I don’t drive women on my bus


So we had a “field trip” yesterday and one of the bus drivers refused to drive the female students (yes, we travel in segregated buses here).  I was so annoyed!

The school bus is not your private car, how can you refuse to drive women?  and why didn’t anyone protest, but let him roll on with his mess?  If you don’t want to interact with women, maybe you shouldn’t be a  driver for a University that has both male and female students!  It’s not piety! argh! I hate it when people treat people as if they have some sort of disease… trust me no one was going to jump Mr. Bus drivers bones… argh!

Only in Qatar have I ever encountered this kind of thing….. at least it’s only happened once.

But the bus driving incident is connected to a larger aspect of my experiences here and that is male-female interaction here, it’s so awkward, I mean I feel awkward, so the best way to deal is to just not talk to them much or hang out outside of class.  This makes me sad, Most of come from countries (No ALL of us) that aren’t this strict on the male-female interaction.  So why do people act so strange?

I am actually not the worst one, there are definitely guys who are Joe cool on Facebook but try to act like one of the Companions now that we are in Qatar…. I don’t get the dichotomy…. I’m not trying to be down anyone’s throat but some people act like having a conversation with a female classmate will ensure a place in Hell for them… which is why I prefer to just not deal.

It’s a shame because I’m sure they have perspectives and insights that I don’t…. and I am here to learn Arabic but to learn more too 😦

Another aspect of the weird cross-gender interactions here is that unfortunately interactions however innocent can easily be blown out of proportion…. it’s like we ‘re living by the Qatari standard….   We need to grow up…lol…..

Oh home sweet home here I come….lol


4 thoughts on “I don’t drive women on my bus

  1. Y.S.

    Happy new year ma gazelle, wishing u a blesse done! boy, it’s all so ridiculous, the race and gender relations. why can’t people just go with the flow and stop being hypocrites? segregation has never stopped pregnancies so let it be….it’s interesting that since being in weast africa, i’m questioning these things or should i say myself. in countries like senegal, it’s accepted to be a hijabi and one is treated with a bit too much respect and awe, like u’ve just become some cristal dimond statute. in countries like benin, i’m really the butt of jokes and marginalised. things like hugging and kissing have become awkward but i just go with the flow now, i respond to however someone chooses to greet me, even if i cringe, i just don’t want to battle on that. but the most interetsing thing is that people are waiting for you to ‘fall’ or become a hypocrite. like they can judge your islam based on what thye think u should do not not. like in senegal, anothe rhijabi told me at my friend’s wedding when i didn’t dance that i was a ‘real’ hijabi. but my friend’s husband made a joke at me at being a hijabi that shakes hands when i guess i shouldn’t? it’s such a mess, something that started as a simple modesty issue is blown out of propotion.
    The danger with all that, whether in Qatar or in the continent is people’s will. if one is weak, one lives such a hypocritical life like that of your Joe/Comapnion, but if one is strong then one finds a middle ground while being him/herself. ah la la, how complicated!

  2. gazelledusahara

    SA YS!

    so far the New Year has been ok.

    I don’t know why people like to put people into so many different categories. You where a scarf…. that’s it for me, I don’t really care about any more of the particulars. What is a “real hijabi?” or real anything for that matter, the only one who can judge is God almighty.

    Case in point I went to Ju’mah today and this old Indian woman disrupts my ability to listen to the sermon to tell me that I have on nail polish and it should be removed immediately …. I nodded and then proceeded to ignore her, but it just struck me at how she was paying so much attention to me that she could not have been paying attention to what she was supposed to be doing. She then proceeds to report me to her daughter in law or some younger woman after the prayers are over…. lol…

    I think people get so caught up in the little things that they miss the big picture 😦

  3. I have experienced every bit of the last part that you mentioned. Rumors flew about me and another guy just because we spoke, and I go to a co-educational school. People wouldn’t believe me when I tell them that we were just having frequent conversations about different things. It’s ridiculous, however that was in 9th grade, now people are more mature and open minded about it.

    I really enjoy reading your blog!

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