When Omnia was young, she was living in a very quiet city full of foreigners. Nearly every building had a furnished flat for rent. At her school every class contained one or more child whose mother was a foreigner. As a child Omnia had the opportunity to mix with foreign children. They were different not only in their skin and hair color but also in their behavior and the way of thinking.
For example, little “Frady” always enjoyed making a large fountain of urine to urinate on her. Omnia’s brother, cousins or neighbors never did such a thing. Also, the little niece of Omnia’s friend whose mother was a foreigner used to insert her index finger in-between the buttocks of anyone. She also insisted to remain naked at home.
Foreigners are known to be more free than Arabs. Far from Omnia’s building, there were four young brothers who were apparently among a distinct religious group. They looked alike and wore the same simple clothes with the same color. They walked as if they were soldiers in a mission with the oldest one nearest to the street and the youngest one farthest. They never talk, smile or look around. Once Omnia was drawing in the club and suddenly she saw them standing just behind her watching her in silence. The next moment they disappeared quietly.
German ladies are known to be very strict with their children. Once a German lady with her little daughter visited Omnia’s mother. Something fell from Omnia’s mother while they were standing near the front door and she bent to catch it. The next moment the girl received a slap on her cheek just because she did not bend to catch it before Omnia’s mother. As a child Omnia could not understand why the German lady was so cruel with her daughter.
At school, children who had a foreign mother were known to be lazy pupils. Omnia met only two clever students of them at college. One day, a half foreign girl joined her class and all the pupils liked her and wished to be her friend. She had a special walk as if she was a ballet dancer and she wore imported nice clothes that were unavailable for them at that time. Omnia walked just like her and she wore a woolen skirt at summer to mimic her. It was a second hand gift from a foreign lady but it was the best skirt she has ever had.
Apparently raising boys and girls is different in other cultures and that surprised Omnia. Once she watched a foreign brother and sister playing table ball while their mother was watching them. After the older brother was defeated by his sister, he kicked her leg by his foot. Both the girl and her mother did not speak a word as if they were accustomed to that. Omnia thought that may be he was mentally ill but she saw the same scene at school between a brother and sister whose mother was a foreigner. Girls in her culture usually defend themselves or at least object.
At summer Omnia was always playing in the street with the children of the neighborhood. One day they saw three foreign girls watching them from the nearby building. Omnia and her neighbors signaled them to join. In the first day, they knew only their names and showed them how to play by signals. The next day, the three foreign girls drew a long table on the ground and wrote the names of girls in one row and the names of boys in the opposite row with the letter x in-between each boy and girl. Omnia and her neighbors did not understand at the beginning what they meant then they all burst out in laughter when they knew. Boyfriends and girlfriends were unknown in her culture at that time. Her sister commented that they wanted to guarantee that they will share the boys.
Later on they noticed that the youngest girl always hides with her boyfriend who was four years older than her. They caught them several times while they were kissing each other. Omnia and her neighbors were laughing but if this happens with her, the next day her parents will shout and prevent her from playing in the street. Later on they all moved far away. When Omnia was at college she saw this boy once sitting in the club with two of the girls. She heard that he failed in his college for three successive years and that his father kicked him out of his house because he was taking drugs.
تمت المراجعة في 13 – 1 – 2017