Friday, 1 January 2010

I am too young to feel this old

“I am too young to feel this old” is a phrase in a song called Cold Desert by the Kings of Leon; I will put a question mark after this phrase and say I have the answer to this question. Warning it might not be the answer most people want or expect.

I am born on the 27th of September in 1991, which makes me 18 years old and 4 months. Literally this is right and when I am asked how old I am my reply is 18 years old. I never thought much about the number that I and others call my age. I only added one number after each birthday and kept waiting to feel older but it always felt just like yesterday, until last year when my dad and I were reading one of his books by the philosopher Ali Shariati. This book introduced me to an idea I never thought of. How old are we really and why? Maybe I should be saying that I was born 18 years ago instead of saying that I am 18, but what is the difference? The answer lies in another question, what about me is 18 years old? My body is, since it was born 18 years ago; this might even be argued since my body exists even before that when my mum was pregnant with me. My friend has a lot of Chinese students in her class and told me that they count people’s ages from the beginning of the pregnancy. On the other hand, this method is not very accurate since it is not always possible to know exactly when a woman gets pregnant. But this again is not my point. A person is more than a body that claims to be this old or that old.

As for me I see myself in my religion, my behavior and thoughts which include my tradition, my languages and many other aspects, as for my body it could be broadly called a container. My religion is over 1400 years old but it pulls the strings in the way I live my life. I pray 5 times a day, I fast, I wear the hijab and many other things that are a part of my life which is a part of me. My behavior for instance cannot be given an age. I use a fork and a knife when I eat, when did that start? I live in a house, I sleep in a bed, I go to school, when did people start all those things? For sure it all didn’t start when I was born, but all those things are what I do so they are a part of me. You can even get deeper into it and say I wear clothes; humans didn’t always wear clothes and what I wear now an 18 year old girl wouldn’t be wearing 100 years back. I speak 3 languages, Arabic, English and German. When did these language start? Thousands of years ago. I use and need them; they are a part of me. The languages I speak are really important to me and I am very proud of them, they are some of the things that I wouldn’t want to give up. This is how much they are a part of me. When I start thinking of all the things that are a part of me, I wonder how many years I carry around with me. I could be ancient.


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  2. Hi Mariam

    You are right history is actually part of us. It formulates how we think, what we like and what we are. Actually we are a result of our history. Religions, cultures, and countries are built over number of years, maybe thousands or hundreds of years, we take all that as part of us, then we built upon it to shape our charter.

    Mariam, I just want to bring your attention to one more important element which a human been having and other creations don't. It is the "CHOICE", the ability to choose and change our situations and life and make a history starting from us and extended to others.


    I Wish from the bottom of my heart that you can be one of those distinct people who leaves their figure print in the existing life for other to follow and make the history start from them.

    Your PaPa … Hani

  3. good post :) and a wonderful comment by hani, i can see here that minds think alike.

  4. @ amthal

    then again I believe that the choices we make are based on what we believe, then again this could be argued since people choose to do something totally out of their norm but the truth is time and other factors around played a big role in those choices.

  5. @sun:

    It is true that a lot of minds think alike but then again not really plus thinking different might create a lot of arguments but still thinking different can produce great achievements.

  6. assalamu aleikum mariam.
    How are you?I hope you're doing great in England with your study and friends.My name is Sakinah.I'm currently living in Russia.I discovered your blog (your 1st blog) 2 days ago and have read all the posts in 2009.You have a wonderful life,I mean wonderful like wonderful (like beautiful rainbows and even storms once in a while).I just drop by to say that like you,for me being away from home has broadened my view on life,religion,people in general.It has opened my heart to learning Islam deeper and more whole-heartedly,eventhough in my homeland it's more convenient to be a proper muslim than in the country i live now.Like some other girls out there,i used to question things,like why can't i do this and that.I thought it was only my parents that made it up (the rule).

    The hedayah doesn't come into the hearts who do not search for it and doesn't want to get close to it,and doesn't want to search for the answer to every question in life.

    Since i was 10 years old i started to have many penfirends,most of them are from Germany.We'd been corresponding till i was 17.They're all very nice to me.We even exchanged presents for new year.We sent pictures to each other,and so on.I was kinda 'out of the box' at that time,i grew up watching my sister receiving letters every day from people around the world who love collecting stamps (and friends),every day i woke up in the morning with a big map of Germany and Spain on our bedroom wall,and even have some friends who speak japanese at school although they weren't one.I'm so grateful alhamdulillah that despite there were self-conflicts about culture that doesn't go well with religion,i have overcome it by following what's right and waht's wrong in this life according to what HE said.It made life a lot more easier actually.
    I am very lucky alhamdulillahi rabbil 'alameen that i'm now in Russia.Even if HE sent me to other places away from my homeland I still say alhamdulillah,because honestly i feel i've become a better me in a certain way.Things that i questioned once (out of my immaturity) were solved with His will.

    Qur'an 49:13
    O mankind!
    We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female
    And made you into nations and tribes
    That ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).
    Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you.
    And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

    It's really,really nice to know someone like you.As to your fear for doctors,maybe we can work that out with me in the next 2 years after i graduate :p i'll try to be a nice doctor :-)just kidding.

    Ma'as salaamah.
    Da svidania (russian)

  7. @ Sakinah:

    thanks so much for your comment, reading it made me happy =)

    yea living abroad is a blessing, it can be very different but I also discovered that in the end it isn't that much different either. You live in Russia, wow! That must be an experience, it sounds really exciting to me.

    You're right, being born into a religion doesn't make you straight away a believer its still a journey, and you're right again that we have a choice of wanting to believe or just ignoring it all together because it is easier or because there is another type of life that might be very tempting. But still there are many things that are hard to understand in the religion we live out, and how can you expect it to be different? it is something way to vast to be anything less than complex.

    you're going to be a doctor? well to say it nicely I am not a fan of doctors and I guess I will never be, but since we need doctors for many obvious reasons I will wish you luck, good luck ;)

  8. Hi there!

    Oh finally there is someone!

    U know wanting to react that way is and has always been in my nature.
    But i dont know why up to this day i never explode.Culture i guess,or upbringing maybe..

    But i think we should,once in a while.Just to let them know that we can scream right to their face too,especially for that kind of Bahraini girl.
    I had many situations before in this country where i live at the moment where girls of her kind were vulgar to me,just bcoz i wear hijab.LOL.I dont know what makes them think they are better than me by exposing their body. I mean whats so great about it? I have what u have.I can show it if i want to.Its just a matter of choice.I choose to cover.

    And u know,being away from home i faced many situations in life where i found myself asking Qs i never bother before,or being concern bout things i never give a damn about.

    But yea,as you said being born a muslim doesnt automatically make u a true believer.Its all about journey of finding the right path towards Him.

  9. @Alexa:
    The situation in Bahrain is such a complicated case, to describe it is already hard enough but to explain it and understand it is a whole new level of complicated....

    People don't fully leave there traditions because they are afraid, so they fake living them, they also want to try and live their lives very western but somehow they are bound to the traditions that the don't want anyway. So it is very messed up......

    I know what you mean, I'm sick and tired of it.......