Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nine months later

End of the Year Personal Evaluation

              Yesterday was my last day of school. Nine months in Morocco…I can’t believe i(I thought I would never say that) my study abroad is already over. I’m heading to Turkey on Sunday and I can’t believe I’m leaving my ultimate comfort zone .  I’ve grown so much as a person being in Morocco. I have blogged a little about the idea of “finding yourself”, which I think is a silly idea, but I do think you become more accepting of yourself. You grow as an individual because you are put into situations where you realize who you are and what you stand for.

                One of the biggest things I have realized while being in Morocco is that I am a black feminist. There are not a lot of women of color who are feminists.  Being here has made me realize there is not enough black women on the front line fighting for the equality in both sectors.  Being a double minority is difficult, the odds are stacked against you in a place where you still are overcoming the recent Jim Crow laws—and Treyvon Martin cases.  Our Black and African communities are fostered around religion; our religions need to create an identity within women to balance the scale of inequality.

                I have expanded my knowledge about Islam, which is an INCREDIBLE religion, which teaches peace and selflessness…when practiced correctly (like any other religion). The west, Americans especially, seem to be so hyper-sensitive when it comes to Muslims.  First of everyone needs to understand Islam is an Abrahamic Religion just like Judaism and Christianity.  The route goes like this—

First there are Judaism, the chosen people of God, followers of Moses

Second there are the Christians who believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah—another form of God

Third we have Islam—first of all the word Islam means total SUBMISSION to God, they believe in the same God, but use the word Allah which cannot be used in gender form unlike God—Goddess…They believe in only Allah and that Mohammed was his last Prophet, they believe in Jesus, Mary, Moses, etc.
Americans (including myself) we need to brush up on your religious studies...
                I have also realized who my true friends are, communication is a two way street. When people call you up at the end of your program so you remember to bring them souvenirs, it’s like, “where have you been these last nine months”?

 I also APPRECIATE my family so much more. The support they give me is unforgettable, I feel like I can conquer the world and I know I can rely on them no matter how far apart we are!

                Patience, this is also another thing I have blogged about before…this is something we Americans need to work on. Being in Morocco we all understand the concept of Moroccan Time, which essentially means Morocco does not run on this said concept of time. Time is non-existent, which sometimes can be really eye-opening in the way that you learn to appreciate the small things in life like organization and timely fashion back in the United States, but you also understand that life is often times taken TOO seriously.  Life is meant to be enjoyed and that is DEFINITELY another thing I will be implementing into my life back home in the United States.

                The last and MOST important thing I have learned about myself is to enjoy my own company. I can do anything and everything alone. I’m not suggesting a system of total isolation, but Americans are so plugged into Social media…we are constantly worried about FOMO (fear of missing out). We have to be constantly posting, talking, and hanging out with people. When you learn to enjoy your own company it’s the MOST liberating experience. Realizing you don’t NEED people is the best because you know you genuinely want to spend time with that person; they are not just time filler.

This is my last blog whilst in Morocco, but I will be keeping you all up to date on current events as I travel around this summer.

Thank you for all your support these last nine months.

Enjoy your summer.


Ida Ayalew

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