By Aniek Santema Around 2 million Syrian refugees who fled the war have been stranded in Lebanon and many of them live in harsh circumstances. The following pictures will give a small insight into the lives of Syrian youth and show the world from their perspective, through their eyes. The pictures in this photo essay were taken by Syrian refugee girls in the city of Saida who participated in a workshop where they learned how to use visual methods as a way of self-expression. During the workshop the girls answered questions about themselves and their lives by using photographs and they took photographs about things that are meaningful to them. Here, a selection of six of the pictures is presented, along with the titles that the girls gave to them and a small explanation from my side.
Mariam is Maha’s sister and they are very close. Mariam took this picture and she shows how the childhood is lost for many children when they experience war, flight and exile. But Mariam feels that children do have this right.
This picture shows the collective shelter where Mariam and Maha live with their family and a few other families. It is an old house where the families are packed together. Each family lives in one room. For Mariam and Maha, this place has little comparison to their home village in Syria, where they had their own house and could walk around and play with their friends. Here, in the old house, it is hard to adapt.
Ayat lives in an unfinished university building, where she shares a room with her 9 brothers and sisters and parents. This shelter houses around a 1000 people, mostly from a community from the same rural area in Syria.
Whereas Syrian refugees in Lebanon are deprived from many civil rights, Ayat also calls attention to another right: the right to happiness.
Aniek Santema graduated from her master SCA at the VU last year, and wrote her thesis on lived experiences, education and future perspectives of Syrian refugee youths in Lebanon. She is currently working at Edukans, a development organisation for children’s education worldwide.
Quote on a classroom wall in Wairaka – From January to March 2017 I conducted my fieldwork in Uganda to examine the dynamics of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) education on sexual practices and strategies in everyday lives of youth in Jinja District, eastern Uganda. In the beginning of my stay, I contextualized the field youth live in and what stand different actors take with respect to relationships and sex before marriage. This photo summarizes what youth told me about what school teachers advise them: “pre-marital sex is risky” and “choose to abstain”. The latter is in accordance with the ‘ABC’-campaign of the government in fight against HIV/AIDS. The ‘A’ stands for ‘abstinence’, ‘B’ for ‘be faithful’, and ‘C’ for ‘condom use’, whereby schools emphasize abstinence.
Shop with office stationaries in Jinja Town – Besides the dislike of schools towards relationships and sex before marriage, also religious leaders from churches and mosques preach “no sex before marriage”, and, moreover, parents too are against it because they tell youth “not to spoil their future”. The latter refers to parents’ fear for school drop-out of their son or, in particular, their daughter when she gets pregnant.
After a focus group discussion with youth of Jinja Town – Youth told me that, against the norms of school, religious leaders, and their parents, they have relationships, in most cases more than one at the same moment, and practice sex, whether or not in secret.
A boy preparing a ‘rolex’ (rolled eggs), which are two baked eggs with some cabbage and onion rolled into a ‘chapati’ (i.e. flat pancake). – In regard to gender relations, both boys and girls told me that it is the boy who approaches a girl, expresses his love for her, and is the one who initiates a relationship or sex. Nowadays, sometimes a girl takes over this role, however, in most cases she would be seen as a prostitute or someone who has many boyfriends. Which is happening, according to girls, but which is not accepted by society.
Paintings: Khadija MADANI ALAOUI, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez
Door Edien Bartels en Lenie Brouwer Feminisme, radicalisering en extremisme zijn grote woorden. Hoe breng je die bijeen en… waarom zou je die bij elkaar brengen? Dat zijn de vragen die behandeld werden op het congres Women’s Voices in the Mediterranean and Africa: Movements, Feminisms, and Resistance to Extremisms dat op 5, 6, en 7 mei werd gehouden in Fez, Marokko. De organisatie was in handen van het Centre ISIS pour Femmes et Développement, Fez, met als drijvende kracht Fatima Sadiqi, bekend van publicaties over gender, migratie en islamitisch feminisme.
By Marina de Regt Last Saturday the holy Muslim month of Ramadan started. Ramadan, a month of fast-ing and feasting, a month of contemplation, a month that should be full of joy and happiness. In Ramadan Muslims experience what it means to be hungry which will make them cherish what they have and feel compassion for those who are poor and hungry. Who will fast Ramadan in Yemen this year? Are there still people left who are not starving to death? Are there still Yemenis who need Ramadan to know what it is like to be poor and hungry? Continue reading →
“Een vriendin op een ‘boda boda’ (motortaxi) op weg naar het Victoriameer”
Door Esther Platteeuw Op een warme dag in maart loop ik in de straten van Jinja Town op weg naar het internetcafé ‘The Source’. Met Oegandese radiomuziek in mijn oren zonder ik me af van de blikken, handgebaren en het ‘Mzungu’ geroep waar je als blanke veel mee geconfronteerd wordt in deze Afrikaanse stad. Ik ben net een straat overgestoken waarna mijn aandacht van een Oegandees popliedje naar de realiteit op straat wordt getrokken, ‘Esther’, ‘Esther’ hoor ik opeens. Automatisch draai ik mijn hoofd om en zie daar de stralende lach van een Ugandese meid van ongeveer dezelfde leeftijd als ik. Een gevoel van schaamte komt op omdat ik haar niet meteen herken, terwijl zij mijn naam wel kent. Na een paar tellen van onbegrip en vliegensvlug nadenken, besef ik dat een vriendin voor me staat. “Oh, it’s you, Fatima!”, zeg ik enigszins opgelucht. “Yeah, it’s me”, reageert ze, “I changed my hair, haha”. Continue reading →
Liza Koch My day starts at 5:15 because of the noise outside. The sun is rising and people are starting their day. My ‘host mom’ is already fully dressed and almost finished cleaning her house. She pushes her daughter to get ready for school. When I go outside I see the neighbour baking mandasi (comparable to our new year dough balls), she starts around 4 o’clock in the morning to sell them later at the small market 200 meters from here. Continue reading →
By Laetitia Simorangkir Now that I completed my thesis (on care arrangements in South African communities), I can really say that I love anthropology and do research. But there were times I did not like my work at all. In this blog I will explain why.
“Naoko told me that Salma had come to tell her that she was pregnant. Although the women were not related, Naoko seemed to take a parental-role towards Salma.” A fellow student, who reviewed the draft of my thesis, commented on this statement saying that I should explain more about the parent-child relationship: “Don’t leave it end so flatly. I want to hear what happens between them!”. When rereading my field diary, looking for more notes on these women, I realized I did not have that much information about them. And soon I remembered why. Continue reading →
By Laetitia Simorangkir While conducting fieldwork for my research on the orga-nization of care arrangements in South African communities, I surprisingly often ended up in situations where my female respondents started to see me as ‘one of their own’. An unexperienced, ignorant one though, but still, ‘one of their own’. They enjoyed telling me about their communities and teaching me about their ways of living. One of the topics we discussed regularly, was the difference between men and women, especially their efficiency and usefulness within the household. Continue reading →
Millicent, one of the staff members of the hostel where I stayed, and I.
By Marije Maliepaard Recently my Colombian friend and I were talking about being white in a country like Ghana. I told him I had never been aware of my ‘whiteness’ until I got to Ghana. In reply he said “of course you weren’t aware, you are part of the majority in your country”.
We silently continued our walk along the main road in Accra as I pondered his comment. I broke the silence and said, “It’s not only me being part of the majority but I just don’t see it. I don’t recognize people as being black or white.” He firmly said: “That can’t be true, no one is colorblind! Do you see those people approaching us? You see they are a woman and a man, you also see if someone is black or white.” I thought about it and said: “I don’t register it all the time, when I see people I don’t consciously think that is a man or a woman, or that person is black or white.” He finally saw my point which made me happy because I was starting to think that maybe my views on this differ from the view of others. Continue reading →
Door Georgette Veerhuis Al sinds de jaren 90 stellen kritische studies van ontwikkelingswerk een hardnekkig probleem aan de kaak. Iets dat diepgeworteld zit in de filosofie van ontwikkelingswerk zelf: de machtspositie van het heroïsche Westen. En dan gaat het vooral over de (ongevraagde) westerse ideeën over wat goed zou zijn voor de veronderstelde hulpbehoevenden, en hoe die aan hen worden opgelegd. Ontwikkelingswerk werkt op deze manier eerder ontwrichtend, en moet daarom anders.
Op dinsdag 8 maart 2016 was ik bij de dialoog Wanted: Global Voices in Female Leadership in Amsterdam, die met een frisse blik naar dit wat oudere probleem keek: met een specifieke ethno-gender lens. De dialoog was georganiseerd door WeWomen, LOVA en OneWorld Love. Het zou gaan over de moeite die niet-westerse vrouwen in de ontwikkelingssector hebben – net als alle vrouwen op internationaal niveau – om toegang te krijgen tot leiderschapsposities. Wederom een behoorlijk glazen plafond: blanke westerlingen zitten in de top. In deze machtshiërarchie staan niet-westerse vrouwen helemaal onderaan. Continue reading →