Sep 8, 2013


By Alawiya Abdalla

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“May Allah forgive you for that”, 18 year old Shaimaa says it while she leaves the shop.

Ya Rabbii what am I gonna do now? My boss FIRED ME for wearing the Niqab! He said that I will not be attracting customers if I continue to wear it.

I was lucky enough to get that job in Omar Affandi, selling ties. Allah only knows how long it took me to find a job after my dad’s accident.I could not let my mum work full time cleaning houses, I see how she much she suffers already. I had to find work to make ends meet, and the sales assistant job was just what we needed. The money wasn't much, but it was enough to put bread on the table and now I have lost it for something that has nothing to do with my abilities as a sales assistant.

As soon as I walked in the store that Monday, he called me to talk to me and told me that he has no problem with Niqabis but it was not going to work out with my job. If only he knew why I chose to wear it, he will understand. Actually, I do not talk to anyone about that night, I would not dare tell a soul ESPECIALLY my father.

I was coming back from work and it was late at night, because we had to do stock take in the store. What happened next is too horrible for me to recall. From that day on I hated myself, I hated my face. I decided that no man is gonna see me EVER again, no man is gonna look at me and think MEAT.

It all started when that singer SHAKIRA came into the public eye. Every person I meet would point out how similar we were, and how much we look alike. At first I did not think much of it, and I dismissed the whole thing. I could not really care less about her as I was busy with my life to worry about trivial things. But as Shakira’s popularity rose, men’s interest in me became more. The fact that I wore my hijab didn’t stop them annoying me with

“MY HIPS DON’T LIEEEE, MY HIPS DON’T WHAT? THEY DON’T LIIIEEE” In a really thick Egyptian accent.

Like I said before, all these things did not bother me until that fateful night! That was when I decided that enough is enough. I am going to cover my face altogether to escape the pain of what happened. I know it was not really a religious reason to wear but I just had to. However, my love for this piece of clothing started to grow day by day as time went on. I loved the respect I got whenever I walked past anyone. Men would make way, and women would smile at you in respect. Any traces of SHAKIRA were erased, and with that I put what happened on that night at the back of my mind.

But now THIS happens and I have NO idea what to do!

Back in England Khalifa forces Osman to tell his mother Fifi about the impending proposal, because he was TOO afraid of her reaction.


He told his son to tell her that he saw a picture of Shaimaa on facebook, and that they were chatting for months before they decided to confront us about “their love”
Khalifa planned it like that because he knew that deep down Fifi would not be able to resist her son’s requests. He knew that if HE was the one to say anything, she would get suspicious so he decided that it should come from his son.

Now he is standing outside the living room door listening intently, hoping that his son succeeds in this mission. As much as he hates his brother, he still wouldn't like his brother’s daughter to be treated badly by his wife ESPECIALLY if they want the year to finish in peace.

“MAAFAYLE I NEED TO TALK TO YOU”, Shouts Osman as he enters the living room to talk to his mother.
“Come on! Maafayle is one sexy name. I mean I told myself I am NEVER going to marry a girl unless she is called Maafayle like you ma”, he tells her while chuckling loudly.
“Don’t you dare! Anything but that. Maafayle my foot!”, replies Fifi angrily.
“So you DON’T want me to choose a girl called Maafayle right?”, he asks her to confirm.
“YES, what are you getting at here? I have an appointment to get my nails done and I cannot be bothered with your silly games Ozzy ALRIGHT?”, she replies and getting more annoyed by the second.

“Ma, I want to get married. I have found my princess who’s gonna complete my life through facebook”, he tells her in a serious tone.
“Oh really! and who might she be? a millionare’s daughter I hope”, she answers and pretending to go along with this nonsense.
“MONEY is not what am after mother. I'm after love, LOVE that is so deep that you or ANYONE can understand it ”, he tells her in a dramatic manner.
“I don’t want no poor girl in my house yeah! Are you crazy? She better be from a well respected family”, replies Fifi with a worried voice as she starts to wonder if her son is joking or not.
“Nothing and NO ONE can come between me and my cousin”, shouts Osman to add more drama to the conversation.

“Cousin??? What cousin? My sister’s daughter? No way in hell I'm telling you now Ozzy”, she orders him.
“Actually, erm….it’s Shaimaa my dad’s brother’s daughter”, he tells her while covering his ears for what is about to come.
“Come on ma, she can belly dance to me like this”, he starts to belly dance in a questionable way.
Fifi responds with throwing shoes at him!!

“It’s not fair!! You know how much I like belly dancing. I mean I love Shaimaa and NO ONE is gonna stop me from marrying her”, says Osman as he leaves the living room before he falls laughing next to his dad who was standing outside.
“GET UP! She might see you!!”, whispers Khalifa to his son.
“Ok Khalifa. I done my bit and now it’s your turn”, Osman reminds his dad about the agreement.
“£100.000 here I cooooommmmeeeee”

Khalifa stands outside the living room for a while, to make sure no flying shoes comes his way!

“Fifi, what’s going on?? I heard your screaming”, asks Khalifa by acting puzzled.
“WHAT??? I'm soooo gonna stop this from happening”, replies Khalifa.
“You MUST STOP THIS I'm telling you. This could be such a disaster to my reputation” she informs him.
“Although……”, says Khalifa holding his chin and pretending to think.
“Although what??”, asks Fifi.
“If we force him not to marry her, he will do it anyway. You KNOW your son, and that way we would lose him to THEM”, explains Khalifa.

Fifi calms down and tries to take in what Khalifa is telling her.

“You see if we agree to this, she’ll be under our watchful eyes and that way she can’t CONTROL him”, Khalifa emphasis on the word control as he knows how much his wife loves to be in control of things.

“That does make sense! No way is that low life taking MY SON away from me”, she agrees.
“So you think we should say yes?”, asks Khalifa to make it look like she is the one who made the decision all by herself.
“I suppose!! But I'm gonna have to do A LOT of work to make into a girl of a high class manner. I mean she lives in Egypt!! Uff what a disaster!!”, she replies.
“All up to you love”, says Khalifa and leaving Fifi to ponder on the situation.

Khalifa feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulder, and all he has to do is convince his brother and Shaimaa about this……..

Egypt here we come!!!!! GULP

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


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