Mohammed ustad

Mohammed Ustad ID number – @36820 WRI 102 — 35 March 7, 2010 I, Mohammed Hussain Ustad an Indian from Rajasthan was born in Sharjah; U. A. E. ‘ Mohammed’ is the name of the holy Prophet and also my first name which clearly shows that I am a Muslim. My second name ‘ Hussain’ comes from Hussain Ibn Ali, the son of Ali and an important leader in the history of Islam for all the Shi’ites (Shi’a) around the world. ‘ Ustad’ being my family name means teacher in Urdu and in Arabic. My mother tongue is a mixture of Guajarati and Urdu which has a unique dialect. These are a few facts of my life, but what is it really that shapes my identity? The identity of an individual can be based on language, nationality or religion and in my case; it is a combination of all these variables along with my attachment to the place I was born, which gives me my identity. My father came to U. A. E 30 years ago to earn a living. I was born in the United Arab Emirates in 1991, since then I have been living in Sharjah. Every year we go to our home town, Rajasthan in India for vacation. These yearly trips give me a feeling of belongingness to one of the world’s largest country which is home to a myriad of cultures and languages. My life in Rajasthan is a stark contrast to my life in U. A. E. Therefore even though these yearly trips are special, I cannot stay in Rajasthan for more than 2 or 3 months because I am so used to the luxurious and modern life in U. A. E. When people ask me from where do I come, I tell them that I am from U. A. E and not from India as I feel greatly attached to U. A. E., my place of birth, it is where my heart belongs. The language I speak is another factor that contributes to my identity, even though I have been residing in the U. A. E. for the past 18 years, I cannot speak Arabic fluently. Being an Indian I can speak excellent Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. These languages give me an important sense of who I am. When I take my yearly trips to Rajasthan and speak in the local dialect, it gives me a feeling of belongingness; it gives me a feeling of my Indian being. U. A. E. is home to people with different nationalities and religions and I am one of them. By nationality I am an Indian and my religion is Islam. Being and Indian-Muslim is a very important factor that shapes my identity. My religion is the driving force from which I derive my core values, the way I am, my behavior, my conservativeness, my respect for my parents, my faith in Allah, I owe it all to my religion. I belong to the Shi’a community of Muslims and in U. A. E I have seen that with time, equality amongst different Muslim communities like Sunnis or a Shi’as is increasing and this makes me very proud as the condition of Muslims, my brothers and sisters is improving. The major sources of my identity are my nationality, religion, language and my place of birth. These factors help me understand myself better. I celebrate Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi and the Muslim or Arab festivals like Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and Prophet’s birthday. I celebrate the U. A. E national day with as much zest as I celebrate the Indian Independence Day keeping in mind what U. A. E. has done for me and my family. I derive my values from both the Sharia (Muslim laws) and the Indian culture. Some of my friends say “ You talk like an Arab local and not an Indian! “, and I agree with this to some extent because I believe in some strange mysterious way, I have struck up an unexplained connection with U. A. E. during my 18 years here. This connection is the kind wherein even though U. A. E is in my heart, I still have my home country, India with me in my inherent being. Both places are imperative to my identity. To sum it up, all I have to say is I am proud to be a Hindi speaking Indian-Muslim from India living in the U. A. E and it is what makes me, ‘ me’.