Stories about childhood

What the **** did you just say?

Every family has different rules for their children and mine is no different. One of the most important rules is that no rude words are allowed to be spoken in our house. To my surprise, my kids eagerly follow this rule. If they hear a new word, they always ask me whether it is bad. The other day, both my kids came up to me and said “Mama, are we allowed to say ‘what the ****?” When I asked where they had heard these words, they told me they hear them everywhere. They told me that even the kids in their class use this ...

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A Bakistani in Cairo

My Egypt moment wasn’t when the protests started or when they ended. It wasn’t during CNN’s live coverage, and it wasn’t in the 100 or so ‘Can this happen in Pakistan?’ discussions. It was when someone casually yelled out in the school corridor, “Hey Meiryum! Your hometown’s burning!” Cairo was my hometown. Tahrir Square was a 45-minute drive from my apartment. I lived in Cairo from the age of four till eight years – four years of my life. I was old enough to remember and store away memories and young enough to still understand nothing. My first day at the ...

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Eid was more fun in the ’90s

Back in the days when nunna, my maternal grandmother, was alive, Bakra-Eid used to be something else. Come morning all us cousins, aunts and uncles would head to her house. The older cousins were dressed to the nines, the aunts wore kitchen friendly clothes and soon the delicious aroma of a million things cooking on the stove pushed out any sadness for sacrificed animals. The fest started at breakfast. Or should I say brunch? It was served only after the sacrifice was performed. But we didn’t mind. We acted grossed out by the raw meat and put on an air of reluctance. But when ...

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