Hanien Alouzi(left) is a Maltese-Libyan who, while both her parents are Libyan, was born and raised in Malta. Pamela Farrugia (right) was born in Malta and moved to Qatar together with her parents at the age of 8. She lived there up until she turned 16, when she moved to England for continue with her studies.
Pamela was baptized in Malta, and hence is a Roman Catholic. On the other hand Hanien adheres to Islamic faith. This means that they both spent their childhood in a country where in the nationals adhere to a different faith than they do. This brings up the question, “Would it have been easier for you to live in Malta or Qatar had you been Catholic or Muslim?”
There was no straight forward answer to this question. They both said that they can’t say whether this would have made a difference at all. Pamela described how in Qatar there are people of different nationalities and faith from all over the world. As children in Qatar, they were very interested in finding the differences between each other and they were never hostile to anyone. Pamela added by saying that all her muslim friends were warm and welcoming to her, and hence, she does not know if her life would have been any different had she been a Muslim.
Hanien said that being a Muslim in Malta, her and her family always looked physically different. Hence to a certain extent she would have looked less different had she been Catholic. So in terms of that, it would have been easier for her. That being said, Hanien pointed out that people are discriminated against by whatever society can use against them. Had she been Catholic, she would have still been a Lybian, and people would have used that against her. She could have even had a disability, or anything that makes her look different, and that would have been used against her, or anyone for that matter, just the same.
Hanien and Pamela both agreed on the fact that they could not say whether their life would have been any different, as faith, in terms of discrimination is just a tool people can use against you. People will judge you regardless.
This was part of an interview held with Hanien and Pamela. A full version of the interview can be found on “The Insiter” magazine which can be collected from our stand during the KSU Freshers’ Week.