If you thought that segregation occurred if you are only disabled Dunia, then you are very much mistaken. As the month of December highlights another issue, being an Arab and Muslim puts you in a strange position as you are stuck between two ways of thinking; there is a group of Muslims who believe Christmas and the New Year should not be celebrated in any form and there is another group who buy Christmas trees, cook turkeys on the actual day and even tell their children Santa Clause will be coming on Christmas morning. In my opinion, both of those Muslims categories are wrong, I always believe that the best methods and solutions in life are the balanced ones; the middle ground.
How can you live in a country and isolate yourself from the wider community? Why stay amongst people you don’t approve of or relate to? I love London. It’s my city. It’s where I grew up, where I was taught and developed as a person. It is home. Despite the fact that I was not born here it is where I was given chances that accommodated my physical disability and where I was relatively accepted for who I am. Obviously I will never forget my roots or culture, but I will not segregate myself from the community I am living in. On the other hand, I will not adopt ideas or habits that are alien to my faith or culture. How can I, a disabled female, seek acceptance and inclusion and then isolate myself on the ground this is not part of my beliefs?
That was exactly what I told my friend who criticised me for buying Christmas presents, claiming it is ‘not even our festival’! She was not convinced by my argument but I did not mind, if it suits her to think that way, fine, but I made it clear not to judge or question my action as I am fully aware and happy with what I am doing.
You see Dunia, I told you, I will no longer stay quiet and let people criticise or judge me, I’ve had enough and that’s not a bad thing. The more you allow people to cross certain boundaries the less likely they are to respect your feelings.
I guess I took my frustration and anger on my friend, which I realise is wrong, but I could not help it, I am usually a very tolerant and patient person, it is just like I told you before Christmas and New Year’s eve are a difficult period for me plus the sudden disappearance of a person that I once thought was different to everyone else. A special kind of friend, and possibly more, one who knew what his presence meant to me yet had no qualms about vanishing suddenly without a reason or an explanation, and ignored any attempts I made to contact him.
Don’t worry about me Dunia, I often try to see the good and positive out of everything that I have ever endured, maybe not instantly but certainly when enough time has passed, except in this case I can see the positive already. It’s funny, I always used to mock girls who lose their identity because of a guy and I became like them, I allowed someone to dictate my mood, emotion and state of mind, I became weak and would feel like a fake person when they admired my so called strength! I wanted to shout and say you don’t know me, but I realised that no it is me who has lost sight of whom I really I am, therefore, I will not let anyone break, control or affect me, I must reclaim my real identity and rediscover the lost strength.
It’s not going to be easy I know, especially as I am ill with the flu and bladder infection – I often get it as I can only go to the toilet when my carers come. So if they are late or I am out and get stuck in traffic then the bladder gets affected. Plus, our live-in help has gone away for two weeks to celebrate Christmas so it is just mum and I at home, therefore, during this period mum will have to wake up at night to turn me and give me water which makes me feel guilty. Few days to new year’s eve, I hope to God that my strength will return in full force.