“Don’t deny it. Let it go back to where it came from.”

“One person not in life is going to love it and the others are going to hate it. I will disappoint them and disrupt who I am supposed to be for them.”

Before she left to Kuwait she let me film her and speak to her on camera about her mother, her lover, her feelings of leaving home. In the morning I woke up at 6 and sat down stairs listening to her run around quietly. She slipped a bottle of perfume in my bag and kissed me. The rest of the family came to sit with me. The silence was unbearable that I felt only then like I had to keep myself discreet and far from crying. She instantly stood and left the room. I followed and found her in the bathroom already washing her face. She is like a bigger sister, one of my best friends and I have never seen her crying. She hugged me and told me in English that she loved me. I could only say, “One year. It will only be one year.”

She walked into the bedroom where Iklas slept. She laid her head at her feet and cried. I walked away and waited by the door.

Working, traveling ,leaving home, leaving your heart behind. Her image stays with me.


lt’s exhausting to see the same images of Muslim men in Africa or North of it portrayed as “violent Arab men”

How is it that Christian fundamentalists in Britain and America who “fundamentally” hate “the Jews who killed Jesus” also passionately dislike Muslims many also semitic people.

It’s exhausting to see the same images of Muslim men in Africa or North of it portrayed as “violent Arab men” along with their counterpart images of older women speaking ‘gibberish’ in black who are never given translation unless they are saying “Down with America” right after they lost every member of their family.

On the rare occasion when I watch the news in my friend’s apartment there is always a moment I think I am being paranoid because I don’t recognize anyone. I begin thinking that Moroccan culture and men are so drastically different from all other Muslim men in the world and perhaps yes, but perhaps no.

Just as I had that thought that something doesn’t seem right I saw the cut away shot. They shot the young skinny man beating his fists on the wagon and screaming then raising his hands to his head. Just before they cut away I saw him turning to begin the movement of reaching for his mother obviously to cry in her arms like a little boy but they didn’t show that. All that you will see is him acting ‘violent’ like a ‘savage’ who you partly are glad is on that side of the camera and that side of the world.

Maybe deep inside you don’t really have any sympathy at all. How can you? He’s waving around like a crazy person. The images I see of passion on TV sometimes look strange and are repeated and repeated and I wonder how many times you can repeat the same two or three tricks and tropes until someone catches on? I ask about these edits because the people I know are some or the biggest talkers and expressive people but avoid violence as best as they can. If it comes to blows, well…it just isn’t done that often and certainly a thousand times less then in the states.

What is beginning to surprise me for months now is how much affection, kissing of heads and hands goes on in intimate relationships. Even if I am the one who is yelling, the one I am yelling at will kiss my head and show me they are sorry not with words but by showing me. Gestures.

An angry fighting match that looks like someone is going to die will dissolve into water with a few kisses like once when a man kicked my bags in a heated fight over not moving fast enough. I was about to start a war on him and his family. After I made the whole train station stop as I yelled an English curse and my friend intervened.   Amongst on lookers he admitted he was wrong and asked for forgiveness in as many ways as he could and was ready to kiss my hand twice in two minutes.


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i need your hands


love means never having to say i’m sorry

i had an argument yesterday about family and the idea of blame. i once lived with someone who thought her life was the result and fault of her mother/father/relatives/birth country/brothers/kins folk/mass american populace/ just as her life now was in large part the fault of me.

everyone else was a fault in the composition of her own life. i agree that we are composed of others. that those we are affected by (and they are many) live around us and make-up who we are daily. sometimes we are reminded that they are there but most times they are like spirits we can’t see.

to this extent i agree but where we disagreed tacitly was on the part of blame, fault, and pain. the pain she felt always seemed to be resting with someone’s fault and i saw it as belonging to her like it belongs to the choices we make as to how we take or mis/take the world. it’s related to the ways we choose to be happy even as we are heart broken or the ways we choose to love someone, daily. the aspects of pain that live with us like the spirits of our history i thought belonged to her like mine i thought belonged to me.

i once told someone, i fell in love with, that she couldn’t harm me. she couldn’t hurt me, i said this even though i had been hurt by her and knew i would again. my point was not that i was divorced from being wounded but no matter what happened between us, no matter how wrapped up we both were in the hurt/ing, and no matter how her body will live in constant dialogue next to mine, even long after she leaves…i felt as i still feel that she is not to blame. and it’s related to my saying “you can’t hurt me.” i guess i was saying that the hurt that i might carry with me maybe the cause of us but not the blame of you.

it’s not to rob her of her presence because i acknowledge her body is constantly in negotiation/movement with me as it is also fixed to mine. it’s a statement made with the acknowledgement that i am fragile and she has the power to harm me. but it isn’t her fault. she isn’t to blame and neither am i. our union is felt in me, the happiness and the hurt is hard to judge. but all of it…i see it as belonging to me. a part of me now. i can’t blame it.

even with those who have done irreparable harm, family members and strangers, i find it hard to blame for the pain of my living experience. they make-me-up, they are a part of me and the pain is possible like happiness and forgiveness.

taking me back to the argument yesterday that centered on questions of whether people should be let off so easily to be blameless or that anyone should be expected not to blame someone else. i get it. i get the impulse to blame and hate because i’ve done it and i do enough pouting to know that i enjoy enacting the performance of blame. that’s what happens when i hang my hurt on the clothes line between myself and another. it releases my weight to that lighter space momentarily but check me on it. i’ll take it back.

i’ll admit to the bodies responsible and honor their presence daily as they live with me and compose the skin that covers me, but the feeling…my life is mine, it’s mine.



unconditional surrender

“Exile is the only country without a geography. It has, however, a climate, a culture, an ecology, an archeology and virtually a national smell.”

“The map of the unreal, the imaginary. And it is only then that they express precisely the immeasurable experience of exile.”-Ugresic

Remembrance is possession. Memory is object(s).

Writing on an author for class, I find that against my will i love these writings in The Croatian that are both scholarship and memoir, impersonal facts and personal stories in between record and invention on this feeling of being displaced.

Searching for home, being in love, loss, exile, feeling displaced…has been the subject of my poems since coming to America at ten. It’s the spirit that makes me hunt genealogy records and save all pictures and all my father’s jewelry. When asked why i am this way, why i do these things, i could never explain it well enough.

All the objects, idols, images, tangibles we’re taught to disrespect but whose importance to me all the same is wrapped up in a story i read.

A Bosnian friend remarks that there are two kinds of refugees, “those who have photographs and those who have none.”

On this particular day the Bosnian-Serb general/war criminal by the name of Ratko Mladic noticed that the Sarajevo home of an acquaintance was on his bombardment list. Mladic phoned him to tell him that he had less then five minutes to collect his photographs and leave.

“The general, who had been destroying the city for months, knew precisely how to annihilate memory. That is why he ‘generously’ bestowed on his acquaintance life, with the right to remembrance.”

All photographs are mementos mori. “To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to…relentless melt.” – Susan Sontag

remembrance is possession, and i am relentlessly possessed.


transverse unshamed, take it as a souvenir

your toothbrush is resting down the hall
I shut my eyes
entwined in your legs
aware you will be traveling soon.
I find us,
waking up in the dark with
five interwoven parts, persuaded, won over,
seduced, converted, seduced the other way.
in the night praying hands come out of
a wetness on these finger tips,
un-self consciously wandering across your back.
in the night I lay quiet
listening to you speaking in tongues
watching you sleep with me, traveler.
traveling into your dreams
tugging on to kites and hemlines
running through space
where we’re nearing the lighthouse,
I close my eyes
you’re almost at the gate,
I smile, I want to thank you
for this…


when i will reach home

life holds your hand and breaks your heart.

it tells you that a broken heart isn’t bad. each break is an opening.

so i put trust in love just as the dream ends, lying in bed touching the one i love. the dream ends and like magic it expands out anew like a sand timer opening up on the other side.



Lupita says

Her assignment in the film-making class we share between Smith College and Hampshire College, is to write a personal letter and add images. Simple. But she tells me that she can’t write anything. That everything seems so trite and done and everything she writes she reads and throws out because it isn’t what she meant to say at all. She isn’t this gaping void that needs to be filled, thank you very much. But it feels like that doesn’t it? We share an acting class at Smith and sometimes it feels like in the process of creating, we are  not only challenged but empty as well, with nothing, no words, like the ones others apparently have.

I wanted to write you Lupita, the letter I promised about words because for as much as I love them and the spirit of what they try to do, they seem to always fail me too. It feels as if I’m always in the process of learning how to read. Learning to read music, to read French, to read people, to read my body, to read yours, to read words I can’t (re)member how to spell. Always these languages within languages and so it feels like I’ll be illiterate forever. And as for the words in my head, Lupita, you sound like me and so many like us I’ve known who struggle with words.

For the women living so much of their lives in their heads, it’s hard to spell out this interior conversation that does not belabor words. Like Lindsay said at lunch today, “There are so many symbols, so many pictures that are in my head, all shorthand for all my words.” How do you speak for an experience located in your mind and in its own language? Tell me how I can translate these images that look you in the face with a smile and say, “Hello. I think you’re gorgeous and may many love you”…but instead is translated into an overly nervous voice projected in hyper confidence that in one second (oh my god she’s walking closer) goes to silence as I hide my face in my skirt.

When will I stop being an asshole? When? When I learn to read? When I learn to speak?

I hate words, maybe, maybe, because I love them. I love how they try to do for me what I ask them to do. They try to make me manifest and they try, they do. See I’m almost coming, almost there, but there is no promise. No promise that you will render me how I intended. Or that you will read me in the same language I speak. My words may not mean the same as yours just as when I say love or faith I don’t think it quite expresses the journey, the hardship that brought these words to me, and all that they carry on their little backs. These words took a long time coming and they may not mean the same things to us. They aren’t dictionary proof or even sometimes grammatically correct. They don’t appear as they should which is perhaps worse then if they thought we didn’t have them in us at all.

If we’re not artistically void then we are at least intellectually challenged. So why are we doing this, day after day, writing and trying for what!  The image will always be misread. I will always be misread. Language tries to say it all and is unable to do so…these words, these images, what are they to me?

When words fail us, Lupita, when we struggle for a language, I remember Anissa Bouziane and a fragment from her letter that reads, “So she placed her pen to paper in an act of faith.

Faith. Love. God.  What does this mean to you?

Narjiss Nejjar spoke through a translator in the lobby, in simple white cotton overalls and pulled back hair, and I understood the one line of English that she said with a smile, “A god of Love!”  A response that came fast and she continued in French:

“[I want] to be god for five minutes. Not a god who says what not to do or to do…a god that likes individuals and difference that understands and accepts…

{In English} “ A god of Love!

“…I don’t like the taboos about love. All the taboos that surround love…I don’t like conservatism and dogmatism. I like the idea that any man has the right to love a woman or a man…No body has the right to prohibit or to intervene in {pause}…do you understand? Because no one has the right to say you can love {pause}…you understand? {laughing} So I’m crazy?”


It’s a resistant act that makes her search for the words that are not available and the stories not yet here. Searching for a language that takes on the task of god, giving speech and giving life, she appears blasphemous by her audacity but this is in fact quiet. A quiet blind act of love that engages with a higher power beyond oneself.

What is love?

Love is a willful act, a move upon the world, defiant and brave. Love goes beyond you as a self. Love transgresses beyond nation. Love struggles over words. Love struggles to announce you. Love struggles to make beauty.

Playing in words and creating images, it is an act of faith, like love unseen and unscripted wherein you are asked to go with it from a “self” to beyond yourself.  “So she place[s] her pen to paper in an act of faith” in a decision to love in the invisible, wherein she seeks a language to evidence:   


“I have a passion. I have a dream. I live for that passion. I’m just trying to give something…You try to do something, not a miracle, probably never a miracle, but, that makes me believe.”


As with the women who make pictures, who write words, they take courage to wake in the morning, to put faith in the belief that the love they make can transgress all boundaries. Love that dares to keep faith that seeks beauty in words and places love in the unseen. A love that keeps you up all night and gets you up in the morning. “What gets me up in the morning…love. Yes. Love. Human love. Love.”


To the girls who cannot sleep

You say you can’t sleep.  you say that you lay on your bed with your eyes open in the dark.  you replay the conversations, you think of the world, big and small, yours and mine…lonely and brillant and sweet. This is you tonight.  i don’t know how to change the night.  but i know that i care about you.  that you are too good to feel crazy like us.   I wish that I could sit up in your bed and keep my fingertips on your hair. tell you that i have your dreams and your fears in my chest. so shhhh… close your eyes. I’m here. go to bed. I’ve got you.

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What I Learned From Tweeting With A Black Woman’s Avatar For #RaceSwapExp

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Two weeks ago, after writer and activist Suey Park sparked a wave of protest and dude-bro angst with her response to the Colbert Report’s racist tweet, I heeded Suey’s call and began to tweet about why Colbert’s work did not qualify as satire, did nothing to improve the lived experiences of people of color and was often racist and transmisogynist. Some of my tweets were included in the first half dozen or so pieces about the trending hashtag and the conversation it ignited. For me, the experience was thought provoking and empowering; it was also rather easy. How? I was tweeting as a white man. Everything I said was accepted, supported, re-tweeted or (at worst) ignored.

That was in stark contrast to the countless rape/death threats leveled at Suey and many other women. Not to mention the myriad bro-pundits—Huffington Post’s Josh Zepps and Slate’s Dave Weigel are obvious examples—desperate…

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18 Things White People Seem To Not Understand (Because, White Privilege)

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

I don’t wake up every morning with the intention of pissing you off, I swear, and whether or not you believe it, I’m here to help you. I want you to recognize that on a daily basis, you hold a set of advantages and immunities that are a direct result of the oppression of people of colour. That doesn’t sound nice, does it? Makes you squirm in your chair a bit and maybe feel a little uncomfortable, right?
But here’s the thing – I’m not here to make you feel comfortable, that’s not my job. I’m here to erase the invisibility of the privileges you have that continue to help maintain white supremacy. I’m here to show you what your White Privilege is.

1. White Privilege is being able to move into a new neighborhood and being fairly sure that your neighbors will be pleasant to you and…

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The Colbert Report and White Privilege: Satire I don’t believe in

I am a fan of The Daily Show. I am a fan of Jon Stewart and his cultural resistance to the status quo and holders of social power.  In fact, I watch his show religiously with my daughter.  We anticipate the next instance where he will speak truth to power.  A show known for its diversity of comedic writers that has made a name for itself through satirizing racism, sexism, and class-based ideologies, The Daily Show advances discourses. The Daily Show draws our attention to political perspectives from the margins of America.

However, I am not a fan of The Colbert Report. Although both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are on Comedy Central, the two have very different ideas of what is humor and satire. My daughter often asks me why I don’t appreciate Colbert’s work, since they seem to follow the same script: host behind desk covering the news with satire. “I don’t find him funny,” I would answer without analyzing why, until the recent Twitter campaign #CancelColbert and the ensuing backlash against the woman behind it.

Colbert’s bigoted character, with his regurgitation of racist and conservative banter has always been off-putting; for me, he is not funny or enjoyable to listen to or laugh at.  Sure his jokes may be met with applause.  And yes, I intellectually understand his ‘aim’ and his “intent,” but his humor falls flat for me.

Much like Archie Bunker’s character in All In The Family’s, it’s creator Norman Lear was a proud liberal, who hoped the American audience of the 70s would embrace Archie Bunker’s character but reject his beliefs. Americans did embrace Archie Bunker by the droves with more then 60 percent of the TV viewing public tuning in weekly to watch the nation’s “lovable racist” use slurs like “coons” “spics” and “fags.” As Emily Nussbaum writes, Archie Bunker “managed to defy his creator, with a “Frankenstein”-like audacity.” America’s most beloved character of all time is a foaming at the mouth bigot who purportedly spotlighted the evils of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Yet, “Audiences liked Archie,” noted Saul Austerlitz. “Archie was TV royalty because fans saw him as one of their own.”

While its often noted that comedy is a vehicle for change; it also works to facilitate stagnation.  Humor acts as a catharsis for many people’s internalized prejudices that can’t be freely expressed in ‘polite society’ but can be expressed in the socially acceptable medium of laughter (‘because we didn’t mean it’). Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled highlighted how jokes and humor are never neutral or innocuous but poignant weapons; that laughter is conditioned by social norms that we collectively believe in. Liking Archie, under the shroud of humor, allowed cultures of whiteness to feel guiltless as they affirmed racist, misogynistic and homophobic violence and beliefs.

Creating a hateful and immoral character endearing is not new if we think about what Nussbaum points out as an American tradition ‘to regard the antihero as a hero.’  If someone dares to spotlight a violent culture that normalizes the bullying of minorities and women, well you best beware of the wrath of those asked to self reflect. Nussbaum notes:

Some of the most passionate fans of The Sopranos fast-forwarded…to freeze-frame Tony strangling a snitch with electrical wire…I labeled these viewers “bad fans,” and the responses I got made me feel as if I’d poured a bucket of oil onto a flame…Truthfully, my haters had a point: who wants to hear that they’re watching something wrong?

Amid the longstanding debate about the potential and limitations of comedy in fostering justice, many have defended Colbert, suggesting that the Twitter post was taken out of context and if one goes to see the show in its context it makes perfect sense. The tweet and the joke were both insulting depictions of Asians and Asian Americans and trotted out one of the most tired and unfunny jokes about Asian accents although greeted to raucous laughter.

As Jay Caspian Kang notes,

There’s a long tradition in American comedy of dumping tasteless jokes at the feet of Asians and Asian-Americans that follows the perception that we will silently weather the ridicule. If I were to predict which minority group the writers of a show like “The Colbert Report” would choose for an edgy, epithet-laden parody, I’d grimace and prepare myself for some joke about rice, karate, or broken English. The resulting discomfort has nothing to do with the intentions of the joke or the political views of the people laughing at it. Even when you want to be in on the joke—and you understand, intellectually, that you are not the one being ridiculed—it’s hard not to wonder why these jokes always come at the expense of those least likely to protest.

Much like MADtv’s “comedic” depiction of Miss Swan, whose broken English and heavy accent directly imply her inherit stupidity, Colbert’s white racial humor panders to the American pleasure of laughing at minorities. In this most recent case, the question of Native American mascots was the mere vehicle to give white audiences permission to mock another minority group guiltlessly and even ‘for a good cause’.

One has to ask whether the audience’s amusement at Colbert’s squinty-eye-impression and broken accent is good ol’ fashion racism or the laughter garnered from the audience is from an elevated understanding of the complexities of racism and its daily microaggressions experienced by members of the AAPI community. Perhaps Colbert’s caricature triggered laughter out of an understanding of the historical racism that has been part of the American Way since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first and only time an entire ethnic group was not allowed to step on American soil. Perhaps the audience was laughing about the public shaming of Lorde for dating a man considered less masculine, less desirable and overall sexless because of his Asian ethnicity or the fact that Asian women silently make up the vast majority of women in modern day slavery in America, or perhaps it was the Japanese American internment camps or Vincent Chin, whose murder in 1982 garnered his killers no jail time and a fine of $3,780 dollars in exchange for his life and their hate crime.

Still many have argued that The Colbert Report’s mocking of Asians is not racist or even racial (as evidenced by this article in Jezebel and HuffPost Josh Zepps’ recent coverage and attack on Park), but rather a noble attempt at saving a ‘more deserving’ marginalized group.  If the aim was to denounce the R***kins mascot, Colbert failed miserably.  Yes, it may be an attempt at satire but it failed to deliver a transformative or progressive message and only normalized the historical mascot-making of Asians in American popular culture.

Colbert’s impersonation of stereotypical ‘Asian-face’ and speech is not only hurtful but also violent given its material consequences. In 1992, D. L. Rubin’s experimental study divided students into two groups of white listeners and asked them to rate a 4 minute audio lecture of the exact same speaker with the only difference between the two groups being that one group was shown a picture of a white woman and told she was the speaker while the other was shown a picture of an East Asian woman. The listeners who believed that the speaker was Asian claimed to hear a “foreign accent” and had difficulty understanding her.  Despite hearing the exact same audio, Rubin’s study highlighted how people feel less responsibility to listen to Asian voices (and thus perspectives) based on our latent stereotypes that we undoubtedly receive from popular culture. Thus, it’s hard not to think about how Colbert further contributes to the mentality that believes Asian Americans are not worthy to be heard, especially if they aren’t making us laugh.

The blurry line between Colbert’s character and the privilege that it hides behind is convenient. “It wasn’t me, I am not racist,” Colbert claimed, in earnest this week because it was just a joke after all. He’s just playing a part. “It’s not real.” But for Suey Park and countless others, it has been all too real.   Evidenced by the racist comments, efforts to publicly expose Suey Park’s personal information, rape and death threats, this “good and fun humor” has been anything but good fun and a joke, it’s been terrorizing, its been traumatic and it has been a weapon.

“Based on the hundreds of slur-laden, misogynistic, and violent tweets hurled at me by Colbert fanboys and ‘feminists’ over the last 23 or so hours, no, these terms are not post-racial props for ironic humor,” says Christine Yang. “They’re current, 100% earnest, and still just as painful to endure and being used by the same scores of Americans watching and defending Colbert.”  Although Colbert and his fans have persistently argued that he is “under attack,” to be the true victim, reality paints a different picture. Presumably, neither he nor his fans have received death threats.

Yang, a social activist and graduate student who is currently working on a Master in Social Work focusing on trauma, was one of many that received rape and death threats on twitter:

The prevailing argument in defense of Colbert’s usage of ‘Ching Chong Ding Dong’ states that the intent behind it was to jab at Dan Snyder. But where in the imagery does the intended target appear? Was there really no other way for him [Colbert] to make his point and also be funny, without endorsing the slurs that have been used earnestly against me, literally throughout the entire last 23 hours? I’m wondering why we’re so concerned about intent, while completely denying and erasing [its] impact.  Colbert not only dragged into the conversation yet another marginalized group, but he used slurs that force many of us to relive the violence and shame to which we’ve been subjected our entire lives.

This has been commonplace. Colbert’s defenders have dismissed the criticism and instead ridiculed, mocked, and demonized those engaged in these critiques. For example, HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps called Park’s opinion “stupid” on his show.  Zepps silencing of Parks is but one example of the many ways that communities of color continue to be demonized for  “whining like victims” when speaking truth to power.  This exchange is one of many examples of how the #socialmediasilencers have sought to punish Suey Park and others.  As noted by Brittney Cooper, “People implied that “Asian Americans were just being hypersensitive and overreacting to something designed actually to help…If Colbert had used the N-word instead to prove his point about Natives, we would have been outraged. And we would have seen #CancelColbert as the only appropriate response.”

Even as Colbert situated himself as the one “under attack” this week, he is the highly paid privileged white man on TV whose focus rests with pleasing his audience. An audience that is laughing at his racist misogynistic character and in many ways, living vicariously through him, sharing more of the beliefs of Colbert’s character than they are likely to admit openly.  Evidenced by the rape and death threats and the blind defense of Colbert by many white feminists and liberal white men, Park and Yang’s points on white supremacy, misogyny and racism, although pointed to as ridiculous, have been proven more right than ever.

The Colbert Report doesn’t depart far from the historical traditions of white American entertainment to mock and laugh at minorities, perpetuating systems of social oppression, from the minstrel shows to characters like Archie Bunker and Colbert. Racist white characters like the one on The Colbert Report will always be in demand in America, especially if it’s possible to package it in “good” politics from the mouth of ‘a white savior’.  If you don’t know why Dave Chappelle walked away from a lucrative career as a stand-up comic after watching a white man in the audience laugh “way too hard” at a joke, I encourage you to find out why.  We as audience members and viewers are accountable for whom we are laughing at and why we are conditioned to think it’s funny because it’s just too easy in America today to say, “I’m not racist! So shut up and let me continue to be racist because it’s fun!”  – By Michelle Medina

Published on The Feminist Wire



July 2013

Shabbat July 6, 2013, I went out into the street and I wasn’t afraid that anyone would touch me or talk to me at the corner where no women walk, where cafes have lots of jobless men that turn their heads to look. I should have been at home, but my friend had a baby and I went to the hospital.  I wore a beaded white pearl necklace and a black dress with a lace top and a string belt. Large black sunglasses and a smile.

I hauled a cab and headed off from the turning heads and glances. I got home and laid down.

So much to say about where I have been in the last few days and what I have seen and felt.

On a work trip to Rabat I went in without an appointment into the branch of government that deals with journalistic permission and grants foreign press the right to work here. It’s the same branch that shut Al Jazeera down forming working in Morocco after years of them reporting on prostitution and wittingly or unwittingly spreading a very charged image of Morocco in the Middle East. So they threw them out.

The place I work is a news agency that focuses on Jewish news, so I sat down at the table of a beautiful older woman with an intelligent peaceful feminist mentality and told her what we do and what we want to do in Morocco. She said there was no problem with religion we could do what we wanted and we could even speak about hot topics. She described other foreign journalists freaking out in her office.

She and I became friends instantly. She and I spoke about what we love about Morocco while acknowledging that people are not angels here by no means. however, Morocco is not Egypt. She said the exact words that had be paining me over the last day. “There have been nearly 100 rapes in Tahiri Square in only a few days,” she said. She had the same vision as I did, as if I was meeting my spiritual and political twin. “It doesn’t matter if they wear a scarf or if they are wearing a mini skirt, men have no right to touch.” I absolutely agreed. “We let our women protest here legally. And if there is an assault other Moroccans will and must come to her aide.” This I know to be true. Even in the case of the underage girl being forced to marry her rapist. People took to the streets to protest in a way that I don’t see happening in Egypt because they are terrorizing the girls with rape.

We agreed on everything, even the attitude one needs to have with Ramadan. She said, “Oh if I didn’t do this for love I won’t fast in Ramadan. And no one should do it if they don’t mean it. It would be better for all of us if they ate and the ones of us who want to just do it. It’s hard the first few days but after you can find us laughing up in here.”