Unpronounceable Name

By Kawthar, Age 11

I’ve never met someone who could pronounce my name. It’s always sitting down, dreading the very moment when the teacher reaches my name. First days, substitute teachers, any activity. Just that awkward moment where you can almost hear the struggle. I have the lines prepped now.

“It’s pronounced Coh-thur.” I want to add, “Not whatever thing you’ve been calling me for the past week.” 

Frankly, I don’t blame them. You’ll see a Sally, a Kevin, a John, never really a Kawthar. In books, everyone has these simple, easy-to-pronounce names. That’s why the book that makes me feel seen is Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy. It feels relatable to see such an interpretation of a seemingly simple name, like,

“Ka-Kawethar. Kuwether?”

Plus, this book has the theme of others making you feel different.

“Are you a Moselim?” I used to be asked.

“No, I’m a Muslim.”

“Okay, Kewthir.”                                                

When I read this book, I felt like I wasn’t the only Kithavar, now that I saw Honda’s story, I felt finally seen. Maybe I’m not the only one with a name nobody can pronounce.

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