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No. of Recommendations: 3
She was totally into Muslim society, far far far more than any American woman I've ever known.

I don't know that I'm totally taken with Arabic and thus Muslim society, but it is an interest of mine. And not just because I think those Moroccans are so sexy. The language is poetic (sound, expressiveness and even look), the landscape is captivating, the architecture is elegant. And I haven't even mentioned the food. There's a lot to be said for the culture, and I'm not sure why more people aren't interested in it.

That's not true, I do know why. Intimately. Picking up a new language, with all new sounds and a whole new alphabet, is a daunting task. I am struggling in a way I have never struggled in school before; learning has always been easy for me - this is damn hard. I'm not suprised many haven't even thought about trying.

I filled out a questionnaire in class today about my reasons for taking the class. The way it was set up was funny - there was virtually no way for me to indicate that I have no Arabic background, either in terms of language skills or ethnicity. It was as if no one but ethnically Arab folks and students of Islam take the class. (One checkbox was for if I was learning Arabic to study the Qaran.) I guess it's not something anybody takes for fun. Oh well, I am.

It seems to me that a little learning goes a long way in terms of fostering tolerance. There may be little I can do concretely in this crisis, save giving blood or whatnot. But I can do my best to be not just tolerant, but accepting of those around me who are different from me. Knowledge and learning are the first steps. The unknown is scary and threatening; once the light of knowledge is applied, much of the fear falls away.

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