That's Not My Name

I know, my name is not familiar nor easy to remember.  I get that.

That being said...

It's spelled phonetically.  Is it really that hard to say?  It's three friggin syllables.  My name is Nabeha.  Say it with me...


Not so tough, right?  You would be surprised at the number and frequency of mispronunciations I have been forced to listen to over the years. 

When my parents named me, I'm sure my American mother cringed when my Palestinian dad suggested they name me after his mother, who had a very unusual and old-fashioned Middle Eastern name.  That is why she threw in my middle name, Mary, for good measure.  Just in case I needed it, after my Great Grandmother Mary from Kentucky.

I have never used it, but I did adopt a nickname at an early age to help my friends more easily address me without incident.  I still use this nickname among most of my nearest and dearest family and friends.

First days of school were the worst.  While everyone else was lamenting over what to wear and who was going to be in their class, I was praying that the teacher did not belt out another version of my name like the year prior such as Nah-buh-hay or Nuh-hee-buh.

I learned to just say "here!" before the teacher even finished butchering my name, so the moment would be over with quickly no matter the pronunciation given.  Like pullin' off a band-aid.

Now that I am all grown up, I have a tendency to use my full and real name more and more.  Especially now that I am writing professionally and using a byline.  I finally am at an age where I appreciate the unique name I was given and wear it proudly.  Although, once again I am flooded with a sea of mispronunciations. 

In honor of those names I have been called, I give you one of my favorite songs to listen to after being called Nub-he-ban or something like that.


Nabeha (Nuh-bee-huh) 



Leave a comment