27 November, 2009

Fairy's Death

Life's been on a smooth track till 15th of October but a single sad incident had changed the whole scenario. The ruthless jaws of death had engulfed my fairy that was very dear to me. An orphan girl of age 6 who was struggling for her survival.

How I met her? That's the story.

Her orphanage was nearby my Medical school. She was a special child not 'coz she was a dumb or a deaf, the only thing which really pinched me that she never ever used to play with other children of her age. Until one day her care-taker told me that she's a blue baby having a hole in her heart. She was going to have a heart transplant. I was really shocked when heard this horrible fact but at the same time I got interested in her case. I really wanted to study her case as I was a Medical student and eager to become a cardiologist.

She was a Jew but I had nothing to do with her religion as I'm not a hard core Muslim. She was just an innocent child who was un-aware of this term "Religion''. Her father was a Jew but her mum was a Christian. Her father died in a road accident & after father's death, her mum got married to a Negro & as his step father wasn't ready to accept her as his daughter, she was sent to an orphanage.

She always used to ask me that why she can't run? 15th October was her operation's date. My aunt didn't allow me to be with her 'coz of her religion and she thought that I had nothing to do with her death or life as many Palestinians are dying due to Israelis. I was mentally turned and my heart was filled with anger but I was un-able to do anything. After sleepless night the dawn of 16th October was even more cruel. I went to the Dallas heart Center along-with my cousin. Doctors were just hoping to not have a tissue rejection. Next 48 hours were very crucial for her and what happened after 24 hours was even too horrible. Tissue rejection occurred and on 18th of October she lost her life.

I just lost hope in everything. I was a very jolly person but after that sad incident I forgot to smile. I lost interest in my studies. I don't wanna stay in Texas as this cruel city is gonna remind me of her. I still do remember her and her innocent questions about her disease. One day she asked me about her disease and I told her that I’m just a Student of Medicine and I don't know much; she said to me : “ You're plum”. I still do love her and I didn't forget to visit her grave.

At her funeral her mum was there with his hubby crying crocodile tears. I immensely hate her but what can I do?!

I'm helpless and I think each and every one of us has to bow before the nature and the rules Almighty has set for us. God rest her soul

Story by Saba.N

It's not important which religion do you believe in , being an obedient slave of the Creator is the main goal of creation .

02 November, 2009

Hijabed Like Me

A Non Muslim Woman Experiments with Hijab

I walked down the street in my long white dress and inch-long, black hair one afternoon, and truck drivers whistled and shouted obscenities at me. I felt defeated. I had just stepped out of a hair salon. I had cut my hair short, telling the hairdresser to trim it as she would a guy's. I sat numbly as my hairdresser skillfully sheared into my shoulder-length hair with her scissors, asking me with every inch she cut off if I was freaking out yet. I wasn't freaking out, but I felt self-mutilated.


One experience that was particularly educational was when I “dressed up” as a Muslim woman for a drive along Crenshaw Boulevard with three Muslim men as part of a newsmagazine project. I wore a white, long-sleeved cotton shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, and a flowery silk scarf that covered my head, which I borrowed from a Muslim woman. Not only did I look the part, I believed I felt the part. Of course, I wouldn't really know what it feels like to be Hijabed-I coined this word for the lack of a better term-everyday, because I was not raised with Islamic teachings. However, people perceived me as a Muslim woman and did not treat me as a sexual being by making cruel remarks. I noticed that men's eyes did not glide over my body as has happened when I wasn't Hijabed. I was fully clothed, exposing only my face. I remembered walking into an Islamic center and an African-American gentleman inside addressed me as “sister”, and asked where I came from. I told him I was originally from China. That didn't seem to matter. There was a sense of closeness between us because he assumed I was Muslim. I didn't know how to break the news to him because I wasn't sure if I was or not. I walked into the store that sold African jewelry and furniture and another gentleman asked me as I was walking out if I was Muslim. I looked at him and smiled, not knowing how to respond. I chose not to answer.


Outside the store, I asked one of the Muslim men I was with, “Am I Muslim?” He explained that everything that breathes and submits is. I have concluded that I may be and just don't know it. I haven't labeled myself as such yet. I don't know enough about Islam to assert that I am Muslim. Though I don't pray five times a day, go to a mosque, fast, nor cover my head with a scarf daily, this does not mean that I am not Muslim. These seem to be the natural manifestations of what is within. How I am inside does not directly change whether I am Hijabed or not. It is others' perception of me that was changed. Repeated experiences with others in turn creates a self-image.


I consciously chose to be Hijabed because I was searching for respect from men. Initially, as both a Women's Studies major and a thinking female, I bought into the Western view that the wearing of a scarf is oppressive. After this experience and much reflection, I have arrived at the conclusion that such a view is superficial and misguided: It is not if the act is motivated by conviction and understanding.


I covered up that day out of choice, and it was the most liberating experience of my life. I now see alternatives to being a woman. I discovered that the way I dress dictated others' reaction towards me. It saddens me that this is a reality. It is a reality that I have accepted, and chose to conquer rather than be conquered by it. It was my sexuality that I covered, not my femininity. The covering of the former allowed the liberation of the latter.

By Kathy Chin