Today I went with my family for a Sunday afternoon lunch to our favorite Pakistani restaurant. Going to this restaurant is our families way of understanding a culture that is not our own and has been misunderstood or misinterpreted by events that have to do with modern day terrorism. We love going there, and every time we go I feel that I understand the Muslim culture more. The waiters at Ravi’s Kabab restaurant have become dear friends and are people of principle and treat us as family.
While at the restaurant today a protest to celebrate the Prophet’s Muhammed birthday took place along Devon Avenue in front of the restaurant, I felt sorry that I did not have my camera, but I took one image with my Iphone.
I took the image and I was trying to understand what they were preaching and shouting but it was in another language probably Urdu or Punjabi, the protesters were dressed in traditional Pakistani outfits. The police were present so my initial reaction was fear, in my thoughts were negative as I stood there, but some other side of my brain took over and said, look, listen and understand, the first sign said “Islam condemns all kinds of terrorism” At this time I realized that the majority of the people there wanted and needed the same peace that I want and they want to be understood the same as I want to be understood.
Shortly after the protest ended and I went back to eat, however with thoughts on my mind which came to be reinforced when we went into a Pakistani clothing shop later on and the lady attendant saw Lorena, Julia, Sarah, James the baby and myself walk into her shop and as we browsed the store the lady said to me “Can I hold your baby” and she held him for good 30 minutes and was loving and caring to him. I was moved and touched and I realize that in order to solve many our problems extraordinary acts of kindness are needed to break taboos and perceptions that have been introduced in our consciences through events that have shaped our modern world. The Pakistani girl also gave Sarah a the gift of a bracelet at no charge to me an extra ordinary act of kindness.