Since starting this blog I've been more and more observant about the multi cultural world we live in now. I preached a couple of days ago about how in a world of information ignorance is a choice, and how I still act this way concerning the burka.
I am always frightened for the women wearing Hadjibs etc in a way that a lot of people are frightened for me being with a black man.
But yesterday I had a beautiful but sad encounter with a lovely Arabic woman. Her whole body and hair were covered but her face showing.
Her two boys were running her ragged, at the same time she was playing with my daughter and kept smiling at me friendly and apologetically. Then she did something I do when I don't want people around me to know I'm telling Tiana off, I speak in English. Seeing that she was at the end if her tether I was fully prepared for her to starting shouting in Arabic but she starting telling her boys off in Italian. I understand quite a bit of Italian unlike nothing of Arabic! And she was saying to her two boys "you're making mummy look bad, let's go and not bother the lady and the little girl anymore."
My heart went out to her.
She was covered head to toe, maybe by choice, maybe because of her husband or family, but underneath it all she was really just a young woman embarrassed by her children playing up in public.
I was guilty of making stereotypical assumptions and tarring everyone with the same brush, the very thing I am trying to help stop with this blog.
I got up from my comfy place in the sun and helped her get her littlest back in his buggy and get the older boy off the climbing frame and back to his mothers side.
The woman was shocked that I came to help her. But in her eyes I could see it was a good shock.
Would I have acted the same way if she had spoken in Arabic and I had not understood those all familiar pleadings? Definitely not.
But now I know that might be what every Arabic woman is saying to her children. I'm sure I will in the future not hesitate to lend a hand, with a smile and a lift of an eyebrow between mummies to say "I know the feeling".