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My Goal in Life

My individual vision is to be a healthy, humble, informed, wealthy and beautiful practicing Muslim woman. Time has taught me that my wellness is an asset I cannot do without. When I am ill, I do very little. I do not do the things I want. And it pains within to see yourself wasting. So I try as much to eat nutritiously, exercise and relax by doing the things I love. Even silly things. But that’s me. If it gives me satisfaction, if it cheers up the child within me, then bingo! I’ve got it. Time has also taught me that humility is the mother of all blessings. It gives me inner peace to be humble. I get to learn from others. I get to appreciate myself: that after all, I do not know everything in this world; and I can’t possibly do. So the best I could do is to appreciate my weaknesses and give others space. I love information. I love knowing my world. I love being in the know. I do not want to be asking every time. I want to find that information myself. Only when I cannot personally access it, do I consult others. I feel this is the only appreciation I could give back to life after my going to school. Having money is important. I would like to be able to buy everything I want. Not that I am spendthrift. No. But I love to have the ability to finance the things I cherish. I know what poverty is. I know how it hurts. And I want to have life the other way. Yes I can. Then comes beauty. Oh yes, every woman wants to look good. I could have the brains, yes. And that feminine look must come out. That is why God created me female. So I like to be in touch with my femininity. And I spoil myself to make it flourish. Finally and most importantly, is to be at peace with my Creator. I take my religion seriously. It is my way of life. I like serving my God – it is the reason that I am in this world. So I strive to follow His command and keep away from His prohibitions.

Because I was born in a community and a bigger world, I also have a vision for them. I cherish a community that is filled with strong and educated women. Women who love themselves. Women who take full advantage of their living in this world. Women who can bring forth focused and strong willed children. Children that would make this world a better place to live. As a global citizen, I have a vision for a peaceful world. A world with no wars and blood-shed. But a world of respect. Respect for diversity. A world where humanity appreciates the richness in our diversity. Not the opposite.
Because of these three sets of vision, that is why I want to be the Voices of Our Future Correspondent. Because I am the Future Correspondent. I see things differently. And it pains me if I do not say anything about the wrongs in our society. I also love to commend: to celebrate our successes. Today, the future is Web 2.0 and citizen journalism. This is where we can say things from the bottom of our hearts. No censorship. Just discipline. A place where we can say what is not said in mainstream journalism and academic circles. But I do not have the skills to do it. I need the skill. I need the skill to express my voice about the things I care for. So if I do get selected as a VOFC, I would learn how to run an informational blog on Muslim women and their rights. Remember, I talked of a community of strong women that take advantage of their life in this world? I would be exercising my passion for information through sharing and learning from others. Finally, I would also have an opportunity to tell fellow citizens to make this world a habitable place for all of us.

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One of Many's picture

loved it!

Dear Mozajadeed:

Thank you for the compelling and excellently written vision – for yourself and your work for women and the world! Running an informational blog by and for Muslim women sounds like meeting a need that you feel Muslim women have, and rightly see (or intuit) that people around the world need, too – men and women. Your vision seems exceptionally courageous.

I have a question – what do you mean about “discipline” in saying things from the bottoms of our hearts? I too would like to implore my fellow citizens to make the world a safer better place – and—how can we do that? [Coming in with guns and soldiers doesn’t seem to be doing much to that end ( not that I ever thought it would! I feel that only men who will make money from such an enterprise would ever posit that it could!) .]

I find excellent literary style in your writing. I’m a little confused where three visions are – is it you, women, and children? I guess a paragraph break would be all it would really take to clarify that.

I found vigor, enthusiasm, and power (am I redundant?) in your vision for yourself – and maturity, sense of humor, and perspicacity (my favorite word and attribute).

My concern is safety for you exposing the reality of the oppression of women from within the Muslim world—I want you to stay safe with lots and lots of people who, as we say in an idiomatic expression – “have your back”!

Finally -- next step (IMHO). Is information for the world enough to stimulate change? Again, exactly how will WE (women) bring that about?

Thanks and congratulations for a great fourth essay,

your listener Anna

Speaking my Peace

mozajadeed's picture

Thank You

Dear Anna,

A heartfelt gratitude for listening to my personal vision, that of my community and the entire world. My individual vision is churned out in the first paragraph of my essay. Paragraph 2 carries both the visions for my community and the globe. Sorry, it was not that clear in the write-up.

I love your accolades and thank you for affirming my voice. It encourages me a lot to learn that I am on the right track. When I talk of expressing what is in our bottom of our hearts and still maintaining discipline, I mean avoiding foul language. Yes we can say what we want. But we have to observe respect to ourselves and to those who read our work.

Otherwise, I see no harm in me (and other women joining me to) sharing what is the position of women in Islam and what exactly women undergo. It is important to highlight how denial of women's rights of Muslim faith degenerates women's self-esteem, sense of dignity and eventually affects the development of a society. This information is important to both Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women alike. It will help readers to appreciate that Muslim women have rights and to develop an ability of discerning what is Islamic law and what Muslims do (just like any other human being violating the law and therefore subject to reproach).

This discussion has been on-going. But it has been dominated by Muslim men - most of the times the scholars. If women themselves start highlighting their concerns and rejoices, it is powerful. And this may enable other women to speak out too. Information is powerful. It is enlivening. Knowledge makes us approach things differently. Women can create change if they learn about their rights. If they make themselves better people by going to school during their formative years. And that is why we have to invest in girls - the women of tomorrow.

Because women suffer more during conflicts - civil or internationally - we have a reason to say NO to continued fighting, bloodshed the world over. Dialogue is the effective way of solving potential conflicts. Even when we strongly believe in our position, let us hear the other aside. United States and Britain jointly attacked Iraq in 2003 because of weapons of mass destruction. Today nothing has been unearthed. But more blood-shed continues to spill. My mind still holds the image of an Iraqi newly-become mother who was holding her barely one-week baby in her hands trying to cross the border to a neighboring country amidst bombshell. This was a great pain for me. In my society, a newly-become mother stays indoors to "recuperate" until two, three, four or five weeks later. But it was not so for this Iraqi woman. And there is continuous state of anarchy in Iraq today - at least in some parts.

Best.

Moza.

One of Many's picture

continued awe

Hi, Moza:

Great to hear back from you and please understand there is never, never a need to apologize for me having questions about your writing....though I am glad I did, because that gave me a chance to read more of your writing and understand your perspective more fully.

That would be an incredible narrative about the mom fleeing with her newborn child, if you were to have the chance, time, inclination to develop it into a short story. Brings me chills. If you are interested and want my feedback, let me know.

I just get so scared for you. I have said ,"No!" and have the backup of police and society, and you having the courage to say, "No!" without protection, scares me. So you can see, you are way more liberated than me, even within a system that oppresses you. I cry for you.

You are absolutely right on in your analyses -- or at least I agree with you. .

And I am so so bending at your feet, and that of all Iraqis, in humble shame for the atrocities begun by our President and his advisors in 2001. I protested, I wrote letters, but nothing we the people did could make any difference. Of course we could have done more. More people could have come together. If more of us had had more energy around the reality of this for you all, maybe we could have stopped it.

The faculty and graduate students at the university where I studied on every friday for years stood near the student center and recited the names of the dead...both american and iraqi. I would read the iraqi. I would read with tears streaming down my face. It included the names, age, and place -- babies, old men, women, boys, and men. There were pages and pages more Iraqi dead for every date.

I am so so sorry.

Many of us knew it was bogus and that there were no WMD. The people they sent out ahead to look for them already had told us as much.

There is a movement that continues called Women in Black -- who stand in central places in cities, wearing black, to protest this atrocity.

I look forward to reading more. Together around the world, united, I have faith we women can change things.

In faith,

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Beverly Rose's picture

Dear Mozajadeed, As a

Dear Mozajadeed,

As a Listener for your week 4 assignment, I enjoyed reading your essay on your vision for yourself, your community, and your world. You have some good ideas, and I share many of your ideas. For instance, a peaceful world and women who love themselves (as oftentimes they do not or do not feel lovable). I believe that as each of us is healed, that healing spreads throughout the world. So as you attain your vision for yourself, it will help create the vision for your community and eventually the world.

How would you tell your fellow citizens "to make this world a habitable place for all of us"? How would you motivate them?

Thank you for sharing your visions. Best wishes in achieving your vision.
aloha,
Beverly

mozajadeed's picture

Thank You

Dear Beverly,

Thank you for listening my week 4 assignment. And thank you for understanding my visions. I love the fact that you believe that when "each of us is healed, that healing spreads throughout the world." This is a powerful statement. And I am delighted that a good number of women know about it. In my quest to make this place a better place for women, I have equally put myself in the forefront. I go to school. I do what I believe is best for me. By fulfilling my passions, I am able to convince others to act on theirs.

I would connect with fellow citizens on peace initiatives through posting my voice - perspectives about a situation online. I will tell them what is right or wrong on their faces. It is important to be courageous. I tried it before. Whether this helped or not, I am not sure. But it made me get others who shared my views. Then the views become of many, not of an individual. And many are always listened by policy-makes. Just before my country passed a new constitution in August this year, our Members of Parliament had the opportunity to look at the document first. Because of negative talk about the document from a section of the MPs, I was apprehensive that these MPs will put their interests first before those of the nation. The post-election crisis of 2008 was still in my mind. I did not want a repeat of that. Yet without a new document, we looked destined to the same violence prior to or before 2012. So I did an op-ed in one of the up-coming local dailies to remind the MPs that they owed their mandate to their constituents - not themselves. The op-ed got a good reception from a handful of Kenyans. This is my contribution, Beverly. I may not be in the Boardrooms and presidential palaces as of now. But I have to take action in my small way.

Best.

Moza

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