Father, Father: Justice & Closure

Two years ago, I wrote a piece called Fathers & Forgiveness. It was a vague piece about the troubles I’d had with my father, our estrangement, and my attempts to forgive him. Recently, I reread it and realized how much has changed since then. I remember when I first published it and I got praised by various people about being “real” and “honest” but honestly, I read that piece now and I see just how much it hurt, and how much I had to restrain and repress myself just to write it. The fact that I couldn’t bring myself to talk about what my father is tells me everything I need to know. Continue reading

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Bentalha I Randa Aimour

Bentalha

i was born in a country
where the skies are blue
and tangerine
and every color in between

i was born in a country
where women were slaughtered
where markets were bombed
where poets were murdered

i was born in a country
that made martyrs out of families
orphans out of children
widows out of wives
and monsters out of men

i was born in a country
scarred by war
with turmoil still brewing

i was born in a country
where amnesia is self imposed
where traitors run free
and murderers govern us

Spring Cleaning

Every year, I revamp myself. A spring cleaning if you will. I take all the different parts of me, I analyze them, and I decided on how I’m going to proceed to better myself. Which trauma will I work on overcoming next? What kind of person will I be now? How have I been this year? Too mean and bitchy (hey, at least I admit it)? Let’s work on that. How many breakdowns have I had? How many depressive episodes? What triggered them and why? What can I do to work through them, so that I can have less (or maybe none at all) next year? I ask myself all of these questions, try to get to the root of every one of them, and then I figure out what I’m going to do to fix it. And it works, it really does. Continue reading

L’écrivaine

I started writing when I was twelve. I had the most over-active imagination ever, to the point where it had turned me into a pathological liar. I loved telling people stories, even if they weren’t true. The complicated part was when they realized none of it was real, they thought I was an asshole which, I must admit, is understandable. I just wanted life to be as exciting as the books I’d read; real life was so dreary in comparison. Once I realized that my lies weren’t winning me any popularity points, not that I was popular to begin with, I told myself that I absolutely had to stop. I figured, why not put everything in a story? And that is how I began to write. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Malta I Randa A.

Hiatus

I’ve decided to take a break. I am not quitting blogging or anything like that, but my workload as we catapult towards the end of the academic year is steadily increasing. I have a dissertation that is seriously trying me, and exams are coming soon. Too soon. This coupled with the fact that I haven’t been doing too well in terms of my mental health recently means something has got to give. Continue reading

Pebbles of Resistance I Randa Aimour

Pebbles of Resistance: The Wedding

In a village composed of families whose ties were made long before the earth was ever found to be round, he wanted segregation of the sexes. As if the women who’s presence he was rejecting weren’t the ones who birthed him.

In a culture where music, singing and dancing flowed as freely as the spring water the mountains provided, he said ‘only medahîn’. As if the bearded men who came from distant cities to drum and sing about the prophet could do a better job than the elder village women.

And so, the first pebble was thrown. Continue reading

He Said it Was A Game I Randa Aimour

Surviving sexual assault

When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to go to sleepovers. My mother had always been worried, especially as most of the invitations I got were from gwer and she had no trust in them. She told me that they came from a different world and culture from us and so they don’t pay as much attention to their kids and what they’re up to as we do. Continue reading

Identity, Self-Love and the Concept of Home

Identity, Self-Love and the Concept of Home

Growing up, I didn’t have much of an identity. I was born in Algeria and left when I was five; I didn’t return until I was almost fourteen. For nine years, my life was the west; it was a place that refused to accept me, but it was all I knew. I come from a family with a diverse cultural, linguistic, and ethnic background but I was never taught any of that. I didn’t know what home was, I didn’t even like telling people where I was from because my country of origin was virtually unknown, and people’s ignorance to its existence made me ashamed. Continue reading

Women I Randa Aimour

Women

i come from a family of women

with personalities in abundance

intimidated every man they ever met

neighbors say they can’t be tamed

i come from a family of women

both seen and heard

not either

not or

i come from a family of women

they are whispered about

they dared to crush the culture

that tried to crush them

i come from a family of women

who raised strong women

who raised stronger women

who, in turn, raised me

i come from a family of women

whose spirits stay on this earth

long after they have gone

in the women they raised