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Expat wanderer

Hot Dust Storm

106°F / 42°C and Hot and DUSTY. This is what it looks like at 3:30 PM:

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The photo is not altered in any way. The orangey-yellow color is the real color of the sky. Totally weird. Big huge rolling waves coming in, good weekend to go shelling!

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March 27, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Weather | 11 Comments

Home Schooling Muslims in America

The New York Times has this fascinating article:

LODI, Calif. — Like dozens of other Pakistani-American girls here, Hajra Bibi stopped attending the local public school when she reached puberty, and began studying at home.

Her family wanted her to clean and cook for her male relatives, and had also worried that other American children would mock both her Muslim religion and her traditional clothes.

“Some men don’t like it when you wear American clothes — they don’t think it is a good thing for girls,” said Miss Bibi, 17, now studying at the 12th-grade level in this agricultural center some 70 miles east of San Francisco. “You have to be respectable.”

Across the United States, Muslims who find that a public school education clashes with their religious or cultural traditions have turned to home schooling. That choice is intended partly as a way to build a solid Muslim identity away from the prejudices that their children, boys and girls alike, can face in schoolyards. But in some cases, as in Ms. Bibi’s, the intent is also to isolate their adolescent and teenage daughters from the corrupting influences that they see in much of American life.

About 40 percent of the Pakistani and other Southeast Asian girls of high school age who are enrolled in the district here are home-schooled, though broader statistics on the number of Muslim children being home-schooled, and how well they do academically, are elusive. Even estimates on the number of all American children being taught at home swing broadly, from one million to two million.

No matter what the faith, parents who make the choice are often inspired by a belief that public schools are havens for social ills like drugs and that they can do better with their children at home.

“I don’t want the behavior,” said Aya Ismael, a Muslim mother home-schooling four children near San Jose. “Little girls are walking around dressing like hoochies, cursing and swearing and showing disrespect toward their elders. In Islam we believe in respect and dignity and honor.”

Still, the subject of home schooling is a contentious one in various Muslim communities, with opponents arguing that Muslim children are better off staying in the system and, if need be, fighting for their rights.

Robina Asghar, a Muslim who does social work in Stockton, Calif., says the fact that her son was repeatedly branded a “terrorist” in school hallways sharpened his interest in civil rights and inspired a dream to become a lawyer. He now attends a Catholic high school.

“My son had a hard time in school, but every time something happened it was a learning moment for him,” Mrs. Asghar said. “He learned how to cope. A lot of people were discriminated against in this country, but the only thing that brings change is education.”

Many parents, however, would rather their children learn in a less difficult environment, and opt to keep them home.

You can read the rest of the article HERE

March 27, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Education, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Social Issues | 3 Comments

Sunrise 28 Mar 2008

It’s always good that the sun rises, but not every sunrise is that good. This morning, I am reminded of what we must be breathing:

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The high at 0700 is 70°F / 21°C, and the week will be cooler, with high temperatures back down in the 90’s.

March 27, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 4 Comments