It was 11 o’clock. She knew it was without glancing at her phone. The sun slipped between the slats of the vertical blinds and hit her face like cross-jab. The mornings she she slept in, it always woke her up. And in the winter months, when this occurred, it always 11 o’clock.
She took a deep breath, curled up tightly into a fetal position and held it for 60 seconds. Sleeping in always made her back ache and this was her ritual before rolling out of bed. It was a stretch, nothing more but sometimes this moment felt so overwhelmingly safe-perhaps a kind of Fruedian slip? She held tightly, stared at the blinds, and wondered what the word was for dust lit up in a stream of light. There was a word in Arabic—she learned it whilst listening to a suhba recorded 10 years ago, but she didn’t now if English had an equivalent…
Most days she didn’t mind living, she didn’t mind waking up, and she had much to look forward to. But some mornings, while still in bed, she was alert enough to create her own story with eyes still heavy enough to stay close. Her minds’ stories were more stirring than her physical reality and she liked living there often…
The one that said there is no love like his,
could he speak of the syntax of somatic exchanges.
how the enigma of pleasure
causes bouts of lamentation.
since tangled branches left eyes gleaming.
and sweetened sap revealed
the roots which stroked the lover’s back.
an embrace had to halt the moment,
so the Willow did not witness weeping.
This colonial legacy of feminism in the Middle East… has been more directly explored by Leila Ahmed in her analysis of the way that Lord Cromer, the British governor of Egypt in the early years of the twentieth century, seemed to champion the emancipation of Egyptian women while condemning women suffragists back home in England. She argues that the European obsession with unveiling women, reflected in the efforts of Lord Cromer (and the even more drastic efforts Marnia Lazreg has documented for the French in Algeria), has produced the contemporary fixation on the veil as the quintessential sign of Muslim resistance and cultural authenticity.36 Ahmed frames her critique of what she calls “colonial feminism” in terms of the concept of culture. She argues that what the colonists sought was to undermine the local culture. Like Lazreg, another feminist scholar from the Arab world who has had to confront academic feminists in the West, she is particularly disturbed by the resemblances she perceives between the colonial discourses and the discourses of some Western feminists of today. Ahmed worries that some Western feminists devalue local cultures by presuming that there is only one path for emancipating women—adopting Western models.Lila Abu Lughod in the introduction of Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East (via muslimwomeninhistory)