Razwa | Grafton

I don’t know what you’ve been facing till now, but after the attack, I’m sure a lot of things have changed.

Maybe you’re scared to get out of the house. Maybe you’re scared to interact with other people. I mean, I don’t know how it feels, because I personally have not experienced anything like that before, but I think that you should have hope that in the future things are going to be better, because we’ve seen our prime minister, and she’s great. I mean, personally, I think the way she’s brought the community together, I haven’t seen that anywhere else in the world, and I think it’s wonderful and beautiful, and people should really get a lot of hope from that for the future.

I was in Auckland obviously when that attack happened, and I heard it from my husband, and when I heard about it, the first thing that came to my mind is, not in New Zealand, please. This was like the last safe place that, we all felt safe here. I mean, I’ve never experienced anything, I mean even close to anti-Islamic or anything like that since I’ve been in New Zealand. I felt that it’s very welcoming, but now that this has happened, I feel that things might change, but the positive response I’ve seen from all Kiwis, I mean it’s been, it’s actually been wonderful.

The first couple of days I didn’t even actually get out of the house, because I was scared that something might happen, but then the next Friday after that act, my husband called me and he’s like, you should go for a Jumu’ah. That’s the Friday prayers, and I went and I saw the response people had. There were lots of non-Muslims coming in and they wanted to interact. They wanted to know more about this. They were embracing us, rather than pushing us away, and that felt really nice. I spoke to a lot of people, and they were, even other Muslims, those who are working right now, or students, they were their colleagues and everyone else, they were coming and hugging them, and telling them that they were also part of New Zealand, and were not outsiders or anything. So that was really nice.

I think just be comfortable. It’s not something like we’re outsiders or something, you have to treat us differently. I wouldn’t really want that. I mean, just be comfortable around us. Be like you’d be with other people. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. That’s the main thing. That’s the main advice I would give, actually. Be nice. Come and talk to us, if you feel like that, you don’t want to alienate us. That’s the best thing you can do. Come and talk to us. Get to know us. I think that would be the best.

I grew up in Bangladesh, in the capital. I came here with my husband. He was doing his PhD at Auckland University of Technology. My background is, I’m a pharmacist basically yeah. I started pharmacy in Bangladesh. Yeah, and after I came here, right now I’m looking for a job. I just got my residency, so that’s a plus. I’ve been on a work visa here. So, now I have my residency I’m looking for a job. Maybe do a master’s here, hopefully.”

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