The last post I wrote was not my shinning moment. That was a pretty low point in my life, I wish I could tell you that everything has turned around, but it hasn't. I truly appreciate all the comments, words of care, concern and understanding more than you'll ever know. I'm going to keep going with this blog, it's been on my mind for a while, but I wasn't sure where to begin or if I should start a new blog under a new name...I guess we all now know which decision I made.
This past year has had it's ups and downs, but everything was amplified, so the bad was really bad and the good was really good...unimaginable. My husband's family is suffering, but still they are the lucky ones, knowing people who have died, disappeared and hearing the booming sound of attacks near by. But still, they have food and heat most days. No other country but Sweden will accept Syrian refugees, Germany has given at least some half assed attempt and offered a temporary solution. My country, Canada says it will take in 1300 Syrians by the end of 2014. A pitiful number for a country that takes in Filipinos at a rapid rate to work at Tim Hortons'. So who are these refugees Canada will be taking in? Certainly not anyone in my husband's family, they are taking in only the most needy. At risk minorities like Christians, rich Damascenes from areas like Malki where the president lives, and maybe, possibly a family living in a refugee camp, for a nice front page piece in the Vancouver Sun. The world has turned it's back on Syria and only in the future will people realize what a terrible thing they turned a blind eye to. Maybe they'll make a short film that will go viral on youtube and call it "Assad 2020".
Last spring I was blessed and given the opportunity to go on umrah. A few of my husband's family are living in Saudi right now, including my mother in law and two brother in laws. My father in law was living in Saudi at the time, but has unfortunately been stuck in Syria for the past week, unable to leave because he is expected to return to the army....at 60 years old. We are all praying the Syrian government will let him leave safely. Saudi was a lot of things, it was wonderful, hot, interesting, sad, amazing, awe inspiring and many times I was left speechless. We stayed in Medina, across the street from my in laws and only a 20 minute walk to Medina an Nabawi. Medina taught me a lot of things and for me personally, if there was one thing I really learned was that the sahaba were in so many ways just like many of us. They were regular people living in a terrible time, Islam came to them, and changed them. These people were willing to change their old ways, ingrained cultural habits that were haram became abandoned, the sahaba were always learning, they weren't perfect, but they had a great amount of faith.
Now that my oldest began kindergarten in the Islamic school, I'm forced to face other Muslims more often, and I do, usually with a lot of anxiety. The first week of school there was some woman who just couldn't stop scawling at me. She'd look me up and down in front of my four year old as we waited for my older child and gave me the dirtiest looks. The last time anyone gave me this kind of look was when my eldest was in a regular run of the mill preschool and this old Christian woman looked at me this same way in disgust. That time with the Christian woman I was wearing my hijab, this time with the Muslim woman I was not, these types of people are all the same and can't stand anyone different. This, along with a few other unwelcome stares and unfriendly faces has made me hate picking up my daughter. I wish I didn't care what other people thought of me, I try not to care, I tell myself that these people aren't worth the stress. But when I walk onto the school grounds I sometimes get nervous, I sometimes stumble or do something clumsy....worst of all I develop a stutter....good thing on most days no one talks to me and thank God my husband has the kind of job where he can pick up our daughter from school more then every other day. Despite all my grievances I do like the school, I actually like it much more than I thought I would and I have to say my daughter has a really good teacher. I don't expect much, if anything to change with me and most other Muslims, I figure if things would have changed, it would have happened a long time ago.