It’s common for people to describe experiences as ‘eye-opening’, it’s so commonplace its cliché, but it’s hard to describe the tour in another way. The experiences that I had forced me to reconsider and reassess ideas that I had previously believed rock solid, the key one being that democracy is the undeniable right government system, and while I am still unquestionably in favor of democracy, as I’m sure it was clear during the blog, how that democracy takes form is no longer quite so solid.
The tour was also a reminder, people are people, whilst it is another cliché, the simplest conclusions are sometimes the most accurate and in the face of the news media, movies, video games, politicians, and even other people suggesting otherwise, the people that we encountered on the trip were as amazing and as flawed as every other person on the planet. To suggest that the people we met would be so different due to being Muslims that we would not get along (as many instances in the media would suggest) is frankly stupid. While it might be a touch boring, and I would never want to play down the incredible opportunity that this trip was, on this tour we met people, we visited places, we experienced cultures, in each country they were diverse, they were new, they were interesting and amazing, but at the same time they were still people, homes were still homely, cities still busy and bustling, and food still delicious. To suggest that the ‘Muslim world’, if that descriptor is even still relevant after showing how diverse and different these nations are, is somehow opposed to the west, so alien and incompatible with modern ideals that traveling there is akin to traveling to another planet is just simply and plainly wrong.