Wednesday, April 6, 2016

THE POWER OF A HUG by Celine Leduc

PERSONAL INFORMATION about my life and what has made me very happy and cry. I was brought up Catholic and I did not agree with a great deal of prejudiced peddled religiously and also politically by leaders by men. I never believed Jews killed Jesus or that Muslim were devils. Religious leaders wanted me to go to heaven and politicians wanted to go to war. My society the men lied to me big time and I wanted to know truth that included everyone.
I met women and became friends with Jewish who came from Egypt. The taught me that religion was NOT the problem it was politics and nationalism. I did my MA degree on Jewish women who came from Egypt and lived in Montreal adding a section about Egypt and their struggle.
To be fair and honest I met Muslim and Copt women who also came from Egypt, to get more information and be accurate in my depiction of society and the reality women of all three religions faced.
I did address the facts that Jews in Egypt were targeted by the leaders that Umm Khaltum did call for their death but also that there were friends and even some Jewish men and women did marry Muslims and Copt Christian. Truth was much more complex and much more intricate that I was told. Women all attended Catholic School in Alexandria (Jewish Christian and Muslim) The schools were run by nuns from France because of colonialism
Most Canadian or Quebec research had been done here by using books and travel logs written by men who had an agenda. They called themselves anthropologist and NEVER talked to the people of the area it was their narrow-minded opinion that was full of prejudice, arrogance and superiority. Women from Egypt talked about themselves and their life their friends their family that often included women or men of different religions or ethnicity. Their reality was quite different that what history or anthropological books were about ass they were based on voyage logs, travel guides, missionary diaries which were used to write books and not one of those academics asked the people. In the religion Dept. of Concordia we used books and oral history to write about a group any group.
People read my MA thesis and appreciated my work I was given the greatest of all honors AJOE Association des Juifs Originaires d'Egypte included me in their association not as a member only but on the board. Since a person had to be Jewish and from Egypt they gave me the nationality and the religion no rabbi needed to official the member voted me in unanimously. Same thing happened with some Egyptian who were Muslim they included me as both Egyptian and Muslim women did no conversion nor government involved. BTW Egyptians call or refer to me as the Blonde Egyptian (blondes are not dumb in Egypt they are cool intelligent people LOL). Because of Egyptian or of those born in Egypt (women and men) I am not only Catholic by birth but also Jewish and Muslim and Egyptian. One friend jokingly said if you are banned from one heaven you can come to Jewish or Muslim heaven because you are loved by us.
Yes, I did speak of the horror of nationalism and radicalization due to fanatics but also of the people. I love the people from Egypt and my heart is partly in Egypt and the other part in Canada.
This experience lead me to.First Nation people and I became friends with Mohawks of Kahnawake later with Ojibwa and Shalish and Cree many have adopted me unofficially as a friend because I used the same technique looking at the "Big Minds" and their lies and adding the voice of the people.
It all started because of a big hug a woman gave me, when I was ten years old, she was Black and I use to play with her son and was told by my father not to play with him. I was so angry at my father, found it unfair on his part. I went to my friend's mother and cried and ranted all she did was give me a hug and told me "I was right" she added that I needed to listen to my father however but I was RIGHT. A hug can change a life it did mine.