A “Wasat Girl” embraces being in-between multiple cultures, because this transcultured space is globalism living out loud. It was where culture happens, the place of power, that middle space – “wasat” culture. The children of wasat girls are pretty amazing, as well. In honor of Mother’s Day, Deonna Kelli Sayed explores the challenging yet rewarding terrain of being a single, American-Muslim mother.
I told my son that his father and I were no longer together while eating at one of those snazzy serve-yourself yogurt bars.
“How would you feel if your pader and I weren’t married anymore?” I asked.
I had no idea his thoughts on the matter. His father was abroad and had been for several years. They saw one another for a few weeks every couple of months. I know that they both loved each other.
“Well, I guess I’d be a little sad, although I suppose not much would change,” he commented.
I inhaled and nervously told him that we had decided to end the marriage. He remained silent for a minute, took a spoonful from his bowl and said in his 10 year old way, “Well, you know, now that I’m eating yogurt, it doesn’t seem that bad.”
Thus, I entered the ranks of being a divorced, single Muslim mother.
My fiancé Ahmed came to the US from his native Turkey in part to escape from the societal pressures of his culture. This resonated with me, because I left small-town Oklahoma for a similar reason. We both wanted to make our way in the world unfettered by other people’s expectations.
But, when it came time for him to propose, he ran it by his family. Naturally, they asked if I was a Muslim. When he said no, they gave him the skeptical eye, which annoyed him to no end. But he loved them and wanted to explain his decision in a language they could appreciate.
“One Surah of the Quran,” he told them, “says that sometimes what seems good is actually bad, and what seems bad is actually good. Maybe you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing but it is bad for you. Only Allah knows.”
Our contributor Asiila Imani shared this beautiful video of an interracial, interfaith, and multicultural wedding with us.
It’s the most joyful, moving and wonderful wedding video we’ve seen in a long time.
Congrats, Otis and Nitasha, wherever you are!