Thursday, November 5, 2009

In this week's reading, Hasan talks about the death of his grandmother and the experience of the funeral. He explains the mourning process and I couldn't help but to feel his pain when he says, "What better remedy is there than exhaustion for the pain caused by the death of a loved one?" Because he says that the condolence ceremonies continue for 6 days and then after 20 days, there are 3 more mourning days. That would be extremely exhausting! Hasan's father and uncle at the funeral, decided it was time for Hasan to start school even though he was not of the usual age, but they felt he was excelling beyond his years.

In the next chapter, Hasan talks about the year of Harun the Ferret, which is the year Melilla was conquered by the Castilians. The Christians began to build up the city and refugees from Granada were becoming more and more afraid. Hasan says that he was only slightly affected by worries because he was focused on his school work. The following year, inquisitors arrived at Granada who wanted all Christians that had converted to Islam should go back to their original religion, but the majority of them refused. The inquisitors said that anyone born a Christian and was baptized that is refusing to return to Christianity would be condemned to death. With this, the inquisitors started harassing the community, arresting people, setting churches on fire, etc.

What I found to be really interesting was the conversation between Sarah and Hasan;mother. hasan overheard them talking about his sister's arranged marriage and he asked them if they thought his sister would be happy marrying Zarwali, Hasan's father's new business partner. Gaudy Sarah replied, " Happy? Women only seek to avoid the worst." Not only does the aspect of arranged marriage interest me, but also the reaction of Hasan. He got extremely frustrated with the world and the injustices seen before him. He says, "I needed someone around me to show indignation, someone who would tell me that the world had not been created so that women and the joys of life should be handed over to the Zarwali and people like him." Even within the Muslim religion and culture and at such a young age, Hasan is able to recognize the unfairness that is present. I feel bad for Miriam, she is thirteen and on her way to marry a husband that she is not in love with and that her father is forcing her to marry because he is wealthy. I fell like this type of arrangement is a form of slavery. Hasan's father is basically giving his daughter away to this man that he will benefit from, without even thinking about his own daughter's happiness. I would want to know how Muslim women deal with these types of abuse, or if they even think anything of it?

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