Nubian Descent

Nubian Descent

I have dark skin,
And I adore it.
I’m an Egyptian girl of Nubian descent,
But I don’t live in Nubia.
I never get a break from people’s comments:
On the streets, at school, or any place I go.
Comments like,
Shikabala!” [The name of a famous Egyptian football player of Nubian descent]
“God save us!”
“Why is she burnt like that?”
“When did Sudan colonise us?”
“Why is it so dark all of the sudden?”
"She’s black, but beautiful.”
“Hey, look at that black person over there!”
As if I was something beyond human comprehension.
I also got “girl-boy” because I’m thin,
Or people trying to guess my gender to my face,
Even though it’s very obvious that I’m a girl,
But they think that they’re being funny that way.

I always walk fast when I’m on my own.
And I get embarrassed when I’m with other people.
If I’m taking a walk with someone with a skin tone that’s different than mine,
We get comments like,
“Chocolate milk!”
Or “Water and oil don’t mix!”

When I was younger,
I used to ask mama,
“Can I play with those kids,
Or are they going to make fun of me like everyone else?”
It affected me so much.
I had a terrible childhood because of my skin color,
And because my hair isn’t straight.
I got comments like,
“Your hair looks like a Brillo pad!”
I was forced to straighten it,
Just so it would be socially acceptable.

What matters now is that I accept and love myself.
I don’t care what other people think.
It’s really important that people understand that what they say leaves a deep wound.
It cuts through people’s confidence,
Even if everyone else tells them they’re beautiful.

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