Half ‘Asian’/Half ‘Arab’: Reconciling with my Palestinianness

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive on 2022-02-26 17:18Z by Steven

Half ‘Asian’/Half ‘Arab’: Reconciling with my Palestinianness


Sarah Barzak

“Oh, your dad’s Palestinian? I have so much respect for you now!” said the Arab girl who sat in front of me in Arabic school.

Disgusted. Small. was how I felt.

She sat in front of me every Saturday and only acknowledged my existence on the last day of Arabic school.

We were 17. Which, frankly, was too old to behave this way under my tiger mom’s standards.
Kurang ajar, I thought. Who raised you?

These interactions didn’t stop in my teens. While working at Baba’s convenience store, an Amtu came in and made small talk as we completed the transaction.

“Oh, you know, the man who works here is Palestinian,” she said.

“Yes, I know. He’s my dad,” I responded calmly, “My mother is Malay”…

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