Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Islam on Chairs

It was sadly brought to my attention via an unfortunate blackberry message that chairs are haram. I will try very hard to describe what went through my head while reading it - because too many thoughts and emotions were created up there. Here is a summary - and yes, it is in neuro-chronological order:

Interesting - That we are expanding our religious lens to encompass all aspects of life is intriguing. We should start thinking outside the box, and assess all habits of our daily life and see how and where they fall within our Islamic framework. It is very abstract and meta - to have a religious opinion on something as trivial as sitting on a chair!

Lost - You are saying that we are not to use chairs because it is in a way imitating the 'West'? I thought this argument is too old to use - and too ironic since you're spreading your word on the internet...

Oh no you didn't.. - ..bring female sexuality into your arguments. I thought women's legs were even further apart when you sit on the floor - comfortably - at least for me?

Ridiculous - What?! Did you just sit around and think of the most useful thing in the household, and ponder on its religious legitimacy? That indeed takes a lot of creativity.

What would the Prophet say - He would probably be sad that we are wasting some serious time and effort on details. DETAILS.

Sad - Which is what I felt towards the end of the 'fatwa'. I was sad people read this. I was sad to think that some people might be affected by it. I was sorry for the person who thought about it - because if chairs are haram, God knows what in their lives is even remotely halal? I was sad because I could not at all relate to the fatwa, or even think of justifications as to why it could be true - which made me think of my own religiousness and whether it was affected by all the chairs I sat on.

Bad - I felt bad because I couldn't take this seriously, or think about it without making-fun.

..but seriously. Such 'religious verdicts' only exist because there is a demand for them. We should take responsibility for what we do - and whether it is 'Islamic' or not. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. If we had been mistaken about our use of chairs all this time, think about ALL the other things we do EVERYday that could be WRONG!

Angry - There are other pressing issues at hand. Like using tables - because really, they are the reason we had chairs in the first place!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friendly Portrait

Why is it so hard, in Arabia, to make friends?

You meet an awfully huge number of people, simply because everyone knows everyone. You know names and faces, you 'hang out' and have endless dinners and coffees. But how much do you actually expose yourself to others? What are they most probably lying to you about, and to what extent are you yourself being honest?

Putting aside the gender barriers, and assuming that girls or boys can be satisfied with having platonic relationships with similar sexes only.

What is that social component that makes everyone a clone, a copy of one another? Why should you know more about the person in front of you - you'll only discover vulnerabilities that most definitely replicate in your character as well. And that is a painful way of living.

I am, of course, horribly generalizing, and talking from only personal experiences.

But, here, being friends with someone is like walking on eggs. You have to be so cautious, non-critical, and just pleasant and fun. Friends do not hold themselves as mirrors to each other here, but self-portraits that are but the exact portrayal of the friend - but never the real reflection.

Perhaps this is an honest cry for identity?
Or perhaps this is just the case everywhere?

- Bedouinette

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Functional Educational System

I am really not intending to write anything deep or superbly constructive, nor am I claiming anything or suggesting anything.

I just wanted to reflect on something that happened today.

Bedouin and I were sitting at some restaurant, and we suddenly started talking about Arabic grammar. I actually fail to recollect how the subject was brought up, but we were both remembering how much fun it was to study it and be tested on it(Bedouin please let me know if I am not being very accurate!), and it made me realize that school was not that bad.

Yes, the curriculum was far from perfect, some teachers were far from the best, and some things were just pointless to learn. It was fun, though! I guess enjoying learning is as important as learning something enjoyable.

Education is about the material AND the attitude and skills. It made me feel good to realize that we at least came out of high school with a good attitude towards learning!

- Bedouinette

Sense of Organization in Saudi

... or lack of it?

As Bedouin knows, I have pledged, earlier this week, to turn into a positive individual and to try hard to avoid criticism.

But have you seen the roads recently?

I have absolutely NO 'road' experience - architecturally or through driving. I used to enjoy watching them as my Dad drove, until I got older and the nausea caused by the lines moving faster and faster as the car drove off overcame my excitement and childish sense of inquiry.

I, however, am not nauseated by the yellow/white lines anymore - no, I have not grown younger - because you simply cannot drive fast enough anymore!

I really hope there is some miraculous logic behind the road renovations happening all over town. The roads that are renewed already look beautiful. However, I can make a wild, 'educational' guess that closing down several main roads (we're talking about the auto-vein of K Town and other important branches) all at once does indeed cause a major crisis.

What I have heard recently from sources that are not necessarily to be trusted, is that different companies are working on different roads. Yay diversity? Or, alas, chaos? Again, I do sincerely hope there is some sort of agreement in planning.

Another interesting road-related phenomenon is the scraping of the roads. I understand that you need to scrape around 20 centimeters of the asphalt when renovating the road, so you can basically put on a fresh, 'even' layer later on. I have seen an aesthetically intriguing, but practically troubling, scraping of some of the smaller roads - specifically ones that feed into living quarters. It happened to be that some cars were parked during the process, and the scraping machines, though intended to scrape in straight lines, had to curve around the cars and continue with their task. What my Dad told me yesterday is that there is probably no intention of getting rid of that island of old asphalt under hundreds of parked cars. The end result will be a new road with car-wide uneven patches on the sides. Now of course, the new yellow and white lines will make everything look better, so no need to worry, for car tires will be just fine.

Just a side, less important question - WHY DIDN'T THEY ASK PEOPLE TO MOVE THEIR CARS?

I am amused because I find myself writing with the enthusiasm of a driver... but passengers can feel the road too!

- Bedouinette