This week marks the beginning of my year of studying (Postcolonial Studies) at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London. Though practically unheard of by many, SOAS has a reputation for being a very political space and an institution with appreciation for critical and sometimes radical analysis and thought. To my mind, entering this space would be jumping from one extreme experience of … Continue reading SOAS vs Cambridge
note: – the term BME used in this article is based on UK terminology to refer to members of non-white British communities (who this article is primarily aimed at): Black and minority ethnic. – the term Oxbridge is a blended word referring to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Do it. Don’t be a potential applicant, apply. Apply with gusto. Apply immediately. Apply with full faith … Continue reading To The Non-White Potential Oxbridge Applicants
I graduated from Cambridge just over a week ago. My graduation was one of the most special and bizarre days of my life and full of vivid memories I’m sure I’ll always cherish. Waking up the next day to find that Britain had voted to exit the EU came as a bit of a downer then… As my mum drove me home with the car … Continue reading A Cambridge Degree Won’t Stand Between Me and a Racist
This is going to be a post based on a talk I gave last week (I have always wanted to say that, please forgive the pretentiousness). It was loosely about ‘Liberating Academia’ and what that would entail. Two other amazing panellists talked about their experiences and ideas too and for my part, I talked about my experience studying history and my conception of what liberation … Continue reading Liberating Academia: Believe Nothing, Question Everything
Content Note: silencing, debate. So, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about my feelings. It was a fairly self-indulgent post lacking in much analysis or critique. But sometimes – as perhaps is the nature of someone who keeps a blog – I find it therapeutic to write about and process my feelings in such a way. However, any therapeutic feeling I … Continue reading Be afraid, be very afraid
I laugh at a lot of things. I laugh at things that are funny, I laugh at things that often aren’t and I laugh when I don’t know what else to do. But some things – some things aren’t funny. Some things are not so easy to shrug off even when you laugh in the face of them. This week I was invited to attend a … Continue reading Is it really funny though?
Only one month into my final year, thoughts of What’s Next have begun to creep upon me. I have found myself in an increasingly confused and contradictory mind-set. A part of me wants to consider further-study – perhaps a year of Gender Studies or maybe even more History – but another part of me wants out of here; out of institutions and academia into real … Continue reading To Stay or Not To Stay, that is the question.
Seeing all the new faces around Cambridge this past week has made me rather sentimental. Memories of fresher’s week and the whole fear-ridden first term come flooding back. I search amongst those new faces especially for brown and black faces. I search for them because I wish somebody had searched for me. Everytime I see a woman in a hijab I feel overwhelmed with excitement, … Continue reading Cambridge: the benevolent aggressor
Content note: imperialism and colonialism, British Empire. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone; well, in the case of the heritage, culture and history of a third-generation Pakistani woman, I am thankful that the knowing has taken place before the going has gone. Iconic Pan-African philosopher and Black nationalist Marcus Garvey famously said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and … Continue reading I am a woman of women, and without them I would not be
Today I went back to my high school – a mixed comprehensive state-school, 15 minutes from Leeds city center – to talk to some Year 12 students about applying to Oxbridge and what life is like at Cambridge. It is phenomenal for a state school and I know that – having been ranked as “outstanding” by Ofsted and having consistently impressive exam results. I think the … Continue reading The danger of the 63.3% “state school” intake fallacy…