French student talking about the Muslim religion

Can you introduce yourself in a few words ? My name’s Sami, I’m a student in BTS management of the SME, at Carcado-Saisseval high school. I’m 20. I’m French, from Algeria, and I’m a Muslim. I was brought into this religion very early. And from my 7-years-old on, they started teaching me a lot of things about prayers, about about what we had to do. (They taught me) A lot of things in fact. About what Islam is in itself. And from my 10-years-old on, I started really fully practicing. Could you tell us about some of the Muslim’s celebrations ? Some celebration.. Well for instance, recently was the Eid. Let’s call it the “Little Eid”. This symbolises the end of the Ramadan. Ramadan which is a fast period of time, that lasts for 30 days approximately. It’s a month consecrated to adoration and worshiping. When we fast to fell what the poorest people feel. Feel what those in need feel. Those who don’t have the chance to be able to eat, like we do. And there’s this celebration that symbolises the end of the Ramadan. So let’s say that it’s a day to be celebrated. We get together, we’ll call family members, aboard or here. We’ll share, even with the kids, giving them some money etc . There’s also the Eid al-Adha We call it the “biggest Eid”. It symbolises the day when God put Abraham to the test Or Ibrahim as we call him. So he put Ibrahim, how do I say it ? Put him on trial. He “challenged” him ! “Challenged” him to to kill his son. And just in time, when Abraham was about to slit his son’s throat I don’t remember, I think it was angel Gabriel who replaced his son with a ram. A ram or a sheep, can’t remember ! And that’s what (Eid al-Adha) is about. The day when we sacrifice sheep, to share altogether. Do you celebrate ? Ah yeah, always ! For instance, on Tuesday I skipped class because I was celebrating this. And yeah I always celebrate. These are festive days so it brings us together. So it’s important for you ? Very important ! Could you talk to us about some ceremonies ? Some ceremonies, well the main one is Friday Prayer (Jumu’ah) Friday Prayer talks place every Fridays around noon or 1 p.m. We go to the Mosque in order to pray. And also to listen to a preach of the Imam. He would mainly give us reminders about what Sunnah is. Sunnah, which is the behavior, prophet Muhammad’s behavior. So every Friday he would explain that to us These are learning process days. Learning what the prophet’s life was like, how we should behave or even about the current situations we are in and how to face these situations. It’s about a variety of things. Could you give us some Dietary Rules ? Dietary rules, well first Halal food, or “Halal” as we say it ! It’s about meat. So about beef, hen… So I have to eat Halal all the time and when we can’t eat Halal (in certain situations) we can eat fish, so like salmon or any kind of fish ! And if you don’t have fish, you can eat a salad ! There’s always a solution So there’s Halal food, there’s also the fact that we don’t eat pork. Well, it impacts my life in a good way. Because I always have faith. I constantly have faith. And what I like is that I can share with friends Muslim close friend’s, or my family. I can also share with people that are not Muslim as well that are from different religions. And, yeah, I d’ont know, it’s cool ! Would you say that your class is inter religious ? Totally ! Completely ! Inter-religious, inter cultural. There’s everything ! Any examples ? Well there are Muslims, Christians, Protestants, Catholics and Copts, I think, yeah Copts too. There’s a Buddhist too And inter cultural too, there are a lot of origins So it enables us to share to tease among us, joke around too, but it’s never mean. And that’s what I like about my class. Would you say there are still inequalities between the religions ? Treatment inequalities… In my opinion, there are There are always inequalities, and in any religion. It’s not something only against Muslims, or Jews or Christians. For me, there are everywhere, in any country and there will always be. Do you personally feel excluded sometimes in certain situations ? Well during the Ramadan yeah ! When everybody around you is eating, and then there’s me ! On a more serious note. If not for the different kind of food, like Halal, the Ramadan sometimes, I don’t feel excluded at all. Do you think that one day every religion will be able to live together (peacefully) ? I think that, before searching for… searching ways to make every religion live together first humans should be able to live together. we should search ways to make humans coexist. I think we should get there first ! Religions, they already coexist. From what I’ve seen (of this project) Well, it involves… Well it could be more appealing to younger people, that’s a fact. That’s the aim ! Yeah that’s the aim, and I also like that it allows you to learn (it allows) each one to learn more about others. For instance, today, I was able to learn more about Christians, or Jews. There were things that I didn’t know. It helps people have an open mind and more understanding. (If we are) talking about searching for peace This hope for peace… We all have hope. Everyday we can talk about world peace like, no more wars, etc… This hope keeps us going, we should always keep faith but I think that peace in itself is not possible. Between religions there’s hope. (I would even say that) there is peace between religions. These are sister religions, with similarities. We should search for peace between humans. That’s it.

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