Thursday, November 23, 2006

She'll run away?

My husband has finally decided to bring his mother over from Algeria. On the Eid day he talked to a friend who told him that his mother came to the U.S. by herself. You can pay a fee and someone will accompany her to the gate, show her where to sit while she waits, and even help her with her luggage. We were so excited because we know how happy she would be. She hasn't seen my husband in almost 11 years and has never seen our 3 year old son. I compared tickets, found information on the visa process, and I wrote an invitation letter.

A few days ago, I called my husband and he seemed upset. You could just tell in his voice that something was up. He let me know that his father doesn't want his mom to come. He says that she will get lost and he's never been away from her for that long. I'm thinking, "Oh, how sweet he is worried about her." Then my husband drops the bomb on me. He says my father won't renew her passport and won't tell me anything about it because he thinks she might run away. WHAT??? Why in the world would a woman with 9 grown children in her late fifties who has been married 30+ years run away from the only life and the only man she has ever known? To put it simply... She wouldnt! I became very upset. She is an adult. A grown woman. Not a child.
Does he really have that little faith in the woman who raised two of his children from a previous marriage, a child from a relative, and 9 children of her own. My husband let me know that his father thinks she may get lost going down the street and he doesn's know what might happen if she tries to go around the world. Maybe if he said that she couldn't travel without a mahrem then i could reason that, but running away? Give me a break.

I've been thinking a lot about her lately. I wonder what it must have been like to grow up in a French colony. What was it like to live in your own country, but treated like a second class citizen. How hard it must have been to never go to school and never learn to read or write. I blamed the French. I blamed the Algerian government who took over in the late 1960's after the war of independence. I blamed the people of Bab-el-Oued for not caring enough about their women, but mainly i blame my father in-law. He is a man who pledged his love and protection for this woman. When he married her he forgot that it was his responsibility to teach his wife. I'm sad that he may be accounted. I'm sad that for over 30 years he did not have the time to sit down and teach her how to read. I'm sure he taught his children, so why not his wife? It's really the mentality of the older generation. They are only worried about food and shelter. The husband provides a home and the wife cleans it. The husband brings home food and the wife cooks it. Food, house, and babies seem to be the extent of their relationship. How can I expect a man from that mentality to let his wife come to the U.S.

I realized that I cannot really be angry with him because that's who he is. We can't really expect anyone to change especially not an old man set in his ways. We're going to have to guilt him into letting her come. Lay it on really thick. InshaAllah we will get to see her soon.


Blogger Organic-Muslimah said...

This is the culture. Our grandmother's were treated less than men. Women still are, but in different forms. It's a cultural thing. And although I see a lot changing, sadly our culture baggage is passed on from generation to generation. It's time we break the cycle.

And I am going to start myself.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Safa said...

maybe they both can come together?

2:56 AM  
Anonymous umm yehiya said...

Hey, that's an ideer, that safa mentioned...

Oh, I so hope she can come. I bet she'd have a good time - something really exciting & new & getting to finally see her loved ones...

His response is shocking to us in this culture...but yeah, I understand the "this is how it is, here" thing, too, and that people are used to it. In any case, I hope he gives in. It'd be a breath of fresh air for everyone insha'allah.

1:19 PM  
Blogger UmmAbdurRahman said...

my father in-law doesnt want to come to the U.S. since my hub works out of town it would be too much for me to take care of both of them when he is gone anyway. alhamdulillah for the understanding husband on that point.

it's nearly impossible for me to work full time, take care of me, my son, both in-laws and my husband when he's home. i think my father in law is hoping that by him not coming it will force us to come to him LOOOOL

thanks for the idea.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Aeryn said...

Asalaam Alaikum Sister,

I love the green!


7:33 PM  
Anonymous musulmana said...

Assalamu Aleikum wa rahmatulahi wa Barakauhu,

Dear sister,

I think maybe this is the first time I've been to your blog. I read this post and I feel the same way you do.

My MIL does travel to America alone. Even after 30plus years of marriage. But I can see your point. There are sisters in the U.S. whose husbands are this way too, you'd be surprised. But I agree as you, the husband should teach his wife and be kind and protecting.

There is currently a post on the other ummabdurrahmans' blog (pagesofimagination.blogspot) where I voice the same views of sadness about the state of some marriages in our ummah today. When I comment, it is not a personal attack on the owner of that blog, she is a friend, it just shows some of the Quran and hasdith that show why men should be kind to their wives and treat them as equals.

Nice to see your blog. I'll enjoy reading it when I get a chance, insha'Allah.

3:29 PM  
Blogger cncz said...

Salam alaikoum
OH MY! Another southerner married to an Algerian!!!! So nice to find your blog via Safa.

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, blacks who were born and raised in America, whose ancestors were born and raised in America are still today treated as second class citizen. Look back into history. Blacks were not allowed to go to school for quite sometime and were not allowed to learn how to read either. If you are going to sympathize with injustice done to people then sympathize with injustice done to every people around the globe. NOT only people you feel you can relate to. Algerians and whites. Injustice done to one should be injustice done to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7:11 AM  
Blogger UmmAbdurRahman said...

do u realize that this post is about my mother in law. not whites, not blacks, not arabs, not berbers, not algerians, not asians, not hispanics. MY MOTHER IN LAW!

i feel badly for injustices done to ALL people.

im curious how you make these assumptions of what I mean when in actuality your comments are not even completely close to what I am saying.

I'm wondering if you are the same anonymous commenter on my other post?

I will clarify my point, even though the post is self explanatory, so that you will understand. This post is about the ignorance of the older generation of arab/muslim men. It is how they take their culture and use it to take away people's god given rights.

I will say once again, this post is in response to a situation that dealt with my mother in law specifically. please let me know where I said that other injustices dont matter?

2:24 PM  

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