Living life through a facade.

Dear Readers,

As I write this blog post, I am practically removing the mask from my face and literally exposing my raw emotions which no one has ever seen before. This blog post, in particular, will focus on what it is like living through a facade, not being able to reveal your deeper emotions due to the negative connotations based around them and the way people see me through their eyes and the way I actually am. Everyone around me normalizes living through a facade when in fact it is not normal but then again what is normal? My definition of normal is different from other persons.

I truly do not know what it is like to reveal my true emotions to the world around me, some persons are able to express it so freely and calmly, I’ve seen this with my own eyes but for me it is different. I almost feel like all my emotions have slipped through my fingers and I cannot pick them back up. To the world, I show myself as someone carefree, a person who has every single ounce of happiness stored within their heart, mind, and soul. To be blunt with you all, I am still learning what it means to be happy but it truly is a beautiful process allowing myself to feel an emotion as beautiful as happiness. I never allowed myself to experience what it means to be truly happy because I did not know what to do with it but I’ve discovered my happiness is in writing and publishing the thoughts, ideas and feelings in my mind. The world sees me in such a positive light but I cannot stress this enough to you all, I’ve been trying to turn all my lifelong struggles into positivity and remove my mask which hides the inner Mariam almost screaming to come out, the inner Mariam was trapped but every day I am letting her out bit by bit and one way I have done this is through pursuing my writing.

Oh, it is hard to truly reveal my emotions because of all the negativity based around them, although I do feel pain hiding every single bit of me to the world around me, at this point in life I would rather live through the pain. This will change, I promise you, the real me is coming out bit by bit every day and you will never recognise this old Mariam you thought you all knew. Not being able to reveal my rawest emotions almost feels like I am being strangled and not able to speak let alone breathe. I look around my environment and the people around me and I think to myself “are these people too living almost a life of a lie?” or is it just me? I think you might be thinking to yourself “well if you don’t want to live a lie then just stop”. 

 I wish it was as simple as that, I wish I could be the whole Mariam which as I said is coming out bit by bit but it is a long, hard process which I have never allowed myself to take over the years due to fearing change. Now I see change as beautiful and it allows you to experience things freely.

The world sees me as someone who isn’t serious about anything or anyone, they see me as someone who is almost deluded and does not see the bigger picture in anything, even in the tiniest things and they see me as problematic and unapologetic. To everyone who sees me as this, I don’t blame you because this is the person you digest from my aura but I hope you all know, none of you truly know me and every single day I am changing for the better and not for the worst. If anything, only 2 people know the true extent of the lifelong struggles I have been through and the way I am changing them to fit this new positive person I have lusted to be.

You will all see the change and it will hit you in your face.

Mariam.

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A personal blog post.

I truly do not know who to introduce this to anymore, it’s an introduction to my feelings been explored in this post and it’s for all of my readers to know me. I believe as a writer my readers need to know every single aspect of me in order to fully understand my work and me as a person. I want to create a personal connection with each and every one of you through my writing. I’m so sorry this isn’t a political or educational blog post but I need to let these locked feelings out of their cage and into words.

I’ve very rarely explored the emotion of stress, It’s something I would usually brush off but I know underneath the surface I was scared to feel it within me and now I want to explore the emotion of stress with you, my readers. The stress I’m feeling right now… I don’t know if it is even normal? It’s so hard to even put it into words. It truly feels like my heart strings are being tugged and that there is a lump inside of my throat which will not go down… almost as if it is suffocating me. The feeling of stress has left its mark in the vilest way, right inside of my body. As I am writing this, the feeling is getting sharper within me. Stress is such an emotion which is so clever, to me, it can be seen as someone who hates you and loves to see the satisfaction of people feeling pain.

Moving on, my heart truly feels torn apart. I feel as if the gift of education my mother gave to me by moving from Afghanistan to the United Kingdom has truly been taken for granted. I feel as if I haven’t and can’t ever make her proud. I almost feel like a failure and that my life depends on making her happy. When everyone says your happiness needs to be put before anyone else’s is not the case with my mother, if I could move oceans for her I would, if I could move mountains for her I would and I wish I could be the one to alleviate all the heartache and pain she has felt. Typing all of this on my laptop and exposing every single feeling to you all has made me feel numb and as if these emotions are being washed away and replaced with paralysis.

As a person, I have changed for the better and have filled all the negativity in my life with positivity. I never used to have a positive outlook on life and used to see everything in a negative light, I was almost scared of stepping out of this zone which included negativity, sadness and anger; I kept myself stuck in that zone because I was scared and didn’t know what to do if I ever had the chance of having positivity and happiness run inside of me. I faced my fears and sprinted out of that zone, I learnt what it meant to be positive, to fill your heart with love, kindness and warmth and to take out all the attributes which crushed me as a person. Every single day I wake up and think to myself, “what if I ruin this beautiful feeling inside of me?” and it is so scary because I worked so hard for it and I could change to what I used to be in a millisecond.

It is 11.16pm and I truly feel as if I have uncovered myself and shown you all the real me, the one who has fears and disappointments in their life, the one who is still too fearful to explore and feel certain emotions and the one who still looks back at their past even though they are at the best they have ever been. Right now I am thinking “what if I don’t achieve everything I want in life?” and “what if I don’t fulfil my aspirations and dreams?” But now thinking about it, this has been one of them, I’ve achieved one thing and that is exploring the writing trait inside of me I never knew I had. This is the end of my personal blog post.

Mariam.

 

 

 

Do white people recognise their privileges? Why white people should use their platforms to speak out.

Dear Readers,

Today I will be talking about whether white people recognise their privileges or not. Furthermore, I will be pinpointing on as to why they need to speak out against the racism, injustice, hatred and discrimination ingrained in our world. I truly believe this post has to be written about after the antisemetic, neo-nazist, racist and terrorist rally which occurred in Charlottesville in which the whole world witnessed and were disgusted by. Before I begin, I also need to reiterate that the uproar of white supremacy, racist acts and terrorist moves committed by white people have begun in Trump’s America and it took him a whole 2 days to condemn the atrocious acts in Charlottesville which occurred under the name of white supremacy.

White people, the ones who benefit from the systematic oppression and hatred towards people of colour whether that be through employment and job opportunities or receiving places at top universties, for example, Harvard or Oxford. I believe all of us people of colour need to truly accept that we are seen as inferior and nothing compared to white people even though we are practically the ones who make their countries run. However, we people of colour need to come together! We need to fight the white washed world which hate us! We need to show them we will never been seen as inferior to them and that we are people no matter our backgrounds, the colour of our skin and our heritages!

To the white people who use their platforms in order to speak out for us, the people of colour, the least listened to in society, thank you. To the white people who do not use their platforms to speak out for us, you are the ones who are carrying on this cycle of systematic oppression and hatred towards poc. Why should white people use their platform to speak out for us? Because they are the most listened to in our society, they are the most valued in our society and they are the almost like the kings within the hierarchy of colour. It breaks my heart to say we are almost nothing in the eyes of the law. Imagine seeing masses of white people speaking out against all the wrongs in the world, that is when we will truly see change and a different world.

Martin Luther King, one of the most amazing people ever to date and the one who was a turning point in the civil rights movement of America. He was the one who fought and had to get his voice listened to by white people! White people had to grant something which should’ve never had to been fought for, equality and seeing black people as people and not inferior to the white race. Do you know what’s amazing? Seeing white people during the civil rights movement stand up for equality between the whites and the blacks, without their help, a lot of white people wouldnt have recognised their wrongdoings and their disgusting behaviour towards poc


The picture above was taken during Martin Luther King’s civil rights rally in 1963, such a heart warming picture which shows black people and white people in unity and tranquility protesting for something which shouldn’t have to be protested for as I said before.


The picture above is from a Black Lives Matter protest in 2017. It also shows white people protesting for something in this day and age shouldn’t have to be protested about. Their was a whole movement against systematic oppression and now we are witnessing it again!

Mariam.

 

United but divided, the Sunni and Shia. United in religion but divided by religious interpretations and politics.

Dear readers,

Today I will be focusing on many aspects of the Sunni and Shia conflict. One of the aspects which will be covered is the persecution and killings of the Shia Muslim within Afghanistan and the persecution of the Sunni Muslims in Iraq. Additionally, I will also be highlighting key points as to why the Sunni and Shia Muslims do not see eye to eye in certain aspects of Islam. Lastly, I will talk about the intensified agitations of the dispute between Sunni and Shia Muslims within the U.K.

To start off with, I will be talking about the Sunni and Shia conflict within Afghanistan. Embedded in Afghanistan’s ethnic group is the Hazara and they make up the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. The Hazara are not seen to be “mainstream Afghans” due to their iconic features which make them stand out from the “regular Pashtun Afghan”. Furthermore, the Hazara are an immense Shia Muslim group and this also makes them stand out from Afghanistan’s large Sunni believers.

The Hazara are direct descendants of Genghis Khan, who was the founder of the Mongol Empire and the Mongol soldiers who settled down in Afghanistan. Genghis Khan came to power by uniting many of the tribes of Northeast Asia.

The persecution of the Shia Hazara began in late 1900’s. Afghanistan’s Emir, Amir Abdul Rahman Khan ordered the killing of all Shias in central Afghanistan which ended up in tens of thousands of Hazara’s killed.  Additionally, Hazaras were sold as slaves till the late 19th century. It’s truly saddening that the majority of Afghanistan do not accept the Hazara as our own due to ethnic, religious and cultural differences. They are as Afghan I am and as Afghan as any regular Pashtun person. Till this day, the Hazara are still persecuted even after seeking refuge in parts of Pakistan. Quetta, a city in Pakistan, has persecuted against the Hazara and it is truly frustrating knowing that I cannot do anything about it.

The Hazara were religiously cleansed to follow Sunni Islam, ethnically cleansed in order to rid them from their identity and was killed through monarchy reigns, the Taliban and Al – Qaeda. Now Daesh and the Taliban have teamed up together in order to destroy the Hazaras from their beliefs and to make them vanish silently.

Politics wise, the 2004 Afghanistan Constitution permitted the Hazaras equal rights and were represented in the leadership of former Afghani President, Hamid Karzai. However, till this day the Hazaras equal rights are ignored and they are going through a silent genocide which has not been officially recognised by the current President, Ashraf Ghani and his administration. Sadly, it has also not been recognised by the United Nations.

Around 2 weeks ago, a suicide bomber targetted a Shia Mosque in Afghanistan. The suicide bomber charged into the biggest Shiite mosque in the Herat province on Tuesday night, opened fire on worshippers and blew himself up, killing at least 20 Shia Muslims and injuring dozens more. However, we need to remember it is an estimate and that the number could rise anytime soon. Heartbreaking isn’t it? Knowing that Muslim’s at their most vulnerable and at their most peaceful time of the day were slaughtered, because of what? religious differences? We are all Muslim’s even if there are different religious interpretations.

Moving on, I will now be talking about another silent topic which is not usually talked about, the persecution of Sunni Muslim’s in Iraq. To begin with, Iraq’s former Prime Minister, Nouri al Maliki’s political policies contributed to the estrangement of the minority Sunni Muslims within Iraq. Additionally, Iraqi Sunnis are seen to be discouraged by the utilized power from a few Shia elite. Politics wise, the Sunni Muslim’s of Iraq are not represented well. However, once Daesh contaminated Iraq with its atrocities towards the Shia Muslims, the Kurds and the Yazidis, it could be interpreted that is also when the Sunni Muslim’s of Iraq were given recognition.

Once the uproar of Daesh started in Iraq, the rise of the Shia militias also began which was seen to be persecuting against the Sunni’s of Iraq. Many Sunni Iraqi’s left their rural lives in order to seek refuge from Shia militias and moved to the capital city of Iraq, Baghdad. The journey to safety for Iraqi Sunni’s is one of the most dangerous hurdles they could have faced, everyone would be stopped at checkpoints in order to have their papers checked and read. Iraqi militia reading common Sunni names would be suspicious as they were stereotypically seen to be “agents or part of the Daesh extremist regime”. This is also the reason why many Sunni Muslims would silently vanish once stopped at checkpoints and would never be seen again.

Numerous Sunni Muslims would change their names to either neutral Islamic names or Shia dominated names in order to be able to blend within the Iraqi community and to be able to seek refuge without living in constant fear of being identified as Sunni. Additionally, Sunni Muslims were displaced from their land and were washed from their identity. A genocide of identity? That can be for you to decide.

I will now be focusing on as to why Sunni and Shia Muslims do not see eye to eye religious wise. To begin with, Sunni and Shias have different interpretations when it comes to who should be the Caliph of Islam after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) died. The Sunni’s believe that Muhammad (PBUH) left the process of figuring out who would succeed him to the Islamic community. The community ended up choosing Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Abu Bakr, a man who was known for his passion and kindness. The caliph’s succeeding Abu Bakr were also companions of the Prophet. Lastly,  due to the fact that the caliphs succeeding Muhammad were also his former companions, they are known to be the “rightly guided”.

Shiite teaching emphasises on the belief that the line of succeeding Prophet Muhammad was through his family and not from the community choosing. From this view, the first caliphate was Ali who is seen to also be in the line of the sinless successors known as Imams. Due to these two huge differences, Sunni and Shia Muslims have debates and disagreements till this day.

Lastly, I will finish off by talking about intensified agitations between the Sunni and Shia within the U.K. Starting off, within the U.K. many Islamic societies are mostly under the leadership of Sunni’s and this also drives debates and make Shia’s feel as if they are still inferior and underneath Sunni Muslims. Additionally, even between Sunni and Shia youth, some Sunni’s look down upon Shias and see their religious interpretations as “not the correct way of living an Islamic life”.

Mariam.

 

The Afghan Youths of the U.K. need to try their hardest to stay out of the crime stricken streets of today.

Dear readers,

A matter close to my heart which I will be writing about is seeing young Afghan boys interlocked in today’s crime scene. I’ve seen first hand and have heard stories of Afghan boys intertwined in London’s crime world and it is truly heartbreaking to hear about due to the fact that they all have so much potential and could live the lives which their parents were not blessed with back in Afghanistan. I acknowledge the fact that there are several factors as to why people choose to live a life of crime, for example, financial difficulties.

To begin with, Afghan boys hold the key to their mother’s hearts, they are seen as amazing and a gift from God. In Afghanistan, there has always been a preference for having sons due to the ideas based around having sons. Some Afghan parents go as far as raising their daughter(s) as a son if they have not been able to conceive a girl, this is known as “bacha posh”. I will now go into why the Afghan Youth need to try to stay out of the crime stricken streets of the U.K.

Firstly, our parents fled war and travelled dangerous journeys in order for us to live the lives we could not live if our parents stayed in Afghanistan. Our parents fled Afghanistan for three main reasons. 1) The most common, to escape persecution and the Taliban. 2) For their children to receive the best education possible and to lead strong, stable lives in a country which is not stricken with war and heartbreak. 3) To see their children adapt to the westernised way of life and take on amazing job opportunities.

Imagine being an Afghan parent who has travelled dangerous journeys and ends up seeing their beloved son living a life of crime and knowing they cannot do anything about it because we all know how crime works, once you get in, it is hard to leave. Afghan parents do not need to see their sons living in the world of crime, they have witnessed enough crimes against humanity, why should they have to witness anymore? It’s truly heartbreaking to think about in this way. Within the U.K., some of the Afghan boys get into gangs, deal drugs and live lives surrounded by illegal activity.

Moving on, I will now be emphasising on the second reason I stated above. The U.K. is known for its world renowned education system which attracts people from all over the world. Afghan parents knew this and knew that their children could benefit greatly from it in order to live a life full of stability and tranquillity once they finished their studies. Some Afghan youth forget about this and fall into the trap of not taking their studies seriously because they believe they can depend on the streets of crime instead. I know all Afghan youth are not like this and accept the gift which their parents have given them but it is very easy for them to fall into the trap of crime and to lose their path.

I am the daughter of two Afghan parents and even I can say I have taken the gift which my parents blessed me (to receive an education in a country known for its world renowned education system) for granted. I regret it deeply because I know it broke my parent’s heart numerous times seeing me get lost in the pathway they did not want for me. Let’s imagine what it would be like if we were an Afghan parent once again and seeing their child(ren) lose themselves in the pathway of stability and tranquillity they wanted? It’s so upsetting, right?

Lastly, I know a lot of Afghan youth who turn to crime most of the time come from broken families but at the end of the day a mother’s love and a father’s love will never fade away for their children no matter what. I truly believe all Afghan youth need to please their parents and never ever forget about what they have done for us.

Mariam .