Chunks of a Shia Muslim childhood – sister-hood magazine. A Fuuse production by Deeyah Khan.

Grade five. During recess. Seven girls from my class crowd around me while they hold their lunchboxes. I must explain to them why Shias drink blood. I am a Shia Muslim so I must know. But we do not drink blood, I start out. The tallest of the bunch smirks at me. We know, you know. You cannot keep it hidden or anything. Why are you guys so disgusting? I close my eyes and remember a conversation I had with my uncle. Why are there always almost no Shias in school and so many Sunnis, maamu jaan? There is no one to support me when someone bullies me. I feel lonely and scared. My uncle just smiles. I press on. Kisa beta, one Shia equals thirty Sunnis okay? Not that we are better than them, everybody is equal, just the same as each other. But we have much more knowledge than them, jaan. We learn and relearn our religion for two months straight every year when we have majlis. We have discussions and analyze the viewpoints of so many scholars. That makes us very powerful. Never forget that. I look at the seven jeering faces eyeing me expectantly. Well, we drink blood because we are vampires, I shrug. The horrified expressions as I bite into my sandwich are hilarious.

Source: Chunks of a Shia Muslim childhood – sister-hood magazine. A Fuuse production by Deeyah Khan.