We Are More is an inclusive space for SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) and SWANA diaspora writers to tell our stories, our way. Curated by Michelle Zamanian, this new column seeks to disrupt the media’s negative and stereotypical narratives by creating a consistent platform to be heard, outside of and beyond the waxing and waning interest of the news cycle. We publish creative nonfiction, graphic essays, fiction, poetry, and interviews by SWANA writers on a wide variety of subject matter. All prose submissions should be between 1500-5000 words. Poetry submissions should include 4-8 poems for consideration (up to 12 pages). Please inquire for interview guidelines. Submissions should be sent to Michelle here. with author’s name and title/genre of work in the subject line.
It’s February 1991, and I can’t tell you where the Middle East is on a map, or why it’s called the Middle East. But my family eats Syrian bread with every meal (I can’t tell you the difference between Syrian bread and pita, but I know they’re not the same).
I started to feel drowsy from the post-iftar food coma, the still air in the room, and the melancholic rhythm of the preacher’s recitation. I tried reading the Farsi subtitles to stay focused, but my eyes were tearing yawn after yawn.