On the left, I’m unshowered and unshaven, with my glasses. On the right, showered, shaved and no glasses. How old am I?
It’s been a long time since anyone commented that I look really young, but—prior to being twenty-four—this was a very common occurrence. I always got ID’d at bars. But then I got glasses and slowly those comments faded away. In fact, I’ve had several people think I was significantly older.
I thought the days of having a baby face were behind me, but last week I posted a picture on Instagram after getting out of the shower to show how long my hair is getting. To my surprise, I had at least eight different people (through various channels) comment on how young I look.
Am I having a Clark Kent/Superman moment here? Except instead of turning into a superhero, I turn into a teenager. Do the glasses add 10-15 years? If so, I need to fix my broken, defective eyes, chuck out the glasses and start hanging out around high schools. Sup ladies girls?
I’m glad to see that Africa is finally giving back…
Just kidding. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the media/non-profits removed the colonial lens and had an honest discussion:
If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that’s mainly what you hear about.
The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.
The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa’s development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.
This kind of stuff is depressing, but it also gives me hope.
Wadi al Abu Jabara. Beit al Ahan. Jaar. Dhamar. Al-Saeed. Tappi. Bulandkhel. Hurmuz. Khaider khel.
These are the names of places. They are towns, villages, junctions and roads. They are the names of places where people live and work, where there are families and schools. They are the names of places in Afghanistan and Yemen, which are linked by one thing: they have each been the location of drone strikes in the past couple of months.