It is clear my mother tongue is not English. Actually English is my second language besides my native language, Arabic. It took time, efforts, and social sacrifices to get where I am now Alhamdulillah. I have learnt through my journey that one tongue means isolation. One language means hearing from one side and resorting to the same side to understand what the other one wants to convey. It sounds a maze, a loathsome one, especially, if this language is the language of the globe. It is not only about having better sources of sustenance, but also a new outlook. It helps you to circulate these stale notions about the other side. People, where I live, are afraid of opening to not ruin their minds. I had a conversation once with a friend about the West. She said “I have learnt their language, but I am not as open-minded as them as she knows only erotic fantasy about Westerners”. I wondered her talk and superficial conclusions.
Throughout the two years of studying English, I have met people who are more faithful than any Muslim raised in any Arab country. I have learnt how to uproot myself from exaggeration and hypocrisy because of these friends. I can not stand molding others resulting in cordoning my mind off contemplation under the name of buffering my own self!
Open-mindedness means taking off clothes, uttering vulgar words, renouncing your religion, etc according to some people’s viewpoints. However, open-mindedness means being exposed to everything and awareness is the ruler then. It is not about isolation, but rather analysis.
Ironically, it is the same mentality of regimes. Many governments ban specific book not to ruin the public’s mentalities which is a ludicrous superstition. The real aim is to prolong their reign by not revive outmoded mindsets. The more ignorant you are, the easier their mission gets. We exist to seek illumination on this earth. It was the first verse on Koran asking each Muslim to read.
In Egypt, there are many banned books such as the milestones after its author was hung over. Indeed, a word equals a soul since it carves its niche in people’s heart and mind. Moreover, I have known recently Gibran Khalil Gibran’s books are banned in Saudi Arabia as well. Why? Because he said “your children come from you, but they don’t belong to you. Your children belong to the life itself and life never tarries with yesterday”. How pathetic this methodology is especially now. The world gets smaller and internet is easily accessible to all.
I wish I positively change and reach my endeavours as soon as possible. I wish everyone meets contently their soul and debates with their mind. I wish I can dissipate fallacies someday. I wish you learn Arabic to change your minds as well, hopefully in a positive way.