I am not white. I am Middle Eastern.

I am not white. I am Middle Eastern.

I am not white. Or am I?

I am Middle Eastern. Am I not?

I think. You try to stop me.

I speak. You silence me.

“Spare us your elitist western brainwashing” you say.

How am I part of the elite? How am I brainwashed?

I left for the West, yes. The West gives me what the East does not.

I am fortunate. I am lucky.

Does it make me an elitist?

Does a western-education brainwash me?

I can barely get by; is that ‘elitist’ of me?

You don’t know me.

Do I know you?

I left you 5 years ago, yet I still think of you and I speak of you.

I yearn for my land and my peoples.

I was suffering in my country.

Just like everyone who remains in the country is suffering.

This doesn’t mean I’m blind to the injustices you face.

I do what I do, because I love my country and my peoples.

I am privileged. I am a refugee.

How can I not be?

I left when I couldn’t breathe any longer. Did I have a choice?

In the comfort of my ‘western’ home, my heart aches for you as I see you burn.

I long for my country and my family.

You see me as white. You accuse me of being an ‘Orientalist’.

I am not white. I am Middle Eastern.

Your resentment towards me will not silence me.

I see you. I feel you. I hear you.

Trust me, I do.

I am not white. I am Middle Eastern. I am one of you.

You cannot take that away from me.

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