Saturday, May 26, 2007

Identity Crises (Part 3) - The Anger

Changing Identities

I'm walking around in Europe with my family during our summer vacation and an "Arab" man is walking next to us. When he noticed that we are speaking in Arabic, he turned to us and asked my dad for financial help. He said that we are all Arabs and we should help each other. This time I was an "Arab". Just an Arab.

I'm walking around in the United Arab Emirates with some friends and a bunch of local kids are walking behind us. As soon as they hear our accent (keep in mind sudanese arabic is close to the gulf arabic), they start pointing at us and making fun of us. They call us "Negros" , ugly "blacks" and poor "Africans". They made sure we hear every single word. Ofcourse.
This time I was an "African" . Just an African.

I'm walking around in Cairo with a friend of mine. Our Arab media class just finished and we were walking to the other campus. We were discussing my identity. I referred to myself as an Arabized African but he disagreed. He said I'm an Arab. We tried to compromise a bit and decided to use the term "Afro-Arabian" or "Afro-Arab" .
This time I was an "Afro-Arab". Just an Afro-Arab.

ok...I have an identity crises but I dont want you to solve it. I want to figure it out on my own.

Please
-Stop labelling me and classifying me the way you want me to be.
- Stop giving me false constantly-changing identities.

JUST Let Me Be Let Me Be Let Me Be Let Me Be Let Me Be

16 comments:

pommygranate said...

kizzie

what a fascinating blog.

I was a little confused as to the desription of the person in the sidebar beginning "A Sudaniya who is in love with her country,her people..."

is that you?

Matt Scofield said...

Interesting series of posts this was, and nice pics on the blog too.

Kizzie said...

Hello Pommygranate,

yes this is my biography:)
I'm sorry for the confusion
btw, interesting blog!

hello Matt,
wow, I have a reader from Texas now:)
Thanks for commenting.



Sudaniya

pommygranate said...

and one from Sydney!

pommygranate said...

Kizzie

What do you make of your fellow African female writer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

I am attending a lecture by her in Sydney on Sunday. She's something of a Goddess for me.

Kizzie said...

Dear pommygranate,

You are not going to like what I say about her then:)
I admire her for being a strong woman, she went through alot(circumcision, arranged marriage etc..) but she miraculously survived and started a whole new life in Holland.

BUT she shouldn't have started her anti-islam campaigns. If she doesn't want to be a Muslim, it's her own choice but she shouldn't say things such as Islam oppresses women n etc just because she was circumcised...by the way: it's a cultural thing not a religious thing:)
Her movie submission reenforces the stereotypes most people have about Islam etc: muslim men are wifebeaters.
Plus, just because I'm Muslim doesn't mean I wanted "Van Gogh" to get killed and no I'm not oppressed :)
I don't have problems with Islam at all but I do have problems with muslims who interpret it their own way.
If I were in Aussie, I was definitly going to go to her lecture:)
She is interesting!


Sudaniya

pommygranate said...

kizzie

fair points. she certainly has done Islam no favours. but i can also see that she blames Islam for all the bad parts of her life.

Kizzie said...

Hello Pommy,
exactly this is what I am saying, don't blame religion for your problems unless it really caused you problems.
Circumcision- its a cultural thing not a religoius thing.
Arranged or Forced marriages are also cultural not religious (in fact you can't have forced marriages in Islam, the bride must approve of the groom before marriage)
and if her parents forced her to wear the veil(hair veil) or even the neqab(face cover)then it's their problem. I believe it is a personal choice and they shouldn't have forced her to do so.

She worked really hard to get to where she is today but her anti-islam campaigns are disadvantaging her not benefiting her.

pommygranate said...

kizzie

can you help me understand the cultural angle more.

when you say circumcision and forced marriage are not Islamic but are cultural, what do you mean?

i thought they were mandated by Sharia Law?

thanks

Homeland Colors said...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali may have gone to a bit of an extreme with her wholsale rejection of Islam, but it is not uncommon for those who have been trmuatized by a system to reject it altogther. What I find interesting is that she is seen as one of the few people who grew up in an islamic socity to aggresively speak out in defense of women. She is probably more extreme than she has to be, but she comes across as resonable because there are not enough native moderates speaking out against injustices. There is no one else critical of ourrages to compare her to. We need more Muslims speaking out against people who misuse Islam to justify their wrong doing.

Kizzie said...

Hello pommygrante,
you gave to understand that in Islam if a woman is not sexually satisfied from her husband, she has the right to divorce him ( n vice versa ofcourse).
The type of FGM practiced most in Somalia is infibulation, it is the most severe form of female circumcision!
Infibulation means the removal of the external genitalia.
keep in mind, that the infibulation is called the "pharaonic circumcision" because it is believed that the pharaohs practiced it. hint hint: Islam didn't exist back in the pharoahs days!
Anyways, infibulation means that there is no sexual pleasure whatsoever, so the woman is never sexually satisfied. In the Quran, sexual satisfaction for both men and women was emphasized on in some verses.
My point is it is NOT religious it is cultural.
Let me explain why its cultural...
In some countries virginity is very important and it is assumed that fgm controls a womans sexuality . In other words, maintain a womans virginity until she gets married.
btw: After infibulation, the labia majora are held together using stitching so when a girl gets married she must undergo reverse infibulation meaning "the husband uses a knife"
Sudan was the first country to outlaw fgm but it is still prevelant because the law is not properly enforced.
Last year, a meeting was held at azhar university( the top islamic uni in this part of the world) and they finally banned fgm from all muslim socieities and they classifyied it as a "Crime" but sadly, laws are not properly enforced here!

Do you understand why it is not religious its cultural?
ps: I will get u the exact verse that reads that a woman must chose her husband but I'm sure that in Islam you can chose your own husband if you believe that he is the right one for you.

Alphamale said...

I just want to add that I am sick and tired of the tirade that muslims don't denounce injusctice when it's done in the name of Islam. WE do , by GOD, but it's not that easy and when we do it nobody cares anyway. Whether it's tyranny, religious intolerance or terror...

Let me add that female circumcision occurs mainly in africa, in the arab world proper it is very rare (and it's most common in Egypt). Ayaan Hirsi once said that most muslims do it...that's oure bullshyt. The vast majority of muslims do not practice it. Only in Africa is "common". And let med add to it that in Africa it's as common among non-muslims as muslims of not more among non-muslims. Women are circumsised from Sudan down to South Africa. The Masai circumcise both women and men and they are Christian/"traditional". Same thing goes for Ethiopia,Ghana etc.

It's a complex issue since most african countries have either minorities or majorities of africans, but the impact of islam is hardly so great that it could have forced the practice on non-muslims africans (this is absurd because of all practices in Islam why this, assuming that it is a "islamic" practice, which it isn't) . There are dozens non-muslim african countries that practice it as well hundreds of african etnecities (some whom maybe muslim).

Yet Ayaan and other "anti-muslims" try to make it a muslim practice when the vast majority don't practice it. It's a native AFRICAN tradition, which likely predates Islam at least and which has been developed independetly. I have been in contact with various groups of somalis working against it and I have a relative who fight the good fight against it.

Sorry for the rant.

On the case of Ayaan I think she has the right to be anti-muslim if she wants (meaning no death-threats), however she should at least "keep it real". There is a reason she was kicked out of NL and that was because she lied a tad too much. Even her book is not consistent with what she otherwise says...

Alphamale said...

On the topic though, accordingly to media this "identity crisis" manifest in the genocide in Darfur ? Shoudl we assume that media is correct (I am a natural sceptic) this would be an very important issue.

just 2 cents...50 cent that is...

Kizzie said...

Hey Alpha male,
what you said is 100% true, it is believed to be a pharanic thing.
yes, fgm is rarely practiced in arab countries and like you said, it is practiced in non-muslim african communities.
its about time africans stop some of their harmful traditions:).

about the identity crisis
darfur is not excluded from the sudanese identity crises, Alex de waal, a writer and researcher on africa especially the sudan wrote an article about the identity crises in darfur.
you can read it online if you want.

sudaniya

pommygranate said...

kizzie

i am just back from listening to Ayaan speak in Sydney. she was fascinating and utterly beautiful!

i will write it up tomorrow.

i have read your and alphamale's comments. ayaan only briefly mentioned fgm. the thrust of her speech was the fear of the Holy Book engendered into all children, especially girls.

Kizzie said...

pommygranate,
I'm looking fwd to reading your post about her!