IJoNC, MY fictitious organization with a membership of one, would best describe my most formative experience. Islamic Jews of
Toiling to endure life as Magda Ghoneim,a brown, absurdly tall and thin, flat chested child of Arab Jew descent in Fayetteville, North Carolina was cruel, to say the least. I am outing myself as Magda for those who were not witness to my Uber Anglo teachers botching my name year after year. I still cringe as I recall awaiting roll call, hoping to invisibly eek out, "here", before it could be butchered/broadcast/mocked.
Claiming MAGDA, 41 years and 2 legal name changes later, is emancipation of sorts. Similar to the "blacks" claiming the N-word. It wounded me each time it was spoken, even when pronounced correctly. To my good fortune, I credit the fact that I was called Maggie from an early age. That is, outside of class attendance and antagonizing peers or family.
I was born Magda Ghoneim to Nabil with an Arabic accent and Judith, a New York Jew. Having Jilan as my sibling did not make survival in
My term as the sole member of IJoNC shaped who I am: what I have achieved and been through, as well as all that I have and look forward to. Perhaps you too, would like to become an honorary IJoNC member or sponsor. ..or maybe you already are and just didn't know it.