Marhaba!! Hello, world!! My name is Salwa Haddad and I am really, really honored that Fatima has asked me to contribute to this blog. She asked me to introduce myself you, so here goes. I'm a first-generation Lebanese American lesbian from Pennsylvania. I came to Berkeley for undergrad (go Bears!) and never went home. I tell everyone it's because the winters are so mild, but I love everything about the Bay Area. I met my girlfriend here, and I hope to finish my graduate degree and raise a family in Berkeley.
Fafa (Fatima) has been working on this blog for as long as I've known her. Every time I run into her, she's found something new she wants to write about, and she's boiling over with excitement about it, telling me facts and figures she found about it. We talk about politics almost as much as we talk about our families. (Lots, in other words.) She's asked me several times to contribute, and I finally decided that I had to make the time for this, because it's important to me.
I'm excited about ALAH, because as an Arab woman, the ignorance about the Middle East in this country, and even in our so-called progressive Bay Area offends me big-time. As a Muslim American woman I see all this crazy right-winger anti-Muslim stuff going on across the country, and that's frightening to look at. But in my own community, I see just as much hate and confusion going on when people try to talk about the Middle East. Most people don't know any of the history of the region, or much about it, but they do have a lot of hate toward Israel and Israelis. A lot of what they say isn't true--Fafa has taken apart a lot of it on this blog already--but it's like they have no critical thinking skills when it comes to the Middle East.
WTF? I don't want to buy into hate. I don't hate people because of their country, or their religion or their race. That's not what we were put here on this earth to do.
So here I am on Fafa's blog, to bring a little bit of perspective from a Lebanese lesbian chick with a lot of love for everyone out there who understands about cucumbers and labneh for breakfast.