20 December 2005

Blogotherapy: Lead her to a place...

Yesterday I went to the principal of my son's school to tell them that he's not coming back. Although it was an emotionally hard thing for me to do, because of the fact that Ibrahim did not like the school, it had to be done. Arriving in her office she started saying how very well behaved my son was compared to the other students who beat each other, and she showed me where in the face a boy had got kicked yesterday and how big of a scar he got and how much blood there had been. Then she made a face complaining about the noisy and cruel children she had in her school and told me that she wished they would all be quiet and kind like my son. Well, all I did was treat him like a little human and I didn't beat him.

Then we went to the schoolyard since the kids where having their break and Ibrahim wanted to say bye to some of his friends. Suddenly we were in the middle of fights and kicking, beating and pushing. Even though I was shocked by the EXTREME behaviour, I've learned by now that this is how children "play" here. All they ever see is violence, if not inside their family, so from TV or computergames or even just from above - airplanes in the air.

Once between all the kids, Ibrahim decided quickly that it was enough and he ran before me out the gate and stood there waiting for me (as you can see in the photo above).

For my faithful readers you know by now that the trend in my blogotherapy is music lyrics. This one describes very well how I've felt for a long time and which I'm now living by. It's by Celine Dion this time. Beautiful, beautiful.

as darkness falls each night
remind her where you are
every mother's prayer
every child knows
need to find a place
guide her with your grace
give her faith so she'll be safe
lead her to a place
guide her with your grace
to a place where she'll be safe


Anonymous said...


lisoosh said...

You must have felt great relief and as if a huge weight was lifted off of your shoulders. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless in the face of your childs pain and nothing more empowering than being able to take it away.

Judy said...

Hi Imaan
What a sad story. You did the right thing...in all that you have done for your son.

What is really sad is the attitude of the principal. Because what she's doing is blaming the children for her failure to enforce the rules she knows she should have.

There are plenty of schools across the world where the children are from damaged and suffering communities where there is a history and a culture of violence. Nevertheless there are still wonderful teachers who refuse to allow this to be the culture of the schools they run. And they create havens of sanity. Places like the one in that Celine Dion song. And like the one you create in your home.

Imaan On Ice said...

I don't feel that way about Gaza as a city, I am just describing my experience. And it is my experience that there is too much violence, more than necessary. As we used to say in swedish " being poor doesn't mean you have to be dirty". It's also my experience that it's easier to like Gaza from a distance.
I wish and really think that it's possible to have a school-culture just like Judy descibed, even in battered Gaza.

Laila said...

Imaan-you should put up the picures of Ibrahim and Yousuf :)

I hope you find some solace in your own homeland, far away from bombs and f-16s flyovers.

People here are manifestations a very ugly reality, some awful social experiment (stick people in a cage, prod and poke at them, bomb and scare them, then leave them alone to fight amongst themselves and see what happens.) Yes, you will find beauty everywhere, you just have try, and look, a little harder. It is an ugly cycle that is not easily changed. God with be them.

Imaan On Ice said...

Thanks L for best wishes and I do wish the best for Gaza and its people.

Laila said...

by the way i went and checked out the Sroor Preschool today-its not bad :) I might put yousuf in it for a couple days a week.

Elizabeth said...

Imaan, did you tell the principal that you think the difference may be that you didn't beat your son? It's important that people hear this...she brought up the subject, so it would have been perfectly ok to state your views on childrearing...