The history of Syria is not a peaceful one, even before the current civil war, Syria had been ruled by the iron fist of dictators, the people suffering from heavy sectarian violence. Though the land it occupies has been home to people for thousands of years, the country of Syria is less than a century old, and herein lies the key to its bloody history.
Learning takes time, perseverance, effort and the knowledge that the learner has a right to be wrong, to make mistakes and to figure it out gradually. A learner's own imperfect answer which is the result of patience and reading is better than someone else's supposedly 'great' answer, acquired quickly online.
These are exciting times; I am fortunate to surround myself with artistic and strong Muslim women who evade these misconstrued perceptions of what they are and supposed to be. They are owning and reclaiming their visibility and audibility. Some of them, you can find on what is supposed to be first Muslim women's UK TV show dedicated to poetry and spoken word, Lyrically Speaking.
It came as something of a revelation this November that the majority of recommendations in the media's annual roundup of the best history books of 2016 were written by men. In response, Twitter was flooded with the names of inspiring female historians, past and present, under the hashtag #HistoryBooksbyWomen. 2016 has seen a plethora of publications by talented women so, to redress the balance somewhat, here are my top picks of the year:
Firstly, don't shield learners from misinformation, give them the skills to examine and dispose of it. Secondly spotlight the misinformers and do it publicly. Thirdly shout loud and proud (at parents evenings if necessary), that your job is to help thinkers think more clearly because at the end of the day, that will serve them better than anything else you can do in the classroom.
Perhaps it's time that we viewed terror as not the threat of the other but threat and control from within or perhaps above. What Trump is doing in America is an act of Terror, to spread an agenda of fear, not through singular explosive acts, but by placing a fear of the unknown into people's heads Surely it the ultimate proof and ability of whiteness, that it can, in fact, behave as the perfect manipulator and creator of a society of fear, without being called a terrorist, while simultaneously labelling any opposition as committing acts of terror.