an essay published by Blavity. (a main point of this essay is an expression of my feelings on the entities of ethnicity, race, and culture. the essay ultimately states that those entities can be quite irrelevant and troublesome, seeing as we’re all one human race. we all idealize the same culture of empathy and understanding. ethnicity-wise, we all come from the same origin, too.)
on-the-afro-arab-experience -this is the full essay. I actually prefer this version much better to the shortened version, above.
one important note: a key part of the essay (that is not really elaborated on in either the Blavity.com version or the Microsoft Word version, above) are the following paragraphs (I think I will add these paragraphs into the Microsoft Word version of the essay, eventually):
I’ve heard quite a lot of the time that Sudanese people are not authentically Arab; they’re just Arabized Africans.
While this is true, it is also true that all Arabs are Arabized.
*But: Moroccans (for one example) don’t bother to say ‘We’re not authentically Arab–we’re Arabized Berbers.’ Egyptians certainly don’t refer to themselves as ‘Arabized Afro-Asiatics.’
So why should Sudanese people have to say that they’re “Arabized Africans?” Is it because many/most Sudanese are quite dark-skinned/they are Black?
Why does Black come at the exclusion of all other ethnicities? I.e., what is it about Black that negates (or; cancels out) all other ethnicities?
A Sudanese person is as Arab as a Moroccan or an Egyptian.
Similar to many elements of society resisting the idea that Blacks can be Arabs, I think society also resists the idea that Blacks can be Latin Americans, South Americans…even Americans. As in; many people have a hard time understanding that Black is just a piece of a puzzle that can make up a person. A person can (for example) be Black, but have his ethnicity be Afro-Arab, or completely Arab, too, I bet. Like; ‘race’ (whatever that means, anymore) and culture/ethnicity are two entirely different entities. (And; each entity needs to be respected/not looked down on, of course.)
One can point all of this out to the people around her. But it becomes hard if the person (funnily enough) happens to belong to an ethnicity that does not coincide with her race, in the eyes of the people. This is because society can be quick to label her as “hating the part of her ethnicity/cultural roots that is the most ‘non-White.” Like, for example: if a person is Black Arab, or dark-skinned Arab, and she states to the people around her that she ‘is just as Arab as a Moroccan or an Egyptian,’ and that ‘all Arabs have historically become Arabized,’ and that ‘appearance and ethnicity are two different things’—if she says all of this, then people might label her as ‘hating her Black side,’ or ‘wanting to distance herself from her Black side due to the influence of the white supremacist world in which she lives.’
While this may be true of some people, where does that leave the dark-skinned Arab (or; Black Arab, or Afro-Arab, if you like) who loves to death her Black side, who can’t get enough of her and her family’s skin tone, her awesome coily hair…her Black heritage, her Black culture, and etc.? In essence, what I mean is that there are Black Arabs (and other Blacks) who deeply love and appreciate the Black aspects of themselves (which are apparent in their culture and perhaps appearance)—but all they want to do is set the record straight. Set the record straight on Race vs Ethnicity. And they want to perhaps dismantle the societal belief that a Black person cannot have any other ethnicity or culture or heritage besides African, or perhaps what has developed into Black culture.
Once society understands this, then they will understand that the entire idea of ‘purely Black,’ ‘purely white,’ ‘purely Arab,’ ‘purely European’, etc. — the entire idea of ‘which group of people are 100% white,’ which group are 100% Black,’ etc. holds no weight. They will understand that the entire entities of race and ethnicity are so different–that a person can be both Black and white (biracial), both African and Arab (multiethnic), etc. (that no one is ‘purely white’ or ‘purely Black,; etc.) — i.e., they will understand that all races and ethnicities are so blended and mixed together that racism and prejudice actually makes no logical sense, whatsoever. Like; scientifically, it makes no sense (and everyone is into science/you can’t say no to science, right?). #WeAreAllOne #OnePeople #OneHumanity.
(really good and interesting video–Sudan: Divided Identity, Divided Land, P1)
~thank you for reading this, and for reading my (actual) essay, above 🙂 🙂
A poem published by Volition, a literary journal of George Mason University (pg. 30) (Volume 18, Fall 2014)
a poem published by Volition, a literary journal of George Mason University (volume 19, Spring 2015)
a poem published by Volition, a literary journal of George Mason University (pg. 31. volume 21, Spring 2016)
An essay published by The Muslim Vibe (on clothing being a component of women’s liberation)
a few writing pieces (+ my interview answers), published by Art Saves Lives International magazine (for their Capitalism, Poverty, and War edition)
Actually, the above link is my abridged interview.
This is my full (original) interview: Interview Questions for ASLI Magazine –Issue 3 – Capitalism, Poverty & War – For ASLI Artists
🙂 **thank u.*** (for checking it out). ❤
I know I will get electric shock therapy (ECT), one day. I think. I think I can trust myself, on this. After all, my intuition told me in the eighth grade that I was developing a mental illness, and here I am. I knew because I was reading a book about a girl who had bipolar disorder, and though I didn’t know what being bipolar meant, and I am no psychic, I knew I had something similar. The character in the book I was reading experienced extreme changes in mood and behavior, throughout the story, and–almost in sync–I was starting to change, too. I was becoming depressed, reserved, and starkly different from the happy-go-lucky kid I had been.
A few creative pieces (+ my interview answers), published by Art Saves Lives International magazine (for the Mental Illness, Health, and Recovery edition)
more pieces published by ASLI magazine (for Mental Illness, Health, and Recovery)
The Diary of an Entirely Insane but Self-Accepting Person
~ Entry 1
The line that the Mad Hatter says to Alice in Alice in Wonderland is so understandable, to me; “I don’t like it here, Alice. It’s terribly crowded.” And that deep comprehension worries me. What’s more, I think the Hatter was talking about the fact that he was imprisoned in the Red Queen’s castle…I, on the other hand, don’t like it, here, and I’m no inmate, anywhere. I just don’t like it, here—it’s terribly crowded…and a host of other things.
Bipolar? Schizophrenia? Depression? Well, I have no doubt that something is wrong, with me. I’ve been seeing doctors for a long time, now. But is it fair to blame everything on my illness? And if not, who or what to blame it on?
~ Entry 2
Sometimes, I wish I could be a therapist. But then I remember that I would have to talk to people, all the time, and I would have to get out of bed, every morning (I’m not lazy, ok? It’s fatigue), and I would have to be somewhat centered, in my own life. The fact that I am incapable of any of those things…well…worries me. I guess I’ll settle for being a writer. (Fortunately for me, that requires none of the above.)
~ Entry 3
“So…you have bipolar. Or some other condition, possibly. That’s what you get, son. Everyone told you life chews up creative geniuses…wanna-be artists…writers. But you went for it, anyway. And now, you’re complaining about people watching you, and voices in your head…and…purple cats in your peripheral vision. That’s what you get, son.”
Are these the words of the worst psychiatrist in the world, or the best? I still haven’t figured it out.
~ Entry 4
Probably my favorite part from Alice in Wonderland is this; “Have I gone mad?” the Mad Hatter asks his friend Alice, in distress. Alice, like her father did to her, all those years ago, places the back of her hand on the Hatter’s forehead, as if checking for signs of feverish delusion. “I’m afraid so,” Alice replies, gently. “You’re completely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret—all the best people are.”
Instead of being told that the C.I.A. isn’t after me, or being asked why I believed that my mom was poisoning my food, I wish I had someone to tell me something like that, while I was “round the bend,” years ago. It would have been much better therapy, I think.
The happy faces in the old photos
Still dampen my spirit.
It’s hard to get used to
Lagging behind everyone else.
My soul has stretched thin—into a chord
That God will play
When the dragonflies reign, supreme.
By then, I might have crippled myself, in angst,
Had it not been for the invisible binds that restrain my heart
I don’t know if anyone has ever noticed this, before, but even the streets at nighttime have a heightened sense of spirituality about them, during Ramadan. Driving along the empty roads, there is an aura of soothing calm amidst the inky blackness. A part of me is secretly envious of the month of Ramadan, with its constant serenity. Why can’t I be at continuous peace?
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