A week ago Jonathan [The Head Heeb] posted a comment on my letter to raed (somewhere down there) specifically about me saying that I feel like I have betrayed my culture. I didn’t want to write a response at the time because I didn’t want to start another who/where/what thing going on. Been there, done that (hi Al *wink*, hope you are having great holidays). Hoping that everybody is too busy getting themselves into gear for New Year parties I thought I could sneak in a response and hope no one notices until it’s too late.
You say : “It's easier to talk to people who share one's background and assumptions, but it's more rewarding to understand the rest of the world and to be understood in turn.”
Believe me I know this, I have been rewarded immensely. My life was not only enriched by all that I have been exposed to, but very much transformed. In the comments you wrote “I want to know about the Egyptian soap operas too. It's selfish of me, but I want to be a guest at the party” I don’t think that’s selfish, this is also the reason I read weblogs, even the ones which are very personal. It’s a glimpse into a world which I might have not seen before and usually is, as you said, very rewarding. The feeling of betrayal comes from somewhere else. There was a time when I thought that one of the best things that have happened to me is that I have not been “rooted” anywhere. I felt that I will manage to feel at home wherever I go. Culture, as in my cultural heritage, was not something I could betray because it was not part of how I saw myself.
But this has changed, in this day I am forced to identify myself with something I don’t fully believe in. They see a name, a passport and I am lumped with people and things I don’t think I belong with. Actually when I think about it things haven’t just changed over night, I was probably fooling my self or was a good chameleon. So instead of arguing with whoever I decided to stop fighting it. It is who I am after all, well sort of. The problem was that I found out my brain needed some serious re-wiring; I have major blank gaps and disagree with so much. Which leaves me in limbo. This is where the feeling of betrayal comes from. I can’t fully connect as much as I try. So if I do understand the lyrics Um Kalthum sings (I see you have used the Egyptian pronunciation ‘Kolsoum’) I can’t quote the classical poets whose poems she sings like my cousins do.
One more thing: thank you Ikram for your kind words and understanding. To use an Americanism: you just, like, totally get it. Thanks.
The bit about farsi-blogs is spot on.