Dear South Sudan:
My name is not “khawaja.”
PS: Really, it’s not.
Khawaja is arabic (at least in juba) for “white person” or “foreigner.”
It’s all in the delivery. 🙂 I am sure they have way worse words for foreigner. I’d actually like to know those words. Any chance we can get a “word of the day” part to your blog?
Ummm Jen, ask and you receive a wikipedia page:
I don’t mind it as much when someone is sort of talking about me (ie, today our office manager called our IT person to come fix something on my computer. she goes, “Can you come and look at Erin’s computer? …. You know, the khawaja.”
It’s more when it’s being shouted at me from the street trying to get my attention.
I also get called “Mzungu” by some of the east africans in town, but that’s less frequent.
Wiki says Khawaja” is a Persian title of respect. So maybe it’s a good thing? Or is it more like walking down Elston Ave and having truck drivers honk at you?
It’s not derogatory in any way (at least not that I know of), but it’s sort of annoying in an Elston Ave. type of way when you’re yelled at on the street in order to get your attention.
Google search provided me this:
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