Monthly Archives: October 2010

God Made Me A Woman.. Part 2

A couple of weeks back I was reading  World Without End by Ken Follet.  It’s 1000 plus pages long and interesting reading. Kept me in the house some days just turning pages.  The only annoying thing about reading a big book, is when someone sees me carrying it, and ask “are you going to finish all  this?” The automatic response I want to give is roll my eyes and say “No, I just carry it to try build my arm muscles with all this weight.” But since I suffer from good upbringing, I instead smile like the polite girl my mum would love to believe I am (I see your sniggers). What they don’t know is I’m a beast when it comes to reading. I devour books. I’ve been known to pull all-nighters and I once told my friends I would rather read than hang out with them.

Anyways, one of the main characters in the book is this girl, and her father tries to sell her. For a cow. He needed a cow and didn’t have any money to buy one, so he decided to trade his daughter for it. So he made a deal with this unsavory character; he didn’t even care about how the dude would treat his daughter or what he wanted to use her for (prostitution). As far as he was concerned, that was one less mouth for him to worry about.

The girl was  more shocked by her dad’s blasé attitude towards her. She was a woman and hence a commodity to be used as he saw fit. And the cow was more valuable than her! Worse, when the authorities were asked to intervene, they concluded that she was his father’s property and they could not interfere. Did I mention that the book is based on 14th Century England? No? Oh sorry, for getting you all worked up. This kind of thing only happened in the dark ages. Right now women have rights and are respected and have a choice in how they live their lives. Right?

I thought so too, and then I come across articles like this one, and I start thinking that maybe being a woman is the biggest curse that was bestowed upon me! Just for a moment though, because then the rage overtakes me and it doesn’t allow any thoughts of self-pity. HOW DARE THEY??? I’m consumed with the kind of impotent rage that makes me weep, because  I feel so helpless.  I can’t do anything right now to help these women and many more  like them.  I cry  when I think that right now in 2010 there are women who  are still not allowed to choose how to live their lives. I despair when I think of countless of women who are still denied their basic rights and endure horrific abuse in places like Afghanistan,  and DR Congo simply because they’re women.

None of us chose what gender we are. But somehow throughout  the ages being a woman has been considered a handicap and women are considered less than men. I know that huge strides have been made but as long as there is even one woman still being subjected to humiliation and degradation simply because of her gender, then not enough has been done.

Was God wrong in making me a woman?

Advertisements

Lost Friends

Days turn into weeks, months rush to years

Suddenly too many years have passed

Too many words left unsaid

Now we’re two strangers with a past

Once a vital extension of me

Endless conversations turned into awkward silences

Barely able to string  two sentences

You built a home in my heart

Slowly dug a hole and made your roots

A special place, your own space

Hours upon hours building dreams

There was no tear you couldn’t dry

Not a problem you couldn’t help me carry

Tireless in your love for me

There were no words to describe what we felt

No words are needed

No one can match the shape of your eyes, the turn of your smile

No one can say the right words, bring out the right laugh

Through your love I learned to love myself,  the beauty of my heart

Through your encouragement I learned to believe myself, I saw my worth

I mourn the years of memories

The loss of my sounding board, my confidant

I weep for years of lost laughter

The miles of unspent moments

The person who gave me tough love when I needed it

My adviser, my shoulder to lean on, my no.1 fan…

My best friend

Masks

In my wide awake but zombie state of mind I’m thinking
We can never really let go of our past;
Our past fears,past mistakes,past pains,past failures,past challenges.
The things that we let define who we are right now.
Not reaching out for our dreams because we’re afraid;
It’s better to have a dream than to have a failed reality.
So we find ourselves stagnated at the same place day in day out
As we slowly waste away our potential for greatness..

We build walls around us to protect us and keep pain out,
It’s better to be a lonely,empty shell than to risk the pain of losing again.
So we deny ourselves the joy of giving and sharing and caring,
Because wounds from the past stink so much, we can’t breath;
We refuse to heal.

We get stuck in self-destructive mode,
Because we let someone in the depths of our tortured past,
Brainwash us to believe we are not worthy.
As if God needs their permission to love us!
So instead everything we touch turns to ash.
And despite our shiny polished surfaces,
Inside resides a shivering,frightened child,
Hungry for love and approval and understanding and just one kind word.

We create multiple personalities,
Different faces for different phases,
Hiding our short comings in self-pity,
Forgetting we are perfect in our imperfections,
Forgetting Adam and Eve made the first mistake,
Forever branding us a flawed race.

We smile with our made up faces,
Lowering our empty, soulless eyes in shame.
Twitching hands deep in our pockets;
Too afraid to reach out, to wipe bitter tears,
Too scared lend a helping hand, to soothe a broken spirit.
We’re so caught up in our past fears, past mistakes, past pain, past failures, past challenges,
That we watch tomorrow pass by, as we live in the clutches of our yesterday.

Copyright 2009

A Tale of Two Lawyers

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” A Tale of Two Cities, By Charles Dickens

Two lawyers got in a lift. One came rushing through just as the doors were closing. They greet each other enthusiastically. They seemed happy to see each other. They talked about having to be in court later that day. There were two other people in the lift. A tall gentleman and a girl. It took a few seconds for the lawyers to notice the girl. Maybe because she was short and at the back of the lift. She looked like she was lost in thought, a slight frown on her face. Maybe she was thinking about serious stuff. She was in fact thinking about the ribs and fries she indulged in the previous night, and what the effects would be to her waistline. Maybe she should have used the stairs this morning. It took a bit longer for the girl to notice the change of tone in the conversation. The excited chatter had turned serious.

“So what do you think will happen to those guys” Lawyer One said in a loud voice. A bit too loud the girl thought. After all lift car was small. But maybe a loud voice was needed for his job.

“Which guys?” His colleague clearly was clearly not reading from the same script.  By this time they had aroused the girl’s interest so she was looking at them from the corner of her eye; she saw the Lawyer 1 nod in her direction. Lawyer 2 said, “Oh those guys.  I don’t really know.” He  still looked slightly confused. As though wondering where this was going.

“Yes, the terrorists that were sent to Uganda. I think they will be hanged.  People like those have no rights. Terrorists need to be hanged.” Lawyer 1 continued. Lawyer 2 laughed nervously, casting a furtive glance towards the girl. The girl still looked lost in her thoughts. “We have no place in this country for these kind of people! They should all be thrown out and go to their home!” Lawyer 1 had now abandoned all pretense and was now looking directly at girl. The girl, her fists clenched, gritted her teeth and worked very hard to maintain her look of being blissfully oblivious.  The lift got to 7th Floor, a law firm and they got off. Lawyer 1 seemed very pleased with himself. He probably felt he had done his patriotic duty for the day. Put those damn foreigners in their place! Did I mention the girl was wearing a hijab?

Before I continue, I want to say that I, like many Muslims that I know, was completely against the bombing that happened in Uganda, and I am not in any way represented by Al-Shabaab, Osama Bin Laden or any other terrorist groups.  It is wrong and against my religion.

I don’t know many lawyers. About 3, and 1 hopeful currently studying for his Bar exams (S/O to Ted Wandera). But, as a lay person, I would think that lawyers would have a better grasp of matters of law. And  politics. And there is a lot of politics behind the illegal extradition of Kenyan citizens to Uganda for prosecution. This judge thought so. But I don’t want to discuss that right now.

I’m not even offended that the guy mistook me for Somali simply based on the hijab. It has happened many times before. However, we should note there are Kenyan Somalis. Assuming that all of them are refugees and hence affiliated to Al-Shabaab and need to be rooted out of the country is wrong. My best friend  from high school was Somali. Her shags is not Mandera, or Wajir but Narok, in Masaai land. I would think a lawyer would be in position to know the difference. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Maybe all he needs for his job is a loud voice and stereotypical opinions. I don’t know.

All I know is that I HATE it when someone challenges my credentials as a Kenyan and questions my right to be here simply based on how I’m dressed.  Should I walk around with a copy of my family tree going back more than  100 yrs to prove that I am a valid Kenyan? Or maybe I should wear my ID like a name tag.

Or maybe the threat of a bulging waistline made me overly sensitive this morning. I don’t know.