Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Other Side

First of all let me start by saying Ramadan Kareem to everyone. i am sorry i dont blog as much as i used to but life is busy with lulu and even busier when ur fasting. First Ramadan in the US and its a LOooong Day. iftar around 8:15 pm now 7:55pm. i was thinking a lot about my previous post and i feel i was not very fair and i spoke about all the good in the states and didn't mention any bad and maybe even sounded like i was looking down on the Middle East. so let me start by apologizing to anyone who was offended or got that feeling because that was not the intention at all. I have lived all my life in the Middle East and i love a lot of things about it and i also hate a lot of things. Its normal and no matter where you are there is good an bad.

And all my life i grew up with this wrong idea about the states and maybe coming here and seeing that its not like what i had in mind is what made me react this way. i used to think i would come here and ppl would curse me and throw stuff at me cause i wear the headscarf. i thought people would just give me death looks and treat me bad cause of my hijab. i was surprised to see that they were friendly and even complement me on my headscarf all the time.

I still know that there are alot that judge me and are uncomfortable around me and just because they smile in my face does not mean they want to befriend me. Some smile because they dont want to piss me off cause i could be a possible "terrorist". I know that when lulu cries people look at me as if i just hit her. I dont want them to love me. as long as i am respected that is more important to me.

Today i was in the elevator. a black man entered the elevator. he was staring at me with his bloodshot eyes. smiling and murmuring something. lots of people murmur and talk to themselves here. usually the homeless ones. some scream out things to you and well you should usually ignore them. anyway. this guy stood there. with only me and him in the elevator. staring and said. " Ur so beautiful" and came closer. i freaked out. i felt unsafe. scared. a fear i have never felt before. memories of the story i read earlier about the NY cab muslim driver that was slashed came to my mind. i started reading quran in my head. he wanted to shake my hand. i didnt know what to do. i wanted to pull my hand away but i was too late. he held my hand tightly and pulled it towards his face and KISSED IT a very sloppy ya3333 kisss ! ii could not have been happier to hear the "TINGGG" sound of the elevator reaching the floor i get off at! i rushed out the door and pushed lulus stroller so fast i think i woke her up from her nap. i could still feel spit on my hand! EWWW!

My point is. i admit that no matter how friendly people can be i know that i dont feel safe. its not like walking down the street in the UAE. I turn on the news and everyday you hear about a SHOOTING or homicide. a hit and run. you see a man selling drugs right around the corner by the house. You see drunk homeless ppl in the street. you see things you dont see in the middleast and i miss that feeling in the middle east. Safety. well at least SAFER.

my husband also brought to my attention that every time he traveled to the states without me no one stopped him for an extra hand search and full bag search. it was only when i travel with him that they choose us randomly for and extra "regular" procedures.

i was walking down the street and i saw an old lady trip and fall as she was passing the street. she bumped her head and could not move. she layed there on the floor on the side of the street. ppl gathered and called the paramedics. Saddest thing i have ever seen. how helpless she layed there
her old hands shaking. her groceries on the floor.. actually she had bought 2 packs of cookies.
I admired how the policeman that arrived spoke to her and told her she would be okay. she held on to his hand so tightly with a smile on her face. she caressed her face and kept holding on to his hand. he kept saying " i aint goin no where you'll be okay maam". all this time she had a smile on her face. a smile so wide. like she has not had this much attention in so long. a smile that held so many words. made me realize that yes you might see a lot of handicapped people in the street, you might see many old ladies pushing a small cart with their groceries when they can barely walk. walking to the supermarket alone. walking home alone. i used to see that as a positive thing and yes it is good that old people should not all be put in homes and just give up on life. but in the middleast most our elderly people are not the ones going to buy the groceries because they have children or grandchildren who would do that for them. i cant imagine my gradnma goin to buy groceries onher own! they would not be pushing their electronic wheelchairs to the supermarket but would be taken care of. yes of course there are always exceptions here and there.

I miss the sound of adan. i miss the good arabic food. shawerma. fatayer. esepcially in Ramadan. you want to eat REAL food! crunchy cheese samboosa.... tabuleh... ma7sheee wara2 3inaab... ya salamm *drooling... finding mulookhiye was an event here for me!!!

when i walk in the streets here i see all sorts of things... things i would never have seen in the arab world. some amusing. some disturbing. i admire how they are confident and how they speak thier mind. i love how they just say what is on their mind. how they hold doors for each other. how they do whatever they want without thinking who is going to say what. but i admit sometimes its just.. weird... when you see a really fat lady dancing in the street with a box on her head saying " vote for mayor blabla" while she shakes her booty wearing really tight tights exposing layer and layers of blubber ..

you see women wearing barely anything with shorts i can used as head bands for lulu. you see gay men walking like they are on a catwalk with full make up hand in hand with thier "lover". you see a dog liking his owners face while he talks and actually probably swallowed all the dog slobber and spit. you see a lot of things some funny. som weird. some disturbing.

what im tryin to say here. there is good. and there is bad. i wish we took the good. like those great educational kid shows and books that you never see on tv or in book shops. A nice hello how is your day, have a good day. Salam Alikom for a change instead of glaring at each other from head to toe without a smile even. I am willing to make a change in myself. i want to take for the good that i have seen here and thank God that we don't have all the bad i have seen.

You also hear things like a church burning the Holy Quran & 70 % of the votes against building the Ground Zero Mosque close to where the twin towers are.And yes i am sure that there are a lot of people who dont support this. but truth is there are alot that do.

Just because someone did something wrong in the name of islam does not mean ISLAM is to blame for mistakes individuals make! I remember hearing more than one story about priests being pedophiles and molesting children. Does that mean i blame christianity? Does that mean all christians are like that? Does that mean you dont take you children to church or build anymore churches? NO when things like that happen you blame the person and not the religion. Stop blaming ISLAM and muslims all around the world for mistakes they did not make. And know that many muslims died on sep 11th.

My hubby brought to my attention.. now with the floods and crisis in Pakistan.. the donations and is aids are so slow in comparison to the Haiti earthquake donations..

these are thought i should have addressed in my previous post as well. and now i feel i have said both sides and i surely will miss a lot in the US and i there is also a lot that i will not miss.

Al Hamdulilah & Sorry this was long.


dcharmed said...

Ohh My! That guy did that to you?! Ohh i can feel how guilty you are by accidentally accepting the hand shake at the first place (we just want to be nice right?) anyway... just be safe and dont be so worried about whats happening around you, just be extra cautious and play cool, you'll be okay! :)

Susu said...

I agree about most of the things you said. I have been living in the US for 9 years and el7amdella I have never been offended because of my hijab. However not everyone out there was friendly to me! Anyway, sometimes I feel that we can practice Islam here better than we can do in some of the Arab countries!!

Dino$ said...

Dccharmed.. I know I keep thinking maybe I should have pulled my hand away but I was so afraid of pissing off this guy when it's only me in the elevator..But ur right I should be. More cautious ! But thanks for the comment

Dino$ said...

Susu ur right some ppl who have lived in the states or Canada say it's harder in the middle east. I think hen u live in a culture that is not really Islamic u do ur thing and are not affected by the others because u know they r not Muslim and u acknowledge that u r from different worlds but whn ur in the Arab whorl an Muslims who r brought up in the mid least drink and party and are not religious it's harder you start thinking. They r Muslims. U can't say they r from a different religion. You can't sy they r from a different culture. The devil works his ways and before know it you are slowly feeling like ur the extremist when all those around u don't even pray and make u feel like ur full of 3o2ad. U hear comments on how ur hijab style is not nie an how it makes u look older. They suggest u wear u r hijab cool and show ur neck an o a Spanish hiijab style.

Ne way I totally agree with no one interferes. U do ur thing. Therre everyone has something to say an it's harder to be strong

KJ said...

I read it all I read it all! LOL!

Yes there are many things int he States you don't find in the Middle East, and similarly, things here you don't find there.

What's really important in the end is what YOU consider as important and priority, and compensate on the others. For me food is top priority and I just cannot fathom living anywhere that doesn't provide food to my liking. It's difficult in the UAE as it is. I declined a job offer once because I didn't like the food served in the hosting country!

Dino$ said...

Kj hunnaaaaa u read it all kaman mush mom kin :) although u don't strike me as an eater most of ur tweets revolve around gaining a few pounds back reminiscing about the days u were bit mrabrab

Nut ur right good food is essential for reaching happiness and peace of mind.. But out of curiousitywhich country did u refuse a job offer in for the food??

Anonymous said...