Yesterday I was playing Time’s Up with my students. For those who don’t know this game, you just write random celebrities’ names on cards, put these cards in a jar and when you pick one, you have to make your team guess who it is. One of them, a really smart, funny and sweet 15 years old girl, picked a card. You could see she didn’t know the name on the card, but it was the last one in the jar so she had to make her teammates guess who it was. She didn’t know what to say, she just had no idea who it could be. But I encouraged her to try, I told her to make them guess the name or at least the first syllable.
So she tried and said “he’s a terrorist”. That is the only thing she said. I thought it was Ben Laden, because I thought it would be the only one they had heard of. But I was wrong, someone tried it and it wasn’t him. No one knew who it could be. Someone in the group wrote that name on this card, and even that person could’nt figure out whose name was on the card.
Her minute was up, and I just wanted to know so I told her to tell us who was the terrorist. She answered “I don’t know, there are two names on this card, Cassius Clay and Mohamed Ali”.
She didn’t know it was the most famous boxer of all time, she didn’t know a single thing about him and yet, the only thing she said was “he’s a terrorist”. Her teammates all screamed “You don’t know who Mohamed Ali is ???” but then it hit me.
Why, if she had no idea who Mohamed Ali is, did she say “he’s a terrorist” ?
I asked her. She had no answer, and another kid just yelled “So, just because his name is Mohamed, he’s a terrorist?” so I was glad I wasn’t the only one wondering. It was clearly not meant to hurt or disrespect, but still, that was fucked up.
What I’m trying to find out since then is what made her decide he may be a terrorist ? What happened in her mind when she decided the name Mohamed Ali had to be a terrorist’s name ? What lead her to that assumption ? Was it her parents and surroundings ? TV ? The other kids at school ?
I don’t think I’ll ever know, because she clearly had nothing to say (to be fair she realized what she had said right after and seemed a bit confused). But now I know racism is like a sneaky virus, infecting even the smartest kid in school. And that’s scary as SHIT.
A calligraphic copy of the poem in honor of the Prophet Muhammad known as Qaṣīdat al-Burdah (‘The poem of the Mantle’) by Sharaf al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Būṣīrī (d.694 AH /1294 CE), with an amplification (takhmīs) by Naṣīr al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Fayyūmī. It was executed in thuluth and naskh scripts by Riḍwān ibn Muḥammad al-Tabīzī in 767 AH / 1366 CE for the library of the then Shaykh al-Islam.
Like Water - Palestinian Artist Taysir Batniji
109 words meaning water in arabic language. This inventory was established by Mahmoud Darwish in his collection ‘Memory for forgetfulness’ - transcription with water on floor. - Taysir Batniji
“Resistance” in Arabic and Hebrew.
A diagram of the various phonemes
and their respective source of articulation