21 August 2006
'Well done' is better than 'Well said'!
I remember it clearly. It was almost exactly a year ago. The old man was angry and frustrated. He was bitter- no disrespect intended but the man was honestly not a bundle of happiness. And at that time I didn’t feel very cheerful myself! We had spent almost three weeks in the West Bank. The cruelty of the soldiers, annoyance of the check points, and ugliness of the Apartheid Wall and the overbearing sense of insecurity had just about worn me out! [see palestine stories]
We were taking notes, trying to interview those we met so that we could better understand their lives and bring their stories home.
His words went more or less like this, ‘What is the use? People come and people go but nothing changes! We still suffer. The world doesn’t know what we go through. The world doesn’t care!’
Some do. A few brave souls braved the cold to hold a vigil at the US consulate. It was more a symbolic show of solidarity but something productive nevertheless. A friend from France emailed to ask how she can help. Whether I knew if they needed help in the refugee camps. I’m sure they do. I don’t know for sure. Would like to go if I could.
But alas I the chains are heavy. They weigh me down- a dreaded exam looms. If wasn’t the last, the end, the culmination of many years of strife and toll, I would abandon it in a wink! Just trying to qualify to write it is proving to be exceedingly difficult. I blame it on too many distractions, too many friendly encounters, too much reality, too much travelling and experiencing life not like I had ever known it before! I sit and try to study but find myself drawn to late night infomercials! I sit and try to write the qualifying test and find myself daydreaming about far off lands!
Speaking of far off lands, it seems to be getting difficult to get visas for far off lands- Germany and France to be precise. This guy, probably the best guy around, the type that wouldn’t hurt a fly and does everything he can to help others. I would say- peace itself personified! But he fits the profile~ young Muslim!
And to just conclude a discussion that started off my last post- someone asked what I think about women covering up. I think we need to look at why Islam encourages men AND women to dress modestly. And also encourages men AND women to lower their gazes. This can, and has rightfully been interpreted differently all over the world. In fact, in Zanzibar I saw an amazing amalgamation of cultures- a single woman’s dress had African, Indian and Arab influences. Unique and modest, yet quite stylish. A bit of that is needed here: will help bridge the gap between ‘dull boring black garbs’ and utterly shameless and immodest norm of many a young Muslim!
Look at the logic behind everything. That should help you better understand and then want to implement. Like I said in the aforementioned discussion- men were instructed to grow beards so that we can ‘be different’ from the fire worshippers. Men and women need to dress modestly, cover up in public, so that integrity, honour and chastity can be protected. Any action or practice that weakens the family structure leads to problems in a community and possibly an eventual breakdown of society. So protecting ones modesty is ultimately serving mankind…
That’s enough for now- next time go to askimam.com! or try the Majlis- hear they have a website too:-P
Registrations for the Argus open next week. Anyone keen to join a group of semi-professionals cyclists? Register on the website and give us a shout. Just make sure you don’t have any impending operations or anything!