I have heard of several examples of racism in Halifax, directed basically at Arabic students, although I am sure there are other examples. Some are involved with ongoing court cases, so I can’t discuss them, but here is one example I can mention. One of my students was sitting in a parking lot, talking to one of his friends. He eventually was ready to walk into his apartment building but before he did so, he noticed that a blonde, white woman had been staring at him for a while when he had been in the car. He went into the building, not sure of why the woman was staring. It turned out that she went in at the same time. He was just about ready to get on the elevator when he told her to go ahead of him. She said, “I don’t get on elevators with coloured people.” My Arabic student was shocked and stunned by this racism. I am, too. How sick does a person have to be to say something so ignorant?
Our differences should be celebrated, not condemned. Many believe believe in God, but we call Him different names. Some call Him Allah. Some call Him God. Some call Him Elohim. But it is the same perfect being we worship. Everyday people also are called by a variety of names. For example, my mother is called Mum by some. Others refer to her as Gammy. Some call her by her name, Reba. But she is still the same wonderful person. But different people have different relationships with her and perceive her in different ways. It is the same with God. I am Christian, and therefore I call Him God. Others are Muslim, and refer to Him as Allah. But the important thing is that we believe in Him. And we should concentrate on what is similar among us, rather than what is different.
The purpose of this website is to encourage understanding of other cultures and to celebrate our similarities and differences across the world. Because I know so many Arabic students through my tutoring work, my website will focus on a lot of themes that are relevant to that culture, as well as Western culture. I hope that in my own small way, I can be a type of ambassador and help people better appreciate the Middle East. It is where civilization began and that region’s contribution to the world is spellbinding.
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