So, this is my first post on this new blog! I’m really, really, really excited about starting this one! This post is just going to be some background info on me and why I decided to start this blog. My other blog (cairo, lusaka, amsterdam) is still open and I’ll still be updating it as well.
A bit about me: I’m 22, I’m half-Dutch, half-Egyptian, and I grew up in Lusaka, Zambia. I moved to Egypt for university, where I studied Sociology, psychology & anthropology. Then I moved to the Netherlands, where I got an MA in Islam in the West, and am currently finishing another MA in Development Studies. In terms of identity, I would say I lean more to my Egyptian side (actually much, much more), mostly because I feel more at home in Cairo than in Holland. I love Egyptians, I love Egypt, and I love being there. Holland is…well, disappointing to be honest. I expected to love living here, and I haven’t. I’m also disappointed in seeing where Europe is headed now in terms of the far right and Islamophobia. So at this point I’m definitely thinking of going back to Cairo as soon as I can.
I’m a feminist, nationalist (Egyptian nationalist 😉 that is) and a Muslim.
I love cupcakes. As in I’ve taken loving cupcakes to a whole other level. My friends and family are extremely worried. Actually I love food in general.
Okay, so why did I start this blog?
Last year I began an MA in Development Studies here in Holland. And it’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things that I kind of knew but had repressed since it’s so depressing:
- Colonialism never ended. Although physical and legal independence may have taken place in most countries, there is still a colonial system in place, which is what neo-colonialism is. This can be seen in things like: global capitalism, terms of trade, unequal power relations, the UN security council (somehow has 5 members), Israel-Palestine (or should I say Israel-Gaza/West Bank since that’s all that’s left) and increasing privatization of basic goods and services such as water.
- Orientalism is still alive and well. Edward Said is my favourite person in the world, and if he were alive today, I would definitely be his number 1 stalker. Orientalism: “a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the Middle East. This body of scholarship is marked by a “subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture.” Not much else to say: clearly this discourse is still with us, especially in certain countries *cough* Holland, America, France *cough*.
- Feminism: ahhh, feminism. Basically it needs to be re-defined. The word needs to be taken back. Feminism somehow got defined as being a certain way and that ended up excluding billions of women. When I say somehow I mean first wave western feminism, which basically defined feminism as white, middle-class, rational, etc etc.
So those 3 things will be the main focus of this new blog. Of course there will be posts about cupcakes here and there, feel free to ignore them 😀