The Same, but Still Different

By: RAA

The same, but still different.

 

I was the same. But different. 

It doesn’t make sense, does it? 

 

I was the same in the sense I was also Kuwaiti. But I was different because I was also half Filipino. You wouldn’t think it’d be such a big deal because I AM a Kuwaiti. But for some reason, my other half was always a problem to some people from my community.

 

I wasn’t treated the same. I was always left out. Whether it’s by my own family or by my school mates. I was never invited to events or “typical Kuwaiti” gatherings such as iftar nights, Ghabga or eid gatherings and always thought of last. I wouldn’t be allowed to do certain things because in their eyes, I was not equal. And It hurt.

 

During my high school years, I was always called the nastiest things and always been discriminated against because of the way I talk, or for my “not so Kuwaiti” facial features, and my skin tone. But, who cares right? We all get “bullied” at one point in our lives. They’re just kids. They’ll grow up and realize it’s wrong...right?

 

I am 19 now, and till this day I continue to face discrimination, even by older people I’ve never had a conversation with. I can simply be walking along the beach or be out with the girls, and there would be that one person who’d scream out, “Khadama” Or, “Welcome to McDonald’s!” Trying to make fun of the fact that I’m half Filipino. 

 

This is caused by the stereotypes made about Filipino’s. That we either work as a nanny, work in a fast food restaurant and many other nasty stereotypes. By no means am I saying working in these jobs are bad, however, it seems that these jobs are looked down upon in the Middle East and even used as an insult, when it shouldn’t be!

 

Kids were taught that they are more superior than others and I blame the lack of education, parents, or their surroundings. Parents are meant to teach their children that we are all equal regardless of our nationality, religion, appearance, job... but I do not want to fully blame the parents. It could be the people, who the children surround themselves with, who influences them to think in such a way or sometimes, they may truly have a black heart.

 

I AM different, and I wouldn’t change a thing about me. If it wasn’t for all the bad experiences I’ve been through and all the horrible people I came across, I wouldn’t be who I am today. الحمدلله على كل حال.