K mentioned something about 'Arab generosity'. Suddenly felt the need to explain to T, who was with us, that K was born in Iraq (implying that it is therefore ok - because she's commenting on her own kind). I asked whether she often finds she has to explain her context/ her background. She answered, no, it never crossed her mind. She is an Arab.

I suudenly realised that because she doesn't fit my stereotype of an Arab, I am explaining her to others. Now that I think about it, I have worked with and known 3 women from Iran and/or Iraq and not one of them fit the Arab stereotype to look at. I realise my stereotype is North African and not at all Arabic Middle East and almost completely based on dodgy old stories like Lawrence of Arabia and Ali Baba.

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