Two book mini reviews

Since it’s November and many people is dedicating it to reading non fiction if you don’t read it and read more non fiction if you already read it I though I start my first post with two short reviews

Sudha Murthy according to Wikipedia is Indian engineer, teacher, philanthropist and writer in Kannada and English. Murthy began her professional career as a computer scientist and engineer. She is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation and a member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation.

She is also one of the most prolific authors I have ever read and this two book tells two personal stories she faced in her life.

The first one is The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk which tells our author story as she visited the State of Odisha which although is poor but have rich and beautiful natural sights.

As she went there to check up on the new school she funded for the villagers a huge rainfall started and she was forced to stay in one of the villagers hut, the hut family although they were poor tried to give her food and tea but the author thinking she might burden the family but after initial refusal for tea the family offered her milk  which started  a family argument and how in some families things we consider very normal and cheap can be highly expensive and hard to get like Milk

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the other one tells our author story as she was boarding the train and how she saved one runaway girl who was hiding beneath her chair from the ticket collector and how this kind gesture saved this girl life and changed it for the better

, she said, ‘Akka, if you hadn’t helped me, I don’t know where I would have been today—maybe a beggar, a prostitute, a runaway child, a servant in someone’s house … or I may even have committed suicide. You changed my life. I am ever grateful to you.

 

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kindness can really change someone lives for the better

 

 

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how honor ruined many women lives

my your daughter be in house or in grave

old Somali proverb

Honor is not murder. And dishonor is not a girl who goes to school. It is not a girl who plays outside. It is not a girl who refuses to marry at a young age. It is not a girl who speaks, laughs, and takes the opportunities that come in front of her. Instead, honor is identity. Honor is dignity. Honor is serving those we love with integrity and hard work; it is respecting one another, welcoming the stranger, and speaking and being proud of your own language. It is providing for your family, striving for the best in life,

before i review this book i was reminded about two honor killing incidents that occurred in my nation, luckily in the first the girl was saved before it was killed but in the second one the crime has already happens

in 2017 Hoodo Mukhtaar is a women who fell in love with a man from another tribe a tribe her parents thought unworthy of her and so she escaped with her husband and returned to her parents to get their blessing but they abducted her and tortured her and if the police didn’t interfere she would definitely would be killed

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in 2018 women fell in love with a man from another tribe a tribe so hated and prejudiced that most Somali consider them foreigners although they in these lands for many year, the girl family responded violently to her daughter love by trying to abduct and kill her and when she didn’t the couple she captured the groom uncle and after torturing him she and other tribesmen killed him and burned him.

in these two cases am sure you have noticed that what links these two cases is one word  Honor this word has ruined the lives of many girls in my part of the world and forbid them from falling in love, to learn,to educate themselves and even to go outside their houses, how these honor killing came to be is unknown and still many countries see it as normal  many NGO around the world  are fighting this heinous crime.

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our author is a Pakistani activist for women’s rights and a social entrepreneur. She is from a small village in Balochistan.

my Review;-

everyday i wake up and reading news i always encountered that word Honor Killing in many Arabic newspapers although i didn’t fully absorb what that word means reading this book especially written by women showed how privileged as men i am in my patriarchal society and that i have many freedom that i didn’t appreciate that wasn’t available to females and one of these freedom includes falling in love with the one i want although these is rare its natural for men in my city to gift their daughter to men or to promise it to them before even they were born and it seems and it seems this cruel customs are not only found in my nation but its a big problem shared by many nations in the third world and this problem affects women more than men.

our author was born in Balochistan which is very tribal region  and while in childhood she discovered her privilege as her parents allowed her to play outside the house unlike many girls of her age who their parents forbid them from leaving outside without male partner because women reputation affects the honor of her brothers father and uncles.

luckily for the author she had father who went to schools against the wishes of his parent and refused to give his daughter to marriage because of some tribal promise and he even educated his daughters against the wishes of his family, and unlike rich nations there is a little or no childhood when you live in poor countries and just as girls reach five she is expected to help her mom with house work and the boy to work with his father to earn income.

in her early teenage our author the gruesome murder of her cousin as she strangled by her cousins for dishonoring them and running away with another men and this murder led her to lifelong goal of fighting this barbaric custom which kills women and its estimated to kill one thousand women in Pakistan every year

interestingly education and independent income earning saved our author and will always save many women  from cultural custom meant to control her

I Should Have Honor by Khalida Brohi

Sep 04, 2018 | 224 Pages

link to the book

The harrowing daily experience of being trans women

Early this year the first Somali trans women came out to the public in facebook which caused uproar in the Somali social media and although the the reason she came out to the public was not for people to accept her but to shun also the many Imams who raped and molested her when she was young.


Since then the life gender non conformative people really interested me and how rhey cope and survive in places which denies them the right to exist, but also since many people in my region still believe Homosexuality as sin and mental illness reading more books about queer people can save you and cure you from the continued hate that you are told or teached about queer people

I find it fascinating to learn how  chnage in your gender and pronouns can really change your point view of life and also you interact with your surrounding environment and for this I picked up Vivek Shraya new book whch describes her life as trans women and how she coped with her earlier childhoods trauma as she was spit on and stared rudely and threaten by her first crush to use physical violence against her

Its amazing how many things are imposed on us from childhood from our gender to our faith and everytime we try as individuals To redefine ourselves  we face many backlashes from surrounding community and sometimes people who you thought will be your allies and friends in your process of  of discovering yourselves became your worst enemies and reading this book helped me get a glimpse of the daily fears and anxiety teans women face from morning to night

Vivek Shraya starts her essays from her childhood and how she harassed for not being manly enough, and how this childhood trauma still haunts her and also affect her choices from not wearing tight dresses to not attract attention to not look at the men’s eyes so she would not be harassed, what i found fascinating in this short work is how sheds ligh also on difficulty and fears and dangers most women faces whether being trans or not from violent men.


I’m Afraid of Men By VIVEK SHRAYA

You’re Just Too Good To Be True by Sofija Stefanovic

  • Every time we log into internet we expose ourselves to many things from ads that wants us to buy things we don’t need to and to scams,identity theft and many other hazardous things.
  • Somehow i as younger generation I believe i am internet native and i know the many dark corners of the internet  and how to be careful of them but for older generation who are not i feel that Internet is a dangerous place for old people.
  • Every time we log into Internet which is always for people at my age we reveal a lot about ourselves from what we love to what we fear and hate and although it’s good to be authentic here but it’s also too stupid to reveal too much about yourselves in the internet as not all people who contacted you in the Internet have good intentions.
  • The last thing i feel Internet has ruined and destroyed is human decency and respect, i feel that by using the Internet some people’s have used their anonymity to harass and troll people especially females , and by talking to people behind screen somehow in the process we don’t consider the receiving end human enough to respect them.

 

Sofija Stefanovic  is Serbian born, Australian grown writer and this book tells the story how she tried to save her 80 old friend Bill from online scammers, Bill is 80 old Australian man who tried to find love in in the Internet but somehow he was duped of all his money,savings,pensions  to Ghanaian scammers

. He was sending his pension away as soon as he got it, in the wild hope that he would, one day, get his money back. He was scammed out of more than $80  000. It left him an emotional wreck, and drowning in debt.

Bill was family guy who supported his family and never cheated his wife but since his children grown up and his wife departed this world he tried to find love in the digital world and when he logged into SilverDaddies which is a site used by mature gay men to find younger gay men his world has changed to the worst.

Nigerian prince fraud or advance fee fraud is kind of scam in which involve someone overseas offering you a share in a large sum of money or a payment on the condition you help them to transfer money out of their country.

there is two kind of scam victims the first is a victim to financial scams and this usually happens to assertive very enterprising people and the other is a person who lacks someone to care from him , someone to cuddle him some who have void in his heart and tries to fill the void in the internet but unfortunately for him he doesn’t fill the void but it leads to enlarge his void and depression.

‘Part of the way we explain crime and why people engage, is because the opportunity is there. They find the area of criminal activity that has the most opportunity and least likely apprehension. If you’re in Nigeria or Ghana, advance fee fraud is probably a type of crime that requires little resource investment and the opportunity is there. And it’s been demonstrated by others that it’s a successful way of getting money. There’s little deterrence because hardly anyone’s been caught for it.’

we need to return to old Christian virtue, the virtue of being prudent and not trusting or believing anything you read or watch in the internet, especially people you meet in the internet

HAS THE WEST LOST IT? A Provocation by Kishore Mahbubani

 

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for the last 1800 years China and India both were the largest Economies and until 1820 did Europe unseat them and it seems nowadays that that seat is returning to them

the recent period of Western relative over-performance against other civilizations is a major historical aberration. All such aberrations come to a natural end, and that is happening now.

the main thesis of this book is the era of Western Domination is coming to end and the rising of populist and extreme right wing in the West can be the first signs of it, unlike the coastal elites many rural Americans and Europeans are feeling the coming change especially as they saw the recent stagnation of their income and the increase of their job losses usually to Chinese and Indian workers and this what fueled Trump rise and Brexit.

what is trues that middle income American incomes has stagnated and most of the job lost are irrevocably lost but does that also mean that American living standard will deteriorate for me i don’t believe so and one example for that is Japan,

the era of Western dominance and imposing their ideals and customs on others is coming to end and that the last two examples of western intervention on Muslim countries didn’t fare very good in Iraq and Afghanistan

 

the important gift of the West

no one can deny that West world had given Humanity many gifts and improvement and one of the best things the Rest learned from the West is Reasoning which according to The Oxford English Dictionary is

‘To think (something) through, work out in a logical manner’

many non Western nations especially learned from the Western nations by adopting their Technology and Science and due to this adoption many nations has passed through silent revolutions which were political,psychological and the third was in the field of governance and through this Silent revolution that many Asian nations passed through and was able to catch up to the West.

Western catastrophic wars

if there is one thing am sure is that because ww1 and ww2 happened that many non Western nations gained their freedom from Western imperialism and there were no nation in these planet that didn’t face the wrath superior Western nation due to their superior technology and weaponry and this  what made Western nation so superior relative to others not because they were Liberal or humanitarian.

inability Western elites to see the new changes around the world

one of the hardest thing many people and nations can do is to self reflect and Hubris and Haughtiness an blind many people from seeing reality and that is easy to be entrapped in self deception and to be unable to see the ugly and painful truth and one of the ugly truths that many Westerns are unable to accept is that their ideals and customs and political views are not universal as they used to believe and i still cant believe how Western students,politicians and business men still believe the idea that Democracy is universal and that many societies will eventually embrace Democracy

How Hubris lead Western politicians to confrontation with Islamic world and Russia

i believe there is correlation between the increase terror attacks perpetuated by militant Muslims and the increase of Western intervention in Muslims world, i really found it hard to understand why America and Europe is the only nations that are still bombing Muslim nations and the only solution these nations see as response to any Muslim problems always contains security approaches usually bombing them from Mali to my nation Somalia to Iraq Afghanistan to Philippines all the time i see Western nations sending drones and bombing them but what is more strange is that why not man Western nations doesn’t prepare or expect a backlash against their intervention, when 9/11 happened most American magazines aw them as innocent victims which is true but also they also forgot what their government does to these Muslim Militants in nineteenth as they tortured them usually in secret jails, here is a quote written by the greatest writer in Latin America

, Gabriel García Márquez, asked Americans:
How does it feel now that horror is erupting in your own yard and not in your neighbor’s living room? … Do you know that between 1824 and 1994 your country carried out 73 invasions in countries of Latin America? … For almost a century, your country has been at war with the entire world … How does it feel, Yank, knowing that on September 11th the long war finally reached your home

the West must recognize these Militants are not fighting because they hate Western values as their politicians tell them but because they are angry of Western intervention and aiding dictators around the Muslim world, and that by less Messianic Western intervention i believe that the peace between these two world could return

and about the Russia which is a former shell of the soviet union and which were weak in the nineteenth the Western forgot Churchil quote ‘In victory, magnanimity.

they broke their promises to Gorbachev and expanded NATO instead of their implicit assurance given to Gorbachev that they will not expand into former Soviet union satellites but they expanded until they reached to Ukraine and even with Russian warning American still supported Ukraine demonstrations against President Viktor Yanukovyc and Putin ultimately know the next nation will be pro West and this eventfully forced him to intervene and take Crimea, the last thing any Russian officials want is American or European base in Crimea.

at last what the author advised to any Western politicians who like to hear

A. Minimalist:  The West need to recognize that its once dominant position has passed and along with it, the belief that it is and always has been a benign force in the world. Interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria show the contradictions in this belief. The West is widely seen by the Rest today as destructive and ineffective.

B. Multilateral: The West needs to listen more to the ‘Rest’ in the United Nations and elsewhere. He approvingly quotes Mrs. Thatcher: “The United Nations is only a mirror held up to our own uneven, untidy and divided world. If we don’t like what we see, there is no point in cursing the mirror; we had better start by reforming ourselves.” This leads him to call for the re-legitimisation of the UN.

C. Machiavellian:  Take more account of new and changing Western interests in the 21st century, where the US, UK, and Europe increasingly have diverging interests. Europe’s interests are not the same as America’s, not merely now in the age of Trump but in future areas of long-run strategic interest – in the Middle East, towards Russia, in coping with Islam and not joining with NATO.

The West can accelerate a two-way street of learning between Western and Eastern Muslims by quietly terminating its two-century-long policy of interfering in Islamic societies. A good start, as indicated earlier, will be to stop all bombing of Islamic countries.

 

  • Allen Lane
  • Published 5th April 2018
  • 112 Pages

Has the West Lost It?

 

 

The Chibok Girls by Helon Habila

I always wondered why religious extremism especially from my faith was scared of women eduacation or western education in general,why many Muslim insurgents from Boko Haram in Nigeria to Taliban  in Afghanistan fought against women education and actually bombed and killed many students and teachers and their guilt was learning.

Why the sight of young girls trying to learn how to read and write provokes so much anger in these men that they will try to kill them or kidnap them and force them as a sex slaves,seeing some people who shares my same beliefs but still using the same religion we both share as cover for thei evil acts makes me really ashmed of what some Muslims are doing to themselves.

In the last days of Holy Ramadan i picked up this short nook which tells the story of Boko Haram and the young teen gurls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram means Western eduacation is forbidden which is the name of violent extremist group in Nigeria  who did the usual Terrorist group works but risen to infamy by their kidnapping of Chibok young girls from their school dorms.

What makes this group more sinister than any other Jihadist groups in West Africa is that their fixation with using young girls as suicide fighters and even using girls as seven to suicide attack.

the first time Boko Haram attacked schools they killed most of thee young boys in the school and left the girls alone and warned them from going to school and advised them to marry but the second time they attacked the school they simply kidnapped all the girls and sent them to near impassable forest were it hard to follow them.

what made Chibok different from its neighboring towns is that it is the only Christian town in predominately Muslim region which marginalized them from their surrounding and made them an easy target for the terrorist.

interestingly although Chibok is small town is abodes with large stories of kidnapping and violence related either to politics and or religion, and this quote summarize why many nations rich with resources are still stuck in poverty

Actual violence, or the threat of it, helps to keep the populace in check, just as poverty does. Keep the people scared and hungry, encourage them to occasionally purge their anger on each other through religiously sanctioned violence, and you can go on looting the treasury without interference. I used to wonder why the facilities at our airports and in almost all public buildings in Nigeria were always broken and substandard, until I realized it was not accidental. It is a way of controlling the masses. The masses must never be allowed to think they deserve standard service. Even if they get what is theirs, like decent salaries, healthcare, and education, they must first grovel and beg for it, so that when they finally get it they feel it comes from the munificence of their political overlords, and not as a right.

although 5, Nigeria is the world’s twentieth largest economy, with a GDP of more than $500 billion. The country is the seventh largest oil exporter in the world at least half of the population lives below the poverty line and when Nigeria gained independence 9 million people were below poverty line but now almost 100 million people below poverty line and nothing seems to improve still.

our author who was born and used to live in Nigeria reminisce  about his childhood experiences where Islam and his neighboring Muslims were tolerant and there were no single violent incident between his family who were Christian and their Muslims neighbouring.

That version of Islam was able to accommodate tradition and diversity, and didn’t view the rest of the world through a puritanical lens. But all that changed, as if in a day. A stricter, less tolerant version of Islam emerged and took over the scene.

and now even most Christians are becoming also more strict with their faith and

against a backdrop of declining revenues, high unemployment rates, political corruption and rivalries, government mismanagement, rampant materialism, and serious popular concern about the erosion of moral and religious values

most people sought after

people sought answers in religion. But an irrational reliance on religion, instead of giving the people peace and comfort, only made them less tolerant and more desperate.

and this solution still is not helping them to solve their problems.

what brings more sorrow in this book is the social attitude to the returning girls where they are not accepted fully into he family and since most of them are pregnant or have children who their father is fighters of Boko Haram they become outcasts of their society and rather being victim they take the culprit role

Publisher: Penguin Books

Date Read: June 2018

No. of Pages: 128 pages

Date Published: 6 April 2017