When We Assume The Worst of The Other Side
At my university, Australia:
'You're going to live in America?'
'Yep, that's the plan.'
'Wow. That's awesome. It is a bit different though, isn't it?
'Well, I guess - '
'I mean, I heard the people can be a little self-absorbed - and then there are those gun laws. I hope you'll be okay.'
At a dinner party, USA:
'You have a cool accent. British?'
'Australian actually. I was born and raised in Melbourne.'
'Australia! Wow. The Down Under, huh? Want some shrimp on the barbie?'
'Haha, um actually we don't even say that - '
'Hey. How did it work out for you there. I mean, seems like there are so many rednecks. You must have had it bad with the racism and all.'
In my living room, Australia:
'We're going to miss you Salma.'
'I'm going to miss everyone too.'
'Be careful though. America seems lovely but... you wear the hijab and... racists you know.'
'I'll be careful.'
In a small village in Sri Lanka:
'MashaAllah, you're such a good girl.'
'We thought maybe you would have become all modern.'
'Tsk. You know. In those countries - like Australia - people lose their morals, no? '
In many places:
At a rally protesting the Muslim ban, USA.
'Hey Boss. The crew and I are getting out of here.'
'There's no story here. The Muslims are being peaceful.'
'Exactly. We're out.'