Qurratulain. Kur-ah-tul-ayne. قرّة العين. Qurratulain.
My name has always been a burden and I should have recognised it as being indicative of the way that my life would be spent. After all, with a name so difficult to pronounce, I was already at a disadvantage. My parents were young when I came along; my mother was 18, my father still at university. I was the first child, they were very enthusiastic. The name that they gave me was derived from Arabic, meaning 'the coolness of the eye.' Whilst some may liken it to the saying, 'you're the apple of my eye,' it capacitates so much more.
When Arabs would ride in the desert during a sandstorm, although they would cover their faces, their eyes would become irritated by sand particles. When they finally found shelter, they would say 'my eyes are cool,' which aside from the literal meaning signified that they had found refuge from the storm. It was also used in the context of describing something that one loved the most by suggesting it was evoking tears of joy (and thus cooling one's eyes).
With age, I've come to understand the beauty of its connotations and I hope that one day I will come to appreciate the name itself. It's strange how our parents, having never met us before, give us names and we then supposedly grow into their meaning.
Qurratulain? You tell me.