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Thread: how to befriend Afghani neighbor with baby.....

  1. #1

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    Default how to befriend Afghani neighbor with baby.....

    Hi there,
    Have just discovered our new neighbors (moved in 5 months ago?) have a baby. Never heard it before and didn't know it existed. Neighbors are young (20's) Afghani couple and the wife doesn't speak english. Husband works and I have never ever seen the wife leave the driveway for a walk. I'm guessing she's not allowed?
    Anyway, was out the front today washing a baby cot and pram we'd just been given, when she walked out with her baby to get some sun. My mum was there and (of course) walked straight over and started cooing over the (cute) baby. Neighbor looked a bit scared but didn't run or anything. I walked over too and patted the baby and then patted my stomach to show I was pregnant. Mum then left and I stayed in driveway washing stuff....neighbor stayed out too and was sneaking looks at me (as I was her!), then after a few minutes went back inside. I was kicking myself for not even attempting some communication.
    Does anyone know what the rules are with young Afghani mothers befreinding women of different religions? She wears the Muslim gear but not the full burka.
    I would like to give her one of our nice sheepskins for the baby to lie on (was a gift to me but we have a few!)....is that acceptable? And does she eat chocolate cake cos I do a mean one?!
    Anyway, let me know if you have any experience with these type of situations!
    I've spoken to her hubby before, introduced myself etc. Maybe I can leave him a note asking if his wife needs a friend? I have a pram she could use, and perhaps she'd be able to leave the premises for a walk if I was with her? She looks pretty sad and lonely.
    Thanks,
    Cat






  2. #2

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    Hi Cat,

    I'm a muslim (convert) and just let me get the easy ones out of the way first. I've got friends from all religions, and so does almost every muslim woman I know. 2nd - DEFINITELY no rules about chocolate cake - yum...LOL. Sheepskin is fine - not disallowed or anything. She'd probably love it!

    I think she would probably love a friend and the reason she is shy is because of her lack of English. Also if she wears the hijab she has probably been the victim of racism so maybe that makes her a bit shy. I wore it for a few years and have been abused and spat on a few times. A friend of DH's niece was refused service in a newsagency in Liverpool (NSW) and so on. This could make her a bit wary of rejection. My husband is Lebanese and in his culture they LOVE being social. You could have a great time together as I'm sure she feels very isolated being unable to communicate. I think Chloe's (dachlostar) DH is Afghani so maybe she could help you out on a few simple words to get a rapport going.

    A smile and a Hello is universally understood

  3. #3

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    Forgot to say Good Luck

  4. #4

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    What a wonderful idea. I can be very hard to move to a new place at anytime, let alone another country if you don't speak the lanuage. Could you find an Afghani dictionary or even one online?

    I think she will really appreciate some friendship and being their first baby (?) she might have a lot of questions too.

    Good luck with it.

  5. #5

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    What a nice thing to do! I dont have any advice except to say goodluck. I'm sure anything you can offer in the way of friendship will be greatfully recieved. I've moved several times to new areas (and new countries) and an olive branch of friendship (or that chocolate cake.... YUM!!) would always have been appreciated!

  6. #6

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    Personally, I wouldn't treat her any differently then anyone else. I'm sure that if she is new to the area with what seems to be not many friends or family she would appreciate someone to talk to.

  7. #7

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    Natalie's correct, my DH is Afghani - there's definately no rules about chocolate cake and she'd probably be very grateful for a sheepskin.
    Afghani's really pride themselves on thier hospitality - if you go over with a sheepskin or some cake she's almost 100% certain to feel that she has to invite you in and ply you with tea and nuts. If she's shy because she doesn't speak much English she would probably love a chance to learn a bit more from you.
    I'm sure she's allowed to leave the house but she may still be adjusting to Australia and be finding it a bit daunting and as Natalie has pointed out she may have been harrassed because she wears hijab.
    I agree with Sarah, you don't need to treat her any differantly than you would any other new neighbor who looks like they need a friend.

  8. #8

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    Oooh, talk about adrenalin! I've been bungy-jumping and it didn't feel this good!
    Took the lambskin over today and she opened the door and smiled and after I pushed the present at her, she accepted it and said 'thank you thank you'. I was a bit shy and said 'that's ok' and then walked back to my unit......
    I left a note with the sheepskin saying congrats etc. and if she ever wanted to take bubs out for a walk to the park and needed a pram, she could borrow mine and I could show her the way if needed. Balls in her court!
    Thanks for everyone's advice and encouragement....



  9. #9

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    Good on you! I hope you become great friends

  10. #10

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    Fantastic!
    personally I wouldn't leave it as ball in her court. she may still be very shy. maybe give it a day or so & pop over agian with the cake & ask if she would like to join you for morning tea or something.
    Give her a chance to become comfortable with the budding friendship before expecting her to make the next move.

  11. #11

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    You can always pop in here with the cake.....

  12. #12

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    Howd you go, Cat?

  13. #13

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    Rayla, I 've been wondering about this too!

    So how are things going for you both Cat?

  14. #14

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    Hi,

    I think this is really lovely,i was just saying to DH the other day that neigbours(sp?) are just not the same any more,people just kind of keepto them self and ur lucky to even get a smile.Im also muslim and in our religion ur neigbour is a BIG thing ,we believe they have a certain right to be treated well an catered to as they are the people living next to you.So most likely you will get a positive response from a muslim neighbour.
    hope it goes well.
    can u be my neigbour....chocolate cake!!!!!!!! lol

  15. #15

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    I love the name Ruqayah!!

  16. #16

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    Chocolatecatty
    I think what you are doing is great. Hope your neighbour responds soon but am just wondering - if she doesn't speak much English she probably reads even less. I am wondering whether she could ever read what you wrote? Did you go over with chocolate cake?

    Hope it is all working out .

    PS can you come past my place too!

  17. #17

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    Hi,

    thanks rayla72 ,its a really popular name with the arabs

  18. #18

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    I know, dH is Lebanese

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