Friday, March 2, 2007


Well I learned some new things today at school and it wasn't all about Swedish. Some of things were about myself. Paul said that he thinks I grew as a person in the past 3 months that I have been here. I will try to explain this as best as I can. First of all I go to school to learn Swedish as we all know. Of course there are others in the class so it's natural that I will make friends. There is a woman there, Eliana and she is from Jordan, and she speaks Arabic and English. Before I knew anything about her I had a stupid stereotypical view of what her life might be like because she wears a burka, only on her head, not her whole body.
I took notice that she would follow me when I was going to lunch etc etc in school. She was just trying to make a friend with me I guess. On the spÄrvagn going home she also would be right there too. It worked because her and I are very good friends now in this first week of getting to know one another. She has already invited me to her house for lunch one day after school. I like her so much and I cannot remember the last time I had such a good friend. I learned things about people from the middle east that I thought I would never learn. She is one of the coolest people I know.

Eliana and I were of course together going to break at school today. She started talking to a guy in our class in the hallway and I asked her if they understood each other because apparently not all middle-easterners speak the same language. She said yes. Also I was curious about this person and the other middle-easterners in my class. So I said to this guy, Marzin, ' How are you? Do you like this class, is it easy for you to learn?' Eliana translated for me because he really didn't know english. He answered and she told me what he said then he asked where I was from. of course I said America and he smiled nicely. So I didn't know exactly where he was from and I asked him the same. He said Iraq. Naturally I did my best to keep a smile, according to Eliana, my eyes went a little big. I didn't try to, honest. But I smiled back at him and I said nice to meet you and I held out my hand and we shook hands.

Marzin seems like a nice person. I talked to him, looked right at him and spoke even though he couldn't understand me and she translated everything. I asked questions and tried to get a feel for who he is and to make a point to him and myself. The point to him is to show that not all Americans are a¤¤holes, I don't know, he could like Americans already, I can only assume things because of the war and so on.
So anyways, The point to myself is that just because he is from a country that the USA is at war with doesn't mean he could hate me for being where I am from and also to show myself that Iraqi's are people too and not all of them are gung-ho deadset on being mean and wanting to kill people. he was a nice person and smiled and I could tell he wasn't putting on a front. I was happy to make friends with him.

At breaktime after this confrontation with Marzin, I went to the cafeteria and I sat at the table with Eliana and Bernadette. I looked up to see Nima walking around, so I called out for him to come sit with us girls. He sat next to me and I asked him if he liked Sweden. He said not too much. I asked where he was from and he said Tehran,Iran. We all talked and through his rough english I got to know him better too. He too was another nice person from the middle-east. I thought to myself ...'I am on a roll here.' He said to me that if he were to go back to Iran where his father is, he would kill him...and he laughed about it so I know he was joking. All of us walked back up to the room afterwards and I thought to myself, lets just finish this.
I walked over to Anmal, said hi, asked where he was from, he says Iraq, then said to me..'You are from America?'..I said yes and he smiled. He's a young 21 year old who seems like a happy guy. I was pleased with myself to do this because I feel like I proved to myself that no matter where you are from, no matter what war is going on and who it involves, there are still good people who come from those places. I would of talked to Achmed, or however you spell it, but he was not there today.

I feel better, much better knowing I can be an American saying...There are some really nice Iraqis and Iranians and Jordanians out there!
I can hear my family now saying 'what??????'

1 comment:

Maja said...

It's very easy to forget that other countries are full of people just like us when all you see on the news is about bombings and fighting.

I get very confused about why they call it the 'war' in iraq. Who is this war being waged against anyway? I thought the allies were supposed to be establishing a new government there now that they got rid of saddam hussein. Wars are more to do with politics than people as far as I can see. It's the people that suffer.

It's so great that you're getting to know people from the middle east. There's so much to discover about their rich cultures.

My mum worked in a couple of islamic schools for a few years and she found all the people absolutely lovely. Much nicer than a lot of the government schools in Perth.