Additional Screening

Additional Screening

A Story by Nadia Zahran

When I go through the checks, I have the distinct privilege of looking European- looking white, so no one glances, no one second guesses their decision to let me through. My name-Nadia- probably Russian, probably not one of those deviants. 

Yet, my brother, who looks just like me, just taller, darker, and most importantly, in possession of a penis. My brother’s name-Omar-not so Russian, not so white. Must be Muslim, must be one of those f*****g Arabs that are trying to kill us. My brother- who was born an American, who was raised an American, who proudly defends, screams, and bleeds American is now being questioned- being targeted and interrogated about his loyalty- about his right to walk freely as an American. My brother- who has lived a straight life- my brother who has never been arrested, never would think to break a law is now being treated like a criminal. 

Why this Chicago cop thought it was justified to hold my brother for hours, causing us to almost miss our connecting flight back to Detroit is beyond me. This is bull s**t. THIS IS F*****G BULL S**T. Yes, we’re Arabs, but we’re f*****g Americans- always have been- and so were the others. In that room there was not one white face, and only one woman- a young Black woman who was also just trying to catch her connecting flight. So what was it then? His name? Was it his f*****g name that made you think this was justified? Or the fact that he has a dick that automatically means he has an agenda? Maybe it was both- maybe an Arab man with an Arab name like Omar automatically predisposes him to want to kill- to want to murder innocent people, is that it? I’m so f*****g sick and tired of this. 

It’s not enough that living in New York post-9/11 meant getting death threats as a child- it’s not enough to get eggs thrown at us for being Arab-NO! 14 years later and it’s still not okay to travel while Arab. But I am at a distinct advantage- no one has to know I’m Arab. No one has to know the tears that fall for my Palestinian brothers and sisters that are slaughtered daily like pieces of meat- no one has to know that the real reason we left New York was the hate- no one has to know because I look white, and I can pass, I’m just supposed to sit back and take it while my brother gets picked apart by Bob, a man who has no idea that being born a white male was the greatest gift he’s ever received. A man who has no concept of how humiliating it is to be looked at like a criminal when your whole life you’ve been striving to fight that look. 

© 2017 Nadia Zahran

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


How can the terrorists win?, not by force of arms or strength of ideology or power of faith. They can only win when we doubt ourselves. They win when we give up our principles of freedom in the pursuit of security.

Posted 1 Year Ago

I have telling people. We are be tricked by the media. We must open our eyes and know the truth. I was lucky. I was born in Detroit. My first jobs were working for Arabic men. They became my mentors. Taught me how to work and how to think better. The press create ghosts and demons. You and I. We must write the truth. The dirty government like to trick the sheep. Better to be the wild and free beast than the followers of liars and naysayers. Your words powerful and needed. Thank you Nadia for sharing your powerful and worthwhile thoughts. Keep writing and telling the truth.

Posted 1 Year Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on December 25, 2017
Last Updated on December 25, 2017
Tags: discrimination


Nadia Zahran
Nadia Zahran

Ferndale, MI

Metro Detroit poet trying to get back into the scene, as writing is my one true love. more..

Rapture Rapture

A Poem by Nadia Zahran