The Insider: Sana Helwa Ya ga-Meem

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Disclaimer: The author chooses to replace the “y” at the end of words with an “i” due to personal taste. It is not a typo. In case you find a “y” at the end of a word, it would be a typo indeed. Please report it to the team. Gracias!

I cannot fathom the notion of time.

It feels like so long ago when I was puffing a cigarette with Abbouzi on the balconi. Since day one, we’ve  drawn our boundari lines, and somehow we’ve always managed to cross them and bug each other. Yet, I cannot help but remember how she and Lynn wiped my tears when we were alone in the kitchen while ten people waited outside to have their Ramadan dinner. How did change happen in such a short time? Why did I allow myself to cry in such a space without a care in the world about whom would see my shame? When had it become normal for me to break down in front of other people? Had I finalli succumbed to the “support group” notion and let myself crumble amongst compani? I pack this question in a box and sit on top of it while I sip my tea.

The reason why I was reluctant to join Meem for two (or was it three?) years was because I wasn’t a big fan of the lesbian communiti. Picture it: a tini circle of women dating and sleeping with each other pre or post the gossiping session! I was having none of it! I wasn’t willing to engage in such a group; but looking at Meem’s achievements and having attended the Bareed Mista3jil launch, I decided to give it a try.

I don’t fanci admitting it, but I was wrong. Not entireli, of course. There is much inter-dating and sexing going on. The Meems are no angels. But I discovered that at Meem, as despicable as a person can be, she will always find support in her peers. We will always disagree. Sometimes we might feel misunderstood, and perhaps even alienated. But I will never forget that membership evaluation meeting when Ladi Gya asked a bunch of us to draw an imaginari scale and lean on one side or the other to agree, or disagree on statements she was giving us. When the time came to gauge the amount of support we felt we possessed at Meem, we all leaned on one side. The one that read maximum support. It was the onli answer among mani questions, in which we all responded identicalli. Therein lies the beauti of Meem. We are all different. Sometimes stress takes us away from each other, and we feel like we want to pull each other’s hair out, [#support, #love, #compassion], but we get over ourselves because we realize we have been drawn together for a reason. We move past our irritabiliti towards “the greater good”.

I theorize that sex does bring people closer together, in the absence of consequential drama.

The famili ties among us keep growing stronger. With everi meal shared, everi bitching over sports injuries, and the big feel-good moment that overcomes us following a completed project.  Let’s not get too far away from here: everi published Bekhsoos issue is an achievement by itself. The team takes time out of their busi lives to research, write, edit, design and publish the magazine. We put our lives on hold, stay up half then night and wake up earli to be able to publish on time. Can you imagine what kind of damage lack of sleep can cause to our skin, not to mention the rings around our eyes that form, when, realli, we need to look like beautiful feminists with as little effort as possible?

Despite all this, whenever an issue goes “on the air” our hearts grow and all tiredness gets flushed. We get excited about our site ratings and start preparing for the next issue. For some of us, Bekhsoos represents the long-term relationship we’ve never had. Sometimes we take some distance. We hide in our bubble and sip our coffee and tea. But we always come back. We come back because we need to pour ourselves into Bekhsoos. And we come back because we all have a sense of responsibiliti towards Bekhsoos  and the readers. We carri a legaci of writing for our sexualiti, our sexual orientation and our sexual identiti.

What makes Meems stronger is ever-flowing new blood that draws in capacities, skills and experiences: the different kinds of people ranging from the butch lesbians to the transsexuals and the bi-curious (“he loves, she loves me not!”).

Before I joined Meem, I was an ignorant. I used to make fun of the “lesbians” from a distance. Now that I’m an active member I realize I can make fun of the “Meem lesbians, bisexuals, queer, transgender, transsexual and questioning women”. That allows for an infiniti of jokes. And the best part about it is that they get to laugh with me about it.

So if you  are considering joining Meem, go ahead. You will find a cosi home, a nice little bubble away from the straight world that offers coffee and tea, but most importantli, it offers you a kind of love that you cannot find elsewhere.

Phoenix is a self-centered and sarcastic soul incarnated, perhaps by accident, in the bodi of a woman. As a writer with a temper, she replaces her "y's with an annoying “i” for aesthetical purposes and lives to crack a joke, at the expense of others. Her paranoid nature makes her sensitive to plants, animals and people. Ironicalli, after making fun of the Meem lesbians for years, she found a warm home there and is now renowned as its veri own emotional pest. She enjoys reading the paper with a hot cup of black tea while nude, more often than not.

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