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Blog: Living Mighty Well

A Multicultural Love Story With a Taste of Lyme

Here’s a story that will throw you through a cultural loop.

My mother was born Irish Catholic and my father is an Ashkenazi Jew. I grew up in Rhode Island, USA, knowing that I was in some way Jewish, but I never celebrated that fact until I was given the gift of Birthright when I turned 18.
 
I fell in love with Israel and started to celebrate the fact that I was a Jew. From the moment I got back on the El-Al plane back to the United States, I knew that I wanted to celebrate the fact that I was Jewish. I started to self-identify as Jew and I threw myself into religious, cultural, and traditional self-learning.
Now, I’ll admit, I will never be a religious Jew, and most religious Jews do not even consider me to be “Jewish” because my mother is a “shiksa,” but I continue to celebrate the Jewish culture and religious practices that I see to fit my lifestyle. (Not going to lie, I love all pork and shellfish products… so not Kosher).
 
I guess I would consider myself to be “culturally Jewish.” I told myself that I wanted to marry a Jew and raise a Jewish family to share and spread what I felt to be sacred traditions.
 
PLOT TWIST: I fell in love with a Kuwaiti-Muslim. 
*(Jewish Grandmother rolls over in her grave)*
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Yousef Al-humaidhi and I may not work on paper, but we believe that we are soul mates. Yousef completes me where I lack and I lift him up to be a better person. What made me fall in love with Yousef was not his handsome Arab features, or his genius-like mind, but his compassion for animals, his love for his mother and family, but most of all his willingness to take care of me when I was at my lowest point. I have severe Chronic Lyme Disease and when most people in my life faded away, he stood by my side. He took me to doctors appointments in different states, he helped me with my IV treatments and my PICC Line, and brought me food when I couldn’t get out of bed. He was my savior.
 
 

We will be celebrating our four year anniversary in a few months, and believe me, it has not all been smooth sailing with our cultural and religious differences. People on both sides of our family have questioned our relationship: its legitimacy, its longevity, hell if it will even work. Many say it won't. Only time will tell, but we are making a conscious effort to celebrate our differences. After much mumbling from Yousef’s Kuwaiti father about how this will never work, our families have even come to embrace one another once they saw the love that we have for each other. In fact, Yousef’s father is now quite fond of me after he met me this past summer and he is happy that Yousef has found a person like me to share his life with.

Yes, we are young, but we know that one day we want to be married and have a family, and we are even starting a business together. We pledged to teach both the Jewish and Arab culture and religion to our posterity.

We hope to be an example not only in America but around the world. We are at a time when Arab racism couldn’t be higher, and Jews are facing anti semitism left and right in Europe. We want to be a symbol of hope, that yes we may have our differences, but we are more alike than most people believe. Of course, we argue whenever the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets brought up, as I lived in Israel this past summer during Operation Protective Edge, but we try to limit that arguing to a moment. We try to see past our differences and unite on our love for one another. I hope that others can see that not only can Jews and Muslims be friends, but they can love one another. Yousef and I believe that we can be an example for others and hope to inspire others to move forward in love and not backward in hate.
 
For more content like this, check out our friend Hamza's twitter feed: Hummusparty
 

Read more about: 10 Things to Know When Someone in Your Life Has Lyme.

 

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