|Sydney Harbour |
Understanding this won't make things any easier for you: if you need help, you won't take it personally when other people refuse to help you, but understanding that won't get you any help, either.
And although I like to see myself as a self-reliant bloke, you know, the lone-wolf kinda guy, the day came when I needed help.
Let's not mince words here: some ten years ago, I was broke, days from being evicted from the place I rented. And I had nowhere to go. If I paid the utilities, I had nothing left to buy food. If I bought food, I'd had nowhere to keep it. Where would I leave my stuff?
Sydney is a beautiful city, but at times, that is not enough.
To make a long story short, the only guy who helped me was a Shiite Muslim born in Lebanon. Not the Australian Government through its social security agency, nor the University where I was studying, or Christian-inspired charities. Not my friends (whom I can't blame: they had their own problems) or my family overseas (whom I felt ashamed to trouble with my problems).
I am not a religious man. I am agnostic about God's existence. I, however, don't believe in hell or heaven or other supernatural things. Further, I believe all religions are rather irrational.
But I also learned this: it's not religion, nationality, skin colour, age or gender that makes a decent person, decent.
My friend, Ali, is a good, decent man. Whatever else he is, this is what matters to me. And even though I pride myself on having repaid my friend the money he lent me, there is something I can't repay: his having had faith in me.
Thank you Ali.
For those who might share the idea that the real side of the Muslim communities deserves to be represented, if not in the mainstream media, at least among individual users, to have a look at the website of My Fellow Americans.
 Sydney Harbour shot taken from the air, by Rodney Haywood. Wikipedia