the audacity of hope

somali-mother

she told me a story and when i heard it my mood swiftly changed from sadness to rage.

she told me of a woman who crossed the mountains that seperate syria from turkey, the border between hope and despair. the woman, along with her two sons, fell off a cliff and died.  if not instantly, then probably attacked and consumed by wild animals. no one, not a single soul in the group of refugees that traveled with her, looked back to see whether they could help her. all afraid of the borderguards they hunched their backs, did their prayers, to whatever God or gods they believed in, and continued with their journey to the West.

i cried when she told me. not only because three innocent human beings fell prey to the cruelty and inhumanity of our world, but also because this was not a unique tragedy, it is awefully common among people who seek the fruits of the western hemisphere.

they die crossing mountains.

they die of dehydration while crossing deserts.

they die while crossing oceans in fragile boats.

they die by the bullets from guards guarding their lands from these hords of starving and hopeless, barely, human beings.

then i got angry. very angry. i got angry at the people the young man traveled with, how could they have not reacted?

and her husband, who sent her away to danger in the pursuit of happiness, how thoughtless of him, did he not know the dangers, of course he did, how many BBCsomali reports are there on these incidents, plenty!

but in reality, the single soul that i got most angry with was myself.

i sat comfortably in my polstered leather chair, sipping some somali chai and heard, but refused to understand, the story.

i simply did not understand the audacity of hope.

it’s just a question of time before the horn is lost for good

Behold the dilemma:

Al-Shabab is a super-über-islamo-military-movement that believe that Somalia will not, cannot, be ruled by anything other than the Shari’ah.

The government, the transitional government (apparently transitional is a word that must be incorporated in all post-war governments. As to predestine the current government’s inevitable failure and raise expectations for the next transitional government) is currently led by a sheikhy-looking guy who shaved his beard to look symphatetic towards his Western sponsors.

Now, the super-über-islamo-military-movement want Shari’ah, although they refuse to explain what sort of Shari’ah they want, and will wage war until that mission is accomplished. The sheikhy-looking guy gained support because he was sheikhy-looking, and if he does an un-sheikhy thing, like say, claim that he will not enforce Shar’iah in Somalia, then he will appear spineless and lose his support amongst his kind, the sheikhy people. If he says he will enforce Shari’ah, his western sponsors will back out, and probably wage war against Somalia for harbouring terrorist thoughts and activities.

In conclusion, wake me up when September ends.

leading a life of bullshit

Omar Rodriguez (the Mars Volta):

“When you lead a life of bullshit, the only left to do is look to others and start writing and talking about what they do. To use a very archaic and sexist term, it’s something one would call a sewing circle, like old ladies get together and have sewing circles.

That’s because the way the structures of the society where man goes to work and women stays there and doesn’t have a life, so what can they do…”

Jum’ah: Suuratul Ibrahim

In the spirit of Jum’ah/Friday (the Sunday of muslims) I want to share a couple of Qur’aanic verses with you.

I read chapter 14 today, Suuraatul Ibrahim (Abraham), and there were some verses that really got to me, for instance, Allah says in verse 7:

And when your Lord proclaimed: If you give thanks, I will give you more, but if you are thankless lo! my punishment is dire.

Ungratefulness is a terrible thing.

We muslims take things for granted. We take for granted that there is food on the table, nice clothes in our cupboards and good company around us. Some of us don’t even take a second to reflect on how fortunate we are. There are about 6 billion people that share Earth with me, and almost all of these people live in worse conditions  than mine. And I have the nerve to splurge to satisfy my desire for material things, insignificant material things and raise my fist against heaven when the last pair of (gorgeous) boots, on sale, were bought.

I say Alhamdullilah (praise be Allah – thank Allah) but how often do I sincerely mean it?

 

Last part of verse 23 and verse 24:

(..) their greeting therein will be: Peace! See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach  to the sky.

I love this verse, I truly do. Basically what Allah is telling you to do is show kindness to human beings, not necessarily by giving out charity or reaching out a hand, but through a more effective method. A method that is applicable to all beings; regardless of creed, ethnicity, financial capacity, gender and age. Through greeting one other, through meeting one another with a cheerful face and proclaiming “Salaam” – Peace!

I really do try to greet people, not often through words, but through a discreet smile or a nod. Often I’m just exhausted after work or school, that uttering words seem difficult for me, and that’s when I let my body talk. However, I try as often as I can to say “as salaamu alaykum” to muslims and “salaam” to non-muslims.

My weekly challenge, greet five strangers. Are you up for it?