Salma from Canada

We are back. First, thank you for the many people who read our first Interview last week. We had a very nice feedback and so today I am pleased to present you Salma. 

Salma is another amazing woman. Married, mum of 4, Salma impressed me every day with her ideas, thoughts and involvement for many causes you’ll discover later. 
Salma blogs @ ……..Chasing Rainbow. Now let’s hear what she has to say:

1.           Where are you from?

I am born in Jamaica…I live in Canada.

2.      What are you doing in Life – Job, Occupation?

My life revolves around my family (hubby and kids) and right now I am going through a transition.  After Rainbow was born, I went on maternity leave, then I literally packed up in 2 weeks (in July) and followed hubby across the country for work.

My career is in the criminology field, but, I don’t know what to say my job is right now. ..a housewife, lol.

3.     Do you think in your country Women have a voice?
If not, what do you think could be done?

I don’t think that there is any country in the world where women do not have a voice, but some countries are worse than others, and it really depends on what women want to say.
In Canada women do have a voice, but there’s also a glossy image. What I have found is that a woman’s social location does matter. Her level of education, class, race, status, age, religion, marital status, (dis)ability matters. It all comes into play, and it boils down to who speaks for whom, about what. 
I mean if women have a voice about things that will not necessarily help them to advance as human beings, such as who to hire to care for their children, or clean their houses, or what fancy abaya to wear to which party, then does it matter? I think on a small scale, yes, but in the long run, no. There are wage gaps, discrimination against women of child-bearing years in advance positions, and (opposed to men) the outer beauty is often more important than her heart. 
I think if we looked at women as individuals rather than a whole then we would see a lot of discrepancies.
In order for women to have a voice, we have to speak many different languages. I am not talking about speaking with the tongue, but with common sense, and empathy. Women are diverse, we have different desires, and expectations.Everything starts when we sit and speak, and empathize, and reach out to others, AND try with our might to build bridges, and fill in  the gaps.
In the end, Canada is a greater place for women than many other countries.
4.      If you have / had a girl, what is the Golden Rule you would like to pass on to her?

I have 2 daughters, but I don’t know if there’s a golden rule that I would like to pass on to them based on their gender, because I also want to pass on anything that I think is important to my son as well.
There is a quote I read once in a public washroom, that I never forgot…

“Never let the hand you hold, hold you down”.

What this quote said to me was, it doesn’t matter who it is, it could be your mother, father, husband, sister…it doesn’t matter. Don’t compromise your self-worth…NEVER, make excuses for being who you are.
I experienced abuse and incest at a very young age, I suffered emotionally and physically for years, and when it all came to light (even though I was a young girl) the burden of proof was on me. It changed my whole world. As I grew up, I had good instincts but never trusted myself…I was my best friend, and my worst enemy simultaneously. I want to pass on the concept of self-love to my girls.
I also want to teach them how to be honest humans with a pure heart, believing in one God and the after-life.

I want to teach them and show them that you don’t always have to shout to be heard, and to know that Fear is the opposite of Faith. And most of all, that the best way to please God is to be humble, and not to fall into the traps of despair.
Ya, I know that’s a lot, lol.

5.       How your religious beliefs (if you wish to share) empower you
as a woman?

I guess the question is do my religious beliefs empower me as a woman?  I see Muslims who fight only to empower Muslims. I see Christians who do the same. The thing is, I was once a Christian, and now I am a Muslim.  I was empowered on both sides, and Allah wants to unite us (humans), not divide us. 
Islam is my daily life. My inspiration comes from being at peace with what I do, and how I choose to live according to the Quran. My religious belief says every human is Allah’s creation.In essence, my religious beliefs inspire and empower me as a human being who happens to be a woman. 

6.    Before you leave this world, what changes would you like to see or experience?

In the short(er) term: I would like to see my children educated, happily married and living Islamically.

In the long run: I would like to see Palestine as a sovereign state.
I would like to see the people who do the real work in society be rewarded honestly.
Personally: I want to travel a lot with hubby (if I can get him on the plane). I also want to become fluent in Arabic, and complete my Masters.

7.      A Cause you would support?

I support many causes. Presently, I actively support The White Ribbon Campaign, Literacy for Immigrant Women, and I’m a member of the Elizabeth Fry Society, and I am very much involved in initiatives that support Pregnancy & Infant loss.

8.   Friends are important people in our lives – We would all agree I         think. What means friendship for you?

Friendship means never compromising my principles, and putting Allah first, therefore loving that individual for the sake of Allah alone. 
You shouldn’t have to work at wanting to be a good friend, it’s not about what you can get out of it, but it should always be reciprocal. For example, I cannot truly be friends wit someone who does not mirror me (values etc). 
It’s easy to be there when we have the time and resources. Being a friend {in my opinion} means being there when it’s not easy…when you’re tired or exhausted or busy.

9.   If you are a blogger, could you please describe your motivation to start a blog?

My hubby forced me, lol. I suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for years. I swear my life was surrounded by disaster personally and professionally. Personally, my past haunted me. Professionally I worked in the social work, and legal sector. I served addicts, prostitutes, child-molesters and criminals, I just couldn’t see much good in the world. I just hid myself away, because I couldn’t cope. Hubby forced me to come out by writing about it. It was a very depressing blog, I am actually glad to have it all behind me, but when I revisit that blog I see how far I have come .

10.   How this has benefited your life?

I met a lot of great ladies, and it has helped me to find out more about who I am, and also the kinds of people I want to have around me.

11.   Your favorite pleasures?

Cooking in a big open kitchen. Sitting in Rainbow’s tent and watching him explore his little world. Amira bringing home a great report card. Catching Iman with a smile on  her face, a very rare sight. I absolutely love my hubby’s special treats and surprises, especially brand new silk sheets, and I never get tired of the sweet Saudi perfumes from my MIL.

12.        One last word………….

You may not think you can reach it.
Climb anyway.
You may not think you’ll be heard.
Speak anyway.
You may not think you can change things.
Try anyway.
~Maya Angelou

I also want to say a huge thanks to you Marie for allowing me to share my thoughts with your readers.

Many Thanks Salma for taking the time to share with us today
You showed us We Can Everything

I am sure many more will appreciate your wise thoughts & ideas 

Wishing you and your family all the best for the future! 

Your words are lovely, share them with me!

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