The Murder of Maharram Durrani

Among all the journalists murdered in 2018, Maharram Durrani was one of them. Durrani was no older than twenty-eight years old, not even finished with her training. She and several other journalists were murdered by a suicide bomb.

Now, the fact that we live in a world where people even get the idea of placing a bomb on themselves and ending their life just to end someone else’s is incomprehensible. She was a great role model for other women, as she passed by society’s expectations to do her own thing and support her family. She was the number one income source for her whole family, which they were very proud of and grateful for, and now they have no one. Not to say all she was was their money, but now the world has not only one more struggling family, but also another family experiencing severe loss.

A great woman that showed an amazing example of strong women going against everyone’s expectations was on her way to work, and that was it for her. If you are not even safe on your way to work, when are you really safe anymore?


Brick Lane

Grief, misery and slavery was what I thought of and felt while watching a bit of the beginning of Brick Lane. Nazneen’s grief over the chance of a life with her sister which she lost, her misery over the life she now lived where all her energy where put into everyone else but her and living in slavery as a wife and parent with a man who she did not love nor cared about.

For Nazneen I saw her life as a big opportunity for a good change. London is filled with different people, different views and opinions, not to mention different jobs to take on. Her way of living as it was in the beginning was not much to brag about. She did have a family and children to raise, but she had barely any contact with her sister, which seemed quite sad to me. Considering that I could see how much she loved her and would like to come back home. I did not get very far in the movie, but I still had a lot of thoughts of the small parts I saw.

As I said London is filled with opportunities and this meaning that I have read and seen other people make it from the bottom to their top of their being. For example, James Bowen, the writer of several books about his cat Bob and how that cat changed his life for the better. James used to be homeless living of off coins he earned by playing his guitar on the streets. Just like Nazneen I can imagine the two of them got almost the same number of weird looks or possibly not positive attention because of what they looked like and who they were. Even though none of the strangers doing that to them knew them.

Not to say they had that much in common, but their life situations are comparable in the sense that they both were sort of at their own rock bottom and then something came around to get them up where they belonged. For Nazneen I do not really know what that was, but I know it was not a whole movie of an empty life, so it must have been something. My point is that James was looked down upon for not having a home and then one ginger cat came and gave him a life and a purpose, Nazneen might have been looked down upon for not being completely British, and I think something came along and gave her purpose as well, despite her being different.

This all comes from a point of view about what we all can achieve even though we are not all completely alike in our multicultural societies. Both James and Nazneen had certain expectations and assumptions from people around them and they both broke free, and if that is not the most inspiring thing ever then I do not know what is.

My International Day

I honestly struggle to remember exactly who of the people I visited at the human libraries, but their messages stood clear as daylight in my mind afterwards. Gratefulness is what all Norwegian students should strive for. Gratefulness for what we have, what we get and not to mention what we get to have for free.

Yes, it is hard to not strongly dislike having a lot of responsibilities, tasks, deadlines and so on, but many children, teens and adults barely gets a taste of what this is all like. It does not necessarily have to mean something negative. So many people who live in sad, scary and/or dangerous situations strive for greatness through the horrifying situations. For example, my sister’s math teacher have been in jail several times in his own home country for wanting to teach, until him coming to Norway and finally being able to live his dream. What we go through, rough path or not, is something we are extremely lucky to be able to experience for free. Going through a life as a refugee takes away not only a lot of freedom, but a lot of opportunities.

Some people live every day wondering if it is their last, many people should live every day as if it is their last.

The superheroes of Our Future

Just a movie? More of an eyeopener to me. An eyeopener with a powerful message from beyond only nine girls. Girl rising opens the curtains we are all afraid to look past. Superheroes, survivors, fighters and passionate members of society, is what I saw during this film. I saw a strong future in the making, in which I look forward to being living in.

Yasmin, an Egyptian superhero, who got the door into the house of justice slammed in her face. Indeed, she was a superhero. She was a strong girl before, but an even stronger superhero after. And a stronger superhero than any of the ones that I had previously heard of. This, however, does not change the fact that a man robbed her of a piece of her childhood for eternity. He got his pleasure, and so she was left with trauma. Often that is what makes one a superhero. He got to live on untouched by the punishment of justice. He walks free, while she had to make her own story in order to survive a life living with the original story roaming free in the back of her mind. Needless to say, this all calls for a fight against the laws of countries that allow these cases to remain unsolved.

“One girl with courage is a revolution.” That phrase tells me now after watching the film, that all it takes to change the world is to become the change. One strong girl leads to ten strong girls. Then twenty. And then fifty. As long as one girl has the courage to live on as a source of power for those around her, change will be made. Revolution will take action. Yasmin’s courage told her she was stronger than him. It boosted her above his level and lifted her head and shoulders up high where they belonged. Her courage created a forever living fire inside her, and she intended to be as fierce as it.

I can not comprehend what they might be or might have been feeling through those circumstances. What I especially cannot imagine is how my mentality and behavior would be if I were to experience or grow up in the situations they lived through. I do feel more sympathy rather than empathy for them, since I just do not see how I could possibly put myself in their position deep enough to be able to truly understand. Of course, I have a certain understanding for what it must be like, but if it is correct or not is not as certain.

The people watching this film without the knowledge that all these cases are perfectly realistic for too many girls in this world, might pick up on how serious the need for gender equality really is and how much action is still needed to be taken. The fact that many of the girls were fairly small children might make it more powerful to many, as you see horrible life stories being told through the innocent view of a little girl. Yasmine needed a story where he was the victim. Where she spared him of death. Where the shame was put on him. Many people could not have done the same after an experience like her.

Free will taken from them, all because they were girls. In conclusion as a girl you are to shut your mouth, take your orders and keep your manners, because there is no greater shame than being a girl, is there? No. Girls are our future superheroes, and they are all around us ready to strike with their girl power.

Quality Education and Gender Equality

The biggest issue is that so many girls and women are being prevented from going to school or studying for a quality education, usually because their countries don’t allow girls going to school or the girls may be so poor that they can not afford it and often end up dropping out to work or marry.

Quality education is very important because it pushes underdeveloped countries in a more successful direction by qualifying more people for important, bigger, jobs in which education is a must. Education makes the guarantee for a well-paid job surer to happen.

Gender equality is very important because it benefits everyone in one way or another. A lot of women in every country there is are being suppressed on different levels in different ways. They very often suffer because of their countries not having laws protecting them from abuse and cruelty. Many places girls who are below 18 years old are still being forced into marriages with men older than them.

Goal 4 and 5 are very much intertwined, because women in many countries still are not allowed to get proper education or jobs. If a country with few girls and women in school would have more of them getting educations and more advanced jobs than before, that country would do better economically. This would most likely lead to less poverty than before. Also, many countries still do not pay equal amount of money to both genders, which just makes these two goals even more relevant to each other.

I would like to work further on these goals by reading and learning more about the relationship between women and education in different countries more. More girls deserve the right to education, and by learning more about why they are forced to or not allowed to proceed with that plan I could maybe more easily know how to contribute to help.

The Women, The water, and The Battle with Education

Here I sit, a young woman, having myself a cold glass of water while I am writing about women from way too young ages, up to ages where they should be graduating high school. Women who take up whole days every day just to fetch water for their families. Women who are forced to wait till sundown while everyone else is asleep to relieve themselves. Women being denied a life worth living just because they are women born in desert dry countries.

These women were unfortunate enough to being born into a society and culture where shaming them is seen as normal. This is the case many places, sadly. They struggle all day with these water walks and the discriminating against relieving themselves when it is needed. In Asia and Africa, a countless number of women must walk an average of six kilometers per day to collect enough water for their family in order for them all to survive. In these parts of the world that is what a “woman’s job” is.

The lack of equality in these cases makes it impossible for these girls and women to spend some or any time at or with school. The lack of water makes their life into a question of “survive?” or “not survive?” at a daily basis. This vicious circle makes me think of this part of the text “Thirst” where it says “Artists painted murals of green meadows and fat cows and cloudy days on the sides of our buildings so the children wouldn’t grow up in a world so yellow” [Max Andrew Dubinsky, Thirst, Page 3] The likelihood of this becoming a reality is not low.

What change will be made if they can not get out in the world and contribute to help their families and others with much less rough, but more effective, hours of work per day than spending nearly whole days doing the same walk every day? As “The Importance of Water” says; it is not only about empowering women, but also economics. It has been proven that countries with increasingly more women working, becomes increasingly more successful economically.

“Statistics show that for every dollar invested in water and sanitation in the developing world, and thus keeping girls in school, a return of between three and thirty-four dollars can be expected.” [Tom Arne Skretteberg, The Importance of Water, page 5.] If this is the case, then why not work harder to keep these girls in school? Are these countries prioritizing repression before stable economy and hydrated citizens? The roots of inequality apparently run too deep for those who are in the position of helping.

As long as these people are not being supported by their countries (and others who are able to help), by receiving clean water for drinking and sanitation, it will be a never-ending circle for generations to come. All until the water they search for dries up and/or becomes more dangerous to drink than to not drink it at all. That limit is not far away from being reached many places, and it has already been reached many places as well. What will they do when the only water left for them is saltwater? “The irony of drowning in a drought was not lost on us” [Thirst, Page 4]

Like Carly said: “That’s just the water talking” [Thirst, Page 3]. Will these people in need of water experience such a drought that having a sip of cold water makes them nearly delusional? Is this the future we’re feeding onto? It may be a fictional text, but it brings a message with something to think about indeed.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Sustainable Development goals are the goals that have been set to make the world, to put it lightly, a bit more joyful. Cracking the code to the solution of each and every one of the goals are an incredibly huge job, but there has been a massive amount of progress already and it is most likely to only go forward at this point. They are all important, of course, but in my mind the most important ones and the most interesting ones to further work on would be reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production, and life below water.

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

“Reduced inequalities” is the goal which mostly targets the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries and the small island developing states. This goal can be viewed as a combination of a couple of the other goals I feel very strongly about. Some examples would be like “gender equality”, “quality education” and “no poverty” as well, since achieving reduced inequality would result in a lot of people being allowed or being able to work when they were not before. After all a lot of women are refused to work, the reason being because of their gender assigned at birth. Also, a lot of young people do not have the ability to work because of the lack of education, which brings us onto the subject of “quality education”, or more appropriately put; the lack of it. These two points most often occur in smaller living areas, where the examples of these areas are mentioned in the beginning of this paragraph.

What I see fit as suggested solutions could be promoting more donations from people who are able to help those in difficult living situations. This would give them the opportunity to for example buy school supplies to further education, to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables and also it would improve the conditions that they are living in. Another possibility could be trying to have teachers, who have the chance, to come and help out in those areas. Education is after all the answer to a lot of our issues, and it seems this is the case here as well.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

“Responsible consumption and production” is a goal that very much make the world go around more smoothly without doing as much damage. “Doing more with less” is the common saying around this goal. A very big problem around the topic of responsible consumption is the issue about tossing your food because the container says it is “outdated” type of situation.

We humans get immediately frightened for our health the minute we see a little bit of a green dot in our yogurt. But what could possibly be the solution? As we all know us humans really like to have it our way. If we take this to the perspective of responsible production, I can think of a few things that might help. Like for an instance more frozen-goods counters in stores with low-price, “outdated”, food in them and maybe also changing the label “best before [insert date]” to something that perhaps sound a little less like a ticking time-bomb, as it seems people think it says: “terrible after [insert date]”. Also encouraging people not to buy more food than they are likely to finish would probably help the situation out a good bit. Not to mention the importance of using less plastic wrapping and plastic containers for the food. Yes, plastic wrapping makes food last longer, but could we not just shop a little more often and only shop for what we need and not as much for what we just want to have laying around?

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

“Life below water” has a huge impact on our lives as the Gulf Stream regulate our planets temperature, the fish give us food and some of the water here provides us with hydration, so why have we polluted this earth to the point of unintentionally building a whole island of plastic waste? As we all know the ocean is filled to the brim with microplastic and a good bit of not-so-microplastic, which soon enough will make this planet unlivable if we do not take big action into undoing our wrongs.  If we do not work hard to make the ocean closer to its’ original state again, we will not have much left as the ocean is one of the biggest factors making this earth possible to survive on.

What we can do to bring more life back to the ocean again? Thankfully, very much can be done by the average person like recycling, using microfiber washing bags to reduce the amount of microplastic going into the ocean, arrange and join beach clean-ups, and so on. What bigger marine-based corporations could do better is definitely getting stricter rules on picking up after themselves in situations where workers accidentally drop things like helmets, buckets, gloves and so on into the sea. Also, workers who are out in the sea fishing should be more careful with their fishing nets and other objects they’re prone to lose or toss into the ocean. For now, at least, we only have one planet earth to live on, so might as well make it a good place for living.

The UN Sustainable Development goals that I have mainly written about each have a list of goals within them on the UN’s website, and hopefully us humans will work harder than ever to save what we have built all these years. Hopefully we will keep on fighting to make this earth good, and better, for our future generations to come.