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Archive for June, 2011

The Power of Words

When we watched this movie with my students, they were all impresses by it. They wanted to watch it few more times. When I asked them, “tell me your feelings about that film, then”, one said, “it is obvious, Hocam, what can we say more?”. And “that must be the power of images”, I thought.

This short film is directed by Seth Gardner (2010). Music is by Giles Lamb.

Go away to your own country!

June 12, 2011 3 comments

Today, there was no class in the mosque. We wanted to have a picnic, everyone brought home-made nice food. But the weather was a bit chilly and the ground was still wet, so it is decided that we’ll have an “indoor picnic”. That was easy, really easy. We could “control” the children within the mosque, it would have been harder to do that in the park. Other teachers very much liked this idea.

After the “picnic”, I decided to take the students in my class to the park, just to have a walk and spend time together. While we were on the way to the park, two “autochtone” teenage girls were passing by to the opposite direction. There happened a dialogue (I’d rather call it a squabble) between my girls and those two. I hadn’t seen how it started, later learnt from the students.

We were walking with a group of eight-nine students (all with headscarves -normally only two of them wear headscarves regularly, others do not. but it is compulsory to wear it, when coming to the mosque-), they were making jokes, playing with their mobile phones and laughing. There were these two girls a few steps ahead. First, students and the approaching two girls stared at each other, in a strange way. Then the two girls asked ‘what are you doing, why are you laughing?’. ‘We are not laughing at you’, said the students.

(Here, I really do not understand how the discussion came to that point..)
Then the two girls shouted: ‘go away to your own country!’
My girls got really angry.
(Although they always say that they do not like this country, and would prefer living in Turkey, they reacted against these girls.. That’s good, there is a sign of love for this country 😉 )
All of them had something to tell for those girls.

‘We are alright in this country, if you are not, then you should go away!’, said one of them.

Some nasty memories of mine came to my mind. I remember hearing very similar sentences on the streets of Istanbul, from some old ladies, sometimes from old men.. ‘You, go away to Iran/Saudi Arabia with your headscarf!’, ‘You, brainwashed people of Hezbollah!’..
Those reactions, of course, did hurt. But I believed those old people had different mindsets which make them reject and react against anything or anyone ‘different’ from theirs. So, I just tried to ignore them.

Today, it was different. This time, similar ‘go away’ sentences were said by young people, other fellow girls, who are supposed to share and shape the future.

Sometimes I feel worried about the future. But not always. Today I do. I really do.