Ms. Amrika at the Beauty Parlour

F. is a Palestinian woman, forced into marriage at the age of 16 and forced to leave school which she greatly regrets as she loves reading , something that she manages to find the time to do despite her hectic schedule .
After two failed miserable marriages and four kids , she decided that she will have to stand on her two feet and that she will have to do it alone .
She started paying visits to the rich ladies around the capital, offering her services which consisted of waxing and manicures .
Her brightness and sense of humor made her popular amongst her well off clientele.
After many years of hard work and savings , she finally opened her own Beauty Parlour.

I went and paid my regular visit . The atmosphere is usually light at F' s. Loads of women, from all backgrounds, cracking jokes (usually about the men in their lives) ,
commiserating , supporting , giving advice, talking about the latest political blunders, and sharing beauty tips and recipes for keeping one's looks .
The place was buzzing with noise of endless chit chats . Tray after tray of cups of Arabic coffee passing around , cigarette smoke filling the dense place .

The door abruptly opened and walked in a "foreigner". More on the heavy side , very low cut blouse , excessively tight pants , peroxide blonde hair , and a chewing gum in mouth making bubbles .
Ok , we all found out by then that she was american , the chewing gum was a give away .

Ms Amrika was accompanied by a mousey looking English woman . She was quiet and looked rather fearful , hiding in the shadow of her yankee friend .
Ms. Amrika threw her weight on the chair , stretched her legs , lit a cigarette , ordered a coffee and said : " I want my nails done and I want it fast ".

Silence fell in the room . We , women, stared at one another, and I could see some trying very hard to conceal their giggles .

Realizing that maybe she was not very welcomed after all , she tried to put on a pleasant face and attempted at striking some conversation with the woman sitting next to her . Her loud brash voice ensured that the whole crowd was overhearing her pathetic efforts .

" I just luuv yar country , the weather's awwwesome and hey Jill, don't ya just luuv the food ?"
Jill nodded in approval .
" Aym from the US of A " . No shit ! I thought to myself .
Then she gave one of those throaty hoarse laughs , tilted her head back and continued.
" Aww and the men, honey, aren't they just sooo sexy ? "
" Yar lives are so easy here , I mean , I guess, ya' all don't have to work , am I right ?"
" Are ya all kind of , ehh , kept by the men ? Awww you're all so luucky..."

I mumbled to myself : one minute we are all oppressed and one minute we are all lucky , so which one is it ? What else do they want to steal ?
One of the women sitting next to me must have heard my mumblings . She added :
" Habibtee (my dear) if they can steal our sun too , they will do it ..."


Anonymous said…
Layla, that is simply BRILLIANT!!! Something on the lighter side, when everything else is dark. But, of course, if they could steal the sun, they would as they are so used to stealing just about everything.
Anonymous said…
lol gotta luv the dumb fat americans.......they always make me laugh too.....though im a bit surprised u r vain enough to be going to beauty parlours

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