One World, Many Colors

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One World, Many Colors

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Discrimination is one of the world’s major concerns today. Many people are not aware of how much it still exists in our schools, work places, and society. Discrimination has indeed changed many lives and many people’s way of thinking about other ethnic groups and religions. Discrimination is looked at differently depending on the person. Discrimination also leads to people being racist against how one thinks about something, such as religion. I feel that discrimination is a plague in our society that only causes destruction. To some, being prejudice is a way of life, and for others, it is an offensive term representing closed-mindedness. Being discriminative or being racist develops from different cultural values, ethnic backgrounds, as well as physical appearances.

As the devastating terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th in Manhattan, New York, has changed the way people think about Muslims around the world. I was only 7 years old; when the most significant decision was taken in my life, shaping me what I am today. This is when I started wearing a hijaab. My decision started to concern my teachers at school. My teachers wanted to have an interview with my parents. I did not know what was going on, I was lost. Why was everyone talking about me as I walked by? Why were my teachers acting differently towards me? As I told my parents about my teachers wanting to talk with them, they were also confused and a bit scared. The next day, after school, my parents came in for the interview. As they settled down, my teachers’ first questions were “was she forced to wear the hijaab? “Is it necessary for Nawal to wear this?” My parents calmly told my teachers that it was my own decision to wear the hijaab and they had not forced me to wear it. It was then that I understood why my parents were called in to have a talk. I felt heartbroken as I realized why everyone was acting so different with me.

The interview with my teachers put me in the spotlight. This is when I found out what racism meant. It was like putting bricks together to create wall of hate, which we may never be able to bring down. This was totally unfair and unnecessary to judge someone by the decisions they make in life. Thousands of people have faced a similar situation at least once in their lives and yet continue to be treated harshly. Why is this world so cruel? Should I stop wearing the hijaab? Sometimes I felt like I didn’t belong and that I should stop going to school. Everyone at school started to call me names and they teased me by asking me if I was bald. There were times where I would hide from the teacher and hide inside the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to go out for recess. Even after my classmates teased me I tried to fit in and ignore the fact that I was being teased. I started to realize that I shouldn’t care about what others say to me because everyone has had difficulties in life and somehow got over them. However, I was still against the fact that people were being discriminating to me because I wore a hijaab.

Unimagined was a biography I read about a boy born and raised up in England but with Pakistani ancestry. Imran was a Muslim boy that on one hand wanted to learn about his religion and on the other hand was teased by his fellow classmates because he was Muslim. Imran had a lot of ups and downs in his life in the beginning and hated people that were racist against different cultures and religions. He always had people come up to him when he was a little kid and try to change his mind about Islam, but he never let that happen as he knew what he was doing. There was a part in the book where there were two American priests that came to his school to give morning lectures and sing religious songs. They...
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