How to Attend a Middle Eastern Family Reunion By: Samantha Nicole Traina This is not a small step in your relationship. When your girlfriend suggests that you come to her annual family reunion, this is a step way beyond meeting the parents. You have agreed to go and as she starts to describe her family you start to realize this is much more than just a quick meeting. The twelve-hour drive from Chicago to Little Rock you will try and find the one thing about her that looks distinctly Middle Eastern. Her thick, long, dark hair, brown eyes, and olive skin could belong to any number of culture and races. You will remember when you first met her asking yourself is she Italian, Greek, Hispanic? It isn’t till your cross the Missouri state line that she explains that she is actually Armenian. You ask like the Kardashian, and she’ll rolls her eyes, saying yes, but not to mention that particular comparison to her family. You will of course ask why have all these Armenians have chosen Little Rock Arkansas of all places. Your girlfriend will actually have little to no information on why they ended up there of all places. She knows they first were in California, but has no idea why they chose to not only move, but stay in the south. You might want her to teach you some words in either Arabic or Armenian, just something to show off, like hello or how are you. She will confess that past inch’pes yek’(how are you in Armenian) and ur yen dzer koshiknery(where are your shoes?) she knows little to nothing about either language. It still would be a good idea to get the first phrase she suggested memorized, and maybe the second for a good laugh. As you finally enter Little Rock, you drive up the beautiful hills you’ll arrive at a gate guarding a large hill. A little punch code later and you’ll have to drive to the very top on a one-way road. You’ll be grateful for the daylight noticing only small red light marking, once it is dark, where not to drive to go tumbling down the side of the hill. You’ll reach the top and see a large pink castle of a house, equipped with a huge front and back porch, tower, and gargoyles sitting on the post next to the front door. It is quite a sight, take a minute to take it all in, but don’t take too long other wise they will think you don’t know good taste. Yes, they are watching from the window.