Farid Ali | Assalum Alaikum | 5th Avenue; Park Slope Brooklyn, NY
Assalum Alaikum
I am part colombian and part palestinian. I have an arab name. I have an arab face and an arab nose. I have arab eyes accentuated by long eyelashes. I grew up in a white town wtih very few people who looked like me. When I'm in Colombia, people tell me I look like an Arab. My brother Alberto and sister Irma would call me "you arab" as a means to insult me when i was younger. People have always had trouble remembering or even just pronouncing my name. In the past, I've introduced myself as "Joe," "Barry," "Omar" (which is still middle eastern but seems more palatable to americans) or "Ozzie" as a means to get people to not peg me instantly as an outsider or foreigner. I've even contemplated changing my name to something generic that people can identify with, remember and pronounce. No, people: it's not FarAd, FarHeed, Faroood, Mr. FahRid, Fored. It's Farid. And it's pronounced Fareed. It's only recently that i've decided to own my name. to keep it and to embrace it. Why not? It means "unique" in arabic. I'm beginning to believe it wasn't a coincidence that I should have been named that.
12 2002
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