Posts Tagged ‘freedom’
For all the talk of the veterans’ needs, and all the political posturing, there’s a very human element we seem to miss out on.
Soon after Reservist Erin Alaniz returned from Iraq, she was homeless and pregnant, and had only recently left an abusive relationship. She looked around for help, but couldn’t find anyone willing to help her out, she said, her eyes tearing up. Because she was homeless, she didn’t qualify.
Then she met the Sounds of Freedom, who promptly helped her get back on her feet:
“With what they helped me with, I was able to do everything and more I needed to do for my family,” said Alaniz.
But Alaniz says it goes beyond the music and the money.
“They follow up. They call me all the time. ‘How are things?’ ‘How’s the baby?’ ‘How’s your son?’ You have no idea of the magnitude these people care. It’s awesome,” said Alaniz.
One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward troops and their families. Last year almost $10,000 were raised. The funds went toward helping soldiers pay their rent, college tuition, and other needs.
That’s why I play in this veterans’ band. The community is great, and the music is fun, but I stick around for yet another reason.
I’m doing my part to help out — how about you?
Throughout the Middle East, many Muslim women wear burqas. It is meant to conceal the woman’s identity, and in the West tends to be seen as a cruel manifestation of a chauvinistic patriarchy, where women are repressed sexually.
Note: I didn’t say that. The West did.
Enter Ms. Bees’ anecdote. To fulfill a broad prompt for an English class, one of Ms. Bees’ students volunteered to wear a burqa for a period of time, and then to write a report about her experiences.
What makes this not your run-of-the-mill-Midwest-girl-wears-a-burqa story is because the teacher reflects on the effect the burqa has on the onlooker.
That’s when I realized that something else was going on in my brain. Maybe it was the religious feeling of the garment, or just the girl’s courage, but I was treating Lisa with an entirely new level of respect and deference.
The sociological impact of a burkha is not, apparently, limited to its native lands. It’s a hardwired response – the cause and effect are not where I thought they were. I couldn’t resist my reaction to Lisa if I’d tried.
Of course, the post laps at the resident burqs-are-a-symbol-of-a-latent-patriarchy Kool-Aid, but this excerpt brings a point of contemplation: However much burqas keep women from expressing themselves — which, perhaps, they don’t — they do, in a sense, confer an “entirely new level of respect and deference.”
Is it time for the West to stop using the burqa as a symbol of repression, or are her albeit pulled-out-of-context comments also out of line?