“No thanks needed for duty”


The Dreamer, the Engineer, and I took a short walk around the neighborhood last night and saw a man of the local dominant religion sitting outside of his gate with his granddaughter on his lap. In Arabic I said “Hello” and asked him how he was doing. It turns out he knows some English, so in a broken manner we had a short discussion. Basically, he was indicating that I could come visit anytime, “in shaa’ allah”, meaning “if God wills”. He went on to say, (in English, as this was already well past the extent of my Arabic knowledge!), that he is God’s servant. I replied saying that I also am God’s servant and need His direction “in shaa’ allah”. The man continued by saying “All people created by God to be His servants. Everything is ‘in shaa’ allah’.”

He then signaled for the store owner across the “street” (actually more like a pedestrian-friendly dirt alleyway) to bring pieces of candy for the kids. I was not surprised, as everyone here is so generous toward children that our biggest worry is that they are getting WAY more sugar that we are used to them having. As I helped the kids open the wrappers, I suggested that they could thank the man. The Engineer went up to him, took his hand and said “Shukran!” (“thanks!”). To this offer of thanks the man replied, first in Arabic (which I didn’t understand), and then in English, “No thanks needed for duty”. He further indicated that he is God’s servant and he doesn’t need “thanks” for doing what God has designed him to do.

– Mr. Rikshaw