To be an Arab living in the west is to be sentenced to a lifetime of caressing a hedgehog. I get pricked by spines of misunderstanding. No matter what I say it gets twisted into an extreme. I shoot a nurf gun, the slightest touch startles , out come the defences.Hedgehogs are cute just not cuddly I am either on the side of the terrorism or a traitor seduced by the west. And a long list of labels follows. It is the most alluring thing, these days. To become an islamophobe. Just look at Irshad Manji: Writes drivel and gets labeled an intellectual. Hailed as a hero. It is the easiest thing, these days. To become a westernphobe. War after war after a blood soaked foreign policy and multitudes are busy discussing the Kardashian ass. I too feel tempted to point a finger. Why would an adorable being be called a hog? Who came up with this dreadful name? I agree and disagree with both sides in equal measure. A state of perpetual conflict? How do I reach the soft center away from misunderstanding? I totally get it. Seeing flaws in others helps you feel superior, secure in your beliefs. The old slippers of your way of life are a trip to exchange. You have to be right and that makes somebody wrong, misguided or fooled. Why understand when you can explain away. Curled up in a ball, summons spring before fall. There are many tools at my disposal. Silence is one of them. In return to accusatory looks I say nothing and my words can’t get shaped into disturbing forms. By now this discipline is easy. Perfected with years of practice. Feels like caressing a stuffy hedgehog. Warm, fuzzy and fake. We can always stick to talking to nice subjects. Few can disagree. Let’s talk about food, music and landscapes. No feelings will get hurt. Like eating a chocolate hedgehog. Yummy, sweet empty calories.
Sometimes I think that those in the middle have a responsibility. To unclarify and muddy the waters. There has to be a special method. To cajole away from hyperbole. Quill! I can always speak in incomprehensible riddles. Misunderstanding has higher chances to lead to understanding. A magical trick of a sort. Like an animated cartoon. I have been going about it the wrong way all along. Chasing and pursuing. My quest is over. I shall disguise myself as a shrub and twinkle my leaves towards the sun in yearning. Let the darn spiny thing find its way to me.