Ascia Akf By: Langston Hues
Kuwait City, Kuwait
So I want to start off by saying this is a very public announcement of a very private matter. I don’t open up easily or enough but it’s time.
The purpose of this post is to deviate from the social norms and coming to of acceptance of what is and finding beauty in it. I want you all to know it’s okay to share things with others including things that aren’t so pretty. It took me a while to get here.
I share a connection with most mothers and this is bcos of my own mother. Amma was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 15 years old. It has been a rough roller coaster for all my family members, including me. Prior to her illness, she taught me to hold my composure no matter what the situation is and I have, for years. Although, a graduate of 8th grade she knew how to read in farsi. Speak, read and write in Bangla. Came to America studied for her citizenship, passed. She memorized surahs, read Arabic fluenty & prayed 5+ times a day. She even knew gazals in farsi and Bengali. Beautiful voice. A well-rounded soul.
When she became sick, I sort of lost myself. Years went on and I started to deteriorate. I allowed myself to sink into a viral that made me feel severely depressed about life. My mindset then was “of course, this would happen to me.” Glory to God (SubhanAllah) how times have changed. It’s almost a decade now and my mother is still dealing with this illness.
All praises due to God (alhamdulilah)
Today I had an epiphany. In the midst of all this chaos, I kept calm. I allowed everything to sink in and tell myself this isn’t a punishment, it is a gift from God.
In my community, & I live in a small town so anyone that knows small towns, knows what I’m talking about, I’ve heard various comments regarding my mother’s illness; She’s crazy. She’s possessed. She’s abusing tobacco and this is the illness due to it. I’ve heard things like why don’t I fix my family to who am I to be so bubbly when I have a mother whose sick. Believe me the comments become more ignorant and vulgar. This is the sugar-coated version. As a kid you can only imagine how enraged I was. I hated people. I hated this community. I hated the fact that I had to deal with any of this. I resented family and sometimes even friends for not being more understanding. Until then I realized it’s not their fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. People don’t understand how severe a mental illness is or can be. When people aren’t educated in a certain topic or field they shy away from it or bash the topic itself. I’ve come to forgive others for their comments even when they come up now. I’ve learned that taking these things lightly rather than so personal helps alleviate the pain itself. Maybe it’s a mercy from God, himself.
Its almost mother’s day. It only seems fitting I share this story with you. While sitting in the Grey vented room in the hospital, I observed all of my mother’s actions. She had about five sitters rotate in the 16 hours I was there with her. Each time her food came in, she made sure to ask if they wanted her coffee or hash browns or even the sandwich she had. When I bought her biryani, she took the aluminum pan and tried to pour out half a portion, so they could eat too. Of course, they kindly declined. When the doctors finally came in to talk to her they stood over her bed, she felt the need to tell them to sit in a chair because she told me having them stand made her feel bad. When the nurses came to ask her if she was feeling any pain, in very broken English she said “very very thank you” for checking on her. I also remember an incident from a year ago where a husky caucasian male who was transporting her downstairs to our car started to smile. She told him to come over our house so she can feed him for pushing her wheelchair downstairs. She didn’t realize it was his job as a transporter to do so. Her innocence kills me.
Finally when the doctors asked me about her silliness and random laughter and if this is a part of her symptom, I said no, this is her personality. The mom I always knew and love.
Keeping all moms in my prayers.
by pairing skate lessons and boards with education initiatives, skateistan — a non profit organization that works with the support of local afghan communities — is using skateboarding as a tool of empowerment for more than four hundred afghan kids, many of whom live on the streets.
more than 40 percent of skateistan’s students are female. though girls are banned from riding bikes in afghanistan, skateboarding is novel and remains permissible, and has now become the most popular sport for females in the country.
We love this!
The photo of the girl in the air with her burqa flying up in the air is SO COOL
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