Every child grows up with some or the other experience of scorn, mockery and humiliation. The sad fact is that your average school playground is a brutal place, scattered with bullies and children who are growing up listening to bigoted opinions. It is no fault of the children themselves, they are just seeds planted without caution or care; and with no proper guidance their stems sprout the wrong way.
Growing up, I had an extremely hard time dealing with the fact that I came from a multi-cultural family. It was unbelievably difficult to stand up and tell my friends that no, I did not come from an all-Qatari family. When I tried, the consequences were heartbreaking. In time I grew to be ashamed of where I came from and who I was. My family didn’t define me, but I still felt like I should be ashamed of myself for belonging to them, for having that DNA. When I was older, I realized that my colorful background was something to be proud of. And I couldn’t be happier about who I am and where I come from.
Every Friday I sit at a table and eat with people who can belong to every single continent in the world. My Iranian grandmother who settled and married in India, my Emirati cousin who married a Pakistani, My half welsh and half Australian great Aunt, My aunt’s Sudanese husband…These are just a few of the colorful people that I am proud to have in my life and that really have helped shape my character and who I am. Having so many people from many different walks of life really gives you an appreciation for diversity and what it can bring. Being surrounded by so many different people broadens your perspective and allows you to really think from a different point of view. When each of them tells stories, I am honored to learn more about the separate cultures and experiences they have had.
I think it’s such a blessing to be able to know and spend time with those who are different from you; it enriches your life and teaches you to be so much more accepting and aware of the vastness of the...