Sunday, July 25, 2004

Morning Laughter

Most mornings I get up about 7 or 8 and I connect to the net to download my email while I shower before I have a cup of tea, prepare parrot and dog food, and feed the avians. This morning I did the same, why not? but I peeked at the email before I made my tea and got distracted.

First, I wish I did speak Portuguese, but I don't. French and Spanish, yes, Portuguese no. I have some very good friends, originally Brits who lived in Alexandria with us back in the 80's who are living outside of Lisbon. Their extremely fair, blonde or red haired kids who grew up speaking Arabic with the gardener and housekeeper are now perfectly fluent in Portuguese and I'm quite envious. So, Mundomeu, my apologies.

The next two posts left me chuckling. First, there are probably many Portuguese-speaking Muslims in the world. Arabic is, after all, only required of those who want to read the Quran in the original. If my daughter can speak Italian, French, and Spanish, does it mean that she's not Muslim? Oh, the possibilities of entertainment here are endless.

Then there was Jo who was incensed that I "gave up" my religion for inheritance..... Uh, where did I ever say that I was Christian? In fact, I was raised as (as my good friend Ameeta, who was raised a Jain, put it so well) as a non-aligned monotheist. Let's face it. Whatever power may or may not exist, and people are qute free to insert anything that they might like, I doubt very much that he/she/it's primary concern has been the labels that humans wear. I don't recall anything in the New Testament in which Jesus is alleged to have said "And you shall call yourselves Christians"...in fact, I bet that he'd be horrified. Most of the advice in the Bible and Quran is about how to be a better person, rather than how to wear a team t-shirt. I happen to think that labelling humans as Christians of whatever flavour as opposed to Hindus or Muslims is rather silly and counterproductive. My whole point was that I didn't give up anything to be called a Muslim, I just let some people who are fascinated with labels be more comfortable. I suspect that I'm a better Muslim than many label-conscious folk are, but I was before too. It's how you live your life that counts.

No wonder Anonymous posts are anonymous. Now to feed the birds and chat with AliBird who truly understands God and the universe and everything.

12 comments:

Min said...

I guess a religion labels us into a belief system. I mean you may be a follower of a religion, but you don't have to believe everything it says, do you? A title, is all that a name is. you could entitle yourself as a 'Christian' but then really believe in Islamic beliefs. It's just a way of labelling people

Iru said...

hi! I've already notice your blog here in blogger, and it's like "wow" 'cos 4 days ago I've arrived from Egypt after 11 days with my parents, travelling there and knowing the Nilo and that amazing places, and that amazing people.
I'm just 22 and I fell in love with the country, now I understand why there are people who go there everytime they can.
just tell you that there I was so sad 'cos I had a bad night with my parents, and I was crying like an idiot, in the bus back to the Cairo hotel, and everybody in the street who saw me crying were like making funny things and smiling, and that kind of things doesn't happens here in Spain, so it was like "wow, how cute people"...
So nice to meet your blog and here you have another reader.
take care.
kisses from spain.
*esme*

Monterey said...

I visited Eqypt in '95 and had the time of my life. I will cherish it forever, and hope to return with my children to show them what you have. A favorite experience was riding an Arabian horse in the dark sacred night to the pyramids and climing in and under and all over them. Unforgetable, indelibly printed in my mind and heart. I am a new blogger and have many similarites to you. Please check out http://montereybay.blogstop.com. What an incredible opportunity to share our ideas and maybe some day we can be as those little birds who always know the Divine.

J.E. Remy said...

I think it is a flaw of our society that we still view religion as anything more than a stepping stone to our own better understanding. I'm not saying there isn't a higher power or an afterlife, just that you'll never discover these things by listening to someone else's incessant prattle about how to be a "good person." We should take the good things from all organized religions and find a way to fit them into our lives, without the unnecessary (and often harmful) dogma. Fundamentalists may scoff me for being agnostic, but I've never been happier than when I decided God was a being that was impossible to know and I should stop searching him/her/it out to concentrate on improving myself.

rhumcoke said...

wow..! i would like to get the chance to go there.. the only experience i have with Egypt is with my history books and that boring History professor, Sir. Molina. Tell me more about Egypt..

dewi said...

I'm speechless i guess, i admire ur thoughts about life and belief. Yeaa..being better person is the most important messages in all religion i guess..it's just being more soften as people civilization grow..and i found islam suitable for me. Perhaps, team uniform isn't that necessary, and i don't believe labelling ourself is creating certain images as well. But, i really enjoy wearing headscarf in my country while many women prefer not.The reason is not to show that i'm muslim, but it's all about my soul. Being more close to the religion taught me about to behave and dress up, make me feel better. Coz it keep remind me, to act well..and i never dare being prejudiced on others way and style..Have lots of friends, budhism, hindu, christians and catholics. As matter a fact i did learn alot from them. Nice to know that we're never be perfect unless we try to absorbed and learn as many knwledge from other..
Nice to know you..i'll read insightfull posts from u..
and coming to egypt is my mom's and my dream too..

Anonymous said...

You just a shit,craps,bicth,fuck person.You're a unworthiest person in the world.You just a shit you know.FUCK U!!!SON OF A BICTH...!!!HOPE YOU'LL DIE SOON...!!!You know,NOBODY likes & wants you!!!Do you relies that the world will be a better place without you,BITCH!!!!!!Go to hell,bitch!!!

Your nightmare.........

Bryan said...

Was that last post a parody? Might make a funny entry over at engrish.com. "What a hell?"

I like your comments. Well put. I think that some of what you said is echoed in the writings of C.S.Lewis and others whose concern was certainly substance over style. Still, the style is sort of a useful construct, as are the religious labels, at least for the census takers and the marketers. Is it not good to have a general idea of another's faith that can be summarized in a word, instead of having to read their whole religious resume? Talk amongst yourselves.

Ann said...

I think that we shouldn't enlist in a religion and believe everything we're told. I am a Christian and I do believe Jesus is the only was to be saved---because when I look in the world I see that there is something wrong, and when I look at Christ I see that He came to make it right. (btw, Jesus was quite clear when He said that no one can get to God except through Him---John 6:44---the basic point of the Bible is not exactly good behavior---the place where it differs from all other religions is that its emphasis is on God's love and JESUS coming to save us from our sins, not telling us how to save ourselves) But that doesn't mean that Christians are better than Muslims or Buddhists. I think that when we realize that we don't HAVE to agree in order to appreciate each other things will get tons better---you don't have to be postmodern to get rid of hypocrisy. But I do appreciate the way that postmodernism proposes to view each other. Anyway, the anonymous post was unconventionally stupid, insincere, perhaps a shot at humor which was an obvious crash-and-burn type failure. But it's not the attitude of Christians----C.S. Lewis or me----or John Piper or anyone who truly believes that Jesus Christ came to restore love and truth and beauty---not hate. I believe in hell---but I don't believe in making one for people on earth. Consider this a little proposal that you can believe in hell without being a jerk. :) Peace.

Bryan said...

--"I think that we shouldn't enlist in a religion and believe everything we're told."--

Neither do I, unless. Unless the possibility exists that one and only one of the manifold religions in existence is a (the) true one, meaning one that contains 100% truth, and is in fact lead by Jesus with a prophet acting as mouthpiece, as in the days of old when Jesus led his church.

If only that religion existed...

Ok, I might as well come forward. That church does exist. It's up to you to find it. I'll give you a hint: It's not a matter of "the one that's right for you". It's the same church for everybody. I could tell you, but it will mean more if you find this out yourself.

Let me help you start your journey. Start with the Bible. Start with humility. Start with Prayer. And don't stop! I promise you, as a representative (albeit a minor one) of Jesus Christ, you will find the answers to your questions in this lifetime, and they won't be mystical. They'll be plain and simple.

Searcher said...

I would just like to tell you that I find your posts fascinating, respectful, and humanistic. Please keep up the good work.

Dawn said...

Oh my... I'm so entirely glad that I stopped by blogger to check out these blogs. I stumbled into this one because of the title, Living in Egypt, which is something I have always wanted to do. I instantly fell in love with your blog, your writing, your experiences... I added your blog to my favorite list and will be listing it in my own blog(unless, of course, you mind).
I'm a mere girl of twenty... I haven't the money to live in Egypt just yet, and so I will suffice with reading your journal. It's so interesting... intruiging... I thouroughly enjoy it! Thank-you for making a journal such as this! Perhaps we could ignore our age differences(as in me being an inexperienced femme) and talk over email sometime?
Journal: http://banefulangel.diaryland.com
Email: rabid_ballerina@hotmail.com