One of the things I most remember about my childhood is that I always wanted to be a boy. My hair was always short and I used to take the role of the husband or the son when playing with my friends. A main reason for this childhood craving is the degree of freedom and love a boy was afforded in the world in general, including the society where I come from. I am the youngest of seven sisters, and when my parents delivered me many relatives and acquaintances were disappointed. Mom tells me that I was very sick as a baby and stayed in the hospital for a while; my grandfather used to say: “Though she is a girl but we do not want her to die.”
Despite the societal and traditional chains, my parents afforded me, my sisters, and later my younger brother, with the best possible care and education. As I noted in earlier posts for the VOF classroom, my parents were very open to hear from us and we, not them, were the decision-makers of major choices in our lives, i.e. our education, marriage, etc.
I personally doubt that a personal vision of life can be briefed in a 700-words article for two main reasons. First, a vision of life is not a constant thing. The vision of my life I have had five years ago is different from the one that I have today, and I am sure it is different from the one I will have in five years. Second, the vision of life is a cumulative term. More concretely, the personal vision that I am expressing in this piece is the result of the sum of experiences and circumstances I lived until today. Day after day this personal vision will be changing because it is correlational with the daily events I am exposed to.
Yet, despite this inconstancy and cumulativeness, I am aware that my vision of life revolves around particular fixed themes: justice and love. These two terms sound appealing, but their applicability is very difficult. They both cannot be applied in their ideally perceived meanings, especially in today’s world that is full of wars and hatred.
By justice, I am not claiming that I will bring justice to the whole world or that I will act as a ruler and judge or punish people. The justice I am discussing here is that when people have enough resources and information to justly and fairly perceive an event or treat or fellow human. For instance, in the issue of Muslim women that I am highly interested in, I will bring front to Muslim women that they do have rights and that they must not reconcile if this means submitting to unjust realities. Ahead of all, they must be informed that they have rights and that by their guardians disregarding and neglecting their rights, the guardians are the blasphemous and infidel ones, not them. In addition, I will bring front that refusing laws of domestic violence is not a sign of piety, for no godly religion promotes violence.
I am interested in social justice as a whole, with issues ranging from access of poor nations to minimum standards of life to the right of displaced nations in getting back to their homelands. However, the issue of Muslim women concerns me personally, for I am a devoted Muslim. I am outraged and disappointed by the interpretations of Islam that are unjust and unreasonable, particularly regarding women. Moreover, the emphasis of media outlets on these interpretations has framed Islam as the illogical extremist and discriminatory religion, which in turn increased polarization between Muslims and non-Muslims and widened the gap between the two.
Here comes the love that I am raising in my theme. If I am the parent of a victim of 9/11 attacks, how can I love a Muslim, and vice-versa. It is only by showing both sides that there are common grounds of existence despite their disagreements that each person will accept the other. Media outlets focus mostly on the difference and bring front extremist stories for they make a scoop. If I become a VOF correspondent, I will bring front the alternative stories.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.