My identity was shaped by two cultures:
The culture of the desert, and the culture of enlightenment.
My demanding parents and my exigent grandmother,
Enforced the rules of the desert.
I kept wishing for a time when I was not expected to obey.
It is so unfair to feel that you were created to follow injunctions.
When will you be allowed to explore your own ideas,
To have your own feelings,
To follow your own directions,
To find your purpose in life.
My grandfather offered me a window of enlightenment,
He was the only one who trusted my judgment.
He considered me to be smart, confident,
Sure of myself, of my wishes and desires.
I felt better talking to him, walking with him,
Listening to him and learning from him.
I trusted him as much as he trusted me.
Together, we experienced the Egyptian civilization
As well as the European ones!
In my struggle for identity, I was caught between
My grandmother’s traditional views and
My grandfather’s open-mindedness.
In my desire for freedom, my identity will be forever multicultural…
Culture and Identity, page 146
All Poems on this site are copyright © Djehane Hassouna. All rights reserved.