I’m a Black female living in the Middle East. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us here. However, I still managed to get stared at and asked some ridiculous questions. Some questions reveal ignorance while others express genuine curiosity.
There are two types of stares:
- You look different than I do.
- You look like me and I’m trying to figure out if we’ve met.
Oh, but the questions… LOL
- Why do you braid your hair?
- How long does it take to make all these braids?
- Do you wear sunscreen?
- What do you mean you’re American? What part of Africa are you from?
- How do you get your hair to stay like that? Did you put jelly?
- What happens to your hair in the shower?
- Will you do my hair like this?
- Do you think I can get my hair like that?
- Are you Muslim?
- Do you like the Quran?
- While looking directly at it, “What color is your hair ?”
- While being a stranger, “Where do you live?”
- Are you married? Where are your babies? Why no baby? When you have baby? Inshallah… Now.
- Can I take a picture of you? With you?
- Will you take this money and buy a ticket for my child?
My normal reaction to the stares is a polite and cheery, “Hello!”. The last time that I responded this way, the child called his mother. I guess I frightened him.