Over the last 3 weeks I have been taking driving classes in order to get my Qatari drivers license. My instructor, Fasel, is a fascinating man from Pakistan. Over the course my lessons I heard is opinion on everything (really, everything). He only finished middle school, but has stayed current in world events and international politics. Today he was talking about how he wants to make life better for his children. He has been working in Qatar to support his parents, brothers, wife, and three children back home. At first I assumed his family was poor; however, I learned that from his work he was able to build a building where they can rent out space to businesses, and the family lives in flats on the 5 stories above the shops. He is proud of his accomplishments and commented on how this will allow his eldest son to get a complete education. He then went on to tell me why he valued education, but how he also felt you learned a lot from life.
He believes that if you come from one place in life (always poor, always rich) you have a limited view of the complexities of life. He also explained that you make decisions based on where you are today. He said, “Today I bring with me all my yesterdays, I can not base a decision on tomorrow. I don’t have that experience yet, but I will and I will use it to make my next decision.” He then talked about his education after he left school. He summed it up by saying, “Struggle was my education, but I hope it will not be my son’s.” While I struggled to understand his English at times, I am so grateful I was able to get to hear his story. I didn’t always agree with him, but I am impressed by his ability to educate himself in the way he could and his commitment to provide more for his children.