Monday, May 9
Breakfast at Friendly Crossways
10:30 – Tour of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Lunch at café
12:55 Salaat Prayers
3:00 – Harvard Art Museum
6:00 Dinner – Harvard Square
Return to Friendly Crossways – journal, sing, sleep
I really liked the mosque we went to this morning. It was simple looking, but I thought it was a beautiful building and religion. The conversation with the students was really eye opening and wonderful. I had a conversation about our favorite books with them later. That was my favorite part of the day.
When we went to the mosque today, I found that some of my views on Islam were changed. I have always thought that hijab, on some level, represents the oppression of women, but now I understand that they d the opposite in a way. They are worn so that a woman’s personality is what matters and not her appearance.
Its as interesting to hear the students’ perspectives… At first, conversations were awkward because we didn’t really know what to talk about, but then it took off and we talked about celebrities and all the normal girl stuff, and I was like, “Wow, they are totally normal and a lot like me and my friends.”
I understand that women choose to wear head scarfs. I respect that. However, they talked about how women should wear them so they are not admired or harassed by men. This sincerely bothered me because women should not dress for men, and should not cover themselves so men won’t harass them.
If only we could put our stereotypes and labels away we could find peace and acceptance among people no matter their gender, religion or appearance. At the center of all religions is peace, and I wish that could stay in all of our minds.
I thought when the kids came in I connected best. It was like someone who was the same age, who knew about social media and the same kind of music, but had a whole different community and lifestyle. Something that felt so foreign to e now feels like some thing I could be a part of.
I also thought it was weird how when someone who isn’t Muslim commits some sort of killing, it’s just a criminal act, but when a Muslim does it, it’s considered “terrorism”. It just goes to show how manipulative the media can be.
I found that wearing the head scarf connected me more into the culture, yet I feel not participating and it being a silent service that set me farther away from understanding.
After the mosque we headed to the Harvard Art Museum which was amazing. I loved just being able to relax and enjoy the beauty and spirit of creativity.
Emma does a little busking.