We choose to use the language that we want people to understand

“Culture is interpretation. Facts are made, and the facts we interpret are made and remade. They cannot be collected as if they were rocks, picked up and put into cartons and shipped home to be analyzed in the laboratory.” Refelections on Fieldwork in Morocco by Paul Rabinow was my book choice for February.

It is a great book for people who wish to get a little deeper insight on anthropology and the work anthropologists can do. It is also insightful to how interpretations can take place between different cultures, how perspectives and situations matter, where our eyes are set to be seen from and how the person seen chooses to present his subjects. It is quiet mind moving, and gets us thinking about the way we view new cultures when we first get introduced to them, and since today we live in a cosmopolitan world through the internet if not through the cities we live in, the way we perceive new cultures lies on the hands of both the viewer and the viewed. And I personally think, it is becoming more important today, to open up the spaces between our understanding to the tool of communication.

Bourdieu in his afterword in Reflection on Fieldwork in Morocco said, “But, as is usual with these matters involving much more cognitive understanding, we must not believe too quickly in our own comprehension.’ And I believe this does not only go to Anthropologists per se, maybe Anthropologists should just be more aware of their comprehension since they tend to later communicate their comprehension of their study, but at least we need to highlight to ourselves and to others, that our comprehension is according to the situation we were in, and different comprehension is always possible.

Bourdieu also compares our communication relationship with what Jean Piaget once said, “it is not so much that children don’t know how to talk: they try out many languages until they find the one their parents can understand”, and this opens up a wide spectrum to our reflection on what we encounter, for truly, I for one, would communicate differently depending on the person who is of my opposite. How I predict their level of understanding of my world will affect my choice to how I wish to communicate it to them.


Just being Anthropologically Tangled

I started loosing my mind, but it is that sense of loosing that you know and you have experienced before, it is that moment when your brains are vomiting out ideas like a volcano explosion, I am certainly uncertain about how good or bad that is to say… Ideas, can they ever be bad? Pressuring, time consumption, possibility, vulnerability behind intentions, have I really come up with this idea for the sake of the before and after ideas, or is it a really good idea. You leave it, sleeping in your notes on your phone, or you stick it on a post it in front of your every day wall, or you scratch it down in one of your note books, I tried several times to organize that habit of mine that includes notes scattered everywhere, I have even started this blog just because of that, I think I have it written somewhere in my introduction or past introduction identifying the reason behind starting a blog: “to have one place for all my stars in my sky”. Sky, but there is a sky everywhere, isn’t there. I mean you go to Africa and there you have a sky, the same sky that you see in South East Asia, and then you have stars, but they are not always the very same stars, and this is my life with my notes, only a little overwhelming when I come to think about adding one more. But I add it, just in case you never know, one day, some day I might need it or find it or get back on it, does this happen to you at all? And this again goes back to my reason behind choosing to get into Anthropology, I just want to study people, my ideas are around understanding people, understanding situations, knowing the “unclear” a better word chosen to “unknown”, I just want to study things that happen that we can not utter in words, and so there is a complication in verbalizing, and so I suddenly am attracted to them like gravity calling me to make meaning of things.

Just a note on this post: I have been readings and thinking non stop about anthropological approach to anthropological topics for the past 24 hours “Dissertation Topic Matters”, maybe it will make better sense to my explicit post.

Added to the daily prompt on: Vanish


What is your status?

It is an incredible feeling to go beyond yourself and realize that it takes more than a status to really tell if the person in front of you is a good soul or a poisoned soul. Poisoned only from the self at most times, but good always with the heart and inner intentions. It is not about religious belief, race or language that defines how good or compatible the person is, and it is not about genre, situations, or stereotype cultivation. But it is always about base intentions. The mind set in harmony with the heart. It is never about general judgment, it can never be about first impression, and it is not about generalization. People are different, and real people are hard to find. So most people are just simply imitations, and some are just trying to find their true souls, questioning; where do they fit in the most? And only few times, the pure pulls the pure, towards one person or another. Your heart speaks to you and when it does, it is truth. “Don’t let your thoughts cast a shadow over your heart” Rumi once said, because your thoughts are noise, only noise that was created by the other, and the other could have been poisoned and so now you have been poisoned too. Don’t generalize. You have never asked or truly tried to see behind that first impression you have received. That status. That same status that is only a label; a label that was possibly imprinted quickly, have you even ever looked at your status? How many people have similar statuses as you? How alike are you? How would you feel when you have been put in a closed circle and you go along those people who have that similar status? How much are they like you? How much of you are they? So don’t generalize. A status is only a label, to define you, but it can never be who you truly are. It is just armor. I don’t even know why we need that armor anymore in a world where it is so wide open to one another, and one status can never identify you as someone else who has the same status as you. Muslim, Arab, single with a Western Mind. What can this mean to you anyway? How could this mean one thing all the time? Do you know how many carry that very same status? But we don’t all like ice-cream, we don’t all enjoy dancing, we don’t all read Rumi, we don’t all speak 3 different languages, we don’t all fast Ramadan, we don’t all enjoy shisha, we don’t all agree about equal rights, and we sure don’t all love pizza!!! So why are we generalizing? Just because he is an Atheist, British, Married, Rock and Roll fan, why can he not have so much in common with me? What is a status today when the status itself does not represent itself anymore? How many Muslim act the very same way? Believe in the very same thing? Practice the very same way? How many Westernized Arabs think the same way? Enjoy the same thing? Agree on the same values? And how many rock and roll fans are Atheists? British? And how many Atheists are not open to learn about religions? Or no longer question the existence of God? Or practice values that were derived from religions? Again you might have started to generalize again, the questions here are not about the status, it is about different people with same status only because they had to be identified to the world, and what did we do? We decided to imprint that first impression, and what did that first impression do? It prevented us from really seeing the true soul of that person we have just met. So Voila, maybe it is time to stop criticizing before feeling annoyed being criticized.

Sunset in Tripoli