Zarina from South Africa

Hi Everybody. I hope you are doing good and enjoying a nice week. Today is our time to let women talk, and today we have the chance to receive a woman who makes a difference. 
Before letting you read Zarina’s Interview in peace, I would like to say a couple of words. 

I crossed Zarina’s journey as I started reading one of her post talking about Muslim Women. I never believed what I heard about Muslim Women in the Media, I always found in them grace and peace, so I wanted to know more. Zarina blogs @ Muslim Women Exposed & @ How To Deal.

From this day I never missed reading one post.
First because Zarina is writing well, she knows how to speak and without any word of disrespect or judgement for others who might have a different opinion. 
And because the world would need more voices like hers. She enriches my life in many ways and in her voice I see some of my dreams. 


1 – Where are you from?

Johannesburg, South Africa

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

I work in the psychology field. I do counseling, workshops training sessions with women and also educational and psychological assessments with people.

3 – Do you think in your country Women have a voice?  If not, what do you think could be done?
                   
Yes I do think that women in my country have a voice. Women have an important role to play in all sectors of South African society and women hold important positions in politics, etc.

But it’s the other voice of women that I think is far more important. Women have been having a voice as mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters, for ages. Even before women’s liberation and feminism, women have had a voice within their families and this has had an impact on society. In today’s times I feel that this voice of women is de-emphasized and regarded as more inferior, when in fact this voice of women has the potential to bring about real and important changes in society.  

4 – If you have / had a girl, what is t
he Golden Rule you would like to pass on to her?

I don’t have any children yet but if I had a girl I would want to pass on to her the importance of being a woman and the uniqueness in the roles that a woman has to play. I would want to emphasize to her that she can pursue any path in life but she should not ever feel the need to live up to any one else’s ideals. I would teach her about the importance of religion because for me religion has brought about true liberation.
I would want her to respect men for who they are without trying to be like them or compete with them. Most of all, I would want her to never ever allow anyone to take advantage of her, and I would remind her that she is special in her own way and that she should feel good about herself simply because she is a creation of the Almighty.

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

To be honest, for me my religious beliefs are what empowers me the most as a woman. I have not yet seen true empowerment result from the modern women’s liberation movement or feminism. All that I have seen from this is women trying to become like men, believing that when they reach the ideals and standards of men then they are empowered.

My religion (Islam) has shown me true empowerment which is ironic when you consider what people have to say about Islam and women today.

Islam has taught me that I have value, not as a physical body but as a whole human being. By covering up my beauty it has taught me that people should respect me as someone with intellect. It has also made me feel honoured and protected.

Besides this, it has taught me that I don’t have to live up to the standards of men, because the standards of the Creator far surpass any human standards.

It has empowered me by telling me that I have a right to knowledge, that I should be provided for and protected and that if I choose to work then whatever I earn belongs to me and no one has rights to it.

It has empowered me by reminding me that in the eyes of Allah, men and women are equal and that the only thing that will make one better than the other is their actions, good deeds and piety.

The history of women in Islam, specifically during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) has shown me that I have the potential to play an important role in society without compromising my faith or chastity.


6 – Before you leave this world, what change would you like to see or experience?

There are many actually, but I’ll try to keep this short J

I’d like to see all forms of exploitation stopped, especially economic exploitation of people who work hard to earn an honest living.

I’d like to see resources and wealth distributed equally so that more than half the world’s population doesn’t suffer while a few people live in luxury.

I’d like to see all forms of oppression stopped.

I’d like to see the people of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and basically the whole of Africa liberated from oppressive regimes.

I’d like to see honest leaders in the world.

I’d like people to move back towards religion.

Basically I’d like to see humanity progressing in terms of human values instead of regressing and becoming worse while believing that the world is progressing.

7 – A Cause you would support?

Poverty alleviation
Stop women and child abuse
Stop oppression and exploitation of all sorts.
            
8 – Friends are important people in our lives – We would all agree I think. What means friendship for you?

Friendship is a beautiful gift because friends can take on roles in your life that no one else can. Friends are able to lift you up and make you laugh. They are able to support you in times of need. But the best thing about friends is that they are always able to see the good in you and they can be honest about the bad.

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

I started blogging because I was tired of hearing all the negative things that people were saying about Islam and more specifically about Muslim women. Most of what I heard in the media etc was a whole lot of nonsense to me.
I needed a way to express my experiences, thoughts and opinions so that people had a different perspective a more positive one and so at least when they decide on their own opinion about Islam and Muslim women, then they have both sides of the story.

10 – How this has benefite
d your life?

It’s given me the opportunity to connect with women from all over the world. It’s given me hope when I read about women’s life stories and experiences.
It’s taught me a lot about the things that other women out there in different places have to go through.

11 – Your favorite pleasures?

Eating dark chocolate
Sitting down with a good book
Observing nature, especially the sea
Spending time connecting with my Creator.
Spending time with family and friends.
(Not in this order, obviously some of these things are more of a favorite than others)

12 – One last word………….

Well I’d like to thank Marie for taking the time out to give women a voice and for always being so willing to understand other people.

I’d also like to say that women have a lot of strength and potential, but this strength cannot be accessed by continuously trying to live up to men. By making ourselves equal to men in all regards we are actually bringing ourselves down and denying the uniqueness and the beauty of being a woman. 

Thanks Zarina, from the bottom of my heart
Your words touch me and show us
as Women we have an important role to play
a role that is not to be like men (as society wants us to believe).
We have been made different for a reason
Let’s work on redefining ourselves
and honouring our Femininity.

Stay Blessed Zarina
May you be rewarded for your efforts and the love your share
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