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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lost Sense of Security

Lost sense of Security

This time I'm coping something written by my colleague, not our of laziness or lack of inspiration but out of urgency. you will understand once you read what she has to say.

Hello everyone,

This is not a spam or virus or anything like that. This email is to warn you about an awful incident that happened to me last week, Wednesday, March 25, 2010, and seems to be an epidemic in Jordan. Please read this and forward it to your family, friends and everyone you think should know about this!

I live near the Royal Automobile Club - 7th circle, and my office is literally a four minute walk from my house. Since the weather started warming up, I have been walking to work. So on Wednesday, on my way to work I was stopped by a taxi, with a driver and two women in their late 30’s - early 40 who asked for change for JOD 20 in a non Jordanian dialect (probably, Moroccan, Algerian or Tunisian). I waved them away and walked on. The women behind the driver asked me again, politely using a ‘motherly’ tone that made me think ‘why not! I’ll help them’, so I opened my wallet took out two 10’s handed them over to the women in the car, took the 20, they thanked me, I thanked them and I walked on. Should this have been a robbery they would have taken my wallet and drove away that minute, because they had easy access!

That’s when the driver pulled his car very close to me while I was walking, which made me jump on the sidewalk, and the exact same women that used the ‘motherly’ tone started asking me aggressively where I was going, and that they wanted me to get in the car with them so that they would take me wherever I was going. I told them to go away, and walked faster, trying to keep my distance from the taxi. They kept insisting until I held my mobile and shouted ‘I’m calling the police!’, the driver then shoved his door open, which blocked my way and jumped on me trying to grab my arm, I don’t know how I got loose from his grip, and I started running and shouting down the street! The street I’m talking about is a residential street less than 100 Meters away from my house! The women started shouting ‘She’s getting away!’ the man was shouting ‘I will get you!’ That’s when another car drove down the road and they drove off!

I spent the whole day giving statements from one police department to another, trying to identify pictures of ex-convicts and felons. And I learned that this is a gang responsible for human trafficking. They choose a girl with a certain criteria, they watch her and learn her every move, where she goes, when she arrives, leaves and everything. They kidnap the girl when least expected then take her to a farm, drug her, rape her, video tape it, threaten her, and give her an ultimatum, become a prostitute or they will show this to the world. This leads to forced prostitution, slavery and human trafficking.

I also learned that a girl in Sweifieh was kidnapped around two months ago, witnesses say a taxi and two women took her.
Now I have police following me every morning and night. I do not feel safe, and I am scared out of my mind because apparently they might attack again. It is our right to feel safe walking in our own country, not looking over our shoulder, scared for your sisters, daughters, cousins, and friends. This is crime against basic human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.
As horrible as this may sound, but it is true! I don’t want to sound mean, or insensitive, but this could happen to anyone, this isn’t one of the stories you hear and think, this will never happen to me, my sisters, my cousins, my friends or my daughter, but I am a regular someone, a sister, a cousin, a friend and a daughter.

They have taken my sense of security, safety and human compassion; don’t let them do the same to you. Please circulate this message to all your girlfriends and family, and talk about it, let’s make sure everyone is aware of this. Keep an out eye for each other.
Be safe and careful!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Battle Field Called Marriage

I have been as lazy as lazy can get and I did not post in a while. in an attempt to get back into acation, here is a pice I wrote for another website a while ago I think it might spark some thought and conversation.

The Battle Field Called Marriage

Some months after I got married myself, I started having conversations with women on marriage. Sure enough the ladies in most cases lets say wanted advise on how to deal with particular situations, or wanted war tactics, and some simply wanted to share so called wisdom. Lately I have been talking to some great ladies on the subject and I feel there is a need for every one to discuss this.

Any one can simply say to me "so you are wiser than the rest?", I want to say this at the beginning I am not this why I share my view on a discussion forum, to have a discussion and form an opinion together. For the sake of the discussion let us say in a marriage there are three entities, you the woman and wife and what ever you represent, there is he the man and the husband and what ever he represents. And there is a family or a marriage which is an entity that has a life by itself "I claim". A man and woman do not melt into each other once they are married, each keeps himself but their union forms a life form called marriage.

As soon as a woman or a man is engaged, both of them start being bombarded with advice. And stories on how marriage is a horrible thing enjoy these days while it lasts". "All men are alike they use woman" " be smart use your feminine powers to get what you want" " women are gold diggers and stupid " " Islam says: Ask her opinion then do the opposite"…etc and many many other forms of wisdom.

Here I will not be talking about the extreme cases, yes there are animals dressed in an educated mans suit. Yes there are women who are gold diggers. But I'm talking about the average woman and man, with their good sides and bad. I always say to people marriage is not a battle field. If you turn it to one it will suffer. If an argument turns into a battle of who wins and who looses no matter who wins that battle the marriage looses. Again let me reiterate the fact, I'm not talking about important issues like abuse or the man giving up the responsibility of his children to the wife or the wife that spreads all the domestic issues to anyone who would listen. I'm talking about the small things that we turn into a big deal.

The rules of Islam, His set of rights, you're set of rights. Should not be used on a daily basis as an argument or the marriage suffers. If you have a good neighbor that from time to time trespasses or picks from your trees or has a load party. Do you call the police directly? I feel it is the same thing if I cannot have a civilized discussion with my husband and every time I have to run to the police " what are not his rights in Islam" there is a big problem. It may be with him or maybe with me.

Agreement is what all our decisions in a marriage should be based on. Personally from time to time I love it when my husband gives in to my silly desires or illogical ideas just because it's not worth a discussion let alone a fight. And sometimes I give in to some of his silly ideas if they cause me no harm.

I feel that we women have been oppressed for a long time. And when we can we try to elevate that oppression, which our grandmothers or mothers have suffered from in the fear of being victims ourselves. But if we don't keep things in check we easily turn into oppressors. I have talked a lot but the jest of what I want to say, yes men ask for more than they are entitled in a lot of cases, but so do we. But we like to be a victim as we have been victimized by society for a long time. You are not weak if you give your husband more than he is entitled on the contrary. Do ever feel that there is too much sadaqa ( charity) ? why not deal with each other on terms of " Fadel" ?

Marriage can be a great thing, you are your husband can turn yours into a great one, with a little calm conversation and a little effort from both of you. Yes you can be happy if you want to even after 20 years of marriage. Yes you will need to compromise a lot both of you ,but believe me off the battle field marriage is a great place. Just use compassion and love instead of strong legal arguments.