I am the nakedest hijabi you will ever know.

From the land of menorahs and minarets.

5th February 2010

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How i REALLY Felt About My Hajj, or More Truth Than You Ever Wanted

I’m home. I swore to myself I would write about shit as it happened but I didn’t so now I have to summarize things in a desperate attempt not to taqwabore you. I’ve been from Austin to Albuquerque to Park City to Chicago to OKC and back. I left 2 weeks ago to head to Park City for the screening of The Taqwacores at Sundance and then to drive with Al-Thawra back to Chicago to scope out the city because I was thinking about moving there. I think the one most purely excited to see me home was my dog Alchemy, who spent most of the night trying to get her face as close as possible to mine. ‘All of man’s virtues without his vices.’

Speaking of Byron, he rode the entire way with me in my trunk for what turned out to be no reason at all. So did a loaned copy of She & Him, which never got played because my psyche was in such a delicate balance the entire time. I listened to Michael Showalter’s ‘Sandwiches and Cats’ five times. And now I’m home and much too bit-ter. You agree with me right? Just too bit-ter. (that was a callback to that album, for non-comedy fans. If you would pick up a ticket now and then, that joke would’ve KILLED).

Park City was great. Now, this was not my first time in Park City. I used to frequent it in the summer when I dated this rich white dude named Dave Cocke. I know, right? Dave used to always spell out his last name when he had to provide it and my most vivid memory of PC was being in a blockbuster with him, myself drunk and belligerent as always, and when he began spelling out his name screaming ‘COCK! His name is COCK!’, much to the chagrin of, well, everyone. But I had never been there in the winter when Park City apparently becomes Christmastown only if all the elves were rich famous people.

Meeting everyone was, let’s see… ‘Exceeds Expectations’ were this a report card. There was a house with 40 or so people and it had that really great vibe of people just flowing through so that you got to spend time with everybody. At one point I found myself going to lunch with Mike Knight, his spectacular wife Sadaf, and Volkan Eryaman who played Amazing Ayyub in The Taqwacores. Mike Knight is one of my favourite writers and suddenly hanging out with him was surreal, but only for a second because he’s just…well…a fucking class act. He’s a great conversationalist and polite and witty, but not in an oppressive way. Aren’t writers supposed to be drunk and complex-riddled? All of prose’s virtues with sordid vices? I’m glad I met Volkan first before seeing the movie because I could truly appreciate how much he became Ayyub. The Kominas were maybe the sweetest boys around and contrary to some malcontent beliefs held by certain people, will not try to sleep with or belittle you.

While we’re on that subject, let me say this quickly: I work in an industry designed to subjugate women, I know that. But I trade it for money, which I view as the only way to level the playing field in a man’s world by taking the thing dearest to him. My point is, I know when I’m being placed in a lower caste. But if taqwacore is allegedly a boys club, I want every club ever to mirror their dynamics. Balancing chivalry with equality is a difficult thing, but I feel like it was achieved by all dudes I interacted with and it was a pure and refreshing feeling. Sure, there aren’t really any girl bands on the scene right now, but that’s only because all the boys happen to play music and all the girls happen to write shit. And I bet if there were some sort of blog-journo-concert, all the boys would be in the front row literomoshing to Taz Ahmed or Natalie or Kait.

In fact, the only shitty treatment I got in Park City was from the ladies. Ladies that I probably didn’t say more than 5 words to, and one that I really expected more from. Normally that’s to be expected and the reason I don’t have a ton of girlfriends. It’s hard to be close to girls that aren’t in the industry and most of the times even harder to be close to ones that are (take my current anullment, for example). I won’t bother naming names because if you were there, they probably said it to your face and if you weren’t there you wouldn’t know who any of these broads are anyhow. But suffice it to say I was a little surprised and hurt. I mean, weren’t we all there to celebrate this community of open-minded and accepting people? I’m sorry, but my Allah is too great and open for my Islam to be too small and closed for a little bit of sex industry work. See what I did there? That was in the movie, folks. My mom has this great speech she gives me any time I start to worry about things like that. She laughs and says “You think you’re shocking God right now? You flatter yourself enough to think that you’re dong anything new? That He is up there with his jaw dropped saying ‘I’ve been around for a long time but I’ve never seen THAT before!’” So it was disappointing to be judged in a supposedly non-judgement zone. And cruelly, at that. But m3lesh, sisters, I know you usually fear what you think you must compete with or don’t understand. So you know what? Next time you’re in Austin or Chicago hit me up and lady, you can get this lap dance here for free. Oooh baby you want me?

More later. I’m going about this all out of order.

24th November 2009

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In addition to their unfortunate faux pas in which they refer to themselves as Rough Riders (the practice of nik-ing sans condom) in a video re: chaste habits, they also refer to the side hug as an ‘a-frame’ in a related article.

Christians are so fucking weird.

2nd November 2009

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Brothers get locked up and defect to the mosque, sisters get knocked up and lose respect for they moms
— C Rayz Wallz

30th October 2009

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ahlen wa sahlen

It’s Friday. And to celebrate new things, taqwacore, and Friday prayer here’s the beginning of The Gaza Stripper’s self-referential introductory song (yes, that was an MC Lars shoutout, yes, I’ll make sure it’s the last one) that I’m working on.

If the Kominas are the antichrists for being Islamists

then I’m the product of the antichrist and his antichrist, aint that some shit

By this time, Christ isn’t even part of the conversation

My ibn haleti once removed, or was it 3mi’s ibn?

But I’m just the Gaza Stripper, if you dont me though

I’m the best Israeli/Arab collab since Chromeo

Yeah I get naked for fooloosi, if thats a problem kool khara

I learn all my swears from Marwan of al-thawra

But fil haqeeqa all my cash goes to rent in Ramallah

And if you think you want to help me out give me a holla

(yalla? yalla.)

But bisubib my past and because I shake my ass

Its hard to hope I’ll ever find myself a nice jowaz

The kind with deep brown eyes and an Arab nose

A fresh sense of humour and those desert cheekbones

Too religious for the Martins but not halal enough for Nabeels

So I’m doomed to keep on settling just like our IsRAHeel

And yeah I wear hejab when my uncle is in town

But 4 bucks a month on SG and you’ll see how I get down

Work in progress.

Word.

Kalimat.