June 18, 2002
The Iranian

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* Madly in love with an Arab boy

I am a teenage Iranian girl, and I have fallen madly in love with an Arab boy. The thing is too, that he likes me also. I want to talk to him on the phone, see him at the mall, just go out! But my parents are the problem, or more so the Muslim community.

I guess you could say I'm majnoon for him, and he's all I think about. Probably the only reason I passed my final exams was because of his support. Without him, I'd be lost. I met him through Islamic School, and used to believe he was a cute ignorrant jackass. But by getting to know him better, I realized that he is exactly like me.

Well, Islam says "NO DATING!" which is retarded, but I want to be with him soooo bad!! I've been caught before talking to him on the phone and trying to sneak out to meet him, but why do I still want to risk everything to at least see him? He lives about 15 minutes away, and he drives. But my dad is about ready to kill him, but I can't deal with that.

Whenever I talk to him, I feel happy. But then my mom played private investigator, and said that he's too Americanized and is player. Then I started thinking, "Maybe he doesn't like me" and I was shocked to find out he did because I believe I'm just ugh, and then I think, "Does he dream about me" or "Does he think about me" or even "Does he talk to other girls and is he playing me?".

I'm so confused, but I still want to risk everything to be with him. I changed all my plans in life, just to be with him. What should I do??

Majnoon for the Arab Boy


Abjee Fotti and Abjee Pari write:

Dear Majnoon:

Teenage love can be as intense as it can be fickle. What can intensify a mere crush on someone initially thought of as a "jackass" or "player" can turn into an illusion of passion when obstacles are put in the way. In other words, you are probably more in love with rebellion and the idea of a romantic forbidden love than you are with the actual person, whom you merely describe as "cute" and "who can drive".

You are very young and your parents are overly strict and narrow-minded, which only makes your feelings more intense. There is nothing wrong with your desire to date, talk on the phone, and get to know this boy better. It is too bad that your parents have set such unfair rules. For all you parents out there who think by shielding their daughters from boys they are helping them, you are sadly wrong.

One day they will run away from the bars of the prison you have created and go completely out of control whereas if you set fair and reasonable rules with a balanced freedom, limits, and communication, your daughters would become more enriched by it, instead of jumping into relationships and/or marriage with complete and utter naivete.

Dear Majnoon, while we empathize with you, we don't know how you can see this boy when your parents have set such strict rules. We do not advocate for you to "risk everything" and "change all your life plans", for example sneak around, lie, and be secretive, or worse run away or elope with this boy. To take such a drastic step for what is essentially a puppy love could have more dire consequences for you than you can imagine, especially with the threats that your strict Muslim father is making.

The best you can do is wait until you are old enough to move away (for college for example). You will join the ranks of the millions of girls who, just like you, have grown up under a patriarchal condescending family atmosphere that do not trust their female offspring to think for themselves and force them to adopt beliefs that suffocate them. This is true not only of the Muslim religion but the majority of organized religions who are always viewing women as dangerous sexual objects that should be kept hidden, shut off, and kept in line.

Once you acquire independence, you will hopefully find happiness and live your life on your own terms, and pass on those values to your own children. Our advice would be, study and get good grades so you can get a scholarship to a good college far far away. Your education will be the most precious and solid foundation for your independence.

Take care and come back for a shirnee and chayee with your abjeez real soon

Abjee Pari and Abjee Fotti

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