A dying rose
I was in the city centre when I first met Mea Pia. She was actually a friend of a friend’s. By the look in her eyes, I could see that she was suffering intensely. I predicted it had everything to do with relationship but the subject was never brought up. My friend briefly introduced her to me, but most of my conversation were mostly engaged with my friend instead, until at one point she felt like talking.
“I found out you went through a painful divorce,” she said to me, trying to stir a conversation. All I did were raised my eyebrow and smirked. I didn’t feel like elaborating that topic so I kept silent. I guess because of my ‘cold shoulder’ she decided not to continue the conversation.
Suddenly, until, we met again in the city centre.
“Hi, remember me? Mea Pia…” she touched my shoulder and I quickly turned around. “Ahh.. yes! I remember you. How are you?”
“Not so good,” she sincerely told me. “I’m sorry but I need to talk to you about something. Do you think we could talk privately?”
Posted in Project Safety Net, Projects
Tagged abroad, couple, domestic violence, Dutch, East/West, family, immigration, man/woman, migration, mixed couple, relationship, safety, Safety Net, Thai, Thailand, the netherlands, woman, women
The entire world was abashed when the results of a poll against the construction of new minarets in Switzerland have been published.
The extreme right party – Swiss People’s Party (SVP) – launched such a gross campaign against the minarets, using posters showing a woman with a burqa facing a Swiss flag covered with missile-shaped minarets, that everybody expected a defeat of the populist party.
But inf fact a majority of 57.7 % voted for the ban of minarets construction in Switzerland.
The Swiss People Party clearly exploited the irrational fear of “extensive islamisation” of the country and wanted to stop the Muslim tsunami…
But what tsunami ? There are 400.000 Muslims in Switzerland, out of a total population of 7.739.000 inhabitants. Most of them work and are perfectly integrated in Swiss social life. There are about 400 mosques in Switzerland and… 4 minarets!
Posted in Cultural diversity, East/West
Tagged belief, Cultural diversity, culture, democracy, domestic violence, East/West, extreme right, faith, family, freedom, immigration, migration, minaret, party, politics, populism, religion, religious freedom, Switzerland, UN, United Nations
Dalilah waited some news from Maarten after he left to his homeland. They had had several contacts through emails and phone calls. Maarten reassured her that everything would be all right since he sensed some uncertainty from Dalilah’s voice whenever they talked. Not knowing what was happening on the other side of the world, Dalillah put all her trust onto Maarten. After all, he’s my husband now, she thought. What could go wrong?
After some legal arrangement in the Netherlands, Maarten told Dalilah to start preparing for her journey to a new home. During that time, Maarten persistently urged Dalilah to sell her business and her property – reassuring her that a new beginning awaited her there with full hope. It wasn’t easy to find a buyer to take over her business, nor to sell her property in a very short period of time. Dalilah didn’t understand either why she needed to sell her property – after all she would like to retire one day in Malaysia with Maarten by her side. Maarten did mention about that idea too over and over again – telling her that Malaysia would be the most ideal retirement place for him. She believed him because she knew there was a lot of truth in it. No doubt about that. Maarten had showed Dalilah that he truly enjoyed his life in Malaysia.
The pressure of wanting to be with her husband and simultaneously needed to sell everything she had made Dalilah very confounded. Some friends couldn’t comprehend her reactions because they detected something wasn’t right with the big move. Especially when she needed to ‘get rid’ of her ‘stuff’ in Malaysia in order to be with her husband. If the husband was understanding enough, this topic shouldn’t even worth thinking of. After all, it was her property, her belonging. Not his. Others took advantage by dragging her down to almost bankruptcy. They offered such ludicrous amount of money that she almost fainted! All in the game of ‘good business’. Dalilah was desperate. Yet again.
Eventually, after all the troublesome and heartache of having to sell her business, Dalilah decided to keep her house and sold her car – for a ridiculously low price! She wanted to cry since she couldn’t bare to see the amount of loss she accumulated. How could this be possible? Nonetheless, everything she did was out of love. Perhaps this was the sacrifice people were talking about, she thought. Being single is one thing, being married is another, she thought even more.
Posted in Dalilah's Diary, Project Safety Net, Projects
Tagged abroad, children, couple, Dutch, East/West, family, fly, husband, immigration, love, Malaysia, man, migration, mixed couple, move, new beginning, pressure, property, relationship, retirement, sacrifice, the netherlands, travel, wife, woman