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In the eyes of the world, he’s the bogeyman, the roughneck athlete, the wild man, the sexual animal. In my eyes, he is simply beautiful. My magnificent Black man. My name is Ariel Adewale, and I’m a young biracial woman of Nigerian and Lebanese descent living in the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario. My parents and I hail from Southern Nigeria, and we’ve been living in Canada since the summer of 2000. My dad, Paul Adewale is Nigerian. My mother Marianne Al Bayat is Arab, of Lebanese descent. She was born in the City of Nabatieh in the Republic of Lebanon and grew up in southern Nigeria, where she met my dad. They both left home in search of better opportunities. That’s why we came to the City of Ottawa, Ontario, shortly after my first communion.
Twelve years have gone by since those heady early days when the world seemed full of possibilities as my family and I set foot in Canada for the first time. I am twenty two years old and the Capital region of Canada has finally started to feel like home. In part because so many people of African, Indian, Chinese and Arab descent have been moving to this region. Now even though I still stand out because I’m a woman of color, I don’t stand out as much. The great white north isn’t so white anymore, and I call it progress. People often ask me if I’m Hispanic or even Indian because of how I look. I wish people would stop making those assumptions because my facial features are distinctly African. I stand five feet eleven inches tall, curvy and fit, with skin the color of burnished bronze. My eyes are light brown and I long, jet-black hair which I like to braid. I guess I got the best of both worlds from my parents. Fine African and Arabian genes gave me unique good looks which cause many people to ask me if I model. Sorry but no. I’m a brainy gal, not that I’m implying that brainy girls can’t be models.
I am presently studying civil engineering at Carleton University, and I’m in my second year of grad school. Soon I will have my degree. I want to do big things. We need more women and minorities in the field of civil engineering. It’s not just about white males anymore. I want to return to Nigeria someday and do some good things for my homeland but my parents, well, they kind of forbid me from ever returning there. The Republic of Nigeria stands on the brink of war over religion and politics. The Islamist sect of Boko Haram has been launching attacks on Christians in the South of Nigeria. Every Sunday is a bloody Sunday in Nigeria because the radicals are attacking churches. Nigeria is evenly split between Christians and Muslims. The north is mostly Muslim and the south is almost exclusively Christian. The northerners want to split from the rest of Nigeria to become a Muslim country. And I honestly wish these religious nutcases would leave and not let the door hit their robed asses on the way out.
I canlı bahis was raised Catholic, and I know fully well how dangerous radical Muslims from northern Nigeria can be. They’re nothing short of deadly and I wish Goodluck Jonathan, the Christian man elected President of Nigeria, would do something about them. Why doesn’t he mobilize the Nigerian army to deal with these terrorists? If I were him, I’d do that. Also, I would make sure that all the men and women chosen to fight Boko Haram are Christians, because we don’t need traitors in the ranks. Sorry to say this but Nigerian Christians cannot trust Nigerian Muslims. At any moment they can go radical and try to harm us. That’s the sad legacy which Boko Haram has left the nation of Nigeria. I miss my homeland, as you can see. If and when civil war breaks out between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, I’ll happily join a Christian militia to fight for what I believe in. That’s my word as a Nigerian Christian woman of the Igbo tribe.
Here I am, sitting at a computer terminal on the second floor of the Carleton University library. Looking at news from Nigeria on Yahoo and MSNBC. A young White guy walks by, looks at me and smiles. I smile politely back at him then return to what I was looking at. So absorbed am I by the news that I didn’t hear someone sneak up on me. Strong arms wrapped themselves around me and I felt hot lips press against my neck. For a moment I panic, but seconds later I relax. A warm, masculine voice whispers “surprise” into my ear. I turn around and brazenly tug at the collar of the ‘intruder’ before planting a wet kiss on his lips. Jarvis Pierre seemed genuinely surprised by my kiss, in part because I’m not usually affectionate in public. It’s not because of shyness. I just don’t like to put myself on display. I feel way too exposed that way. I read the surprise on his face, and smiled. I love surprising my man just as he begins to fool himself into thinking he knows me. Got to keep your man guessing, otherwise he’ll get bored of you. Got to stay mysterious, you hear me, ladies? Cool.
How I met Jarvis Pierre is a funny story. I was visiting my friend Elise Getachew at the University of Ottawa when a sweaty, rowdy guy bumped into us. Incensed, elise and I got ready to read this fool, but we were awestruck by how good-looking he was. Haitian-born Canadian football stud Jarvis Pierre, fresh from football practice in anticipation of the University of Ottawa’s big game against McMasters University. He looked at us with a big grin on his handsome mug, clearly none put off by the sight of two angry young ladies, one Nigerian and one Ethiopian, ready to remind him to mind his manners. He excused himself, and told us how beautiful we were. He even said something corny like he couldn’t see where he was going because he was blinded by our beauty. The nerve! In spite of Jarvis bahis siteleri corniness, Elise and I both laughed. Like everybody else in Ottawa, we knew about Jarvis, the superman of the Capital’s university football world.
Yeah, that’s how I met Jarvis. I would later run into him at Carleton University while he was visiting one of his buddies, and somehow, he convinced me to give him my number. I agreed to go see ONE movie with the guy, and before I knew it, we were dating. That’s Haitian guys for you. They’re such charmers and players, on and off the field. Hmmm. Lord I like to reminisce about those early days in our relationship. I’m a bit moody and worry constantly about everything, so I’m not always easy to deal with. Both my best friend and my boyfriend have had to learn to put up with me. Jarvis pulled a chair next to me, incensing a Chinese chick who sat at the computer next to mine. She shot him a look. He flashed her a disarming smile, said hi, then ignored her completely. Putting his arm around me, Jarvis asked me what was up.
I sighed, and Jarvis looked at the screen. He read the headline on Yahoo news. Boko Haram sect claims responsibility for the deaths of twenty Nigerian Christians killed during a church attack by a suicide bomber in northern Nigeria over the weekend. Jarvis sighed, and gently took my hand in his. I looked at him, daring him to tell me any platitudes. As a light-skinned young biracial woman of African and Lebanese descent who looks more Arab than Black, life wasn’t easy for me in the Republic of Nigeria. The men coveted me and the women despised me. Both me and my mother faced scorn from the Nigerian women because they saw her as a man stealer. You’d think that after all that I’d be glad to be far from Nigeria but the place of my birth still has a hold over me. It’s home, after all, even though I am a Canadian citizen now.
Jarvis pulled me closer to him, and told me how saddened he was over the fact that Nigerian Muslims were slaughtering Nigerian Christians. When he said that, I was almost dismissive. For starters, Jarvis wasn’t Nigerian. Hell, he was a lapsed Christian. He didn’t go to church regularly, even though his parents are church folk. His father, Emile Pierre, is a Baptist church minister in the City of Montreal, Quebec. His mother Annabelle Raymond Pierre is a church deaconess. Jarvis is a sports-obsessed, skirt-chasing man-about-town. He seems to have tamed his wild ways somewhat after we’ve been dating for a year but we are still very different people. Now, I am a passionate woman and sex matters to me. I have enjoyed exploring every square inch of Jarvis sexy body. That man is fine, and he knows how to make a woman feel good. My relationship with him matters to me, but my allegiance to my fellow Nigerian Christians always comes first in my priorities.
I took something from my pocket, bahis şirketleri and gently waved it in front of Jarvis. His eyes blinked in surprise when he saw what it was. A small white crucifix hanging on a necklace. I looked Jarvis in the eyes and told him that I cared deeply for him. But I could only spend my life with a Christian man who is ready to defend his beliefs against all enemies. These days, calling oneself Christian isn’t a small feat. Christendom has enemies around the world. In Pakistan, Syria and Egypt Christians are persecuted by the Muslim majority. In Africa, where Christianity is the fastest growing non-native religion, clashes are occurring daily between Christians and Muslims.
We’re heading for open conflict in Nigeria, and I feel that Ethiopia, Lebanon and Eritrea will follow suit as their Muslim populations get radicalized and try to uproot the Christian governments and try to impose the anti-anything-fun, deeply restrictive and profoundly woman-hating doctrines of Sharia. Christians worldwide are going to need to unite against them. And those who call themselves Atheists, Hindus, Baha’i, Pagans or whatever will not be spared. War is coming, and if we don’t defend what we believe in, all may be lost. Civilization itself is at stake. In the world that Boko Haram and its like-minded counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Somalia, Turkey, Egypt and Syria want to create, there is no room for Women’s Rights, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Expression. We have to stop them. If we don’t, we’re all toast. Forced conversion or death, that’s what we will all face, on a global scale.
I cannot share my life with someone who doesn’t understand these things, that’s what I was telling Jarvis. I saw the conflicted look on his handsome face. He cared for me, but wasn’t ready for the level of commitment I was asking for. I know what you’re thinking. I’m not an Islamophobe. Nor am I a religious nutcase. I go to church weekly, sure, but mostly to feel a sense of community and belonging. Also, I like to go out and party. I drink socially. When the occasion calls for it, I like to dress sexy. I happen to enjoy sex, thank you very much. I am not a prude. However, I am a Nigerian Christian woman through and true. I will not stand by and let my people be wiped out. When the time comes to defend them, I want to be ready. And I cannot be with someone who would be a liability to that goal.
So, Jarvis my love, what say you? Jarvis looked at me, and told me he cared for me, more than I knew. Gently he took the crucifix from me and put the necklace around his neck. It looked exactly like the one I have worn since before I left Nigeria, the one my parish priest, Father James Madiop, gave me on my first communion. I looked at Jarvis. He looked so beautiful. The man that I love. Gently he drew me closer, and I embraced him. I kissed him, and he hugged me tightly. Jarvis took my hand, and together, we walked out of the library. We had a lot of things to talk about. Hopefully he’ll understand. I’d hate to lose him. He’s such a wonderful man.
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