Midterms and More Culture Crap

Today was my last midterm.  I just realized that its going to be the last midterm I’m going to be taking in a long long time.  That is a very very nice realization and because of it my awful day has become a tad brighter.   No more studying for me for at least another eight months!

Anyways, after my midterm I hung out with some friends as usual.  At a little before four KC and I walked Aminoto her class and since we were a bit early I decided I was going to pray while she waited around until her class started.  So I decided not to bother to find an empty classroom and instead I prayed outside on the sidewalk.  While I was praying Amino and KC were approached by a woman who told them that what I was doing was Haram (prohibited) and that I as a woman can’t pray outside.

 I can’t remember exactly what Amino and KC told her but she soon left with their assurance that I will be told when I finish praying.  After I finished Amino and KC were expecting me to just go off on how stupid and narrow minded the Arabs here are.  Instead I was very quiet.  So for a secon they thought I hadn’t heard what the woman had told them. 

My response to them was pretty calm (I just didn’t have much energy to get worked up about it as I usually do) and I was like, ‘As long as I know what I’m doing is permissible, I don’t care what anyone says.’

It was time for Amino to leave and KC and I walked back to the street we had dubbed Sinner’s St.  We didn’t go far before a guy sitting on the side with a girl stopped us and was telling me how what I had just done was haram.  This made me almost laugh. (I was so not in a good mood).  He was sitting there with a girl who wasn’t even wearing the hijab properly and he’s telling me that praying in a public area is prohibited? What hipocrisy!

 I tried to tell him that I had asked before about this and there was nothing in Islam that forbade women from praying in public (as in out of doors).  Absolutly nothing.  I tried to tell him that what he was telling me was a bunch of bullcrap his society had conjured up which I like to call culture. (Of course I said it in much nicer phrasing.)  But as usual he wasn’t willing to listen he just wanted to get me to agree with him that I was wrong and he is right.

However, he just couldn’t get it through to his thick skull that I was actually denying his little tidbit of false information.  I think he was just too shocked for me to point out that a. he was smoking and b. he was hanging out with a girl who though wearing the hijab it was so not the correct way of wearing it and he should have given her some advice since he was so bold to give a total stranger some.  Like how dare I, a foreigner and a woman dispute what he was telling me?

In the end, (since he wasn’t listening) he gave up and just said, ‘I’m only trying to help you learn more about your religion.’ (He seems to think that since I’m a ‘forienger’ I know nothing about my religion).

(Written Nov. 23d-26th 2004)


3 Responses to “Midterms and More Culture Crap”

  1. What a story! You showed a lot of restraint in the face of ignorance. Yeesh

  2. seems like a very warped culture, to say that prayer is forbidden… true, I’m Catholic, so I’m not knowledgeable about all the practices of Islam, but I don’t see what could be wrong about praying – no matter where you are!

  3. i totaly think you should have told him off.. and then what about the point that he was sitting with a girl to begin with under a tree.. next theill be k. i. s. s. ing under a tree. haha.. and that is so totally ok. but praying oh nooooo we cant do that.. honestly what a piece of garbage..

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