A pink taxi

A pink taxi

February 26, 2012


My father calls me Majnouneh (crazy) with affection. It is a new title he offered me this year, as he recognized my transformation.

Majnouneh should be put in a cultural context. What I do or how I act and express myself may not sound too crazy in a Western context. But in a Middle Eastern space, it may appear as alternative, bordering on weird.

Women of the Middle East, in the broadest sense of the term, without counting the multiple exceptions, are not geared to sports, are not encouraged to perform either esoteric exercises like pilates or yoga, or muscle building ones like circuit training.

"Arab women can't jump" sounds like a bumper sticker. But I actually explained the phenomena in a previous blog post (June 12, 2011): I didn't know how to skip rope until I was 40 years old. I am proud to be able to do box jumps now (ok, almost, its a hit-miss....). This is because we are not culturally encouraged to jump. Arab lifestyles do not fit the "iqfez" (jump) in girls' curriculum. And the generations carry the burden.

So it is with this idea in mind that I am called "majnouneh" because I have the enthusiasm for music, writing, sports, books, films, art, and nature all wrapped in one!

And I express it!


  1. The word Majnoun was first used to describe Majnoun Lelila who was mad in love with his cousin.The word in Arabic can be from Jannah which is paradise,or Jinnah which means that the Jinn have taken him over.
    In this context,it is used to show the nervous energy that is gushing from our blogger,and has splashed into constructive activities for her and her children.Way to go young woman!