In early 70s, my husband got scholarship from the Algerian government to study abroad in US. I was allowed to accompany him there.
At that time, I was 20 years old and fully motivated to study further rather than sit in the room waiting for my husband to come back from his college.
I decided I had to work in order to go to college and major in Sociology and Economics. As I had not received a scholarship to study, I decided to request a hearing with the housing director (in charge of foreign students’ affairs). I introduced myself as the spouse of an Algerian post grad student, and then I started talking about the American dream of Martin Luther King. My speech was so filled with passion and excitement that the lady was astonished and retorted: “What can I do for you young lady!” She was a Jewish person and Boston University Manager and she knew very well that I was a Muslim! I said in the same tone full of enthusiasm and motivation: “I hope that you will give me a hand in order to get a work permit.”
She could not believe it. In a very soft voice she replied: “How could I help you when it’s not up to me and not at all within my purview! Quietly and once again with lots of confidence I said: Madam, you are my only hope, I can stay home, get bored and return home in a few years empty-handed or you get me that work permit and not only will I work hard as a mail clerk, but I’ll also get a college degree that will change my life in a drastic way! A month later, I got that work permit!
My husband, my Algerian and Arab friends could not believe it! In 1985, I returned home with a Master’s degree.
Today, I’m a Doctor and a University teacher. I still talk about the Jewish people I have known during my stay in the USA (teachers, work colleagues and classmates). There are good and bad people everywhere whether they are Muslims, Christians or Jews.
Moral of the Story
There are good and bad people everywhere. It is not right to paint everyone with the same brush. Never judge a person based on the community they belong to. Just because you found few people of a particular community evil doesn’t mean the whole community is evil.
We are more prone to generalize the bad than the good. We assume that the bad is more potent and contagious
– Eric Hoffer
Racism is greatest threat to mankind. Children often follow their parents. Never hate people based on Caste, colour, race, sex or nationality. – By Anissa Assous