Friday, August 29, 2014

This Semester - and a class on Black History

(Warning / pre-post: The following post includes a photo of lynching (that may be viewed as disturbing by some) as a reminder of the hell that Black people have suffered in the U.S.)

Hello all,

This semester has begun, and as enlightening as it's going to be, it's also going to be quite stressful and difficult. Possibly the most difficult of all my semesters in grad school so far. I'm still thoroughly excited, though!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Funny things I heard and noticed in Ibri, Oman

None of the following observations are intended to generalize about Oman or Ibri or to at all suggest anything negative about Omanis. Every society has similar ridiculousness (if anything, I think some Pakistanis and other South Asians can be really ridiculous in their ideas about women when as well - and just other things, like "Running disturbs the jinnat and the earth, and God will punish you for running on the Day of Judgment" - I KNOW!), so let's not jump to any unfair conclusions about an entire population that I'm sure is more diverse than they appear in Ibri (they don't seem diverse in Ibri, though, according to my experiences). Common unfair generalizations are mentioned below not because I think only Omanis generalize about other people and groups but just because I find all generalizations to always be ridiculous.

Still, the below is simply to share some funny things I've come across in Ibri. I wouldn't suggest reading more into them. Thanks.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Patriarchy insults women and men. Let's get rid of it asap.

Pre-post: I actually wrote this on July 25th (while I was in Oman), and it was triggered by the harassment we girls were facing each time we'd walk around - men whistling at us, trying to talk to us, stopping their cars to ask us to get in their cars with them (even when we had our long black abayas as is expected of women in Ibri, Oman - so there: harassment isn't about clothing!), blowing kisses towards us, staring at us (OH MY GOD!!), and so on. But as I started talking about harassment, I went on to talk about patriarchy and feminism and what an enemy patriarchy is of not just women but men as well. I realized that if CLS or Oman comes across this post, it could be interpreted as an attack on Oman or Omani society. That's not what I was or am doing, but since I got in trouble previously for talking about my experience with an Omani family's maid and what hell she goes through and then I criticized the servanthood system in Oman and almost got expelled from the program, I've to be careful. One of the many lessons I learned from that was to never, ever, ever, EVER say anything negative about Oman, Omani society, Omani people, Omani culture, Omani religion, Ibadhis, or something that could even be interpreted as negative (... and that led me to believe that if I can't say anything negative about this society, no matter how true it is, I refuse to say anything positive about it, either, then.) So while harassment is a problem everywhere, and I wasn't focusing on Oman in the post below, I had to postpone publishing this post until I was safely back in the U.S.

God bless freedom of speech. God bless America for letting me blog about whatever I want. Freedom of speech and expression should not be a privilege, but unfortunately it is. Long live all freedoms!

So here.
I've too much to say right now, but I have other things to do at the moment, so I'll just say this briefly:  a woman's worst enemy is patriarchy. Actually, a man's worst enemy is patriarchy, too. Below is a meme that explains it much better than I can, but I'll write about this myself more in a few weeks and will explain what has triggered this statement that we need to get rid of patriarchy asap. I'll give you a hint: harassment, men thinking that public spaces belong to them only and hence when a woman shares them with them, they think they have a right to stare at her, whistle at her, blow kisses towards her, touch her, grope her, call out to her, talk to her, and so on. Women being taught that they're "like precious pearls" and so therefore must cover up their bodies because their bodies belong only to their husbands, "not to all other men"! Do men's bodies belong to everyone and that's hwy they don't have to cover up, that's why they're not taught the same thing? Besides, I don't wanna be a "precious pearl"; I prefer being a human being with a mind and body of my own. Men, too, are human beings. No human, no gender is delicate by nature - we're all decliCATED when we're consistently taught through our lives that "you can't do this because you're incapable of doing it" and so on. Words are powerful, as are the messages that such harmful thinking sends women and men, girls and boys - and everyone in between.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Old (Mud) Houses in Oman

I'm obsessed with the different styles of houses around the world. Humans are pretty intelligent and practical. I've posted before about Omani houses (the current style, especially of upper class / richer Omanis who have benefited immensely from the oil discovery), although now that I think about it, I think that post may be currently under "drafts." Long story as to why I did that, but I'll post it back once I'm back in the U.S. Four more days for that to happen, inshaAllah!

I've also previously blogged about what traditional Pukhtun/Pashtun houses look like. As you probably know by now, unless you're a new reader of mine from my time in Oman, I'm Pukhtun (also known as Pashtun), and I hope that's obvious from this blog, but in case it's not, now you know. Grin.

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...