Still me

7 years ago:

“Why do you have two last names,” a middle-aged man had a bone to pick with me.

“Yeah, I took one after my mother. She kept hers after marrying my father.”

“And what do you plan to do after you’re married? Have as many as three last names, adding your husband’s or something,” he replies, smirking at me, his eyes sending their own sarcastic message, saying I’ll eventually wear down with my feminist agendas once I get hitched.

“No, I’m not changing anything after that,” I tell him and walk away. He was neither the first nor the last with such ideas.

2 years ago:

“You know, Tamer, I’m going to keep my last names after our wedding,” I open the topic, in which, despite my firm stance, I couldn’t predict the outcome that followed.

“Who said anything about changing surnames? If you took mine, we might be mistaken for siblings on official documents in any Arab country. Where I come from, we do not change surnames after marriage.”

1 year ago:

“What’s your name now?” A third person, who is no longer in my contacts, sneers at me. “Is it Fatima or something?”

“No, I’m still me. Nothing’s changed, ”I write back and repeat the retort quietly in my head. Still me, staying true to myself.

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