MixedRoots Blogging while mixed. Commentary on being biracial, challenging perceptions of race & religion in life and politics. Connecting all Cultures. Unity and Peace. Dedicated to celebrating all cultures, including mixed-heritages, inter-racial & inter-religious families and unions while educating others about the unique mixed-race and multicultural experience. Bridging the gaps between racial, ethnic, cultural & religious differences.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mixed & Mistaken for Egyptian

Mixed & Mistaken for Egyptian

Today, when I took my daughter to Montessori, I saw a woman that I thought was mixed like me. Then I realized she was the same woman I had inquired about a few months ago. Yep, I inquired- I'm always curious to know if someone is mixed like me. But I learned this woman is Egyptian. It was curious to me how much she look mixed like me - black and white.

Over the years I have often been mistaken for many ethnicities, including Egyptian. Literally, people would begin a conversation with me in complete Arabic. Naturally, I'd be at a loss, not able to speak Arabic. I didn't know anyone from Egypt, thus didn't have a tangible comparison as to why I was often mistaken as Egyptian- but I always thought it was cool.
I had however, known a few Moroccans and I could certainly see how people thought I may be Moroccan from time to time. And going to Puerto Rico... forget about it. Let me just say this.... I REALLY need to learn to speak Spanish.
But on being mistaken for Egyptian, one day it happened- one day- I saw a young woman, who looked so much like me, that it was strangely odd to see someone who resembled me so much.

Later that same day, a friend told me that they mistook someone else for me. I laughed and asked "who was it?", already suspicious that it had to be the same woman I had seen earlier. So as we strolled around the isles of the convention, only a few moments elapsed before we crossed paths with my look-a-like. Sure enough this woman and I could have been sisters! She Egyptian and me a mix of black and white. We looked so much alike, but our origins and roots are from different places on the globe... or are they? You see, the deep details of my heritage are still a mystery to me- a project/investigation I'll launch soon- but the current info I have is simply I'm of Irish and African decent. Well...Egypt is an African nation- who knows, a portion of my roots could very well be there I don't think it's likely, because it's pretty certain that my African heritage is West African not North African. In any event, it will be interesting to finally gain the knowledge. This project won't be an easy task- but the rewards will be profound. I wonder why it is that saying and knowing that I'm American is not enough for me.

Occassionally, I see Hoda Kotb on NBC, and I slip into it again, thinking, hey she's mixed like me.... I googled her and yep you guessed it, no she's not mixed like me, she too is Egyptian! So I've got to get going on the "finding my mixed roots" project.

I have located photographs of my grandparents. I just aquired a photo of my great grand parents- my mother's grandparents- I didn't know them at all, infact I had to ask my mother, "what are their names?" I did however, know my great grandmother on my father's side. She was Leola, called Lola and I affectionately and respectfully referred to her as "BigMama"
I'll soon share images of my great-grands. But for now- take a look at Hoda Kotb-Egyptian- but she sure looks mixed like me.

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