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10. Hanan's

Source : Special to
In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Assalam Alaykoum, Brothers and Sisters in Islam.
My name is Hanan, and I am a 54 year-old married female, born in Germany, living in Louisiana USA for the past 7 years.
My re-version came on June 17, 2004. I call it "re-version", because I now know that I had always been a Muslima. Oddly enough, the teachings and principles of Islam had also been my own, and it was therefore like "going home" when I accept Islam.
Although I was brought up in the catholic faith (educated in a catholic school), my parents never practiced the religion. After I graduated from High School, I decided not to be catholic anymore, and actually became very anti-Christianity. I began to read literature about the history of Christianity, and realized that much of it, if not all of it, has been "made-up" by Popes, Cardinals, and other church leaders. The doctrines and rules have been changes so many times, and the corruption, atrocities and crimes that were committed in the name of "religion" really appalled me.
I have met many Muslim in Germany, they were neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Almost every city in Germany has a Muslim community, and in my hometown Munich (6 million people) there are of course many, many foreigners. We have a large Turkish population ( 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations), who are for the most part integrated into German society without losing their identities. There are many mosques, Arabic food stores and other businesses, and I am now quite capable of using the different products and wonderful spices.
Contrary to most citizens of the US, I see the customs and cultural differences as an enrichment to all of us. There are some "nationalists" in my country who want to keep our society free of outside influences, insisting that "our race and culture" must be preserved. Fortunately these sons and grand-sons of Hitler are not in the majority, and never will be again.
In the late 1980's I met a refugee family from the Kurdish region of Iraq, and we became very good friends. I was excited about their philosophy on things, their friendliness and hospitality. Umm Sara taught me how to cook and live halal. Abu Tariq and his sons told me many stories about their lives in Iraq, and especially Abu Tariq was a wonderful story teller. During those years of our friendship I realized that there were many things for me to learn. I knew that living according to the teachings of Holy Quran, people will become better human beings.
I wanted to becoming a Muslima, but didn't know how to go about it. My concepts were quite confused. For example, I thought that I would have to "go to school," study the Holy Quran, take tests and be approved by someone (got it mixed up with the Catholics). Today, I realize that God (SWT) had a plan for me, that He knew the right time and place for my re-version, and He helped me to be ready when that time came.
Praise be to Allah, The Beneficent and Most Merciful.
As all of the re-verted Brothers and Sisters know, it takes much studying, learning every day, and accepting guidance to be a good Muslim/a. I'm trying very hard, although sometimes I feel that I'm not making much progress. That is mainly due to the fact that in this part of the country (Louisiana), and specifically in the town where I live (Lake Charles) there aren't many Muslims, and I don't know anyone personally. I have heard that there is a Mosque, but I don't know where it is (there is no listing in the phone book, or maybe I don't know where to look for it). If one of the Brothers or Sisters here could help me with my search, I would really appreciate it.
I intend to participate regularly in our discussions (Aslamt Mailing List) and hope all the members here will do so also.
May Allah, praised be His name always, keep you all save and in good spirits.
Until next time, your Sister Hanan
PS: I adopted the name "Hanan" when I became a Muslima, because for many years I have admired Hanan Ashrawi, a cabinet member of Yassir Arafat. My birth name is Dagmar

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