My (very Asian, very Arab) family’s response to me becoming a minimalist

I’ve been talking to telling my family that I’m seriously considering becoming a minimalist and someone who somewhat practises the zero waste movement to the best of their ability. I won’t go too deep into explaining either lifestyle as they are pretty self explanitory and you can YouTube them if interested. But essentially, with the 1st you don’t buy and hoard shit you don’t need and with the 2nd you recycle and become a more concious consumer.

I’m not claiming to suddenly love the environment and I am debating buying an obscenely expensive chair as we speak but I do want to do my bit for the world. Maybe turning 30 is making me nicer hella bored and I feel like I need to do something with the routine cycle I call my life.

Anyway, here are some of my very Asian, very Arab family and friend’s responses when I told them about this change. Sidenote; I have never been more amused in my life;

~Oh you want less furniture? How about you think twice about getting a 2nd cat? Two cats is not very minimal, Tam- Ma

~New movement? You do realise this is how the prophet lived years ago right? – Friend

~A bamboo toothbrush? I think you’ll find that’s called a miswak mate. These Youtubers feed you lies and you just buy them. Shabash TamCousin

~Oh now they wanna use a “water system” when they go to the toilet to avoid loo roll? We’ve been doing it for centuries and been called dirty for it but now you wack a “save the environment” label on it and it becomes popular? Nice one Westerners- Colleague

~Oh God Tam, are you gonna start hugging trees and shit now?- Friend

~No, no good. Just do it properly though yeah. Don’t use our bathroom that’s too modern and bad for the environment. Go in the garden- Ma.

-So I take it you will be walking an hour and back to work now yeah? No car? – Friend

-Tam, is this you lowkey trynna be kanjoos? Because I’ll get the bill next time we go out don’t sweat it, babe- Cousin

-Mashallah. What next? You’ll go vegan inshallah? Because if so you can start next month. Your dad has already done the meat shop for this month- Ma.



  1. Haha the responses to this are hilarious. Your mum is a legend! Her responses are classic πŸ˜‚.
    I do think it’s a great way of life if you can commit to it, I for one cannot lol… but if you do decide to go ahead with it I hope it works out for you. 😊

  2. OMG! I NEEDED THIS! Ahahahaa XD Thank you! and I feel you.
    I really like both of these ideas, alot. For me I’m trying to follow minimalism. (Simplicity is beauty).
    My sister recently started actually going zero waste in few ways, like it’s a start.
    I feel no everyone is supportive but yeah I do like it but I think it’s not that easy? {No honestly, I am just lazy. XD } Like she does the whole collect the biodegradable trash in the kitchen and then bury it outside in the soil, you know?

    Yes, this is how Prophets lived ages ago. :’) Point.I feel minimalist is good, and like Islam teaches us simplicity and you know moderate path. As for zero waste, it looks really hard.

  3. I absolutely support you! I’ve been trying to recycle everything I can, and I totally feel you cuz my parents would think it is such a hassle. I totally get you and I would love to do what you do πŸ˜‰

  4. very cool, very funny…but, you know, I live in the Middle East, and I just don’t get those water hose thingys at the toilets, and I really don’t get that the water goes all over the floor. And if we’re honest, wasting all that water instead of, say, a leaf…that’s maybe worse than wasting paper…just saying!

    1. Thanks! A lot of zero wasters here are actually ditching toilet paper in favour of “water systems” now which essentially is a water bottle that serves the same purpose as those hose thingys. You have to weigh up your options I guess and see what suits your life and principles. I am literally hella new at this.

  5. I can feel you when it comes to struggling with Arab parents, especially that I ‘left home too soon’ and came to the United States by myself. The only difference is that my arguments with my parents are over sees. Oh and my mother doesn’t say responses that funny when we skype. I LOVE YOUR MAMA

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