Everyday 

I am struggling to make my days productive. This is fustrating enough of a normal day but even more so in Ramadan. So I made my ideal day – visualise what I want to achieve, set myself realistic targets and know what is possible. 
I hope everyone of you are having a blessed and light filled Ramadan. Start everyday with a fresh heart, ready to be a new. End everyday with reflection, ready to let go. 

Advertisements

When they try to bury us 

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.

In solidarity with NUS (in particular Shelly Asquith) and CAGE who have been under attack for fighting against injustice. And shame on Richard Brooks who says he is “against PREVENT” but appears to have done nothing but tell people opposition is not the way forward.

Full blog on this topic coming on Monday.

Home

Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease – Naguib Mahfouz

I was born in London – in fact not very far from where I live now. I am a ‘proper’ London-er by all lists and calculations. Everything outside the M25 is “up north”, I ignore all acts of friendliness in the streets and can’t stand people who don’t know how to use an escalator. London is my home.

tumblr_mzrmjozllm1qkq4j4o1_500

But I have so many conflated thoughts about it. This is my home. I have no other home. But when people ask where are you from? I instinctively know they mean why aren’t you white? But I play their game. London. No, where are you really from? Yes I was right. I have a pre-prepared answer now, “well I was born in London and lived here all my life but my parents were born in Bangladesh.”

copyoftumblr_lysfcghulb1qiyfl0

It is this other-ing, not just by that comments but in so many ways, like filling in forms – I will always be British something else* – my kids will always be British something else and their kids after them will be British something else, that makes me realise even though this is my home, I will never feel quite at home. I will always feel like I’m squatting.

Maybe I will be able to go a whole week without feeling it. But then something will pop up on the news, someone will say an off-the-cuff comment and I will be reminded.

*something else because what they call us changes over time.

I wonder if I will ever be allowed to feel at home. Probably not in my lifetime. But I wonder how many generations of children immigrant families have before this goes away.

Our Voice Matters 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”- Dr Seuss

Sometimes we mute ourselves. We worry about saying something that will sound like we’re making a fuss. Our voices as women are quietened and as women of colour silenced. We are reminded we sound bossy. We sound aggressive. We don’t know what we’re talking about. We don’t sound like that passive, attractive women of their dreams anymore.

If something makes you feel uneasy, sends a pulse down to your stomach, does not sit right in your mind – you are not making a fuss. Your voice is important. You are confident. You are brave. You do know.

Because only you will know what your experience has taught you. It should not be ignored. You are not just the other.

So that comment that sounds a little racist or sexist, that joke that wasn’t so funny, that question simply inappropriate – call them out. Our voice matters.

Perhaps they will tell you you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Perhaps they will call you bossy. Perhaps they will call you aggressive. It may hurt. People those who you thought you trusted betray you. Allies broken.

But you’ll feel lighter – having done your bit – trying to make the world a better place for everyone. You’ll surround yourself with people who genuinely care. People who love you. People who empower you. And not those who clip your wings and muzzle your mind. Your voice will have mattered. And for that at least you can be proud.