The person I am

Monday, August 08, 2005

I have always wondered about the person I am. What was it that shaped my character, and my way of thinking. Some of the major factors are parents, school, family, environment, and culture. But still I feel there is something else. Something that we are born with. Doctors and nurses can figure out some traits of newly born babies, which means we are born with something inside us.

Triggered by
Haal’s post about Islamic Schools and a comment made by Teresa on Shirazi’s post. Plus these endless thoughts I have about the person I am. I thought of putting my thoughts onto paper (rather say on my blog) :)

I’m a graduate of an Islamic School, who had my nursery school at the U.S. and I’m a member of a family who have two extremes. One side is very strict and religious (the way they see it). The other side is somehow open, and outgoing. If I’m to talk about my parents, each of them is the opposite of his family. My father is trying to be an open minded father, my mum is a strict mother.

Throughout my school and college years, I’ve always felt that I’ve got something different in my thoughts. I see the world from a different view, and I rarely come across someone who shares that view with me. But I’ve always felt that I’m the wrong side, and I should give up my thoughts to get along with other people around.

Was faced by another fact, I belong to two contradicting environments, and I’m neither one of them. Being with strict people I feel I’m out of place, same happens when I’m with the outgoing.

Being brought up in such a contradicting environment, greatly affected my character and my way of thinking. I’ve been always open to accept two contradicting opinions and get convinced by both of them. Which wasn’t always a good thing. It created many conflicts within.

If I’m to talk about my school, I remember that I felt out of place the first moment I entered there. That feeling remained till I graduated!

However, my school contributed in building my character. Trying to be fair enough, they had good and bad sides.

We had some different features at that school which didn’t exist in many other schools. Girls and boys were in separate classes, each had their break separately, even we were separated in the school bus. We had a break for praying, we had a Quraan class, which included other Islamic teachings. We used to say do3a2 el saba7 at the morning line, and do3a2 do7’ool el fasl and do3a2 el 7’orog. Plus, girls starting preparatory were forced to wear the veil. Even if they don’t wear it outside the school, you should wear it inside. And that was really silly, coz inside the school we are all girls, why would I wear the veil?!!

That issue of the veil was always a problem at the school. Parents complained about that to the ministry of education, and we had people from there come and check the school. The funny thing is, these people from the ministry forced all girls to take off the veil!! Even the veiled ones!!

That was an endless argument between girls in the school and religion teachers.

I’d say that the most important thing that my school lacks is to convince students with things, rather than force it on them. When you force someone to do something, you only arouse their stubbornness, and if they wanted to do something they will do it, no matter what restrictions you put on them.

I’m neither with, nor against Islamic Schools. I’m neutral. According to my experience there, the school tries to bring up students on abiding by the way the school administration thinks of Islam. Which might be right or wrong. And that’s the whole idea. Parents send their children to certain schools, coz they think they follow their methodology of thinking. Children are brought up according to what their parents and school think is right. Which isn’t always right!

Talking specifically about Islam, there are many directions, all believe in the same core, but differs in other minor things. Islamic Schools take care of the minor things and leave the core. A near example about different views of Islam is my own family. Both two parts are Muslims, but each see Islam in a different way, and that doesn’t mean that one of them is wrong, rather they might be both right.

Instead of forcing something on the students, I believe they should be encouraged to find the truth themselves. To observe and think. That way, they will never give up their beliefs. They will be acting according to them rather than have only the appearance without an inside.

Unfortunately, it’s a whole culture of feeding children with information, rather than letting them learn it themselves.

I still can’t deny that I owe my school a lot, I still was raised on good manners. And when it comes to the academic aspect, my school is one of the top schools. But unfortunately, it’s deteriorating.

Actually I believe in that comment said by Teresa, saying “There is a saying in America that says that everything you ever need to know you learned in kindergarten--which is the first year of school for us. You learn how to be nice, wait in line, ask for things, share, work with others, etc...”

For that reason, I believe the way I am wasn’t that much affected by my school, coz my character was already shaped early before that.

lol.. my post went in a totally different direction than that I was intending.
posted by MoonLightShadow at 3:37 PM, |


Maybe you are lucky you have the 2 extremes Moon. Really! Finding where you stand needs some 'studying' of your own and to running the ideas throughout your personal testing to see what you feel comfortable with. One thing I know, for now, is that there is no absolute truth of things. So feel free to play--you put your own boarders and limits.

As for islamic school, I see this forcing to wear the veil inside school as another face of the 'shallowness' and double faced these schools are. I would have respected them had they just taught the students Coran, Hadith, Morals...etc and left the students free to choose what their outer appearance would be; trusting that their inner discipline will be enough of a guide; and not insisting of holding hijab as the only way to be 'composed. Respectful. and Accepted as a good muslim.'

Nonethless, early on you had had the experience of the ongoing struggle between Religion and Politics and their tension which adds to your sense of wilderness between opposite worlds. Very interesting.

I still think that you are super lucky!
They deprived us of music classes like all the kids in our age back then; simply coz they thought it's Haram!!

Even the painting classes were useless & most of the time we didn't take it.

They r just a bunch of IDIOTS.. nothin more!!

& u were even more lucky than me.
We used to have that huge wall seperating both the boys & girls sections of the school. I remember if they caught any of the boys in the girls section, for any reason even he was going to call a teacher or something, he would be punished after a long invistigation of what he was doin there & who asked him to cross the boarder..!!

I believe it'd ve been less harmfull it was seperated schools in the first place instead of all these conflicts they planted inside each of us.
Thanks for the plug in, in this great post I loved to read.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I like the new layout awi :))....still I didn't manage to upload songs into my blog :(
I know something about being raised in a contradictory environment, with two sides of the so called truth! But i do happen to think it somehow helped!

Really nice, the changes to your layout!
I'm glade Nerro and Kayla that you liked the new layout changes :) though it wasn't easy for me to give up on the old one :D

Nerro, I'm travelling today.. would like to help you with playing the songs on your blog when I come back :)
you go enjoy your hike...
you are doing el galt el azraq or what??? safe and nice trip :)
I think they force girls to wear veil in school to make them get used to wearing it so that it becomes a normal routine thing growing up.

Its tough to be raised in extremes I think. I wasn't, but I still feel like you, out of place with conservatives as well as we with liberals!

I must say that this blog doesn't sound that of a traditional "Islamic School" graduate. Maybe it was kindergarten, or maybe they taught you well, that your mind is free aho :)
moonlight, i will talk in points so that I don't forget what I want to say

1- having the two extremes "in harmony" together is a great gift, this will teach you to accept different ideas

2- if you can accept the idea and its opposite, that is not wrong at all, actually life is full of opposites and we have to learn how to accept opposites each in its frame of reference

3- about islamic schools, you are right but the problem is not about islamic schools only, it is about the current islamic speech as a whole, all the time they want to direct us to "do " something they "think" is right, they never give us the chance to think on our own, it is not wrong to break such a rule, you should break it and figure out your own identity and your own idea of islam

4- I was really pleased when you spoke about minor things and the core because I have been calling for that for long time now, yesterday I was talking to my little cousin and I asked her, why god made us 5 prayers, not just one long prayer, my aunt looked at me strangely as if i am breaking a taboo, I just wanted to move the mind of the little girl to ask about the "reason " of everything in order to really believe not just act

5- the governemt has no solutions for our problems, we have to solve it ourselves :(

6- yes you have a different identity that is not even formed in the kindergarten, it is born in you, it is the sould my friend and it varies from person to person, you can put it into the prison of mind and traditions but it will be still there inside you, that is what makes us unique from each other, if you open the chance for your soul, you will be a wild, pure free soul

that is a very long comment on a very long-but interesting- post, so forgive me :)
Nerro, yeah I went to el Galt el azraq, have you been there before?!
"I think they force girls to wear veil in school to make them get used to wearing it so that it becomes a normal routine thing growing up."

Mohamed, I agree with your point.

And I guess it's kindergarten that affects me up till now!
Thanks Free soul for the comment, I agree with all the mentioned points.
"I must say that this blog doesn't sound that of a traditional "Islamic School" graduate. Maybe it was kindergarten, or maybe they taught you well, that your mind is free aho :) "

MoonlightShadow thanks for getting someone to think out of the box and not be judgemental.
No, but I was supposed to go with a friend of mine, who was there with u guyz...
Really Nerro?!! and who was that if I may ask?!
great post moon light , i wonder how do you do in being subject to two extreemes , i was not elhamdAllah , it seems to be very conflicting

i agree about wearing the veil to get used to when they grow up , but maybe too much restrictions without convincing them at the begining would drive them to take an offensive response

BTW , i wanted to ask you something (completely out of topic ) , i knew from your blog that you are an IT , so you may help me in that
, i need to know whther there are IT centres in egypt that can examine me in MS and give me certificates ( to determine my level) , i dont want to have a course , i am good in MS all elhamdAllah , but just want to have these certificates, because they are prequisite in one of the jobs i am trying to apply in
Roora, I guess you can apply for an exam only without having a course, you only pay the exam fees. You can ask in any of the centers which give these courses and tell them that you want to take the exam only.

I don't know a certain center, but I'm sure u can have the exam only.
moon light
I already asked some and they told me no , i must have the course
Roora, check that link, I guess it has what you want