The US, like most places, has its ups and downs.
Overall though, I
completely disagree with the approach of vilifying the US.
I honestly think that
feel Islam obliges you to hate the US, then you should not be living
here if you
have any respect for yourself. Far from it that Islam imply hatred of
nation. Any country is neutral by nature, whether it becomes good or
solely a reflection of its people. So if something is evil about the
anything, we are to blame for not taking the initiative to rectify what
wrong. I think the solution is to work hard as good people to take over
bad, as opposed to sitting on the sidelines and complaining at their
power. Besides, as Muslims who have made a pact and accepted the US
we are obliged to devote ourselves to its well being. This is in
Islam's teachings of patience, compassion, and love for all people. I
chosen the US as a home, and so as a Muslim, I feel I owe it to the
land and its
people to contribute positively towards their well being.
On a different note, my personal take on the US, and that is solely a
taste, is that we have a rather bland culture here; way too
really lacking in taste and substance. I feel most people are shallow,
self-centered, and very nonintellectual. They tend to be experts at
and clueless otherwise. On the positive side, Americans have an amazing
for hard work, dedication, and a desire to always be best. For the most
Americans are earnest, good people, who wish no one harm. I think this
is in need of Islam to make up for its shortcomings. It would only then
rise to the level of "civilization" and not just a great economy. I
it can learn a thing or two from Europe as far as culture goes, and the
of "joie de vivre" (joy of living).
England, My childhood:
My experience in Manchester, England will forever be deeply engraved in
heart. It was at a very impressionable age, I was 6.5 years old when we
England, and we stayed for 5 years. I miss my old Catholic school in
town of Salford. St. James's was an old fashioned place in a quiet area
typical English, workers' town.
Boys had to wear shorts even in the
winter, you had to answer "yes sir" to the headmaster, and sister
the library as an occasional caning room. My main experience with the
sunny library; however, was as a meeting place, during recess, for my
Dinosaur society. It started out with just Mark O'Keefe and I, though
thereafter I excommunicated Mark after he broke his allegiance to me,
David Thomas about our secret which he swore over his Guinea pig's life
share. Ironically, I invited David to replace him, and we have remained
friends ever since.
There were many pubs around the school, a green hill we used to love
down on after school, a wheat field that doubled as our battlefield
kids from the Protestant school down the street, and a marketplace,
with sweet shops. Of course there was the church too, also called St.
which we used to make weekly field trips. I hated going because I was
this huge golden statue of a dismal Jesus on a cross that hung above
it would haunt me at night. I used to refuse kneeling when everyone
and the teachers would chastise me for it. My mom told me to just say
prayers when they were saying theirs.
Generally we had a great time in England, it was a wonderful time
during which I
developed a passion for reading and travel, thanks primarily to my
During my European tour of Spring 2000, I had the opportunity to go
Manchester and revisit my old childhood memories. It felt weird, in a