Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm Back!

Not to speak ill of the ones I love dearest, but my family does not know how to:
dust furniture
clean toilets
empty bathroom trash cans
discard smelly leftovers from the refrigerator
pick up ever-growing dust-bunnies from the floor and air vents

But they do know how to:
order pizza
cook frozen lasagna, chimichangas, and pot pies
mop kitchen floors after muddy-pawed dogs tramp through
greet a long-lost wife and mother at the airport.

It's overdue at the library, I need to return it today but I haven't finished it. The book was borrowed from another branch and it may be some time before I can check it out. So, should I try to check it out again or write about what I've read so far and have you, my commenter, fill in the rest? I'm depending on you!

This book pulled me in from the introduction - powerful, sad, maddening, depressing, challenging...all describe just the one-page introduction.

I have so many questions about faith, economy, justice, women's rights, culture from reading the mere 160 pages. First I am amazed there aren't more female serial murders from a Eastern African Muslim background. Ayaan's childhood read like Carrie from Stephen King - beatings, female circumcision, imprisonment, to name a few (if not enough). I know I must read the entire book to understand her journey and where she is today.

When I read her story and add that to the many other women's stories I've heard about growing up in a Muslim home, I can't help but scream, "Leave Islam!!" And yet, I am ignorant of strength of the familial ties that bind one to their culture-the seemingly impossibility of abandoning one's roots. Honestly I tried to read with a blank slate, understanding there is good and bad in all cultures, and I did come to appreciate the family-connectiveness in the Somali culture. But with that comes divisive tribalism (which haunts Somalia and many other countries today). I tried to be impartial. I tried to think of Christian cultures who are just as bigoted, prejudiced or ignorant. I know they are out there.

Help me out here. As you read her story, what was on your mind? Were you enraged by the backward thinking and hypocrisies? Did it madden you to read how woman supposedly are equal but are treated less than slaves and more like cattle? Did you feel hopeless for the countries of Somalia and Saudi Arabia to ever treat all humanity on equal-footing? Did you shake your head in disbelief when you read what Muslim children are taught about Jews and Americans?

For December's book blogging I thought of the season and reasoned the logical choice would be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.


Anonymous said...

snarkiness will get you no where...

hannah in sea said...

how was the trip???

Anonymous said...

Concerning the book. I just finished it and am anxious to discuss it. But I can wait till you finish it. In case you are wondering, I think I found your blog through Marti Smith? I work with her on the Missions Catalyst. If you are impressed with Ayaan Hirsi Ali becasue of her memoir, check out Youtube for her interviews. She handles the pundits with her gentle logic.