When I was a baby belly dancer in New York City, a woman almost ten years my senior in age and in dance wanted to learn something from me. It wasn’t a dance move or even a makeup hack—quite honestly, I didn’t have much to offer in either department at that age. Instead, she wanted me to teach her how to attract (and more importantly keep), an Arab boyfriend. You could imagine the quizzical look on my face as I listened to her request. For starters, that anyone would consider my 23-year-old self an expert in ANYTHING was flattering. Not gonna lie. Then of course there was the fact that I had been hitherto unaware that the…“phenomenon” to which she referred was a thing. It’s true, I was already on Arab boyfriend number three at that point in my life (two Syrians and one Egyptian), but not due to any deliberate machinations on my part. It just happened. All I can say is that my look and temperament seemed to attract Middle Eastern men. Probably more the latter than the former. Or let’s say it was my look that attracted them and my temperament that kept them around. Almost fifteen years later, the looks part remains the same. My temperament, not so much. I’ve learned a few things about boundaries and self-respect. Still, at the time, I didn’t perceive myself as possessing any special skill set, much less one that others would covet. Nor did I think snagging an Arab boyfriend was any different than snagging any other man, black, white, or anything in between.