I remember the day I moved in. The elder daughter opened the door wearing a hijab. “Poor, oppressed girl”- I thought, and I wasn’t very far away from the truth. The father came downstairs to help me with the luggage and told me the house rules: just as the girls, I have to wear a hijab all the time, and cover my whole body when we go out with the family together. The girls are very disciplined and always do as their father says because they are told that women always have to do what the men say. Whenever a guest comes we have to stay quiet and can’t make interaction with them other than serving them tea and coffee. The guests are mainly young men in their twenties and their fathers who come to see the elder daughter to discuss marriage proposal.

Well if you believed anything I said above you should take a moment and rethink your feelings towards Muslims, as you might be slightly racist. Here is what actually happened:
I remember the day I moved in. The elder daughter opened the door wearing a hijab. „Poor, oppressed girl”-I thought, and I couldn’t have been further away from the truth. The father came downstairs as well to help me with the luggage and told me the house rules: he asked me to treat the house as my home. The girls were very nice as well and made me feel welcome straight away. They are very disciplined and always do as their father says because they respect him so much that is very rare to see in the Western society. Even though the father never obliged them to, the elder daughter decided to wear hijab, but the younger one doesn’t – and the father if completely fine with that as it is her choice. The guests in the house are mainly relatives and whenever they come we chat in the living room together and play board games til midnight.

Besides eating a lot of chicken (we don’t eat pork) and not drinking alcohol (probably the most challenging rule for me) it is pretty much exactly like living with a non-Muslim family.

I lived with the family for two years and I enjoyed every bit of it. Even though I was just renting a room they made me feel like I was part of the family. They thought me a lot about Islam so it was quite natural to me that when the Holy Month of Ramadan came, I decided to fast with them.