The Unity dUCk

When Aunt Seyda came to visit recently, I was taken down memory lane. My parents met her and husband when they were all expatriates working abroad; they quickly became friends and that friendship trickled down to the children as well. My brothers and I used to play at the parks with Aunt Seyda’s kids, we’d have sleepovers and go to the movies together. Till today, my brothers and I keep in touch with Aunt Seyda’s kids who now have children of their own – it’s so bizarre!

What fascinates me the most, is that one would not have expected this friendship to blossom. Mom and Aunt Seyda are worlds apart – Mom is Malaysian, wears the hijab and is very conservative, whereas Aunt Seyda is from Turkey, she’s stylish, has blond curly hair and I remember her always wearing cool hoop earrings. Yet, both of them are two of the nicest women I know, such loving wives and moms, and most beautiful of all – they share the same faith in Islam.

That opened up my eyes to the world of Islam. A beautiful religion loved by almost 2 billion people in the world, each one so unique in our looks, practices, and culture. We don’t even speak the same language! Yet there is only one place in this world that strips all our differences away and unites us in silence – the mosque. When a Muslim stands next to another Muslim in prayer, a sudden brotherhood is felt so strongly between two strangers. We are worlds apart, yet we are united. I find that so beautiful.

Mom and Aunt Seyda’s relationship reminded me of that beauty, so this Eid, I looked at Turkey and was inspired by its Blue Mosque (also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque). A monument of glorious grandeur, proudly standing as a beacon, representing the beauty of Islam to the world. The tiles, the borders and the calligraphy inspired me, as you can see in the dUCk you’re holding right now. My hope for this dUCk is to inspire kindness, acceptance and love, despite everyone’s differences – something I found in these two beautiful women.