Live from Saudi – “The ‘N’ Word” Scene 1 of 3

Scene I

In 2008, I made my first trip to the Saudi Arabia for personal spiritual reasons, in other words, I left the Big Apple in order to get my mind right.  While I was there, I donned my normal attire at that time which was Soho fresh attire accentuated by an authentic Brooklyn demeanor.  On my feet, I wore an exclusive pair of Adidas, as the 3 stripes were the only kicks worthy of making my size 13s not look like boats.  My jeans were dope in a nondescript, but fresh kind of way.  I don’t exactly remember the T-shirt, but I have always copped fly tees to complete the ensemble.  In fact, I do remember coppin’ 5 tees in Soho from an upstart T-shirt company called Echo Unltd in 1997 .  Everywhere I went I got love while rockin’ those shirts.  The Echo Unltd. Shirts gained a large following and the name was eventually changed to Ecko, because of some type of legal issue.  Eventually, the company blew up and it’s founder, Marc Ecko, is definitely google-worthy, if you don’t know about him………..But back to the story.

As I made my rounds through the conservative Holy City of Madeenah, the young dudes would give me the twice over.   They’d stare at my kicks usually and this was expected because as was the case in NYC as well.  Most of the gawkers would usually keep it movin’, but one night of the main commercial strip, Sultanah Road, a young man struck up a convo.  His English was choppy, but I understood him well.

You American, saah?   Saah is short for Saheeh, which translates to “true” in English.

I responded  “Na’am”.   Arabic for yes.

The fashionable “for a Saudi” white Arab teenager, a wiry thin 5’10, was obviously excited.  I could “just tell” he was hyped to speak with me.  His outfit was similar to my own, but my content was clearly on a whole ‘nother altitude of fly.  His eyes lit up then he said six words that left me stuck on stupid.   With a cement swag he said to me,

“Look.  ( gesturing to his clothes)  I’m nigga, I’m nigga too.”


Wow is what I thought while I gave the young boy the “Is that right?!?!” look.  The dude went out of his way to tell me he’s a nigga and seemed to be looking for validation from an official American fly guy or nigga, he called it.  In effect, he was telling me that he was “down”.  Ok cool, whatever.  I’ve travelled enough to know I should be prepared for encountering the unexpected and unimaginable.  Even with that said, the young’n STILL threw me for a crazy loop.  When I returned to the States, I told al my people about the Arab teenager who told proudly told me,

“I’m nigga, I’m nigga.”

Pre-order your copy of “Transcending My Brooklyn – 4 Years in the Middle East” now


One thought on “Live from Saudi – “The ‘N’ Word” Scene 1 of 3

  1. Pingback: Hamza Makonnen’s New Book “Transcending My Brooklyn” available 10/10/15 | hamza makonnen

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