Wednesday, May 14, 2008

wum MSA

10/7/2001:
yesterday afternoon i got an invite to a MEMSU meeting. Menchum Muslim Students’ Union. an MSA here in Wum! it was a strange hybrid of Cameroonian protocol and good ol' MSA culture. it also took forever... set for 11am, began at noon. broke for prayer. came back. i left at 3pm and it was still going.

the fact that there is interest, motivation and effort to do the things they want to do is great. makes me happy. cleaning the mosque. going out to schools to fill the gap in “Moral Instruction” class for Muslim students. working on building a urinal for the area around the mosque, etc.

still, some things worry me. it’s strange that the same frustrations we faced back in the US seem likely to come into play. complacency among members. fundraising. getting bogged down in details and seeing an ugly side of people. even worrying about government perception... all the more so here since even our little meeting today, which we didn't have official permission to hold, would be considered an “illegal gathering.” how iron curtain!

but i won't even go into that... my thoughts on the matter of perception of Muslims right now are somewhat bitter and emotionally charged. so i’ll keep those caged up for now, if you will. let them simmer down and process... that’s another entry in here all its own. waiting to come out. to be released. with ease, insha'Allah.

anyway... i introduced myself to the group, told them i was sincerely happy to see this Association coming together, answered a few questions on MSAs in the USA (again, in many ways the same as here it seems... for better or for worse) and i pledged my support and assistance as much as i could offer.

honestly, i just don’t want to over-commit. like back in college. that frustration. endless meetings and anger/annoyance with colleagues and a community that won’t respond. i want to come out for general meetings. an executive meeting every now and again. give advice when and where i can. help in the projects. i guess i just don’t want to lead. is that wrong?

i kept my mouth shut at the meeting today. just spoke when they asked me to introduce myself. the community needs leaders, but i don’t feel as if i’m the man for this job... not here and now. it's not like they’ve asked me to run the organization! but i know how it goes. commitment.

i just hope my intentions are pure and righteous in this case. i don’t want to think that i’m shying away from service just because of how muslims are perceived in these times or how others would perceive my involvement. ahhh... God bless and guide.

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