my life

My story is basically the same story as Nadia’s just in a different colour. I am a German girl with Iranian roots and I grew up in a religious Muslim family. I don’t know if it is sad or not but almost all the experiences she had, I had as well. From the really beloved parents who were from another country and had other ways of thinking, to the friends who were dating guys when we were fourteen. I always lied about everything. To my friends and to my family. For all the same reasons.

When I was fifteen, I participated for a few years in the drama group at my school. Like all of the people there, I was dreaming of becoming an actor. When I told my parents this, they just laughed at me and said that I should do something useful. Acting did not count as a job. I grew up and decided to study as much as I could in German. I met my first boyfriend. And there, my clash within myself began. Between the two worlds. Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents and my culture in a lot of ways. I also love my religion, but these two completely different worlds were too different.

Before I began studying, I had tried to be a good Muslim. I prayed five times a day, I fasted during the month of Ramadan, I was a virgin and I didn’t drink alcohol. But I felt so incomplete. At university, I started drinking and having sex with a lot of different boys. The more I got out of the Islamic society, the more my brother got into it. Like Nadia’s brother, he also called me whore. I had a clash between these two cultures. On the one side was my religious self who loved God and on the other was the curious girl who was hungry for new experiences.

Finally, at twenty-six, I think I’ve found a balance between the two. Now I am living in Southampton doing my PhD in computational engineering. I love my life here. It is a great life, with a lot of experiences, both good and bad.

Yesterday on Sunday the 14th of September 2014, I went to see Burq Off! I laughed harder than I ever had before. And I cried more than I ever had before. After the play I was still crying. I could not stop crying. I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop! My poor boyfriend didn’t know what to do. I just couldn’t stop. I think in that moment I realized that Nadia’s story was the copy of my life, and basically the copy of the life of every Muslim girl living in a western world.

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