Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

If wishes were horses…

I don’t often wish I were a boy. Alhamdulillah, I’m usually quite happy with my lot in life, but today was an exception. Here’s why. My father was on the phone with a family friend, we’ll call him Uncle Jee. Uncle Jee was telling us about his son. Uncle Jee’s son was having a tough time, he was depressed and upset and generally displeased with life and work, and one day he disappears. Walks out of the front door and isn’t heard from. No one knows where he is and they start to get worried. A few days pass. Finally Uncle Jee gets a phone call.

It’s from his son. His son is in Saudi. He’s run away to Umrah, he’s doing fine and he’ll be home in a month. Thankyou, goodbye, KhudaHafiz.

Wow man, I wish I could just up and zip off to Umrah whenever I was feeling low. But I can’t You can’t just up and zip off and leave the country without telling anyone, if you disappear for five minutes by yourself they assume you’re dead, or worse. But I’m not going to complain about always traveling with someone else, because it’s supremely stupid and unnecessarily risky for a young woman to travel alone. And that’s why we should all be boys. The end.

Whoops, wrong conclusion. Anyway. I’m happy for Uncle Jee’s son. He’s home again and feeling rather refreshed. Ha ha, boy is he lucky that he works for his father, if he disappeared on anyone else he would come home and find himself unemployed.

Late-breaking news. We regret to inform you that Umrah has been postponed. We do not, however, regret that is has been rescheduled for RAMADAN!! Oh yeah man…zillions more blessings InshaAllah, InshaAllah. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

I was reminded again today of how very little people know about Islam. One of my students, an eleven-year old girl asked me today, “Do you HAVE to wear a scarf?”

I said, “I don’t HAVE to, I choose to. I like it! What, you don’t like my scarf?”

And she said, “If you don’t wear it they’ll cut off your hair right?”

At this point I have two questions. The first one being: They who? Who will cut off my hair? And the second being: Where did an eleven year old hear such weirdness? From her parents? From a book? From a made-for-TV movie about them damn Moozlim terrorists?

I didn’t ask her where she heard it. I just laughed and tried to explain hijab to her as best I could, but you know, modesty is a complicated issue, and it’s hard to talk about it without mentioning the rape, immorality, and desensitization to nudity that modesty deters. I can’t talk to her about these things, her parents will fire me for teaching her potty-words!

So instead we talked about how weird it is when she wears shorts and people stare at her (we’re in Pakistan, knees are a novelty). “Yeah,” she said, “Boys are gross.”

So, we came to the conclusion that boys are gross. Okay. Good job Sensei.

Anyone have any bright ideas for explaining hijab to kids? I don’t seem to be doing too well…

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