OUR TUNISIA IS BLEEDING !!!!!

Being a Tunisian / English woman, I felt I was compelled to pour out some thoughts.

TO START OFF BY TODAY’S ATTACK : IT WAS A DISGUSTING COWARD ATTACK !! AND IT WAS THE WORST ATTACK ON FOREIGNERS AND IT HAD NEVER HAPPENED ON OUR SOIL BEFORE !! TUNISIA HAS BEEN HELD AS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COUNTRY IN THE ARAB WORLD DUE TO APPLYING DEMOCRACY AND REJECTING ISIS WHICH MADE IT A PERFECT TARGET FOR THEM !!

Before the revolution, we were living in a ” peaceful” country, enjoying an “affordable” rate of living, local people can simply go out and have fun without literally fearing for their lives. Everybody seemed to be happy and safe regardless of what was happening in the government and in politics. There were also a lot of strict boundaries about practicing religion ( although it’s a Muslim country).In fact, there were three forbidden topics; politics, religion and sex. Whoever dares to converse or to write about them would be jailed. Even though, many disadvantages have and still exist, our lovely country was much more safer than today. A strong example was given by my British side of family. They came over a couple of years ago, before these terrorist attacks.They adored everything about our country. In fact, they visited nearly every city. They tasted our traditional dishes, picked up some of the dialect. BUT NOT TO FORGET MY LOVING AND CARING LATE GRANDAD  ( May him rest in peace). He adored Tunisia so much !! He came over to stay with us for a month but ended up staying for two months due to his medical condition. I used to cuddle up to him and teach him some of our dialect because he was keen on picking up words from all of the places he had been to. He  used to ask for the translation for practically everything in Tunisian dialect. He used to play golf, visit our relatives and go to the café with dad. He used to praise our beautiful peaceful country with lovely comments.

Back home ( in London), he used to convince his fellows to spend a holiday over here; to enjoy our sunny weather, golden sandy beaches, the respect, generosity and kindness of the local people. BUT sadly, all of a sudden, and most recently,especially despite of having the first uprising in the Arab world,  terrorists have invaded our land. After the shooting of  two political members, terrorism compelled a place for itself over here. “It added insult to injury” because prices are heavily increasing, jobs are lost due to poor conditions, employees are manifesting in every sector for a pay rise and an amelioration in their work conditions. In addition to the politicians and political parties who are fighting over their personal interests playing part of being patriots instead of standing up for OUR country !!

TUNISIA NEEDS US TO BE ONE !! TO BE UNITED !!! TO BE BEAMISH AND MOTIVATED !!! TO WORK HARD AND CHANGE OUR THOUGHTS AND MENTALITIES !! WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AND START FROM SCRATCH !! because ” Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” by Nelson Mandela

TERRORISM DOES NOT REPRESENT US AND WE DO NOT SUPPORT IT !! MUSLIMS ARE NOT TERRORISTS !! PLEASE SUPPORT OUR BELOVED COUNTRY LIKE THESE EXAMPLES !!

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An English Tunisian Hijabi

What is Hijab ? Hijab is an Arabic word meaning barrier or partition. In Islam, however, it has a broader meaning. It is the principle of modesty and includes behaviour as well as dress for both males and females. The most visible form of Hijab is the head covering that many Muslim women wear. Hijab however goes beyond the head scarf. In one popular school of Islamic thought, Hijab refers to the complete covering of everything except the hands, face and feet in long, loose and non see-through garments. A woman who wears hijab is called Muhaajaba. Why do women wear Hijab ? Muslim women choose to wear the Hijab or other coverings for a variety of reasons. Some women wear the hijab because they believe that God has instructed women to wear it as a means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. For these women, wearing hijab is a personal choice that is made after puberty and is intended to reflect one’s personal devotion to God. In many cases, the wearing of a headscarf is often accompanied by the wearing of loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing, also referred to as Hijab. In fact, modesty rules are open to a wide range of interpretations. Some Muslim women wear full-body garments that only expose their eyes. Some cover every part of the body except their face and hands. Some believe only their hair or their cleavage is compulsory to hide, and others do not observe any special dress rules. While most Muslim women wear the Hijab for religious reasons, there are other Arab or Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab as an expression of their cultural identity. By wearing the Hijab, Muslim women hope to communicate their political and social alliance with their country of origin and challenge the prejudice of Western discourses towards the Arabic-speaking world . In many cases, the wearing of the hijab is also used to challenge Western feminist discourses which present Hijab-wearing women as oppressed or silenced. In my opinion, to wear a Hijab is compared to a precious pearl covered only to be reveiled to a future husband. A woman in Islam is so precious and modest that she should be protected from the outsiders and lust of men because, whether they confess it or not, are slaves of lust and desire. Finally, it compels men to focus on the real personality of the woman and de-emphasizes her physical beauty. It puts the woman in control of strangers’ reaction to her.”

As the Noble Quran said  24:30-31]:”Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands…”

Let me introduce myself, I’m from Tunisia and proud of that but I’m also half English. 4 years ago, before the revolution it was forbidden to wear the hijab and practise our religion (Islam). At university, we weren’t allowed to wear it and I was stopped many times. But fortunately after the revolution, we had our freedom back, and recently I took a decision to put it back on once and for all and wear proper ‘Muslim clothes’ by that I mean NO TROUSERS OR TIGHT CLOTHES. I’m very proud and happy that I always wear skirts and loose dresses. In addition and alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) my mother (English) reverted to Islam on the 1st of Ramadan last year (started praying and fasting with me). To conclude, in our country you have the choice of what to wear that’s what I’m happy about. No one obliges you to wear (niquab, jelbeb) or whatever. Our religion says by wearing the Hijab, we have to cover our BODIES AND HAIR ! We can’t wear tight clothes and cover our hair! I STRONGLY disagree with this type of clothing “modern Hijab”. I think it lacks respect to the Hijab. Anyway I hope to stay on the right path to feel complete and and have inner peace. PS: On the 15th of March last year, I’ve started wearing my Hijab and I’m proud of that 🙂

At work in Tunisia

At work in Tunisia

Leisure

Leisure may be called the spare time, free from labour and drudgery of life. It is a kind of diversion. The dictionary definition of leisure is, “the state of having time at one’s disposal; time which one can spend as one pleases; free or unoccupied time”. A famous French scholar and sociologist has defined leisure as “an activity apart from the obligations of work, family and society, to which the individual turns at will, for either relaxation, diversion or broadening of knowledge and his spontaneous social participation, the free expression of his creative capacity.”

Some people believe that it is significant to use the leisure time for activities that improve and enhance the function of the brain such as reading and solving word puzzles. Others think that it is vital to relax the mind during spare time. In my opinion, ı agree that people should use leisure time for activities which improve the mind.

On one hand, different people spend leisure differently. Some may occupy themselves in gardening, photography, playing outdoor or indoor games. Due to their exhausting jobs, they prefer to do activities with not a lot of brain activity. Others may busy themselves in playing with children or in enjoying music, hanging out with friends or just simply sleeping. They think they need to rest their minds and bodies.

On the other hand, others think that leisure helps us in keeping our body and mind toned up, healthy and refreshed. Some time devoted to regular diversions, or hobbies, is bound to strengthen and refresh us in more than one way for better achievements in our respective fields of life.
Some individuals prefer to keep their mind active through intellectual activities like board games or sudoko etc.
Finally, I think, that certainly, in this modern world most of the goals by people are accomplished through their mind work. Therefore to maximize their results they can use their leisure time to progress towards intellectual aspect. For example, solving word puzzles improves concentration and expands your knowledge and reading books widens vocabulary and speaking capabilities. Consequently the positive aspects which are brought by these activities will have favorable effects on one‘s studies and career growth.

Therefore, leisure with purpose and meaningfulness should be our aim. As for Cicero, the famous Roman statesman said, “The thing which is the most outstanding and chiefly to be desired by all healthy and good and well-off persons is leisure with honour.” If we stick to the principle of “leisure with honour” then it would be no problem at all. We must be alert and watchful against the abuse of leisure.