Friday, January 18, 2013

Religion in a Muslim Country

It is common for some of my students to pray in the back of the class in the early afternoon.  They do so quietly, but devoutly, and the attention they pay to their faith is inspiring. This week, one of my students asked me what religion I was, and another answered, "Christian." I just smiled. We aren't supposed to talk about any religion outside of Islam in school.

Later this week, I was walking my students to the computer lab and we passed another classroom. My students made me stop so we could look in. The classroom had paper snowflakes taped to the window (odd in the desert), fake snow sprinkled on each desk with a small treat, and a fully decorated Christmas tree with gifts placed under it in the corner of the room.

"It is Christmas, Miss."

I looked into the classroom in shock. They translated from the class' Arabic teacher. They were studying major holidays in other cultures and religions and their relation to Islam. I really wanted to sit in on that lesson....

Meanwhile, as a family, we have found a church that reminds us of home and have been attending weekly. It is the same church that Belle and I went to last year that was closed by the town... Instead of meeting in a church, it now meets at a golf club at the other end of town. It is a nice way to begin our weekends, and fulfilling to my spirit to be part of a faith community.

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