hapa301Hello, I’m Amjad. I’m half Tunisian and half Filipino. I have two brothers and one sister, we all look Asian and we are proud to be Hapas.

My mom is Filipino (has Spanish and Chinese descent) and my dad is Tunisian. I was born in Iraq but grew up in Tunisia. I speak Arabic, French, English and a bit of Tagalog. I wish I could speak Tagalog fluently — my mom is the one to blame :)

People always say that I look different and ask me the same questions over and over again: “Are you really Tunisian?” “Is your mom from Japan?” and “Do you speak Chinese?” It’s really funny.

Growing up in a country where Asians are rare, it was challenging for me. I really had a hard time here. I’m half Tunisian but I never fit in with Tunisian traditions. Deep inside, I feel alienated.

When I was in school, I was not comfortable being Asian. Kids were mean to me and my brothers. They called us names. I kind of hated the school at that time. However, things changed when I moved to high school, I became popular and I had many friends because I was special — I was the only Asian back then, it was cool.

Although people accept me for who I am, I’ve never felt that Tunisia is my home. To be frank, I like being Filipino more than being Tunisian. I have been in the Philippines before and I wish I can settle down there one day.

I love to meet other Filipinos Hapas and learn about how they embrace their heritage. Once again, I’m happy to be Hapa.

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