Ramadhan thoughts of a new young mother

As if recently completing her Higher Diploma in Education at the University of Nizwa on top of an earlier BA in English Language and Literature from Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat wasn’t enough of a challenge, Walaa Khamis al Obeidani is now also the proud mother to a bouncing baby daughter named Fajer, along with her husband, Freih al Muntheri, an administrative coordinator in the Royal Oman Police.
Al Obeidani, herself the youngest of three children, was born, and still lives in the Wilayat of Nizwa, shared her thoughts on Ramadhan, life during the holy month, in addition to her reasons for becoming a teacher, a calling that has been near to her heart, since her earliest school days.
She took much of her inspiration though from her English teacher in high school, Ms Mutia al Kindi, saying, “She was very friendly and encouraging, and made every lesson a new and interesting life experience, and they were not only about school and classroom learning. She inspired me to see teaching as a vocation in which I can truly find myself and fulfil my life’s ambition.”
She had always seen teaching as a greatly appreciated and an honourable profession, in the community, and further commented, “I would really like to see myself as reliable, unique, knowledgeable and hopefully also an inspirational teacher. I would like also to be a good example to my students by being open to them, reliable, well-prepared, well-organised, and even a loving teacher to my future pupils.”
Although a recent educational graduate, Al Obeidani has significant classroom experience through earlier practicums, and school placements, and has very clear views as to the needs of the sector in taking the pupils, and the Sultanate’s educational needs further, having the opinion that, “Although there have been several reforms in education in Oman, it still needs revision in the areas of a demanding curriculum, teaching resources, teacher development, training and student assessment.”
She is full of admiration for what the government and the ministry have achieved to date but stresses that both learner’s and teacher’s needs contribute to quality learning experiences, and that addressing the issues raised is vitally important.
“The way I perceive Ramadhan is that it is an opportunity to eliminate all temptations of the worldly life, to spend more time in thought, and to dedicate oneself to religious accountability and reflection of the self. Ramadhan offers opportunities for the soul to be purified and reformed and is a very special occasion for all Muslims, where our faith and spirituality fill the air.”
For her, the clarity and purpose of the holy month were evident as she continued, “It is also a reminder to us of those who are desperately in need, less fortunate in terms of their quality of life, and unable to afford even the barest of necessities, and to understand that our own inconveniences at this time are so very small.”
“This Ramadhan is my first time as a mom!” She exclaimed, “And I’m very excited to ‘live’ the experience with my baby girl, although I’m little worried about all the responsibilities that come along with it. Anyway though, it’s a challenge that I gladly take on with my own little family, and of course our extended families and I’m aspiring to all the gifts and blessings that Allah promises if we fulfil our duties and obligations fully and faithfully.”
She finished with the interesting observation that it is not only Muslims who enjoy and eagerly await the month of Ramadhan, as many non-Muslim expats also respect its rituals, some even participating in its events and obligations, “especially the public ‘Iftar’ gatherings. While another event that is always eagerly anticipated by the children, and fully embraced by expat families for example, is the ‘Qranqashoh,’ which occurs in the middle of the blessed month, when children in their traditional outfits go door-to-door for candies and sweets.”
Walaa al Obeidani appreciates all she has, and typically of her generation, is staunch in maintaining her faith and her dedication to the holy month of Ramadhan, but also “Importantly, it will give me time to reflect on being the best possible wife and friend to my husband, and mother and friend to my daughter.”