Tribal WAR

Tribal WarI only used the headline to get you to start reading. This post has nothing to do with WAR but deals with the challenges that we face because we are of different Tribes.

I was invited to an Iftar by a friend's co-worker/friend. Now it wasn't close to where we live but Trinidad not that big either. With directions in hand we set off 15 minutes later than I wanted to. I knew the exit to take but I was worried about the '10-15 minute drive on a road that seemed never ending'... that was part of the directions (we got). The directions were as accurate as you can get. I found the place with relative ease but too close to the actual time I wanted to be there... If You're on time you're Late... I was on time.

The formalities over we headed North, back to the relative safety and comfort of an area that I am more knowledgeable of. This is where the Tribal WAR starts. My friend, thankful for the Southern Hospitality, questioned the feeling of being outcast. I don't know how else to describe it. The atmosphere at the Iftar wasn't the same as I was accustomed to... but then again I rarely go to places where I don't know many people. The 'outcast' feeling was weird as the assumption was that Muslim people should be warm to others, especially at this time of year. I had to state that this was one of my problems with Muslims in Trinidad but it isn't a problem that is unique to Trinidad or ISLAM.

Tribal WARfare exists in many different facets. In this election season we are going to see it. There will be division between Race, Class, Ilk, Profession... all differing Tribes. Different people falling into different Tribes on different occasions. Our Tribes allow us to feel comfortable among others. We have a sense of security knowing others are the same. Knowing that they have the same beliefs, qualifications and even race. It isn't easy to go into a community and immediately be welcomed as an equal... even if you have the qualifications. You sometimes have to prove yourself. On this particular evening I didn't have the time nor did I see the need. It was fitting (this morning) that I heard the Mufti on radio speaking about 'the Family' on radio while I was having my Sehri.

The conversation that was spawned dealt mainly with me expressing my views on the divisions in Islam and personal experiences with family that I met for the first time. I am not about to write about the divisions in Islam as I don't believe that there should be any and I also am not qualified to do so. Nope! I am not an Islamic scholar. I can and will try to write about a personal experience.

I met a family that I had no interaction with for the majority of my life earlier this year. I met the parents 25 years ago, and then only the father about 10-12 years ago. My thought processes were all over the place. They were now a family of 6. Four children that I had never met and had no real knowledge of. Would they talk to me? Would they be uncomfortable with this stranger? Guess what... they all welcomed me into their lives with open arms. It was as if I was living there with them all the time. Thats the beauty of belonging to a Tribe. This was a family Tribe. A Tribe that welcomed a member unknown to them but 'known' to the elders. Just the knowledge that this person has some of the same roots as them. It would link to upbringing and belief.

As I write this I remember being welcomed back into another Tribe earlier this year. I wasn't with them for 2 years but I returned into the Tribe with no real rumblings. There was one incident where another Tribe member questioned my membership but it sorted itself out as Tribal Politics tends to do.

You see, we all belong to different Tribes at different times in our lives. Recently, Facebook has allowed me to find members of Tribes from my school days. We were all part of the same Tribe then and part of a new Tribe now... Facebook.

I don't know what to write again... I tired... this wasn't really a planned blurb... I leave you with this...

Its all about feeling a sense of belonging... (right now) I belong to Trinidad and I long to be here.

i guess at some point in time i will finish writing this but then again...

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