Many of you know that I have a mosque very close to where I live. It has a kitchen which serves curry all day for three pounds, which is very cheap compared to the places in town. It is a charity and often hires homeless people and others to help clean up. I have avoided this kitchen because I felt that I may be a distraction because my accent is so strong and I did not want to upset anyone.
I decided today that I was hungry enough that it did not really matter. I got the chicken curry and there was no fuss. I got it to take away and enjoyed it in the comfort of my flat. When I got it, it looked like the Imam was dishing it up and one of the local parishioner's (is that a valid thing to say in this context?) sons was also helping (probably at the direction of his parents and under the watchful eye of the Imam). It was also very very delicious and I would highly recommend going there.
This experience made me think about another thing that happened to me. I ate dates that were very clearly from Iran. With what I read in the news these days, these two things would make me a terrorist sympathizer. On the other hand, many people that I have had contact with do not like Americans (I have been refused conversation and once been called evil because I am an American). Thus, I seemed to have become some kind of monster to everyone. I am a terrorist sympathizer and I am an evil American.
This just leaves me feeling sad. On the one hand, I think the US policy on Iran is full of garbage. On the other hand, I want people to have freedom (I would guess that if they have freedom, they are free to give freedom away). As for the US in general, I think it is going to hell in a handbasket that may just be irreversible this time. Then again, I have not been home in two years.
To sum up, binary thinking in this case is bad. Much of it has been going around for a long long time. One day (probably in the distant and blood-soaked future) we might wake from this terrible dream.
posted by Chris #10:15 PM | 0 comments |