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  • The Thing About Iraqi Women

    Mom always hated tuna. She doesn't think fish should come in cans. See, Mom's a cook. I guess she really enjoys the process of tearing a raw fish in half and gutting its insides. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't see the appeal in this.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was making myself a tuna sandwich, and my mom came into the kitchen with her nose pinched up like she was in a stinky garbage dump. She just about threw up when I put the mayonnaise on the tuna. To her, it was some disgusting American mutais, "mush," so I was really surprised when, later that day, we went over to a good Iraqi friend's house and this happened:

    My mom's friend was making a tuna sandwich for herself.

    "What's that you're making?" Mom asked.

    "A tuna sandwich," Mom's friend said.

    "Is it really good? What are you putting on it?"

    "Mayonnaise. It doesn't really taste good by itself, so I mix it with a spoonful of mayo and put it on toasted bread. My kids love it too."

    Mom nodded enthusiastically and said to me, "Did you hear that, Fatima? You need to make tuna more often."


    Since then, she's gotten over her aversion to tuna. In fact, she even buys the stuff for us now. Still doesn't eat it though. She really seems to like doing all the work herself. On some level, I think Mom likes it because this was how things were done back home in Basra, where the only fish she ever ate were the ones from the lake by her old house. Mom told me that my uncles used to prey on those fish for fun. They never used fancy fishing lines or anything like that. They just jumped in after them like bears, which I'll admit, sounds like a lot of fun.

    But I do not see the fun in chopping up a fish and tearing its guts out, which is why I like the fact that here in America, my fish comes in cans.
    This article was originally published in blog: The Thing About Iraqi Women started by Dreamworx95
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