One party to another.
3 points on this post.
1. This is a set of photos from a gathering organised by Western/English speaking students in Tareem in honour of a scholar from the tradition here. His Western students are today teachers to many of those in attendance (or their parents actually), back home in North America and Europe.
Meaning almost everyone here never met him. But yet he remained honoured. No PhD to the name, no Nobel Peace Prize nomination, no top selling book and certainly not Social Media Influencer.
People like this touch hearts. Across lands. Going past generations. How then can we be so amazed with what little we have achieved, let alone be so keen to make that amazement a public display,..to the public..
2. Many of these boys will go home way over qualified to teach the basics majority of their community members want them to teach.
And that’s fine. I suppose.
But do take a look at these pictures and understand that they are humans too and have their needs, family obligations, rest time, their interests (point 1 above), personal struggles, sense of humour and also their shortcomings.
A senior imam in South Africa once commented on a job advert of another mosque, saying the ‘committee is not trying to hire an Imam. They’re looking for an angel!’
3. Back to the opening of this post.
It’s among the things I really enjoyed there. Where there was always enough hands and legs to put a gig together, and sort it out when it was done. These boys, as well as those from my geographical community Southeast Asia, often left the house cleaner than before.
In these photos you’re seeing Singaporeans, South Africans, Brits, Kenyans, Americans, Malaysians, Somalis, Canadians, Bengalis, Zanzibaris, Pakistanis.
There were many gatherings like this. And this was not instructed by the school. Half of these guys were unmarried and lived a life different to the married students with kids who stayed outside the school.
So what brings them together?
Almost all of them come from westernised urbanised individualistic communities.
So what transformed them together?
These are people that come from societies that chant about saving the world, making it ‘sustainable’, renown education institutions, advance technology, petitions and protests.
Some in extreme societies where shops have to tell their patrons that their in house staff deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect.
Yet, what was it that transformed them together when they got to Tareem? What was that same essence that probably uniquely transformed before when they were back home?
What was it (it) that changed a society of widespread prostitution, corruption, gambling a 1,400 ago to a sacred land, in one man’s lifetime?
The examples are not high tech, impractical, far fetching etc.
But it is difficult for our egos to follow.
So at least be humbled by that.
Walk like a slave, not a king.