A Perspective on Civil Wars?

November 7, 2018


"It is the poor people that suffer”.


A lady sat next to me on the metro and was eager to talk. The distance between Schiedam to Blaak was not enough. We discussed American Politics for 7 minutes.


"The democrats won the house!" I said. 


"Yes, yes I heard that on the news this morning, well finally" She answered.


She then asked me what I thought of Donald Trump. I told her that I didn't think Trump had ever read any book, and therefore can’t think. And that people who can’t think shouldn’t be brought into power.


She kept silent for a bit, and said that she would rather not have him impeached. That it would only make things worse. That a civil war could explode, and that "would be bad". She continued by saying that "at the end of the day, it is always the poor people who suffer, the rich ones always fly their children abroad, and provide them with better lives."


I suddenly wanted to ask her where she was from. She had painted her hair red and was wearing a pair of golden earrings she had bought from London.

She seemed to have a Nigerian accent blended with years of inconsistent practice, or perhaps with a strong influence of the Dutch language.


While climbing the stairs of the metro station, I realised that I have developed the tendency to always ask “Where are you from?” Does it matters much? but to what extent really? And should it be the first thing we ask the people we meet?

I always presume that I may or may not know about their countries, the context of the places where they grew.


The Turkish man I had a long conversation with last night was from Adanna, and my knowledge of Istanbul was not enough for me to be truly submerged in his reality. A unique and different reality than mine.



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©2018 by Amina Soulimani. 

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