It Is Sometimes Good to Get Lost

As a young woman living in the Arab world, I am always under pressure because of different political, social, and financial issues that affect our lives daily, which in turn could force you to forget about your dreams or stop believing in yourself. Being overwhelmed by these issues can lead you to accept being in a comfort zone, but actually, it is a maze—because one morning of revelation you will know that you are not living the life you wanted to, and suddenly you start feeling lost.

Remember, your way of thinking is the crucial point that could turn your life to the worst. You have to know that despite all this messiness, you still can have control over your life.

Political instability in the region and around the world is on the increase, which has created and affected people on a global scale. After multiple revolutions in the Arab world, people decided to be revolutionary about everything; they started to doubt every belief they always had. This is no doubt wonderful when you are sure what exactly you want to do in life and how to live.

Remember, it is always good to evaluate and assess your thoughts, and question every possible belief, even the religious ones. If you get lost, remember you are getting lost to find the right way instead of living a life you are not convinced by.

After the two revolutions in Egypt and revolutions in other countries in the Arab world, many women decided to think again of what they used to do unconsciously, like wearing hijab or accepting accustomed norms of living or thinking. As a veiled women who is 100 percent sure of my decision to wear hijab, I totally support questioning and thinking of wearing it after being convinced, otherwise it would be meaningless. I believe that wearing hijab has a message to deliver and women should believe in it. For me, it is about sticking to your beliefs and at the same time being successful in life, since hijab gives me the freedom to focus on promoting my mentality and my life, as well as my appearance. For that reason, I hate girls being forced to wear it by their parents.

Many of my friends decided to take the hijab off after the connection of religion to politics. I remember I got angry because I hated the idea that many had not thought of their decision of wearing it, or because of their political stance and the growing belief that political corruption in the Arab world is due to the religious tendencies of some political leaders. My best friend was veiled; she is the one who taught me how to be pious, but a month ago, she took it off and stopped wearing it. She made the decision to question everything in her life and to start making her own decisions. I supported her to do what she felt was best for her. She also made the decision to get divorced and stop being unappreciated and respected, although she has two kids and does not have a job—but she has made this decision because she felt that she was getting far away from what she wants to do in life and how to live.

I felt that instead of judging her, I needed to help her to feel inner peace with whatever decision she would make, and help her to find her own self. This was my revelation: I do not want anyone to judge me because I am veiled as backward, or oppressed, and I learnt not to judge anyone else for deciding not to wear hijab. We all have our ups and downs in life, and what matters most when you lose your way is that you make sure you find yourself.

This reminds me of a verse in the Koran: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Surah Al-Hujurat, 13)

We are all different, so that we can enrich our knowledge and expand our understanding. Humans are like lands that we should cherish, as we all like to come in contact with and discover different lands. It would be boring if we are all the same, as it would be boring if we traveled to countries with the same landscape.

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About the Author | Alaa Mansour

Alaa Mansour is a dedicated and loving English instructor, who enjoys her job the most. she is eager to meet new people everyday to learn more. She is also interested in literature and aspiring to do her PhD in women literature of revolutions. Has a dream to travel to different places around the world. Likes to help people a lot and she dreams to start her own social enterprise to help poor women.

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