What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Friday, November 5, 2010


I find it amazing here how tolerant people are of others. I'm sure the majority of the world doesn't think they can learn much from Africa, but I tell you one thing they can definitely learn from Sierra Leone: how to get along with other religions. I don't have a full grasp of it all yet as language and an overly protectively family keep a bit of a shelter over me. But to see Muslims and Christians living in such harmony is amazing. America and its ground zero debate should pay attention.

There is no animosity between them, they exist together, happily. Christian kids go to Islamic funded schools and vice versa. They all follow state curriculum which gives the basics, but then allows for one religious studies class. This takes many forms. But you can have schools with Arabic, and Islamic based religious studies, just as Christian ones, and ones that take a more middle ground. I've been told by more than one person of a family member changing religion, and there is no animosity, parents bless it - sighting individual choice.

And it is not like religion is not big here. It is EVERYTHING!! The mosque calls to prayer every morning at 5. The whole household here is up at 6 reciting prayers together. They do this every night before going to sleep as well. I am a bit disappointed that I haven't spent as much time with an Islamic family, but then again everything is open and not really labeled, I talk to Muslims everyday. It is a nice feeling to see two groups of people with such a larger history of hate and contention not only getting along, but being best friends, family members, whatever.

I wish more people would come and see it. Where are my academic friends?! Send your research assistants!! Have them learn how to teach us in the West and the Middle East what tolerance is!!

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