A narrative on growing up Muslim in Britain
As I watched the colour draining from my mum’s face when I told her I had booked my first tattoo appointment, I was more than prepared for her to joke about disowning me. A few weeks later, when she was the one helping me rinse the blood off my new open wound for art’s sake, I was surprised to get her seal of approval. However, not everyone is so understanding. Although society appears to have reached the mainstream acceptance of tattoos, there’s still some challenges to being tattooed in 2017.
My mother, father, step-father, sister, and elder brothers all have tattoos. It’s something that has been consistent throughout my entire life, and growing up I knew I would eventually come to have tattoos of my own, after seeing the love given to them by my family. My sister’s Welsh dragon, my brother’s calf shrine to the Nightmare Before Christmas, my mother’s reminder of family – all show personal journeys that are present and available to view on skin.
The forty-degree heat was never enough to stop my family and I travelling to Iran every summer since I was born. I remember asking my mother why we didn’t travel to Iran in the winter instead to avoid the roasting weather, and she would always say that to visit Iran, a two week break is not enough. And it’s true: the six week summer never suffices, but knowing I would return a year later was enough to keep me excited to return to this country that somehow manages to change each time I visit, but simultaneously stays the same beautiful place.
qmunicate: So, how does it feel to be rector?
Content Warning: the following article deals with topics concerning eating disorders and pro-eating disorder online communities.
Did anyone tell you there’s an election coming up? Quite soon, in fact. This Thursday! Tell yer pals!