A few months ago I was going to visit a Mosque for the very first time in my life. I had to do a cross-cultural project for school in which we would visit people that were different from what we were used to. And so we decided to go to the Friday Prayer at a local Mosque. We would go twice so we would really learn more about what it was like.
Before I went, I prayed to God that if there was someone I was supposed to meet or become friends with, He would show that to me.
After the Muslim service was over, a beautiful girl noticed us sitting in the back and she came up and said “Hi, I’m Anwar! Are you new here? Do you have any questions I can help you answer?” I immediately thought: “What a nice person!” She really made us feel welcome in a place that was very new and different to us.
After we talked for a bit, she disappeared in the crowd.
I later wished that I would have asked for her contact information. I unfortunately didn’t hear her name very clearly. I prayed that I would meet her again the next week. But she wasn’t there.
Even though we spoke briefly, she made a really deep impression on me. I really hoped and prayed that I would meet her again…
A few weeks later we were doing a service project together with some of our Muslim friends. We were going to provide a fun afternoon for kids whose parents were homeless.
And guess who I saw there? Anwar!
I immediately knew it was her and she remembered me as well. We talked and laughed a lot and decided to have lunch together.
Many lunches and coffee meetings later, Anwar continues to impress me with her awesome personality and kind spirit. She has taught me so much about what it means to her to be a Muslim. She is a very strong woman with a great passion to stand up against injustice.
She’s also shared stories with me of how she has been discriminated against and mistreated because she is Muslim. She has been brave enough to share some of her stories with the local Newspaper and I admire her for standing up for people that are mistreated.
Are all your friends very similar to you? Do you have any friends that are of another religion, ethnic group or culture? Friends like my friend Anwar can really enrich your understanding of life!