“I did not like to be silenced” says Auor while she reflects about how her journey to liberation has started. There were many practices and beliefs in society that Auor just did not agree with. It were especially several oppressive and unjust mechanisms especially with regard to women that she was opposing to. She did not like the different treatment of women and men as well as the different roles assigned to both genders. Moreover, she felt a restriction of free expression and free questioning. She sees herself as an individual who likes to ask and ask and ask. However, her questions were often not welcomed, especially when they were perceived as challenging and in derogation from the culture’s norms. She belonged to those youths who were not ready to shut up in front of any oppressive or unjust act, be it in the family or generally in society. She was always longing for liberating herself from anything that did not convince her.
Auor’s questions never stopped and they wandered from one sphere to the other. Auor started to become more and more attracted to arts, literature and French philosophy. In her eyes philosophy was a revelation to her. Philosophy is what made her also question religion in general. This marks the beginning of her journey to God. She started to doubt religion and questions about life, meaning, death and existence occupied her for several years. Auor was going through sleepless nights looking for answers to her deep but yet essential questions. Her brain did not take a break, it was asking and asking and asking. Eventually, she ended up becoming an atheist for about a year. Even though Auor argues that this was the worst period of her life and that she was a very negative person during that time, she stresses that it was a crucial step in life that made her what she is now.
After her atheist path, Auor felt an increasing strong belief in God that she describes primarily as an emotional rather than not rational conviction. Since that turn Auor has become a very spiritual person. Spirituality gained a very high importance in her life. Apart from meditation Auor feels strongly spiritual when listening to music and when she sings herself. For her singing is a tool of communicating with God. She does not feel attached to any religion, she rather sees her spirituality to go beyond the different religions. Yet she loves to put herself in the shoes of people who belong to different religions to feel what they feel. Sometimes she participates, for example, in the Islamic fasting to go through Muslims’ spiritual experiences of fasting or she enters a church to experience Christians’ feelings during the church visits. She emphasizes that since this turn in her life she has found meaning and answers to her questions. She believes that every human being is here for a reason. She tries to be the best person and to contribute to the well-being around her. As someone who does not belong to a specific religious group she argues that she sometimes feels an absence of a sense of community.
Both, Auor’s journey to liberation and journey to God reflect her wonderful character. An individual who likes to ask, challenge and question things. An individual who does not just follow blindly that what is common but who is keen to do her own inquiry. It was a wonderful opportunity to get an insight into Auor’s journeys of life. Everyone of us has his or her own journey and it is always very inspiring to listen to people’s stories. It makes us see behind the curtain. It makes us understand from where they come and where they are standing now. It makes us also see where we stand ourselves. It makes us reflect on our own stories. It makes us step outside our own lives and look retrospectively at our journey.
By Asmaa Soliman, 10/2013