By: Hossien Nasari
Just like any other kid that was brought into this world, I always heard stuff that I never understood. I always heard that I was different but I never understood why different, or how different or in what way I was different? As I grew older, I realized that I was an outcast and I didn't belong to a place I called home. The reason for those emotions, feelings and confusions is because I wasn’t born fully Kuwaiti! I was born half Iranian from my father’s side and half Kuwaiti from my mother's side. Of course, I started going to school and realized that racism isn’t just a matter of black and white like what’s evident in the US. No, no! It’s actually a matter of discrimination that’s directed by anyone with the belief that they’re privileged, wealthier, better etc....! In middle school, I realized that I might never belong to this country and that I’ll never be accepted as an equal human being, so I distanced myself from people. I thought that isolation and loneliness were better than rejection or being a laughingstock for people that I thought or as I may say made me believe that they were better! I felt like I was less than. I felt ashamed of my identity. I hated it when they showed me sympathy after telling them that I was from Iran. I hated it when they told me to go back to my country. I hated it when they told me that they could deport me if they wanted to. I hated a lot of things including myself. I believed that I was less. I believed that I’ll never be them and never reach their level. No talent, aspiration or dreams could make up the fact that I’m not them.
On the other hand, I was raised by the strongest and sweetest, most sensitive woman a person could ever have as a mother. A single mother that went through it all. She was the reason that I had hope in this life when she told me to never listen to the bullies because they don’t matter. She told me that the only thing that matters is what I do in this life because I have every opportunity that I need to prove them, and most importantly myself, that they are wrong. Of course, I met people that were accepting and friendly back in high school but I never allowed myself to be close with anyone. Now, I’m surrounded by mixed Kuwaitis, full Kuwaitis, non-Kuwaitis that show me love every single day. I wish I found that love and support awhile ago, but I didn’t and that’s fine! I could’ve turned out differently if I didn’t go through what I went through! I’m a proud Iranian-Kuwaiti no matter what you think of me. Like it or not, Kuwait is my home and nobody can tell me that it isn’t.
Standing in front of the Kuwaiti Towers with the Kuwaiti Flag