Saturday, 13 April 2013

I have worn Hijab from the day I reverted to Islam: Amirah

Amirah  used to be Danielle Mundy before changing her faith on December 17th 2012 . She is 33 years old, Lecturer EAP / EFL, Teacher Trainer, Materials Writer from Worcester UK. She lived in Spain for 3 years and have a passion for learning languages and traveling. She thoroughly enjoys her job and is blessed with two beautiful boys aged 8 and 3.

Elaborating her initial interest in Islam Amirah says “ I am a TEFL Teacher and Trainer and have worked in this sector since 1998. I have been exposed to many Muslims from different countries all over the world and I have always been interested in both the culture and religion. I nearly reverted many years back but was afraid of what my family would say. Some of my closest friends are Muslim so I always felt very much at ease around the culture and religion.”
She felt a calling for a long while to revert. “It is hard to explain but almost a tow telling me to follow this path and these feelings became much stronger last December and I realised it was the right thing to do.” She believe when you do something it should be in your heart 100 per cent and you should do it properly .It was the moment she felt 100 percent .

About coping with the difficulties of a new life Amirah says “My children are brilliant and have been praying and learning with me, the youngest child especially. My ex partner is Tunisian so actually prayer and eating halal is not new for my family. My parents and close family have been unsupportive and will not be seen with me in Hijab. I am limited to seeing relatives in my house only because they have very strong opinions against Hijab. I was asked to go for a family meal in a restaurant but to take off the Hijab – I said no – I have worn Hijab from the day I reverted and it is part of me and my faith now and I believe very strongly in that. I have friends from so many different nationalities and I pride myself on never judging anyone, learning so much from different people but I respect the fact that different people have different opinions. However, I am a grown woman who is in sound mind and able to make my own decisions about my life and my affairs. Islam is a huge part of that. I am proud to say I am Muslim, I am content, and eventually people will see that.”

She has not much difficulties in facing the challenges of professional life and work place. She has all praise for her colleague lecturers at the university . She found that people with a better educational background are more supportive and tolerant of other cultures. Amirah teaches in the Language Centre so has to face a huge mix of nationalities, cultures and religions but her concern is her training job – she trains people to be TEFL teachers and there is often 20 delegates and herself the sole trainer. Describing the typical situation before breaking the ice and mingling with delegates she quips “Everyone looked a bit shocked at first but after 5 minutes there were no issues and my feedback was the same as always” .

Luckily she got a lot of supports from Muslims. She says “ I am lucky to have a lot of Muslim sisters around me. They have all been a power of strength and incredibly supportive when I have questions about prayer and Islam in general. A lot of the support is from Muslim sisters that I have trained on TEFL courses – I thank them so much as they have been my guidance especially when my family and some close friends have been quite rude about my decision to revert. In times of isolation I know I can count of them to offer support and keep me strong and of course prayer is fantastic for that too”.
In future she wants to learn more about Islam and become a more informed Muslima and give a proper education to her children especially about Islam.