Sab Story — A Belated, Cross-Cultural Eid Story

“What’s up, Sabiya?”

My tall friend shakes her head with a smile. The sequins on her festive hijab shimmer with her movement.

“Come on, Sabiya. You know you can tell me anything.”

She just smiles quietly.

It’s Eid. She didn’t mention it, but I know the date. Her jocund attitude keeps her from talking about anything that might bring someone’s mood down.

But that’s just it. Her backpack sloped a little lower on her shoulders today, and she sipped from her Starbucks a little slower in Genetics lecture. Her smile fell as soon as she thought no one was looking.

There was no use hiding it. I didn’t have to be Muslim to know you miss your home during the holidays.

I raise my eyebrows in empathy. She’s not going to tell me, and I’m not going to push it.

“I’m sorry,” I say as I give her a hug and join her on the common room couch.

“For what?” she asks with a laugh.

It’s my turn to smile mysteriously. I just hand her my token of support, a bag of white cheddar popcorn.

She grabs the gift excitedly and flicks on an episode of her favorite show.


Please check out the book I wrote for charity! A black doctor challenges discrimination while fighting for women’s health in No Pain in Vain.

PC: nora_maoui