Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Day in the Life of Ali

Would you like a little glimpse into the life of an 18 year old Qatari boy. Here is an excerpt from an essay he wrote for his English class.

"I go to my room and prepare my clothes for ABP. Like my thobe, my scarf, then I prepare the little things like my watch and the rings for my thobe and pen and "Which glasses?"

How cute! He deliberates about which glasses to wear. When I see these boys, who look like men in their thobes, I don't see them as young boys who worry about such trivial things as sunglasses or pens to wear in their pockets. But they are. They grow up just as any other young boy grows up. Trying to define who they are by their appearance, by the things they own, by things that don't really matter in the long run. What else do these Qatari boys have besides things? I don't know. Their lives are secret and unknown to me. I am a woman and can't seem to get into their circles. My husband gets a little closer because he is their teacher.

Here is Ali's bedtime ritual:

"I go to bed and open my IPhone and choose a comedy to play on YouTube and open my Blackberry to chat with anybody. Finally, when my eyes close I close everything and sleep and wake up at 4 AM to pray. Then I return to sleep and get up at 7 AM to return to ABP."

I think about the typical American teenager. What does he do? Does he prepare himself before he goes to school? or does he just throw on dirty clothes and get to school late? Perhaps he is an overachiever and excells at everything. At night, where is he? At a party getting stoned? Out playing video games with his buddies way too late? Doing homework? There are all kinds of American boys. How many kinds of Qatari boys are there? I only know one kind. The kind that comes to school in a Land Cruiser dressed in a pressed, white thobe with their school books in their hands.

So much to learn. So much to understand.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

Excellent points to ponder. I mean, I know my own 14 year old daughter. But how different is she from the other 14-year-olds she goes to school with. I do have an idea... pretty different. And I like to think it is "good different."