Glad to be American

 I ran across a blog the other day written by an American Muslimah who was desperate to get out of the US. She wrote about how it just made her sick to be there. I admit, when I left the US 5 years ago, I was ecstatic to leave the land of kufr and head for a Muslim country.  To this day, I am very happy, despite the frustrations from time to time, to live in a Muslim country and I truly do not have a desire to go back to the US, other than to see my family.

But within the last few years, my talk has gone from bashing the US to actually being glad that Allah had allowed me to be born and live in such a rich, powerful, and advanced country as the US. I realized that being an American over here has been more beneficial than a hindrance. Of course many people over here think that Amreekis are money bags and will try to squeeze extra out of you in the suqs or in taxis, but I have found that once people find out that you are American, their whole demeanor changes and you are treated with respect no matter what your color.  We are African American and most of the time people assume we are Somalian. When they find out we are American, they begin chatting and become super friendly and helpful and that has come in handy so many times.

One example of how helpful it has been to be American is that it is typically easy for us to rent apartments.  People have actually told us that had we been Yemeni, there would have been a higher security deposit and one Yemeni owner told us that he preferred to rent to Americans over Yemenis. (I think a lot of Yemenis may get behind on their rent payments and since many Yemenis don’t make a lot of money, it is hard to catch up).

I also feel blessed that Allah allowed me to be born into a wealthy, advanced country as opposed to a third world country. I see such poverty here that was unthinkable to me when I was living in the states. Of course there are homeless people in the United States, but from what I saw of the homeless situation in the states, it was nothing like this, not so prolific and severe.  I see little children half clothed running in the street and squatting down to defecate.  Even along one of the main streets here, you can see grown men stopping at a wall to urinate in public and I have seen people here and there sleeping out on the cold, concrete sidewalk or on the dirt in the hot blazing sun.  Some have makeshift homes made out of blankets.  Some families live in small storefronts with no windows, no running water, or electricity.  Sometimes when we throw our trash away, children and grown ups descend upon our trash picking through it. When we come out the next time, we see the bag torn up and the contents that were not taken lying spread out in the street or on the sidewalk.

I remember reading a local English paper here and the reporter interviewed a little shepherd girl who lived in the mountains with her family and she had never heard the words “play” or “education.”  For me, despite the ills of the Western world, this seemed like not much of a fulfilling life, a life that I would myself not want to live.  Things like this make me happy that I grew up in the suburbs of California and lived a very different life that what I have witnessed for some in Yemen.

Note: Although severe poverty is a lifestyle for many Yemenis, I have seen the opposite end as well—affluence (fancy cars, big mansion houses, etc). Insha Allah I plan to write about that as well in the future.

I hope that for those Muslims that are anxious to get out of the states, that Allah makes this easy for them to do so soon.  My purpose for writing is not to advocate Muslims to stay in a non Muslim country, but just encourage others who might still be there to take advantage of all the benefits of being there while they are there (for example, libraries;  it can be hard to find homeschooling materials here and also more difficult to get them through the mail (there is no house to house mail delivery here), its dirtier here and common diseases that have nearly been eradicated in the US are prevalent here, just to name a few things) and as a reminder that there can be some blessings in things we think are bad.

Overall, I love living in a Muslim country, but I am still glad to be a Muslim from America.


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3 Responses

  1. jazakAllah khair for this blog..im a paksitani living in uk…inshaAllah thinking of travelling to yemen for studying arabic.

    jazakAllah khair

  2. As salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Jazaakillaahu khairaan for such an informative blog. I hope to visit Yemen one day In Shaa Allaah. I appreciate this “window” into the country.

    This post reminded me of a horrific scene I saw under a bridge Friday night near Sooq al Yumnaa (Sooq al Yemen). In Shaa Allaah I’ll write about it.

    May Allaah forgive us for not realizing how blessed we really are and for complaining about minor things when there are people worse off and would love to be in our shoes.

    Haneefah
    Jeddah KSA

  3. Alhumdulilah, I think this is the best post I have read yet. I am so excited to move. But unsure of where to begin.

    I previously asked where you lived, and now see we are both from California and African American.

    Its nice to see others who have made the HIjrah and are blessed and enjoying it.

    I homeschool as well.
    Are there libraries? I guess I will really need to find online resources, or purchase audio books online.

    Do you teach other children?
    I was thinking of starting a school once I move, at my home or something.

    Do you know what needs to be done to start a business in Yemen.
    Are there business licenses etc, like we have her in the US?

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