What would I do? Every time an American or a European that asks me the question: “Where do you come from?”. I would automatically answer him: “I am from Jordan”. Feeling proud for announcing the name of my country.
But, many of those whom I talk to just won’t show up again after they know where I come from. They are afraid from my country, to be more precise, afraid from any thing coming out from the (peaceful) Middle East.
What shall I do? It really puts me down. Shall I lie? “Oh! I come from China.” or Poland, or any other not Middle eastern country. It is really a tricky question, it has a small answer, but an answer that carries bigger connotations.
What does it mean to deny the country where you come from? To deny your origin. Furthermore, to deny the place where you, your parents, and your ancestors lived all their lifes. And as the Jordanian saying reads: “Only those who are Bastards deny their origin!”. But most importantly, not to be able to force others to respect you the way you are. In other words, not to wear any mask of deception and lying.
I am saying all of this after talking via the Skype to a Spanish guy who accepted to talk to me in the first place because he wanted to practice his English, he called me. After the “Hi” and Hello, he asked me the bloody question:” Where do you come from, Jameel?” He said it with the normal funny tone he had been talking with since he called.
“I am from Jordan!” I answered confidently, forgetting the problem that I always had when mentioning where I come from, especially to those from the upper world, from the so-called: first world.
“Oh! Oh! Jor… Jorda… dan” He repeated as if he heard the weirdest thing ever. His tone changed drastically and he became sick of the conversation as if we had been talking for ages.
Throughout the rest of the 15 minutes I spent with him, I was always the one to start a talk, because he remained silent as if he wants me to infer: “Just go away! Why didn’t you tell me that you are from the fucking Middle East from the beginning?! Why?”.
This one-side conversation lasted what it lasted, then he asked: “Do you log on often to the internet?”. He asked a question that doesn’t lack cunningness.
_”Yes! Somehow!” I answered him not knowing the aim of his question.
_”Then, I will see you later! I gotta go now!”
_”OK… Bye” I said it with the tone like I am some kind of a sub-human being.
Anyway, if this guy calls again, it shows that he is not what I think of him (How naive person I am just to write this sentence!). If not, a sign of how shallow he is, the only thing that I would lose is a “thing” that could improve my English. What is more, I couldn’t expect too much from an Agnostic, those people don’t have any set of ethics to go by!
I will put the meaning of (agnostic) just to my knowledge, ’cause I strongly assume that Mr. Mazen knows what it means. Don’t you know what it means?
Agnostic: noun a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God. (Concise Oxford English Dictionary)