Thursday 20-10-2016 - 14:53
#ReclaimBlackStories is NUS Scotland Black Students' campaign to share the reality of Black history and what it's like to live in Scotland at the moment - as told by Black students.
Don’t panic! I’m a Muslim.
Based on my appearance, I’m sure you can guess my identity. Yup! I’m a Muslim.
I’m a Muslim student, living an ordinary life just like everyone else.
I wake up in the morning, have breakfast, go to lectures. I have group work, assignments, rushing over deadlines. Just like any student will do. Go back to my apartment, have dinner, do some revision till midnight. Sleep. I would go to society meeting and at times do volunteer work. That’s basically it about my everyday life. I, too seek pleasure and fun! I chat a lot with my housemates, try to mingle with my classmates, listening to radio and sometimes surf the internet for funny videos or cartoon.
But, there is something that makes me stand out in the crowd. A piece of cloth called a niqab. I wear it for a few reasons. One of them is to remind myself, the purpose of life. I chose to wear it. I wasn’t forced nor pressured, and neither my family nor friends were involved in the decision. It was up to me. When I made my decision, I didn’t think this piece of cloth would affect my everyday life. But somehow it did; in both positively and negatively.
I’m an absent-minded girl. I won’t notice something until it is clear enough for me to see. At times, my friends would tell me, “they’re looking at us strangely” or “She just looked at you disgustingly”.
Yet those words don’t bother me. Nor the strange gazes. People can think whatever they want. I believe in me, I can deal with them.
But that doesn’t make me iron. It doesn’t make me any less human. I still get hurt, I still get sad and just flat out cry from time to time. After all, I’m just a girl and I have feelings too. Those gazes I can handle, those words I can swallow, but when someone tries to harass me or to be specific tear my niqab down, that’s where I draw the line. I get annoyed and utterly appalled by those actions and hereby I’d like to emphasize on the word respect. That’s it. That’s the only thing I would want. I’d appreciate that
Whenever I see my classmates or someone that I know, I smile at them, but I only realise later they won’t see me smiling. I do not desperately need you to smile at me, or say hi whenever you see me. I just want to say, I’m really happy when you did that. I have a classmate, which I cannot even remember his name (well, I just sat next to him in a lecture once), but he always smile at me when we passed by each other. It actually makes my day. And I just feel its worth writing it down because I really appreciate your smile. Thank you. And also to all who smile at me, I thank YOU for making my day.