Acceptance

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When my cousin decided to drop by and teach me how to properly make warak diwali, aka chat about why I’m still “single and unmarried,” I was less than excited about it. As she began to roll the grape leaves, I realized that she was here to talk about more than why I was single but why she has been married for the past thirteen years to a man she got into an arranged marriage with.

“At first it was tough,” she said, referring to her marriage as she placed a small amount of rice and ground beef into a grape leaf. I knew that my family had put her up to this. They believed that not only was I putting my expectations too high, but also that my fear of making a mistake by marrying a man I’m not in love with was a sure sign that I would remain forever SINGLE! This talk might put my fears to rest and in turn make me say, “I’ll marry anyone you bring,” in the hopes that I made the right decision.

“He was so romantic in the beginning,” she continued.“He really tried to win me over and prove to everyone why he should marry me. Truth is, he liked me because of these,” she said, pointing to her massive breasts that look like two flotation devices.

We both laughed as we continued rolling the grape leaves–hers perfectly, mine rather plump and nowhere near her picture-perfect finely rolled lean ones.

“He tried every way to make me happy and show me that we were perfect together, but after we married Faiza everything…. Everything changed.”

“How so?” I asked.

“He didn’t try anymore. He had me. What did he have to make an effort for? Nothing! But that wasn’t the worst part.”

“It wasn’t?”

“No, worse…”

“Tell me,” I said, putting another one of my imperfect grape leaves next to one of her finely rolled ones in the large pot.

“We started getting to know each other.”

“Is that bad?”

“When you don’t like what you see? Yeah. Very bad! He was different. He walked around the house in his boxers all the time, burped at the dinner table, peed all over the seat, watched nothing but the news all the time. Only talked about politics– nothing else. Well, politics and soccer. That’s all.”

“So what did you do?” I asked, wondering exactly how two people that seem to be so different could make a marriage last for thirteen years. She and her husband looked incredibly happy. I wondered, was this all a charade?

“Well, you know divorce isn’t an option,” she said, noting the fact that divorce is not something that is tolerated in my family. “… but I thought about it the first year. I thought about it all the time.”

“And?”

“I even went home to my parents a couple times and said I couldn’t go back to him. He just got to a point where he disgusted me. We were so different. We had nothing, I mean NOTHING in common.”

My anticipation grew. I wondered how the hell did two people who were this different stay together for thirteen years?

“What changed?”

“Nothing changed.”

I was confused. If nothing had changed, how did this marriage last this long, aside from the obvious fact that divorce is not an option? This is a couple who neither showed any public displays of affection nor showed any displays of discontentment.

“We learnt to accept each other for who we are.”

“Acceptance?”

“Acceptance,” she repeated. “That’s the key to a successful marriage, Faiza. Learning to accept each other for whatever and whoever you are. You might not get along at first but you’ll learn to accept each other and by doing that, you’ll learn to love them.”

            How could a ten-letter word be so incredibly hard for some people to do? At the point when you’re wondering if this is actually someone you want to spend forever with, between the friction and misunderstandings, when you ask yourself, “Is this what I want? Can I live with someone who thinks, acts, or speaks that way? Should I accept them for who and what they are, or should I look elsewhere?” For a couple to go the distance, how far are we willing to go to accepting each others “faults” or “imperfections” and learn to stop expecting the impossible?

For two days the question haunted me, considering the fact that Hani and I had called it quits because neither of us were willing to accept the other for who they were. I was unwilling to accept the fact that Hani was not romantic and that he didn’t support my writing career, and he was unwilling to accept me for who I am. I wondered if he and I were wrong to call it quits or was it the best decision for the both of us. Although, any thoughts of reconciliation were incomprehensible considering that Hani had made it abundantly clear that we had no future.

I decided to take advantage of meeting Khaled that night to get his opinion on the subject, considering the fact that he was engaged to a girl he claimed was his complete opposite.

“It’s tempting to want to change someone into the partner you really want to spend the rest of your life with, but that doesn’t work, does it?” said Khaled, hinting to my relationship with Hani that didn’t work because I did feel he was trying to mold me into someone that I’m not as opposed to accepting me for me. “Damn, I wouldn’t ask someone to change who they are for me because then they’ll want me to change things about myself and I’m not willing to do that.”

“Even if it makes the other person happy?” I asked.

“Depends on what it is.”

“Opening the car door?” I asked, regarding Hani’s stand on not doing so. You have your own hands, you can open the door, he’d say, followed by a laugh.  I can never understand people who have problems with traditional gestures. Now, I understand that there are Arab men like Hani and my father who argue that Arabs are just not romantic by nature, but I think Arabs like Khalil Gibran, Nizami, and Nizar Qabbani, and countless others including my friend Khaled, prove this theory wrong.

“Opening the door for a woman is just common sense. It’s not a big deal. Get the fucking door,” he said followed by an apology for using profanity in front of me.

“Thank you!’ I said. “It was as if he thought that opening the door for me made it look like he was hen pecked or less of a man when in fact it actually makes a guy look polite which in my opinion makes him look more masculine.

“Might’ve thought it made him look like a chump and you know how much Arabs cling to their pride,” said Khaled. “Ehh… you’re better off without him,” he said.

Was Khaled right? Was I better off without Hani? Or should I have learnt to accept his lack of chivalry?

“I guess what my cousin said got me thinking if maybe I was being too hard on Hani. Maybe it didn’t mater that he didn’t open the car door or that he didn’t believe in getting me flowers or any other romance clichés.”

“But you want the man you’re with to do those things for you, right?”

“Well, yeah. Of course, but…”

“Then why would you be willing to settle?”

I was about to answer when Khaled interrupted by saying:

“Would you accept him wanting you to stay at home and support him and his career while you take care of the kids, the house, and everything else he wants? Sure you’d be happy to be with someone you love, but what about your happiness? You shouldn’t have to sacrifice who you are for anyone, unless they’re willing to sacrifice some things for you too. But I’d wanna find someone who’s gonna love and accept me for whoever and whatever I am. There comes a point where you’re sacrificing too much for someone and that’s the point when you look in the mirror and you have no idea who the hell is looking back at you.”

That night at exactly 3:45am, I decided to accept the fact that my thoughts weren’t going to let me sleep and so I should just allow myself to think freely without forcing much needed rest that would not come. I grabbed my Mac and wrote out the words Acceptance and Sacrifice on a blank Word document. If acceptance means sacrificing things about who and what you are along with things you expect in a relationship, what should we be willing to sacrifice about ourselves all for the sake of not ending up old maids? Our dreams? Aspirations? Goals? Values?

When you accept your partner’s “flaws” and “imperfections” are you doing away with the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda,” and instead saying, “It’s ok that he’s not romantic.” “I’m fine with my husband never complimenting me,” or “It’s alright that my husband doesn’t get along with my family, because it’s just the way he is.” If so, when does acceptance become detrimental? That that acceptance made you sacrifice far too much of who you are and the things you expect from a relationship in order to say, “Ehh… that’s just the way that he is, but I love him.” Is that love? Can you love something you wish was different?

I believe there are certain things one should be willing to sacrifice in a relationship. That sometimes a boyfriend, fiancé, or husband’s request to alter something of yourself can actually come to your benefit, but there are other things that I believe deserve no alterations. A woman’s dreams, her aspirations, goals, job, and her love of heels. No man should ever want nor expect a woman to accept his want or hope that she’ll, quit her job, change her goals and dreams, or lock away her Macy’s card. A woman should ask herself before making any alterations to herself, “Would he do the same thing for me? Does he know what I’m giving up is a sacrifice? Can we negotiate? What’s his motivation? If those questions can supply good answers, then perhaps it’s worth considering.

Now, as far as Hani and I are concerned, I would have been more than willing to accept the fact that he would never open the door for me, that he would never buy me a rose, or carry me up a flight of stairs because my feet hurt after wearing five inch stilettos all night long, but the cost was high and the victory would surely be hollow. For the price would entail my losing contact with my male friends, sitting at home to “raise a family while supporting” him and his career, putting my dreams of becoming a successful writer aside, no traveling because he had already traveled the world and was “bored and not entertained by traveling” anymore. My acceptance would undoubtedly leave me unfulfilled and unhappy, never mind bitter as hell.

The more I weighed out the pros and cons, the more I realized that not only did I make the best decision in agreeing to walk away from the halal relationship Hani and I were in, but that he too had made the right move. Love is about accepting, but when that acceptance turns into an abundance of sacrifice to the point when, as Khaled said, you no longer know who you are anymore, that’s not “Happily Ever After,” that’s “Wish I Had Never!”

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  1. As an American Muslim and former American Muslim Matchmaker — I’ve seen plenty of men (Arab & non-Arab) who are romantic when they are COURTING the gals they are interested in. Reality check… men tend to do that, even if they aren’t that way naturally. BUT those men who do it for ALL women, even their aunties, mothers, etc .. they are showing gentlemanly behavior. Its not “Romantic” to hold a door or open a door for a woman. Its an act of old traditional gentlemanly behavior. Something far too many men have shrugged off, while at the same time whining that women aren’t “Lady like” anymore. Can’t have their cake and eat it too. That gesture had its historical issues. Women getting in and out of vehicles (horse drawn or motorized) had to focus on holding their long dresses in certain ways so they didn’t step on their hems or fall flat on their faces! Consider the number of Muslim / Arab women still wearing long dresses, our men should be the LAST go give this practice up, if they want their women to dress Lady-like! Heck even if she is wearing short dresses and heals, she still could use help getting out of those low riding cars, so she doesn’t show the world her crouch!

    Any man unwilling to put his ego on a shelf to show he is willing to PROTECT the woman’s honor in public, isn’t a man, but merely a boy wanting to pretend he is a man!

    Seen far too many of these over the last 20 years of my life (I’m 50 now).

    Salam, Anisah of South Dakota

    • Salam sister,

      I wish you’d move to Chicago. wallah sister the guys here are so differenet. I don’t know if it’s just palestinian men but they don’t do nice gestures. They always say I’ll pay the bill but that’s not the only thing that makes your romantic. I agree with Faiza about a guy opening the car door, or buying flowers, and gifts. What do you think it is sister? Why are so many men here in Chicago like that? Is it because there’s such a high Palestinian rate and they’re naturally very prideful and strong? I want a romantic man. Is it something I’m not doing?

    • A matchmaker? JACKPOT! lol salam sister. I also have to agree with Layla. A lot of the guys I meet aren’t romantic like that. What are we doing wrong or what do we need to say to them to get them to do the things we want them to do?

      • Sister from South Dakota, and other sisters, unfortunately you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. These men did not grow up seeing their fathers, uncles, or any male figure doing things like this for their own women – and they make fun of the men that do. Of course those men are not Arabian men. I’m meaning European, American, Latin. They say, “Those aren’t men!” Faiza may help for mold some of the younger ones who want to change their ways and want to show their women how the can be as romantic, thoughtful, and gentlemanly as those other men, but remember, those will have to be men who do not mind being ridiculed and laughed at when their male family members, and friends who look down on these practices see them opening the car door for their wife, or fiance, pulling the chair so that she can sit, opening the door so that she can pass before him, etc. They will be made fun of, but those who poke fun will have their faces on the ground if the man turns to them and says, “Wallak, what’s wrong with this? Learn something. I’m being a real man. Throwing a door on a woman’s face isn’t being a man. That’s being a child.” What Faiza is doing is opening up the door for change to come, and that change will come when you young ladies have sons of your own, and your husband teaches them to do those things from the time they can walk. That is how you change things. You start in your own home, and it goes out from there. A woman has a great power to change a man if he loves her, but always for the better, never for the worse. I am sorry for talking too long sisters. Allah Maak.

    • I’m not going to say my name but I’ll admit that I started reading Faiza’s page and decided to open the car door for a girl I took out and she was embarrassed when I did it. What’s up?

      • Son, women have become so use to having men let them to open doors for themselves, or open the door for him to walk past like she’s opening the door for the King of Jordan, that you must have shocked her. Keep doing it and she will become comfortable with it. Women were comfortable with the man being a gentleman once, they can/and will do so again. Don’t stop and Mabrook. You’re a good boy! I bet you she went and told her friends and they all said, “You are lucky, our guy doesn’t do that!” Be a model for other men.

        • She didn’t expect you do to that. You caught her off guard. Cause lets be fair dude we never do that. lol She was probably wondering what the f is this? Guy’s high lol

      • I think if Faiza has read your comment, she must be smiling from ear-to-ear with happiness that someone has taken her words to heart.

  2. Arab men know how to be romantic, gallant and considerate when it suits them. The rest of the time, forget it.

    Arab men want to rest of the world to see how well they can control their wives. If it weren’t for the girl’s family who coerces her into marriage, -oh my! what are “they” going to say if marries into a nother culture- no self-respecting Arab woman would deliberately want to marry an Arab man.

  3. malak, sorry that my comment casued you a bladder malfunction. i thought that only afflicted the very young or the very old. i’m really struggling with the masculine and femine forms of arab names. you’re not a mother are you? i’ll have to ask my god.

    anyways, i can see how the brevity of my statement could be confusing. considering people were fleeing the revolution in syria, i thought the context of the arab spring to be self evident. you don’t find it interesting that the two american backed dictators relinquished control fairly easily? mubarak dug in a little more than ben ali, but still compared to ghadafi and assad. american has had no relationship with libya since what? the lockerbie bombing? very little influence in syria. and of course the prelude to all that was the iranian green revolution. again no ties to iran since 79.

    you don’t find that brand of bullshit interesting?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBTOGVb_cQg

      • strange?you commented right below it at 9:02. MURDER? i think you might want to reread the definition of that word. war is our staple. always has been. not sure why people are suprised by it. have no idea why some continue to poke us with sticks? like the mexican said, we come out guns a blazing.

        • Wasn’t it something when those guns use to blaze and actually win wars against formidable armies and just causes? Those were the days!

          • Uhhh… how about Vietnam, what the hell were you guys doing there? Or… Kuwait? Even though that was no war. That was a 30 day conflict, and it stayed a conflict because Iran decided to hold onto Iraq’s planes, and President Bush didn’t go into Baghdad, otherwise… it would’ve been a war. Afghanistan, that’s formidable? And Iraq? Those are formidable war machines to you guys? Now, when the time comes to face the likes of N. Korea, Iran, Russia (if they ever grow balls again), then we’ll talk. Mexico doesn’t have a formidable army, and that’s why you guys are living on some of our land in the West, but no matter. We’re not fretting it! We’re having too much fun watching your country make a fool of itself to the world! LOOOOOOOOOOOL

    • angelica, vietnam was said to be to stop the spread of communism. you never heard the domino theory? others would say it was mainly to test our new equipment and tactics. so you an adherant to “the powell doctrine”? as for the first gulf war, it wasn’t us who said it would be the mother of all battles. so you think a couple of dozen planes, i think half of which were civilian and transport planes, would have made some great differance? i agree we should have taken bagdad in the first gulf war. we made several mistakes. calling off the dogs over the highway of death was the first. not taking bagdad the second. stormin norman allowing the iraqis to fly helicopter gunships the third. and then if we weren’t going to take bagdad ourselves we should have supported the shia uprising. have you read sun tzu’s “the art of war”?

      but i doubt too many people on this site are enamored with our talk of war. feel free to email my directly. mmalzahn@tampabay.com

  4. does anyone else here think this girl needs a book deal and fast? or am I the only one? cause I know damn well there’s no one else like her out there. not in the Arabian world anyways. what the fuck is wrong with everybody? they’re so quick to give book deals to skanks, and people no one cares a shit about. i’m shocked.

      • hey, layla, count me in. i’d love to help. i’m not Arab, or Muslim, but I truly believe in this website and i want others to benefit from it as much as i have. i’ve learned a lot about the Arabian culture and Muslim religion on this site and its all thanks to Faiza Rammuny. so, just let me know how i can help. anyone else wants to join this crusade?

          • thanks Muna. really didn’t think about it. i guess i’m a bit over zealous about trying to help.

          • dude. obviously you can’t erase your post. but if you post a bunch more times, at least you can drive it down the board. not sure how many people scroll too far down? but i posted my email and the only email i got was from faiza. also khalidaM put her email up. but now she has disappeared????

  5. man
    i will totally admit to not knowing much if anything about marriage and love
    but i was under the impression that it was more about compromise than acceptance
    i mean you have to be able to communicate and talk to your partner and meet them halfway
    if that doesn’t happen then things get shitty real fast

    • Dude I totally agree. Compromise is key. Just like communication and understanding. Acceptance is wrapped in there too but you can’t have any relationships without those things.

  6. fatima, do you think “the arabs”, DOWN WITH, and their ilk are so hardcore as to pick up jihad of the sword? [8.12] When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

    thanks for your concern. very sweet of you. but the arab blade culture is no match for american gun culture. obama hasn’t gotten my ar-15 yet. then again if he wants to be a suicide bomber, that would be hard to stop.

    team khaled, sorry my bad. there was a team khaled who commented that s/he had been overseas. then when on to tell me this is no site for my personal animosities, in a rather masculine way. your comment was rather femine. i’m easily confused in my old age. so it’s a twilight like thing. makes sense, same demographics. anyways if i may be so bold as to sugesst that if their are multiple team members y’all number yourselves?

    To the group of numbnuts, if it is still the case that faiza has dropped out of college, how would the uic have any power over her? they certainly have no dominion over the web. but get a big protest toghether. maybe you can parade out some nijab and burka wearing women as an example of your demands that muslim women dress “properly”. i mean if that is what your upset about? i’m not even sure what your beef is? it must be my limited reading comprehension, because you are all very articulate.

    • I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time Mike! Thank you for that, I really needed it. You know, I think there’s a Team Faiza, and there may have been another Team Khaled, I’m not sure, but for now I’m the only one. There’s a Khalida, but I think she went to Beirut to visit family that made it out of Syria in one piece. I hope she has access to a PC, because I LOVE her comments!

        • when DOWN WITH asked who i was, i posted my full name and address. you replied by telling me not to. why? you know DOWN WITH? should i fear for my life. don’t worry, internet bullies are real life pussies. 99.999% of the time.

      • yes, i’m familiar with ms mansur. i missed the a on the end of her name, and took her for a male as well. i’m realy struggling with the swords of allah. she gave me a lecture as well. called me closed minded. can you believe that. yet now she prays for my liver. which is a good thing because it is marinating in alchol as we speak.

        anyways good to hear they made it out of syria. especially if they are christians or druze. or alawites in an area taken by the rebels.

        don’t you find it funny that countries with western influence (mostly american) had less blood shed….my bad getting to political.

        • “don’t you find it funny that countries with western influence(mostly american) has less bloodshed”

          i laughed so fucking hard i peed
          but i promised myself not to engage in your particular brand of bullshit

  7. Salam Faiza I love this one. I read it to my gfs last night because two of them are sort of going through the same thing and it helped them :-)

  8. Everyone has faults and yeah you can learn to accept that or not. I think you and Hani made the right decision to walk away from each other.

    • Everyone does have faults but if they’re willing to accept yours than you should accept theirs. But not just one sided.

  9. Remember people – IGNORE THESE LOSERS! lol. And, yes Anonymous, she’s an incredible writer. I love, love, love Faiza! She’s everything I wish I could’ve been: brave, outspoken, and independent. And that’s why I’m rooting for her all the way, because maybe she can help other boys and girls find their voice. Shukran Faiza!

  10. WHY IS THIS CRAPPY SITE STILL UP? BUT THAT’S OKAY, JUST COUNT YOUR DAYS UP HERE FAIZA RAMMUNTY, BECAUSE THIS SHIT ISN’T GOING TO BE UP HERE FOREVER. YOU’LL SEE.

    • Oh get the fuck off this site. You’re fighting a losing battle and writing in all caps doesn’t get your point across. Leave.

    • Uhh… you should hear some of the dumbasses in these communities. My friend told me last week that he gives the site two more months and it’s off. I was like dude that’s never gonna happen his response was “Oh yeah you’ll see.” Dumb!

      • Sounds like my friend. She’s swearing up and down, “Wallah, you’ll see if this site isn’t down before springtime!” I don’t know how they’re planning on doing it, but….. I just let them talk whenever I come across one of them. So, Mike, not so fictional. Crazy yes, but fictional, no!

      • it’s not possible someone is that dumb. i understand many have’nt heard of the skokie ill ruling. or even the westborough baptist ruling. but seriously? so s/he claims a “free” country means you can silence free speech. not possible.

        then again the oic thinks they can create an anti blasphemy law for the world. always hard to tell what muslims truely believe.

        • I agree with Mike. I know I’ve heard of people wanting to do that but get a brain people. You can’t do that. If you want the site down get out of the United States.

          • sworn of allah. how was your trip overseas? didn’tmean to get too political with my mention of the oic. so is that you speaking in the story?

          • I don’t think any one of us is Faiza here, Mike. I know I’m not! I’m a 26 year old, unhappily married person who wishes they would’ve had the guts to say, “NO,” when my parents insisted on marrying me off to their best friend’s son, only because he WAS their best friend’s son.

          • Team Khaled you sound like you could be a version of Faiza. I think we kinda all are on here.

          • @Anonymous, thanks for that compliment! You made my day. Yea, I guess we’re all Faiza here… That’s why we’re here because we all bond on some issue.

  11. Arranged marriages work sometimes. My Indian friend was like Faiza and she was able to say no to a guy if she didn’t like him. When she turned thirty three she couldn’t find a guy and finally told her parents to help her and they arranged her marriage. She met the guy didn’t feel an immediate connection but she learned to love him as the years went by. they’ve been married for three years now and have two beautiful kids.

  12. I think you’re suppose to learn to accept the things you can’t change about a person but that doesn’t mean you accept that you can’t walk away. You can.

  13. Her version of acceptance is acquiescence. She wants a better man and she probably can have him, but for societal pressures at the thought of being a divorcee, and that too in a Muslim community. I feel for her, she should be treated better, her husband sounds inconsiderate from the description.

    But it’s not only acceptance, it’s also the idea of love and relationships, what you believe in and how strongly you believe. I want to fall in love, and a love that’s not forced, that’s not infatuation, that’s not purely sensual, or for wealth or status. And I believe strongly in these ideas to the extent that if the day comes when my family too forces me to meet girls lest I do not find a girl on my own, I will not submit to their wishes – at the risk of upsetting them, and condemning myself to an even more solitary life than the one I presently lead.

    Not all people believe in this idea of love, and so strongly – they have their own ways of post-marriage rationalization (if it indeed was a recognized cognitive bias) – calling it sacrifice or acceptance or nonchalance. If I do fall in love, I know she will not have to be among the richest, or the most stunning, or the smartest, she might have a bad temper or she might even be taller than me (that’s somewhat emasculating, haha) – those are the sacrifices I am willing to make. But what matters is that she loves me, and I can see it in her eyes everyday.

    P. S. I see that you took the simple example of a guy opening doors for a lady, and I have to say that as much as I indulge in such forms of gallantry and chivalry every single day, they really don’t get me anywhere. In India, even getting a thanks is a godsend – most Indian women look at it as their birth right if you open doors for them, and don’t care if you don’t, and the only way you can be sure of getting a simple thank you is if you’re an old married man going out of your way to do so. Then again, if I was better looking..

  14. Allah has someone out there that’ll accept you for you. Not who your husband wants you to be. Stay hopeful sister. Many blessings.

  15. Five benefits of accepting people as they are.

    “1. It avoids resentment and dissension. Who likes being told what to do and how to be? Not me. Do you? Isn’t it really the same as being told that we are not “good enough?”

    2. It brings closeness. When people know that you truly accept them, trust develops, they open up more to you, and a closer bond develops. In particular, it improves relationships with our children, our loved one, and family members.

    3. You experience greater personal growth. When you accept others, your focus changes from them to you, which allows you to work on fostering your unique skills and talents as well as improving your shortcomings.

    4. It enables you to let go of control and enjoy the many rewards that occur when you do.

    5. You have more peace and serenity in your life from the above benefits.

    I realize that accepting people’s annoying traits, idiosyncrasies and the like can be very difficult. It is important to remember, however, that accepting people as they are does not mean you have to like or condone their annoying ways, but simply that you need to accept that is the way they are and that you are powerless over changing them. So why waste all the time, energy–and serenity–trying?”

  16. To be true to yourself you have to learn to accept the things you’re not willing to sacrifice for any man. Every time I read one of your new entries I realize more an more what a brave and strong woman you are. It’s going to take one hell of a man to be with you. In all honesty you’re everything any man would want, respectful, traditional to a certain degree, smart as hell, beautiful, sassy, opinionated, but not disrespectful. You have a good head on your shoulders. I’d convert ;-)

  17. Stacy Carter said:

    “There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
    This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me… or leave me. Accept me – or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don’t fit your idea of who I should be and don’t try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.”

  18. well done. i like the inverse comparisons of grape leaves and breasts. and i love stuffed grape leaves. one small criticism, i would have used a differnent word than “finely” for a second time. but your parallel imagry of lives and grape leaves is excellent. the mirros reflexion a bit cliche, or maybe just old school? and the grape leaves i love most are plumbly stuffed. but certainly willing to accept a tightly rolled grape leaf.

    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    nietzshe

    btw, wearing high heels can shorten your achilles tendon. you should do wall and stair streches daily.

    • “There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
      This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me… or leave me. Accept me – or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don’t fit your idea of who I should be and don’t try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
      When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.”

  19. There are certain things you should learn to accept becaue it is right and the person you are with is worth accepting those things. but if they dont want to accept things about you that they dont like but you are willing to accept the thigs about them that you dont like. it is not a good marriage and you will be not happy.

      • Not true. You don’t like a lady walk the fuck away. Don’t stay. They’re culture is not likethat. You can’t just meet a guy get serious and then walk away. reputation is at stake. Us who don’t come from that kind of culture can walk no matter how serious or deep we get in the relationship. We don’t care what her family thinks of us or what the community might think about us. We walk. Things are different for them. I’ve learnt that all here.

  20. Acceptance in certain circumstances like when you’re already married to the person and you have no other choice but to accept them is one thing. But I don’t want to get to that point. I want to accept the guy I marry before we marry and then learn to accept whatever I don’t like about him after we’re married. At least the important things we’ll have in common. Accepting him peeing on the seat like Faiza’s cousin said or walking around in his boxers and stuff like that is small but if I have to learn to accept that he’s not romantci like Hani or that he doesn’t take me to movies or want to travel and all, I can’t deal with that. I’m young and I want to enjoy my life with my husband. We’ll be married forever inshallah. I can expect and hope for that.

  21. I don’t know if you read these commenst Faiza but i have to tell you that youve give the Arab guys a new term for call old single Arab women…. EXPIRED… said tto a girl the other day and she was like what does that mean? Had a laughing attack. Dont think you meant it that way but thanks anyways ha ha

  22. My parents ALWAYS say that… oh don’t worry you’ll learn to like her more down the line thats what happen with us… and I’m always like… hell no… that’s not how stuff is done nowadays… but honestly I feel like this is more a Palestinian thing more than anything. Cause I know Egyptians who don’t do that and other people. It’s like whenever I tell my friends oh my dad brought someone over for me to met they’re like… you know my dad just wants me to get an education and not worry about marriage now… but that’s for guys… girls are always pressured. My sisters… man I feel sorry for them sometimes… they hear this alll the time… must want to kill themselves lol

    • My parents say the same thing. They’re always saying to me that I’ll lear to like him more in the future and I always wonder what happens if I don’t. I think Faiza is taking the best approach. Get to know the guy as much as you can on your own and then decide if you want to marry him or not. I want to do the same thing. In a halal way like she’s doing.

  23. Accepting someone for who they are is about unconditional love and that’s a myth. I’m not goin to go into too much detail before I blow my cover

    • Anyway I met this girl once who wasn’t really attractive or smart and my dad and uncles kept telling me oh no she’ll grow on you. Just marry her and start your life. You need a woman in your life. All that shit these old timers always tell us. I said no because I wasn’t going to marry soemone I wasn’t attracted to or had a connection with you know. So I’m not old but I mean my family is trying to push me out the door to and all because they think youhave to accept the person and love will come. It doesn’t always work out that way. Obviously it works for some. Like some of my friends my sisters and other people but I don’t want to take the risk when it might not happen for me. That would suck. My family is also old fashion. They would never let me divorce. If I’m married I’m married. So in that case they need to get use to me sitting home.

    • I think, and I may be wrong, that the only place you find unconditional love is with the innocent. Children love their parents, even if they abuse them, because they are innocent, and because they are their parents. I’m not sure if a man and a woman share unconditional love. Looking past someone’s faults isn’t love unconditional when one of the parties needs to past those faults because they can’t get a divorce, or their family isn’t supportive enough to go back to them, or because you don’t want to take away the security of a home for the children. That’s an acceptance by necessity, and a very sad state of marital affairs.

  24. We Muslim/Arab women have a say now to. Or at least we should have a say. I know some girls who don’t :-( But it’s not just oh you have to be ok with the guy, but if the guy doesn’t like you he can spend all day and night on the phone calling an complaining to your dad or your brothers about how you’re not doing or acting the way he wants you to. This happens SO MANY TIMES. I’m sick of it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We have a say too and I’m not going to be happy and accept some guy for who he is unless he’s going to accept me for who I am. Period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • But you’re always goig to find something wrong with the guy because you won’t want to acept him for who he is. So if that’s it you need to get use to being single forever like Faiza is obviously going to be.

      • So you’re saying LeeLee that if we decide not to go ahead and accept a possible marriage candidates “flaws” and “imperfections” like Faiza said then we’re goin be single forever? That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.

      • You don’t even know me. You don’t know what I’ve been through or why i’m not willing to just accept and settle. So please keep your negative comments to yourself.

        • I know that love is acceptance and like I said both people have to learn to accept each other. What’s wrong with that. I’m not claiming to know what you’ve been through. Calm down.

      • Since Allah is the only perfect one, there is always going to be something wrong with each and every one of us, but that does not mean that every one you meet has to be okay with that. Love isn’t completely blind!

    • I agree Layla but it’s not only the girls who go through this read what I wrote above. I know a lot of my friends who are facing the same thing. Their parents are always introducing them to people and trying to guilt them into marrying the person. My friends dad passed away some time ago and his mom guilted him to marrying some lady he didn’t care for. Dudes miserable now. I’m not doing the same thing. Not jumping into a marriage.

    • I feel sorry for my sisters…they hear about marriage all the time.. probably even more than Faiza does… they wake up to hearing bout it and go to sleep with my mom talking about it. But you do have a choice. My sisters are alot like Faiza… they can say no if they don’t like the person… but that dosn’t stop my parenst froms trying to arrange something… they bring guys over all the time and my sisters ages are from 13-19. Obviously theyre not trying to marry off my 13 yr old sis…. but they are trying to get the 15-19 out of the house. Guess theyre afraid of them expiring like Faiza LOL

      • Brother, your parents are wise. They are probably afraid the girls can run off and do something stupid and they are trying to avoid that from happening. Mistakes, once they are done, are very difficult to fix, if they can be fixed at all. This may sound horrid to Western, or more “modern” thinkers, but it is the way of the culture.

    • Some girls have a say and other girls feel pressured by their parents or families to get married. That’s how it was for my cousins. But most of us do have a say now. Cause we can say no and say we don’t want this guy or that guy. That’s how I’ve stayed single. :-)

  25. Love is about acceptnce. You have to learn to accept someone. Hani should have accepted you the way you should have accepted him

  26. You can’t accept something you’re not happy with. If someone who is going to be your husband is not someone who is a good person you can’t marry them. It’s not going to work. You are better off waiting for someone who will accept you for the beautiful person you are Faiza. Hani was not the person for you.

    • Love is acceptance Ruba. How can she expect to be with anyone if she’s not willing to accept them for the person that they are?

      • She’s not the only one that has to “learn to accept someone for the person they are”. The guy she’s with has to do the same thing for her. It’s not just about the guy.