I’ve seen him at a few functions we organized but never did have the time to really have a conversation with him. His wife was friendly and I thought we could get along just fine. Sama kepala comes to mind.
Then I heard news of them leaving. They have had enough of this place. Barely 7 months and they’re packing their bags to go. Another one I thought.
And I had an opportunity to meet up with them before they leave.
They wanted to leave because he was unhappy at work. He felt unhappy with how he is treated at work and how his colleagues were.
They had come with some preconceived notions and expectations of the country. They had wanted to come to perform their Hajj, learn some Arab|c and delve more into the religion. They managed to do their Hajj trip but not much of the rest.
When asked by his MD his reason for leaving, he said it was the injustice. Injustice? Well he felt sidelined by the locals because of the color of his skin. This is one of the most racists places I have been and I lived in Austral!a. I shook hands with the labourers and they asked me at the office why I did that. Was it wrong to acknowledge my fellow man?
I understood his point and his struggle but did not anticipate the intensity of the man. Until of course, I understood that he had come, thinking that the people here would welcome him with open arms because he is a “brother.” He thought that the mosque would be an open place for ibadah, for the exchange of information and religion but saw nothing of that sort.
“We don’t think we can contribute to the society here. They are not accepting of the sort of professional level we could give.”
“I did not come here to make money,” he says.
“For the amount I spend on school fees for my children here I can get something better back in Austral/ia,” she says.
Whatever their reasons were, they are set to leave.
I wanted to say. Give it some time. Time for you to understand their culture here. Time for you to make new friends whom you can berdakwah with. Time for you to learn the Arab/c language. I tried to point them to the direction where the information was available but hey the rest is up to them.
The more preconceived notions you have, the more likely you are to be disillusioned.
This isn't an easy place to move to.