A Muslim woman’s choice

Beck to the past – not!

Nervana

I wrote this piece for British newspaper I News

“Is that your husband? He is English?” Of the millions of Egyptians in the world today, you opted to marry an Englishman?”

My printed piece.jpg

The Syrian passport control officer glared at me after I crossed the once peaceful Lebanese-Syrian border seventeen years ago. He shook his head, and interrogated me with a fusillade of awkward questions after I had submitted my passport. “Yes, I did marry a blond English man,” I said, looking the officer straight in the eye. “Not only that, but we are also planning to travel around the Middle East together.”

Eventually, Bashar al-Assad’s perplexed official allowed us to enter the country. Little did I realise it was only the beginning of a relentless journey of “honour proving” – a struggle to prove my Islamic bona fides whenever and wherever I travelled. And through it all, one thing eventually became clear:…

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