An open mind….

Alrighty then, Imma gonna post about Bashir again…..sorry if it’s a repeat for you: Many many years ago, I worked for a temp agency in North Dakota at a factory. I supervised the temps. We had a huge influx of Somalian refugees. We had jobs. They needed jobs. We gave them jobs. Now, I won’t sit and lie to you and tell you this small-town North Dakota girl wasn’t nervous. The job was to get them in, train them and put them to work. And we did. It was a factory. We had women who couldn’t remove their hijabs for religious reasons, yet we just didn’t want her head caught in a press. I explained that. We had men that had never seen a woman supervisor, and I dealt with that. 

We had complaints from the privileged North Dakotans about bathroom use. You see, the refugees had always had to use the bathroom outside. They weren’t used to indoor toilets. 

We dealt with it all and at the end of the day, those refugees kept the business going. 

Bashir was one that would hang out with me. I don’t know why other than he saw a woman in this country doing better than those in his own. Bashir and I spoke of Somalia and a horrific war that’s been going on now for years. He told me that his father, uncle, brothers were already dead because of war. He told me about his folks training him to be a “holy man” since the day he was born. He told me he’d had to memorize the Koran by the time he was 6. I just listened, held back tears. I asked him how he felt about it all. He said, “I’m happy I’m not going to die. I don’t want to be no effing holy man. I just want a wife, children. I just want to live.”

He’s carrying on his family’s name, damn it. He’s not worried here about getting killed. There were many Bashirs, but this one talked to me. I’m forever grateful. 

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