Future unknown~ heartbreaking news coming from Xinjiang about China holding over a million Uighur muslims in re-education centers for the purpose of removing their #faith which they label as a virus. History keeps repeating itself and we humans never seem to learn. Their most recent tactic is breaking up families whose strength and cohesion they perceive as a threat to future China.
I went to Egypt looking for adventure. I got far more than what I bargained for…
A group of 25 something friends from all around the globe, all eager to find the truth, we headed into the desert on a moonless night to gaze at the stars and dwell on the mysteries of Egypt. It was magical to say the least, until a few hours later someone looked around and we had a feeling one of our friends was missing. We called her name into the pitch darkness but nothing returned other than the eerie stillness of the desert night. It was the kind of darkness where you could not see your own hand, let alone another person lost in the sand. We desperately came up with a plan to separate into groups of 2 and walk around looking and feeling for our friend. We spent about an hour of very high emotional distress and thoughts going all over the place and expectations of the worst possible. We were each running the risk of getting lost ourselves, if not for a far away light that we left as a marker and a place to meet at the end of our search. Our local friend and guide who was with us walked finally to the nearest road and managed to call the hotel in Cairo only to discover that our friend was showered and in bed after having been lost, finding the road and hitchhiking to the hotel while we were busy searching for her.
That night, people of different religions, backgrounds, nationalities and ages worked together while faced with a crisis, an Arab with a German, a christian with a jew, a European with an American, all towards one purpose, the safety of another human being. Amazing how a real life situation can cause all the ‘stuff’ that does not belong to being human, to be shed away, dropped for the sake of our shared humanity. A great lesson was learned by all that night, as the deserts of the planet can do that to us.
In a geographically small country like Lebanon, people of different religions live side by side. It is so difficult to explain how religions, tradition, cultural norms, rules, and social order organize themselves there. Within each religion are sects, groups, different belief systems, different dress codes and different tolerances.
Having been born to a christian family, the only veils I saw in my village were worn by older aunts and grandmothers who wore them in the church out of respect or from self imposed reverence. With some of our muslim neighbors, the veil was imposed on girls as they reached puberty and it was mandatory.
The veil has become a very hot global issue in the last decade and attached to it is the idea of freedom of choice or the lack of, feminism or living in the shadow of men, a religious statement or a political one and it goes on even to the courts of Europe that had to deal with the issue outside of the muslim world.
The veil originally was only worn by the wives of the prophet Mohammed, and was only much later introduced as a symbol of conformity to a strict religious belief.