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Archive for November 2013

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She is somebody

I wrote a story earlier this week about a theatre company in Greater Manchester that is producing a play aimed to tackle child sexual exploitation (cse). The team are visiting schools in a bid to highlight this very serious issue. Apparently, one girl, after watching the play, told of her own exploitation and is now in safe hands. Such projects are great and should be supported by anyone concerned about the welfare of children. The only issue I had was with the title “Somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister”. Whenever we talk about the exploitation of females, our response is usually “what if this was happening to your sister/daughter” etc.  I get it, it’s to make you realise that abuse can happen to anyone and if were to happen to a family member you would probably do something to help. However, we’re also forgetting that abuse can happen withing the home and by those who are supposed to love us. Also, why must we feed into this patriarchal notion that a woman’s identity is her family’s? Yes, she may be a daughter or sister, but first and foremost she is herself. She is somebody. 

“I Am Malala”


Wherever you look in my room, there are books everywhere. I’m addicted. Everytime I go to the library cafe to meet a friend, I tell myself that I will not pick up yet another book. What do I do? I take out a book! This week, I was meeting an ex colleague to proofread one of his assignments. I vowed not to pick up another book but there, right in front of me, was “I Am Malala”, the long-awaited book co-written by Christina Lamb. I couldn’t resist. I have only read three chapters so far but it makes for compelling reading. I tend to gloss over the historical parts, as I am well read on Pakistan’s history. Malala is often noted for being brave and confident. Yet reading this one becomes more aware that she is still a young girl with her own issues. Her big hang up seems to be the way she looks. She writes:

“my mother is very beautiful and my father adored her as if she were a fragile china vase… I wished I had her white-lily skin, fine features and green eyes, but instead had inherited the sallow complexion, wide nose and brown eyes of my father… [my father] laughed a lot, but as a boy he had been so self-conscious about being dark-skinned that he went to the fields to get buffalo milk to spread in his face, thinking it would make him lighter.

Most Pashtuns are generally noted for their lighter features and in a country where being light is best, these features are so often coveted. So I am not surprised that Malala has an issue with her looks, especially with not being as fair as her mother. It does show that she is human after all.

Adult unemployment

I have a friend who has been unemployed for nearly three years. She worked in a department store for eight years and then as a baker until the company went bust. It’s not as if she has been sitting on her backside doing nothing-she’s constantly looking for work. But she receives very little guidance or support from agencies or careers services. At 29, she is too old for any of the apprenticeship schemes out there. There is a lot of money being invested in to tackling youth unemployment, but I often wonder what is being done to help adults who have been unemployed long-term. My friend applied for a job at a local retail store. She did not get the job- instead they gave it to “some airhead bimbo”. Why do shops do this, why do they give jobs to young students who, more often than not, have no people skills or any idea of what customer service is?

Public Displays of Annoyance


A friend and I went in to our usual coffee house for some peace and quiet over some coffee (decaf for me-bloody detox) and cake. Our quiet corner was far from quiet as there was a couple next to our table who couldn’t keep their hands off one another. We ate our cakes and they ate each other! I tried to ignore them, thankfully my back was to them, but I could hear them! Why do people do this? Yes, we get it, you like each other, but get a room! It’s really inappropriate. Mercifully they did not stay long- there is a God.

She is some


Written by Iram Ramzan

November 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

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