A few personal stories/thoughts regarding colonialism:
I've never hidden my Kurdish origins and have always been proud of them, yet at the same time, there have been occasions where younger me thought that we lack something that would make us truly equal with other nations. 1/8
In high school, for example, I was wondering why we never read about Middle Eastern, African, Asian, etc. scientists. I thought there are no important ones. I was wrong, of course. But school made me think like that. I thought maybe some nations are just smarter than others. 2/8
That, of course, was also wrong. But without noticing it, I internalized this discriminating mindset that let me believe my people & many others were just not as civilized as others. Of course, my family taught me otherwise and when I researched for myself I discovered more. 3/8
I remember, for example, when we had to name ancient empires. The Romans were mentioned, the Macedonians, Sparta, and Egypt. But when some students raised their hands and mentioned Chinese, Indian, or Kurdish empires, the teacher didn't write them down on the blackboard. 4/8
Or I, stupidly, thought about why Western soldiers look so professional, clean, simply good looking, while ours don't. Not realizing the huge media apparatus & funding behind Western armies, compared to the devastating situation our brave freedom fighters found themselves in. 5/8
So why am I telling these stories? Because I know many people from neglected minorities think exactly like that. And that doesn't only happen in the diaspora, but also in the countries, these minorities live in because their school systems are based on old colonial structures.6/8
These structures make some groups always feel inferior to other groups. We learn about Aristotle, but not about Suhrawardi; about Mendel, but not about Dinawari. Thankfully, I didn't remain in that uninformed state, but many others don't have the same opportunities. 7/8
We need to start to learn and study all humanity-affecting events, individuals, and states. About the Holy Roman Empire and about the Mughal Empire, about the Vikings and the Parthians, about Steve Jobs and Ismail al-Jazari. Valuing all, not just a few. 8/8
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