A few weeks ago, I interviewed a sheikh for a journalism assignment. I was so fascinated by his upbringings because he grew up in Canada. And yet, I couldn’t stop asking myself, how did he become a sheikh? What happened in his life to reach this point? What happened to me that I’ve reached this point? How did we end up so different, yet so alike?
Among all the questions jumping around in my head, something was persistent. I thought about how all of us, as Muslims, are so unique in our upbringings, but somehow we are all still connected.
Today I woke up early and read some Canadian news online while I enjoyed a breakfast of grapes and pain au chocolat. I will ashamedly admit that I ate two pains au chocolat, as I had received them from the food bank program my residence runs and they were going to go stale in a few days (convenient excuse, hey?).
After taking a quick shower in my tub (I say it like that because I have an extendable shower head, but nowhere to clip it to and no shower curtain), I rushed off to my 19th century literature class.
The life of an exchange student is filled with everything you would expect — travel, new friends, foreign bars and new foods. All of this certainly is glamorous and exciting, although there are a few more things that go along with all that fun.
First off is the immense psychological fatigue of going through the routine motions of class, grocery shopping, riding the bus, asking for directions, all in French. A two-hour class easily feels like three (unless it is my children’s literature class, because Pinocchio is interesting in any language).
You may have that one Muslim friend who, for the past month, postponed a coffee date, turned down that bubble gum and avoided the cafeteria. Yes, these are the symptoms of the holy season of Ramadan, during which more than one billion Muslims unite around the world to devote one month to fasting from sunrise to sunset, including your fellow classmates.Read more
The clock reads 2:00 a.m. I should be asleep by now.
I studied so late last night that my eyes burn and my brain can hardly make sense of concepts I learned in elementary school.Read more