and worn

 

 

An open window

That lets in the breeze

And bird song

But keeps out the world’s cruelty

A mattress in the corner

And running water

 

 

A place named after a woman

Aisha..meaning: a woman alive

A place for women only

To shed their layers

…and their tears

 

 

This is my mosque

Where I wandered one day

Because I needed walls to cover my  raw open wounds

Where I doubled over on the ground;

The mattress was too high

Wondering if I’d ever breathe normally again

Where I fell asleep

Something I had not done in days

And woke up to the sound of my own laughter

And the fading image of a silly face in my dreams

(I have a weakness for silly faces ūüėĚ)

 

 

This is my sanctuary

And heartbreakingly,

It was labeled on google maps

As a terrorist center

Really?

I guess that makes me a terrorist

Because..

When my world tipped over its axis

This “center”

“centered” me

 

Image retrieved from: my sanctuary

Banned

My Veil

hijab

So…

Let me get this straight
I can cover my head..
If I’m a surgeon,
cancer patient,
Or a bride
In sports like diving,
Or fencing..
Hair can hide
But I can’t veil it
Cuz I’m modest
…or just shy?
You say:
it’s for your freedom
But you lie!!
Come on
Admit it
But look me in the eye
It’s about the
“Them” versus ¬†“Us”
The great divide
When you strip off her clothes
You are liberating her?!
No! her liberty
Is letting in her decide!
Go ahead. Strip her
And you’ll see defiance
You’ll know her¬†pride ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Wid Kattan
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Outer Layers

The Woman Who Stands Before You

straight-arrow

Let me tell you something about me

About the type of woman who stands before you

I’m a straight-arrow one

A no-nonsense one

A loyal one- to the bone
Don’t take my kindness for seduction

Nor My smile as invitation

If you make that mistake

…your loss

You’ll lose what I was willing to offer for free
Not my body

Something much more valuable to you

If only you knew

I’d have given you light and wisdom and warmth and safety

And a rare kindness

I’d¬†have¬†taught you all I know
All you had to do

Was show some respect

For my boundaries

My values

For who I am                                    Wid Kattan

Image retrieved from: https://www.google.ca/search?q=turquoise&safe=active&espv=2&biw=1300&bih=837&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi36oui4KbPAhWKmh4KHczOA6cQ_AUIBigB#safe=active&tbm=isch&q=woman+bow+and+arrow+silouette+&imgrc=_

Value