2023 Aug week 1 by Mom
KFL Female 53 (Week 1)
Today is the GISLA Program first day for my student.
If this is your first time reading GISLA stands for The GreenStairs Islamic Leadership Academy. I first about it when we participated in the Potluck Day organized at Shirley Gate Mosque. The coordinator (LG as he was called) of the Mosque talked about it and a few parents of young students who took the program also explained to me the program. The parents were so enthusiastic about the program that I wanted to enroll my kids. I also met a student there who took the program and he was so confident about the program, and the coordinator explained to me later that he liked it so much that he was acting as a teacher to new students. I liked that fact. He was a real example of what leadership means to me. He demonstrated that the program works well for him therefore why not for my kids?
The coordinator also talked to my kids and he explained to them how hard the program is hard and how they will hate him when they will enroll and how they will cry the first day but they will thank him later on. I think they were also convinced to take the class.
This last Friday’s Barbecue Day (August 18, 2023), another parent talked to me about the program and she said that her kids finished the program and they are still going to the parent even though they finished the 6 weeks a year ago meaning that the program worked well for them too. This was another testimony that confirmed my decision to pursue my willingness to enroll my kids in the program.
Let’s come back to today’s journey.
This morning, at 8:05 am my youngest daughter who is 16 years old surprisingly come to my bedroom to wake me up as I went back to sleep after Fadjar prayer. I told her I set my alarm to 8:30 am and she told me that we need to be at the mosque at 9:30. And we agree to leave the house at 9:00 am.
When she left the bedroom, I could not go back to sleep as I was laughing at this situation. Usually, I was the one going to their bedroom to wake them up but this time that is all the way around. I like that new situation.
When I was ready and worked down to the kitchen, I was surprised to find in the kitchen my 2 daughters, the one who came to wake me up and her older sibling who is 17 years old, and my nephew who is also leaving with me and who is also enrolled in the program. They were all ready to go to the Shirley Gate Mosque. I asked them if they had breakfast, and their answers were all positive. I was amazed.
We got to the Mosque at 9:33 am. They were asking me if we should do this, and my youngest daughter was telling me we still have time to go back home and we all laughed about this.
One of my daughters walked first into classroom 9 where the program was scheduled to happen, and I automatically saw her stepping back as I heard a voice that was not audible to me. She stepped back in again in the classroom saying Assalamou Aleykoum then I understood that the voice corrected her. We all follow her in the classroom saying Assalamou Aleykoum. I later find out that she said hi instead of Assamou Aleykoum and she was asked to go back and enter greeting people the Islamic way.
The coordinator of the Mosque, who was the person who was correcting my daughter, LG, was the teacher that first day. He asked them to confirm their name ask he asked them during the Potluck and the Barbecue days. He asked them to tell him about the news in the World, in the USA, in Africa, in Virginia and the kids could not say a single thing that happen in any of those areas. This was also a wake-up sign about how ignorant are the kids about what is happening around them. LG let them that next time they will have to talk about at least one thing that happens in one area of the World and if it’s already said they will have to talk about something else as they cannot repeat the same thing two times.
LG also talked about the program. They will every Sunday Pledge allegiance to the flag of America, and he asked why they should do this. All students gave their why and he said that because we are in the USA and the USA gave the opportunity to have freedom of religion to all, we are able to take this opportunity freely then we all need to respect the USA. Then we will have to do a pledge of Faith which is to say the Shahadah, therefore, to bear witness to the oneness of God by reciting the Shahadah “There is no God but One God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. LG explained why we need to do it and the history behind it. Another teacher named Samer came later and LG asked the student to explain to him why we are doing those pledges. One by one, the student went to the board to present and that was not easy at all as they are not used to presenting and the second teacher wanted them to be straight to the point, to listen to the questions, and be focused on the questions. This was not easy at all they wanted to explain the whole history of the pledges which was not the question. Getting straight to the questions was a very hard task, but they finally did it with the help of a very young lady, the other teacher’s daughter who was able to answer the questions in a very concise way. I guess she is used to being with her father giving the lessons.
LG talked about the third Pledge which is the one to Knowledge. They should respect the teacher, be kind to everyone in the classroom and respect the knowledge by doing their best to get the knowledge.