Amitis Motevalli – Privileged Encounters

September 2012

 

Three years ago, I started the research phase of an extensive public art project called Everyday Imamzadeh. My research was looking at transnational Muslim communities and labor, remittance, migration debt and the displacement of existing labor as well as the engagement in the public sphere.

 

I have been able to travel so far to many cities in the US and Europe with large or growing Muslim communities. The research was somewhat rhizomatic and began with my own experience within my family as transnational Muslim laborers and expanded out. Apart from feminists and labor text, I read researchers and theorists, with a particular focus on transnational Muslims, the body and war such as Hamid Dabashi, Jean Genet and Junaid Rana. While traveling and meeting people, I kept personal documentation of locations and interviews. I believe in using any media or means to create close connections and reach a better understanding.

 

Most of my research and work is feminist and gender based. I had the opportunity to make connections with women and girls in many cities and begin art clubs and create public art projects that dealt with the Muslim body and visibility/invisibility. Since I was working to build with women and girls, my connections with men became limited.  I do believe in multiple feminist practices, and as a Muslim woman of color, it is impossible to do feminist research without inclusion of the entire community.

 

Some of my interactions were very formal interviews set up with academics, Imams or elders, who would speak on behalf of… At this stage, I really did want to be able to connect with men in the same way, as I was able to with women, without creating a sexualized distrust within the community. It is still very complex to enter a community and get close to men without causing a stir.

 

After overhearing a conversation at a hookah bar in Dubai, I realized that I might be able to chat with some men one on one through dating sites and applications. This also gave me access to Muslim men internationally. I chatted occasionally within one year with up to 600 people identifying as Muslim men and a few Muslim women. The chats come at a very fast pace as there are many Middle Eastern, South Asian and North Africans on some specific apps. My profile only provided an age, gender, and location, no photo. I also stated that I was Middle Eastern. Yasmine - Female, 36, Los Angeles, CA, US. These few excerpts are from chats that continued for a few months. The transcriptions lay a bit flat in relation to the cadence and pace of a live chat, but as documentation very informative to me on more levels than my project research.

 

 

Egyptian Lover – Male, 37, Petersburg, VA, US

 

 

Egyptian Lover *winked* at you

Hi

 

 

Hi sweetie. How are you?

 

 

Good. N u?

 

 

I’m great thank you

 

 

Were r u from?

 

 

Iran

And you? Where are you from?

 

 

Guess

 

 

Oh, yea… lol, Egypt?

 

 

hahaha yes

you been there?

 

 

 No, never, I’d love to go

 

 

not is not so good to visit

 

 

I would love to go now especially

 

 

haha, you crazy

I’m sure you are cute. Irani girls are beautiful

 

 

Where do you live?

 

 

Virginia, in the south

 

 

How long have you been there?

 

 

I be here in VA for going on 5 years

Are you single Yasmina?

 

 

Yes

You moved from Egypt to VA?

 

 

No I move to Washington DC first bcz I have uncle there

Yasmina, you have kids?

 

 

No sweetie no kids

 

 

Can I see your pic?

 

 

sent a pic

 

 

Wow, you good looking

You be marrd before?

 

 

No, never

 

 

Why? You look good girl

Why you can get no husband?

 

 

It’s not that I can’t

 

 

why?

 

 

nevermind

tell me about you

 

 

wat you want 2 now? Ask

 

 

How long were you in DC?

 

 

one year but no work for me

 

 

So what do you do now?

 

 

some my friends and me got a little store over here in VA

 

 

Oh really? What kind?

 

 

convenience store

 

 

in a poor community?

 

 

yea, people real poor here

 

 

you sell liquor?

 

 

yea we get special liscence, make more money

show me another picture

 

 

isn’t it haram to sell liquor?

 

 

no, why haram? I support my family two kids and more family in Alexandria

can you send another pic

 

 

sent a pic

what about all of the people in the neighborhood, do you care about them?

 

 

yea, people here cool

they cool with me cuz I’m cool with them

you tall? That pic you look tall

who is that man?

 

 

that’s Rafer Johnson, he was a gold medal decathlete.

I met him at an art event

 

 

hes your boyfriend?

 

 

no, I just took the picture with him

so you have kids? Are you married?

 

 

Yea, I have wife and kids back home

 

 

is it hard being away from them?

 

 

yea, I miss them but I visit and I skype everyday

 

 

you visit?

 

 

yea, I go cople times a year

 

 

Why are you on this app then? Why do you want to meet other women?

 

 

I just chat, nobody here Arab or Muslim so I chat

 

 

Are you lonely?

 

 

yea, you won come visit?

 

 

Virginia or Alexandria

 

 

come both, I show you my country

 

 

what will your wife say?

 

 

nothing she can not say nothing

 

 

stop it you know she’ll beat your ass

 

 

maybe lol

send me more pics

 

 

that’s it for now papa

I’m sleepy need to go to bed

 

 

I like you call me papa

one more

sexy one for good nite

 

 

no

t’sbah ala khayr

 

 

mashalla TESBA7 3ALA KHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khaled – Male, 31, El Cajon, CA, US

 

 

Hi

 

 

Hi Khaled

 

 

How r u

Were u live

Why no pic

 

 

Hi I live in LA

Where are you from?

 

 

Iraq I live san diego

And u from were

 

 

Iran

 

 

Oh nice

How long u her

 

 

Since I was a little girl

 

 

Nice

U marrid

 

 

No

 

 

Why no pic

 

 

Sent a pic

 

 

But I know the iran woman really cute

Nice u so cute and sexy

U live with parents

 

 

No sweetie

 

 

Oh ok with?

What u lookin for

 

 

Conversation

And u? What r u looking for?

 

 

Love

 

 

Oh that’s heavy

Can you find it here?

 

 

No coz no trusting

 

 

This may not be the app for love but who knows

So what do you do for work Khalid?

 

 

You mean job

 

 

Yes

 

 

I work in Ralphs store

 

 

Ok cool

How long have you been here?

 

 

1 year

 

 

Awww wow. Do you miss Iraq?

 

 

Yes much

I miss my family

 

 

Can you go an visit yet

 

 

No yet

 

 

What city are you from?

 

 

Basra

In south

 

 

Oh ok. Are you Shia?

 

 

Yes

U?

 

 

Me too

 

 

I know coz much people from Iran shia

 

 

True

J

 

 

yes

u marrid or stell virgion

 

 

lol. Not married

 

 

oh u lookin for marrid

 

 

No I’m looking for friendship

 

 

Oh nice

U r my friend now

 

 

Cool J

 

 

But sometimes I get danger

 

 

What does that mean?

 

 

That mean I can kiss my friend

 

 

Nooooo

Tell me more. Are you married?

 

 

No

 

 

Kids?

 

 

No

And u stell no kids

 

 

No

 

 

U sexy

Send pic

 

 

Sent pic

 

 

I have this one

Send another

 

 

There’s no more L

 

 

Send sexy pic

 

 

No

Are you in school too?

 

 

Yes

 

 

What are you studying?

 

 

English class

What u working

 

 

Im an artist

 

 

What u do

Dance

 

 

No more like painting, drawing, sculpture

 

 

Oh nice

U lonely

 

 

Not really

Are you?

 

 

No my father

 

 

What does that mean?

 

 

With my father

 

 

Oh your father lives here

 

 

Yes

U so cute and no boyfriend

 

 

Where does your mother live?

 

 

In my country

 

 

Awww

Will you bring her here?

 

 

Not yet

I have make money first

 

 

Does all of your family live in Iraq?

 

 

Yes

 

 

Brothers and sisters?

 

 

Only one brother and three sisters in Iraq

I have had to more brothers

 

 

Oh where are they

 

 

Killed

 

 

Oh L

In war?

 

 

Yes

Come on send one more pic

u so cute

 

 

sent pic

 

 

nice

so hot

send with no clots

 

 

???

 

 

nakid sexy pic

 

 

Khalid !!!

No

 

 

Come on baby

 

 

 

Ok here’s one in my bathing suit

Sent a pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rami – Male, 32 years, Roseville, CA, US

 

 

Rami *winked* at you

 

 

Hi J

How are you?

 

 

Hi sweetie, I’m great. How are you?

 

 

Good J

What are you up to?

 

 

Chatting with you

 

 

yea J

where are you from?

 

 

I was born in Iran

 

 

Oh nice

 

 

Where are you from?

 

 

Jordan

You speak Arabic?

 

 

No sweetie, I speak Farsi

How long have you been here from Jordan?

 

 

Since I was 17

 

 

Wow, you came here with your family?

 

 

No, my family sent me by myself

 

 

Wow! That must have been scary when you were a teenager

 

 

Yea, a little. I had one uncle here, but I came to work

 

 

Oh, ok. So is your family here now?

 

 

Some of them, my dad and some of his family, uncle, aunt and cousins

One brother is studying in San Francisco and another brother in Los Angeles

 

 

Is your mom in Jordan?

 

 

Yea

 

 

Do you miss her?

 

 

Yea, a lot and my sister

 

 

Were you the first one here from your immediate family?

 

 

Yes, they all came after I was here

I was just in Jordan to see my mom

It was after a long time

 

 

Oh great, I bet she was so happy

 

 

Yes she was

Do you go to Iran?

 

 

Yes, I have many friends and family there

 

 

How long have you been here?

 

 

Since I was a little girl, I grew up in LA

 

 

Oh, nice

How about your Mom and Dad?

 

 

My Mother lives in Los Angeles, so does my brother

My father lives in Iran, he is remarried

 

 

Oh your parents are divorced?

 

 

Yes, since I was a teenager

 

 

Mine too, my dad is remarried

Are you married?

 

 

Not married

 

 

Me either

But my parents always try and find me a nice Arab girl

 

 

Haha, so why don’t you date them?

 

 

No way, they are too conservative. They don’t want to date. They just want marriage.

Also, they wear hijab

 

 

So? What’s wrong with hijab? Are you not Muslim?

 

 

Yes, but I don’t like a conservative woman

Besides, just because they wear hijab doesn’t mean they are pious. That’s all to create an image

 

 

Not all women who wear hijab are like that

 

 

Yea, that’s true

So are you Muslim?

 

 

Yes, I am

 

 

Are you Shia? Most Iranians are Shia

 

 

Yes

 

 

I worked around many Shia

 

 

Really? What do you do?

 

 

I’m a linguist

 

 

??? Humnnnn? What does that mean? Is it like Noam Chomsky?

 

 

Who?

I do translation

 

 

Oh, I see Arabic to English?

 

 

Yes

 

 

Where did you work with so many Shia?

 

 

In Iraq

 

 

Oh

 

 

I was with the troops

 

 

Oh

You translated for the troops during the invasion and occupation?

 

 

Yes for about 6 years

 

 

That’s a very long time. How long have you been back?

 

 

About 5 months

I went to Europe for a while the to visit my family in Jordan

Now I’m back in Cali

I’m staying with my dad, but I’ll get an apartment soon

 

 

Oh, so your life has completely changed all of a sudden

 

 

Yea, I just got an iphone

I’m getting a new laptop soon

My car got old too, so I’m looking for a new one

 

 

Was it good money?

 

 

Yes, I got about 80k a year

 

 

Was it difficult being in Iraq? During the war?

 

 

You get used to it, but we were isolated. I made many good friends. I miss our guys and gals there

 

 

Do you mean the Iraqi people?

 

 

No, the troops, here’s a picture

Sent a pic

I was here with the guys translating in Basra

 

 

Oh, wow, you wear the camo colors too, like you are military

 

 

Well, I’m civilian but I’m one of the troops

 

 

How do you feel being there in a war against our people?

 

 

Well, it was difficult, I’m glad I’m back

I think I’m going to get this Range Rover

Sent a pic

What do you think?

 

 

Oh, ok, the black car?

 

 

Yes, I think I’m going to buy it

How do you like it?

 

 

Ummm well, I don’t really like Range Rovers

 

 

Why not?

 

 

That’s the car the colonial british would drive

 

 

Oh, well I’m getting this, my other car is a Benz, but it’s old now

I let my brother drive it while I was gone

 

 

Rami, I’m getting sleepy

 

 

Oh, ok, I’ll talk to you later

 

 

Gnite!

 

 

Good Night Yasmine

 

 

 

 

 

What’s up Yasmine

 

 

Good Morning, what’s up Rami?

 

 

I’m going to go get that car today

 

 

Oh ok, well if it makes you happy

 

 

What are you up to?

 

 

I was just planning a project and drinking coffee

 

 

Oh nice

 

 

So what are you doing for work now Rami?

 

 

Well, I’m looking to invest in a business with my cousin

 

 

What kind of business?

 

 

I don’t know yet

 

 

So Rami, How come you haven’t asked for my picture?

 

 

You can send it if you want, I like you already

 

 

Oh, okay, but you don’t know anything about me

 

 

I will there is so much time

 

 

Well I’m an artist

I’m doing research right now on transnational Muslims who migrate for labor and to flee wars

 

 

Oh, yea there are many believe me

Especially in Europe, they are everywhere and the act so ghetto

 

 

Well I like the ghetto, I grew up in “ghetto” so tell me where…

 

 

I saw many in Dusseldorf and Frankfurt

You grew up in a Muslim ghetto?

 

 

Lol, no, there were no Muslim ghettos on the east side of LA

 

 

Most people in Cali who are Muslim already have some money in their family, how did you end up in a ghetto?

 

 

We spent all our money getting to New York, then drove across the country because New York was too cold

 

 

Oh you because of the revolution?

 

 

No, we came because of the king, before the revolution

 

 

He was our friend though.

 

 

Who? Your family? King Hussain?

 

 

No, the US

 

 

Rami, you weren’t even here in the US during that time and you say we?

Were you even born?

 

 

Lol, no

 

 

I’ll talk to you later Rami

 

 

Ok

 

 

 

 

Good Morning Yasmine

 

 

Good evening Rami

 

 

Yea, your profile says you are 5540 miles away

 

 

I am, I’m in Denmark

 

 

Oh, nice. What are you doing there?

 

 

I’m here for work

 

 

Oh nice, nice

Did you get the pictures of my Range Rover?

 

 

Oh, yea, sorry I’ve been so busy, between my job, preparing for this trip and being in travel

How do you like it?

 

 

I love it!

It’s so different, so much more computerized than my Benz was

 

 

Oh, ok, cool

 

 

I got a Macbook and an iPad too

 

 

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff, you’ve been shopping

 

 

Yea, look, I got these too

Sent a pic

Theyre true religion

 

 

Oh, ok, cool. Congratulations

 

 

Thanks! You never sent me a picture

 

 

You never asked

 

 

Ok, I’m asking

 

 

Sent a pic

 

 

You’re very pretty, you look like youre Arab

 

 

Thank you, yea we all have similarities in that region

 

 

Yes, true. Dark eyes, dark hair is nice. Do you have big breasts

 

 

Lol, no Rami, I don’t

 

 

Lol, I had to ask, I like big tits

Ok, then

Sent a picture

That’s my cousin and his son on my cousin’s speed boat

We went to the lake yesterday

 

 

Wow, it looks so warm and beautiful. It’s cold here

 

 

Oh, yea northern Europe, of course it is

I want to get a boat too

 

 

A boat? Rami, do you ever think about how you are getting all of the things you have?

 

 

What do you mean?

 

 

I mean that you helped the people who went to loot Iraq and kill Muslims

 

 

I didn’t kill them

 

 

Yes, but you helped

 

 

No the troops were my friends, they weren’t just killing

 

 

Ok, but were you not all there to control the population and take all the resources

 

 

Look you don’t know what I saw there

You have no idea

It is hard being a Muslim and seeing that

But the guys I was with are like my family too

 

 

You can’t judge, you haven’t been there.

In Iraq, they are so angry and sneaky

It’s not like your country or mine

 

 

Are they not also Muslims?

Are they not human, just wanting to live comfortably in their own land?

 

 

Yes, but, you have no idea, we did not kill all the time

They attacked us too

 

 

You were in their home, uninvited

If someone came into your home and started to rape your family, kill your brothers and sisters, steal all of the things you worked hard for, humiliated you, wouldn’t you fight back too

 

 

 

 

 

How are you Yasmine?

 

 

I’m good Rami, how about yourself

 

 

Not good

 

 

Why?

 

 

I have to go to Kuwait

 

 

Oh really? I thought they were trying to pull all the troops out of Iraq

 

 

It’s not Iraq, it’s Kuwait

 

 

Well you didn’t get drafted right? You don’t have to go

 

 

I don’t but I need work and can’t find any. I don’t feel like a man, I haven’t worked for almost a year

 

 

Isn’t there other work you can do?

 

 

Not any that pay me so good. Besides, I haven’t really been able to focus since I got back, I feel like sleeping always

I think this is the only work for me

 

 

No Rami, you have options, you can sell your Range and live a little more simple

 

 

I’m selling my car, I’ll get a new one when I get back

It won’t be that bad, It won’t be like when we were locked in in Iraq

We can drive around in Kuwait

 

 

But you seemed like you were upset about having to leave

Rami, last time it effected you, I could tell

You have to think about how this will make you feel years from now

The military is there for wrong reasons, you know that

 

 

Im not there for killing our people, I’m there to help

People need to talk to each other

It will be good to see many of my friends again

I need work, so I will go to work

Can I come see you?

 

 

I’m working now and leaving town soon

I’ll chat with you before you leave

 

 

Wait

Okay

Bye

 

 

 

 

Hi Rami

Hello J

Rami WYD?

 

 

 

 

 

Atakan – Male, 36 years, Berlin, DE

 

 

Hello

 

 

Hi sweetie how are you

 

 

I’m very good

Where are you Yasmina?

Your profile says Mitte

sprechen deutsch

 

 

???

No, English L

 

 

Very good

I speak English

 

 

Oh good

Do you live in Germany?

 

 

Yes, Berlin Neukolln

 

 

I have not been there yet

 

 

Are you visiting Berlin?

 

 

Yes

 

 

Where are you from?

 

 

I was born in Iran

But I live in LA and right now I live in Denmark for a few months

 

 

Oh, really? Copenhagen?

 

 

No in Aarhus

 

 

How do you like Berlin?

 

 

I like it

Well, kind of

It’s much sunnier than Aarhus J

 

 

 

It’s great weather now

You are here for holiday or business?

 

 

I’m here for business

 

Very good, what do you do?

 

 

I’m an artist

 

 

Very nice, there are much artists in Berlin

Are you going to the Biennal?

 

 

Oh, you know about it... yes, I went to the opening and back to see the art

Where are you from Atakan?

 

 

I’m from Turkey

 

 

Salaam J

Are you Muslim?

 

 

Yes J

You?

 

 

Yes

 

 

Very nice, Iranian women who are muslim are very kind

 

 

Ha, thank you! Not always J

 

 

May I see your picture?

 

 

Sent a picture

 

 

Beautiful

 

 

Thank you!

How long have you been in Germany?

 

 

For 8 years

I have had family here, but in Dusseldorf

 

 

Oh, good, so there were people here to help at first

 

 

Yes, thank God

 

 

Did you stay in one of those big housing projects for refugees?

 

 

Haha, yes. How did you know?

It seems most immigrants stay in those in Europe

 

Yes, it was no good

I live in Turkish area now, but it’s very good

 

 

What do you mean no good?

 

 

It was bad. The people too close, not clean, very dangerous, many Germans angry at us

 

Why were they angry?

 

 

They are upset that we come here

And they don’t like Muslim

 

 

Oh, awful. Were people ever violent to you?

 

 

Yes, me, my family

We are strong, we fight J

 

 

Haha! Good!

 

 

What do you do for work?

 

 

I am an engineer

 

 

Oh wow, did you go to school here?

 

 

No in Turkey

 

 

Oh, wow, very good. I know the engineering schools there are very good

 

 

Yes, it’s very hard to go to University. You must have very high marks

 

 

Of course, so you are very educated, you are fluent in three languages?

Actually 4, I also speak Arabic

Wow, what type of engineering do you work in?

 

 

I am working now as an auto mechanic

My credentials from turkey are not excepted here

 

 

Really?

 

 

Well, German degrees are preffered.

I am lucky to have a job. Many people don’t have any work now

And my job has good pay

 

 

Oh, ok, so you like what you do?

 

 

Not really, but I like better than no food

Hahaha

 

 

Right haha

 

 

Are you married Yasmine?

 

 

No

 

 

Are you looking for a husband?

 

 

No

 

What are you looking for on this app?

 

 

Just friends and to chat

 

 

Just friends?

 

 

Yes, I’m also learning about a lot about Muslim men

What are you looking for?

 

 

Well to be honest sex

When I meet any Turkish girls, I’m expected to marry them

I would rather get to know a woman more before that

But as you know, humans have needs ;)

 

 

Ha, I guess so

Why don’t you have a girlfriend? Maybe a German girl?

 

 

Oh, no, I like woman from the middle east

So much more beautiful

I don’t mind German girls for just sex

 

 

Oh :/

 

 

Or women traveling and lonely ;)

 

 

Slow down

>:(

 

 

Can we sit and talk with some coffee

How long will you be in Berlin?

 

 

I’m hoping to get an overnight train tonight

 

 

Oh L

Can I meet you before you leave?

 

 

I don’t think so, I have to do a few things before I leave

 

 

Will you come back to Berlin?

 

 

Insh’Allah

 

 

Insh’Allah J

 

 

 

Mohammad Hakim – Male, 27 years, Oakland, CA, US


Hakim *winked* at you
Hi :)


Hi
How are you


I'm good n u
{C}
{C}


Great
What are you up to?
{C}
{C}


Not much
I'm at work


Where do you work?


At Prada


Oh really? Where in Union Square?


Yes you know SF?


Yes, I went to college there for my bachelors degree


Wow so close


Yes
I love Prada


Ughhh


What?


I hate Prada


Why? Don't you work there?
{C}
{C}


Yes, I'm a security guard


Oh is it hard work


Not really


Why do you hate it?


The people here


Oh really, why


They are so stuck up
They think they are more special than everybody
I hate that kind of attitude

 


Oh yea me too
Do they really think they are better


Yes
Where do you live now?


Los Angeles


Oh not too far
Your page say u r mid eastern


Yes I am. I'm from Iran


Oh good. U Muslim


Yes
Where r u from?

 

 

Egypt

 

 

Very good, how long have you been here?

 

 

2 years

 

 

Your English is so good

 

 

Yes, I learn in Egypt

 

 

Which city are you from?

 

 

Cairo

Send a pic

 

 

Sent a pic

 

 

You hot

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

Send another pic, with body

 

 

I’m not sending you a naked pic

 

 

No, so I see all not just face

Naked pic later ;)

 

 

Sent a pic

 

 

Nice body

You workout?

 

 

Yes

 

 

How tall?

 

 

I’m 5.8

 

 

Oh you tall, Im 6.3

 

 

You are tall too

Where is your family?

 

 

In Egypt

 

 

All of them?

 

 

Yes

 

 

You didn’t have family here?

 

 

No

You married?

 

 

No, are you

 

 

Yes, but not real

 

 

Really, why are you looking for women

 

 

I married, but not for love

 

 

???!!! for papers?

 

 

Yes, she is American woman I met online

I come here to see her and we marry

 

 

 

Oh, does she think it’s a real marriage?

 

 

Yes, maybe, idk

 

 

That seems so cruel. Does she know, did you give her money?

 

 

No she pay for my ticket and get a lawyer to help with

 

 

She seems so sweet, that’s very generous

 

 

:/  nooooooo

 

 

Why, she helped you

 

 

She use me too, believe me

American woman chase after Arab man so much, in Egypt, so many woman or man come looking for Arab

She don’t care about me, my family, my culture

She just want some spice, you understand?

 

 

I guess… how?

 

 

I am not equal to her

 

 

She married you and helped you right? Did she tell you she loves you?

 

 

Yes, but she love me like she love her dog or cat

She pay for them too

 

 

Oh so you think she wants to own you

 

 

Yes, she does not see me as partner

 

 

Well you didn’t see her as partner either, right?

 

 

You are right, I look for American woman to help me leave Egypt

 

 

Why did you leave Egypt? It seems you don’t like much here

 

 

No, I like here, I live in Oakland, I like my people, I like African people here, I like Arab, Mexican and some white too

I don’t like people who think they better

 

 

Oh, so you must hate San Francisco, lol

 

 

Lol, yea, SF is bad, too many arrogant

 

 

It seems like you have some arrogance yourself

 

 

Not arrogant, I am proud

I love Egypt, we are ancient culture

Europe and America learn from us and then steal from us

 

 

So why did you leave?

 

 

I came to make money and send home

 

 

Oh, I understand

 

 

I have young brother and sister

My mother need medicine

 

 

I see, so you came here to become a security guard?

 

 

My first job was pet husband lol

 

 

True, that was work

 

 

I work two job now, here at Prada and at jewel store

 

 

Can you get me some of that Prada? Lol

 

 

Sure come visit, we can steal some, lol

 

 

Ha! Do you steal from there?

 

 

No, I didn’t come here to go to jail

 

 

Oh right

 

 

Will you come to Bay?

 

 

Yes, I come visit sometimes

I have many friends

 

 

Come stay with me

 

 

And your wife?

 

 

No, I live small place now in Oakland

I have roommate you have to sleep in my bed ;)

 

 

Oh really? And you’ll sleep with your roommate right?

 

 

Nooooo

 

 

I’ll talk to you later Hakim

 

 

No, lol

Yasmine

 

J

 

 

 

 

Mohamed – Male, 22 years, Aarhus, DK

 

 

Hejsa Yasmine

J Wanna chat with me? I know I am young but hope it’s okay. I am just tired of young and superficial girls J

 

 

Hi Mohamed

Is it cold in Aarhus Now?

 

 

Yeah it’s pretty cold..

How is the weather in LA?

 

 

So hot!

 

 

hehe wanna switch? I am in my bed with the heat on.. it’s cooold

where are you from originally?

 

 

Nooooo

I just left Aarhus in June

 

 

really?? What did you do in Denmark?

 

 

Iran

I went there for work

In Gellerup

 

 

oh really? What do you work with? Impressing

I lived in Gellerup for 15 years

 

 

I like Gellerup but really didn’t like the rest of Aarhus

 

 

it’s so boooring+what do you work with?

 

 

I’m an artist

 

oh what’s your name? I am sure they have made an article in Danish then

 

 

Where r u from? Palestine?

Yes there were many articles

 

 

no Lebanon

 

 

oh ok

 

 

so are you married or single? Any kids?

 

 

Not married no kids

 

 

okay J

 

 

you were a child when you moved to DK?

 

 

you sound really cool…

no I was born in DEnmark

my parents moved from the war in Lebanon

 

 

Oh ok

Do you go visit?

I would love to go to Lebanon but haven’t yet

 

 

yeah in the summer.. I have a lot of family there

so what kind of artist are u?

its really cool... so beautiful

 

 

I’m a contemporary conceptual artist

 

 

you have to elaborate on the Yasmine ;)

I am an economics student..Just started my masters.

So I only understand numbers hehe

 

hahaha google is a good thing too

 

 

hahahaha

touché

 

 

which university are you studying at?

 

 

ha idea becomes the machine that makes the art

:p

 

 

Very good

 

 

so what ideas are you working with? Ghetto problems?

 

 

lol

Doing research and working in Muslim ghettos. Lol

 

 

okay J

what else if you visited Gellerup hehe

 

 

Also doing research on transnational muslims

I stayed in Gellerup for 2 months

 

 

okay J sounds really interesting

 

 

I also worked in Norborro Copenhagen

with some of the camps

But I just finished a larger Danish project on immigration

 

 

okay cool

 

 

 there are serious problems in Denmark with racism

 

it’s not as bad as you might think

it’s worse in Holland

 

 

 

Noooooo

Denmark is one of the MOST racist countries I’ve been to

Israel, Poland, Russia may be a little worse

Israel a lot worse

 

 

 

and how do you judge that?

what parameters do you look at?

 

 

 

research

daily life of people

quality of life and access

 

 

okay :0

 

 

compared to rights and daily life in other countries

not that netherlands, france, italy, greece or us/uk are perfect

 

 

yeah J you are right

 

 

So do you mostly date Danish girls or Arab girls? Or…?

 

 

Arab girls

my last gf was Afghan though

 

 

oh ok

 

 

the problem is that not many girls wanna have a relationship unless it’s something serious..and I am not ready for marriage and all of that stuff

so I have been single for 10 months now

 

 

I see

prob because of family?

 

 

yeah, it’s still taboo

to have girl/boy friends

unless you are getting engaged or something

it’s easier in Lebanon than for us here

what about you? American men or Middle eastern?

 

 

both

physically I prefer middle eastern men.

They are way more attractive

 

 

hehe but you hate the mentality of the middle eastern?

 

 

no

 

 

jealous dominating :p

 

 

not all are like that

some are really cool

 

 

no but that’s usually the answer, sterotypes

 

 

all the men I’ve dated have gotten jealous and dominating

 

 

you sure know how to pick em :p

there is a fine line between jealous and protective

 

 

I think it has to do with me I’m more involved with my work than anything else

 

okay, yeah I can imagine the potential problems

so what is your next international stop?

 

 

I’ve got an ongoing project in Detroit

I’ll be going there soon

There’s a large Muslim community

so why are you chatting with an older woman so far away?

 

 

I just got curious..and one thing lead to another. And here we are having a really interesting conversation

what about you? Chatting with a young guy J

 

 

Well…. I’m on this app to talk to Muslim men who are away from their homelands

for my research

there are so many on here

 

 

okay J

so it’s not pleasure but business

I feel so used lol

 

 

no it’s both

I make friends

 

 

just kidding J..okay cool..

 

 

 But as you know in the communities I work with it’s very difficult

 Just to go up and talk with men

 

 

yeah, I know

 

Women start to distrust you

 

 

hehe lol

so you flirt with them behind their back? Hehehehe

 

 

Oh, you’re awful 

 

Relax, don’t take everything so seriously

Don’t be mad, but you are a little preachy, lol

;)