I, Meera Maaytah, 21, go through a brief journey of recollection and reflection on moving from The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United States of America. Along with my parents Alex and Abeer, 60 and 50, we spend a moment to look back at the most life changing experience of our lives with awe, worry and hope.
I grew up in a very conservative society, inside a very liberal household. Jordanian society is very patriarchal and heteronormative, with slowly growing voices of opposition and change beginning to show on social media (for safety measures). As an irreligious, LGBT community supporting feminist – I began receiving backlash over my opinions and choices, and for leading a discussion at all to open dialogue on any of these topics. I was instructed by teachers and adults to never criticize my forced-faith or its leader, to look over history and give any and every excuse or justification for everything I found so blatantly wrong and demoralizing to women, other religious/irreligious minorities and the LGBT community.
After moving to the United States at the age of 18, I struggled to shape an identity of my own that I felt proud of and one with. I worried that I was replacing myself, or that I was abandoning who I am for someone I’m not.
I wanted to learn about my own parents’ thoughts, and how they felt coming here and leaving everything else behind. I wanted to learn in what ways my goals and reasons were similar to theirs, and in what ways were they different. I wanted to reflect on my experience and pause.
Tools used to interview my parents:
1- T5i Canon DSLR
2- Manfrotto tripod
3- A Canon recorder
Tools used for other purposes:
1- My webcam (in the beginning)