Shirin from Lebanon

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Homeward bound?

My father wants me to quit my studies and return to Lebanon. I have considered it before, especially after the war that had ruined my beloved homeland. It seemed to me that I needed to do something to help my country, and quitting my studies was a fair sacrifice.
But this is not the case now: my father wants me to quit because he is concerned. My mama(umi el3aziza) wants me to go back to Lebanon because she thinks that there I will be safe.
It surprised me, I thought that they were liberal enough to understand that the West isn’t their enemy, but now they are terrified. They are afraid that my studies might corrupt my mind and set me against Islam. There is nothing I can say, or do, that can convince them otherwise. I have got to tell you that I wear the traditional clothes and refrain from the bad culture around me, because I honor not only my parents, but also Islam and my tradition. They want what they think is best for me, and right now, they think it is best is for me to leave Germany and go back home, to Lebanon.
I understand them, I can see how hard it is for them to get used to the language and customs. But I know that my studies are no threat to my conscience, my morality and my tradition, and that right now, my going back to Lebanon isn't going to do any good. They don't agree with me. They insist I should leave for Lebanon, as soon as possible.
So I will return. But first, I'm going to finish my studies and start a career, so that when I do arrive, I will have something to give back to my country and to my family. They are just going to have to understand that the university isn't a threat and that Germany isn't going to harm me.


  • Shirin, you will be a wonderful gift to Lebanon whenever you do return, with your talents honed by your studies and your perspective broadened by your time abroad.

    Meanwhile, you are a great gift to Germany: you provide an example of a moral, Muslim woman with a sharp mind, a good sense of humor, and great artistic and analytic talents.

    I sympathize with your parents' loving concern. However, what I see is that you are not losing your identity or your religion - you are being a good ambassador for Lebanon and for the Muslim world.

    Good luck - it sounds like you are handling a difficult situation with grace and good humor.

    By Blogger adiamondinsunlight, at 4:28 AM  

  • Hey shirin whether you decide to stay or go please dont interrupt your blog.

    By Anonymous karam, at 2:57 AM  

  • Don't be upset at your parents because they are concerned about you; that's what good parents do. What I don't quite understand is whether they fear for your personal safety, your spiritual welfare, or both.

    As for them being "terrified": could this have more to do with events at home than in Germany?

    By Blogger Solomon2, at 5:48 AM  

  • I wanted to drop you and email to let you know how much I enjoy your writings and drawings, but I suppose leaving a comment will be just as efficient to broadcast my sentiments. I just love how you so honestly bare your soul and eloquently articulate your views on current events pertaining to you. I urge you to check out the International Museum of Women's website to have a broader forum to share your voice. It's a great forum to catalyze discussion and relate with women on a global, multi-lingual scale!

    By Anonymous Lindsay, at 12:20 PM  

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