Well hello there! welcome to 2011!! Isn’t it great!!! …, OK, I’ll stop that now: back to reality! As depressing as I know January can be, isn’t it just lovely to get back to normal? You know, to call up an office and get a response, to get your mail on time, to have a daily routine, to no longer be obligated to endure extended family visitations! (I love my parents, but I realise after Christmas that I can love them much more in digestible chunks rather than excess!).
Any way, as I’m not feeling particularly creative nor interesting, this is just a short January update on the story so far, as it were! My year didn’t get off to a great start: had the migraine from the deepest depths of hell for nearly 6 days! It took me back a bit, as mashallah I’ve been keeping fairly well recently! Of course, I knew what had brought it on: interviews! I was supposed to have a job interview yesterday, and though that’s not a big deal on its own as I had plenty last year! but this one was supposed to be my first back in the disability sector. I didn’t expect to get an interview, and when I did, even through the shock I knew I wouldn’t get selected. I knew I had nothing to lose as such, but as it drew closer the tension built, making me violently ill! It wasn’t doing the job that worried me, it was managers and stress and deadlines and potential, ‘bill Campbell’s in embryo, and above all, the painful realisation that I hadn’t really recovered from all the Inclusion Scotland business of last year, rather: I was almost phobic about repeating it! I was trying to rationalise all this when the phone rang: it was the HR team of said Organisation: they wanted to remind candidates to bring their documents for an enhanced disclosure check. I would have done that any way as its standard practise, however they thought they should remind interviewees as they hadn’t included it in the letter they sent out. I should say here, that while fretting over the interview I’d been worked up about what to wear: this was a youth job, and I didn’t know whether the standard suit was required, or a more casual look was favoured! So I took the opportunity to ask the HR consultant “well, smart but casual is probably your best bet”, she said. “I wouldn’t turn up in denim, but a suit would be too much! not that they should judge you on clothing any way, but of course it does make an impact! The best thing is to be comfortable, in principal you could pretty much wear any thing: not a burkha of course lol!! But any thing!”. I flinched, had she really said that? No: surely she didn’t say that!! It was the voices, trying to put me off! “what did you say?” I said, trying to disguise my shock, “ya know: the terrorist look: it might scare the board! But other wise, any thing goes!”. I had not mentioned any where on my application that I was Muslim, though some of my extra curricular activities might have given it away. That didn’t make sense either though: no one would openly discriminate would they? Especially in the days of telephone tapping etc. Was she doing me a favour? After all, some women do take their hijaab off for a job interview, though I’ve never quite got that! They’ll see you in it at work won’t they? So what’s the point of faking for half an hour! “terrorist look” she had said it! but why did it matter to me? I wore a head scarf, which was not particularly conspicuous, and I wore normal, conventional western clothes along with it! I covered myself of course, but did not cover my face, and did not look like a terrorist (well, if any one who knows me thinks different you may say so NOW!!). As I hung between fear of both the known and the unknown, the potential panic was just too much for me. Call me weak, cowardly, soft, any thing you like, but no one but no one jumps headlong in to the same frying pan twice! I cannot go through all that again. I don’t want to fight discrimination cases, don’t want to walk on egg shells, don’t want to feel deficient just for being me, don’t want to continue making myself ill! Life is too short, and indeed too precious! So, the upshot was I did not attend, and the impossible job search continues. Let me begin 2011 by saying this loud and clear: I need work, good, honest, halal employment through which I can pay my bills, heat my home, eat, and above all, sponsor my husband to come live with me! I’ll do any thing (well, almost any thing), I’m not proud, and have no ego when it comes to earning. I do not want charity, I need the opportunity to earn, so, if any one with either a business or influence is reading this, you know what to do!! CVs available on request! In other news, Reza and I are planning a trip to Georgia at the end of the month, …, why Georgia? You ask? Well simple: if we register our marriage in Georgia, we shall be given a piece of paper, which will be acceptable to both the UK, and the Iranian governments. With this piece of paper, we can apply for Reza’s visa through the normal marriage application channel, rather than jumping through hoops as we are doing now. We can apply, pray and then maybe, just maybe, we can get on with ‘living! Please remember us in your duas. I am also awaiting news from WF regarding funding which I applied for, to take the Muslim Chaplain Certificate this year. Given that no one else seems to be addressing the disability issues facing our community, and given that Kitaba no longer want to work with me because I’m shia, I’ve decided to take the course with the aim of developing holistic and spiritual interventions for disabled people and their families. I applied to WF, partly because they have the money and I don’t, but also because I want to be based in one of their jamats for the practical application stage of the programme. Their feedback has not been favourable so far, again, it boils down to people simply not understanding why such interventions are necessary, so the saga continues! More later:
…, 2011, don’t ya just love it!!