It is a unifying experience to have something that reminds a country to stop, reflect and thank a higher power for all that has been given to them.
Boumalne Dades, Morocco – In the last few years I have lost my faith in organized religion, but there is something about the call to prayer that gives me chills.
For the next two years I will be immersed in the Islamic faith, a religion I unfortunately know very little about. My excitements for discovery are high, both intellectually and spiritually. Perhaps that is why I find the call to prayer so enchanting. As the sounds echo across the city, I am reminded of the vast ways I will change and of the many things I will learn throughout my two years here in Morocco.
I have traveled to other African nations before and have done a large amount of research on the various others, but I never took the time to study Morocco. As an African nation, it stands out greatly from the rest. Many if not all people would categorize Morocco as part of the Middle East. As I get to know the country better, I find it hard to classify Morocco as either African or Middle Eastern. In my opinion it holds elements of both, yet distinctly sets itself apart from either of them.
Only time and further learning will help me to understand just what Morocco is and possibly I will never find the answer. As I reflect back on my first month here, I see Morocco as an individual, a country strong in pride, religion, tradition, and history.
The call to prayer will always remind me of Morocco’s strong Islamic pride and practice, but my everyday interactions will forever teach me of Morocco’s individuality and diversity.
Organized religion may not be something I agree with or hold strong pride in, but during my time here, I will take the time to learn and understand the Islamic faith. I think it is a powerful experience to be immersed in a life far from my own. The call to prayer reminds me every day of my immersion, reminding me to stop and take a second to thank the world for giving me the opportunity to experience such a rich and diverse culture.
There will always be things in this world that I do not agree with, and there will be many things in my own life that others do not agree with. The important thing is the understanding and acceptance of that difference. Diversity is something to be celebrated, and if we can manage unity without uniformity, then we have truly achieved what it means to be human.
Someone once told me the five secrets, in her opinion, to living a happy life. The two that will forever stick in my mind are: everyone disappoints and always protects your heart.
Before fights are fought take a moment to realize that everyone messes up and does wrong. Perhaps what is needed is a good conversation rather than fists of rage. Let’s be honest, nothing good comes from fighting only broken hearts and sometimes even the loss of life.
Everyone deserves the chance to be heard and understood. We may not agree, but if we take the time to step back and see the meaning in their words, then perhaps we can grow together and make a change that will create a brighter future.
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