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Identity and Knowledge Production by Asha Musa Elsaid

02-05-2018, 11:56 PM
عائشة موسي السعيد
<aعائشة موسي السعيد
Registered: 07-10-2010
Total Posts: 1638

Identity and Knowledge Production by Asha Musa Elsaid

    10:56 PM February, 05 2018

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    The Effect of Identity on Knowledge Production
    (The Sudan as an example)
    Asha Musa El Said

    A Scientist (member of Arab Academy) once said : Creativity is at its best when produced in the homeland with the Mother Tongue.

    1- It is historically known that diversity and mixed ethnicity of the population of Sudan is a socially unique case. The East, West, South, North and middle have totally different languages that mount to over a hundred, different religions, varied skin shades among tribes, different customs and traditions, different ways of living depending on natural resources, etc. An article titled 'The Ethnology of the Sudan’, published in 1904 stated: 'The Arab dominates the northern half of Sudan from Egypt to Kordofan. He has nowhere exterminated the original inhabitants; he has in many cases not succeeded in forcing even his own Language upon them; he has, unlike the Arabs in Arabia, intermarried freely with them. The people call themselves Arabs and we accept the name but it would certainly be a mistake to regard them as Arabians'. And yet, these inhabitants followed the same (in power) government or rulers and respected the official Language and Religion followed by Khartoum as Arabic and Islam. The varied neighboring tribes intermingled through factors like trade, neighborhood protocols, shared resources etc.
    However, a famous conference of a wide host of Historians, Political Scientists and Anthropologists in 1968 came out with a conclusion stated by Prof. Muddathir Abdel Rahim that Sudanese are Africans and Arabs, to an equal degree and without any sense of tension or contradiction. ((I guess there is a smell of the Forest and the desert of the young poets of the mid sixties)).
    2- This stable understanding and build of a Sudanese identity was shattered by misgivings and mistakes created by different governments since Independence. Successive national governments and military regimes worked stealthily towards the disintegration of the tribal systems and internal ethics and orders within a tribe resulting in the struggle for status, place settlement, establishment of infrastructure, and other privileges enjoyed by people of the major cities and the Capital. Competition at this level was, and in any society would be, an ingredient for native struggles and hateful internal disputes. Factors that were tools of unity are now sparks of war due to the neglect of political, economic, cultural, educational and social planning with consideration of problems that normally would face peripheral areas.

    3- Knowledge acquired by education through tools of learning and means of communication has never been a priority to Sudan successive national governments who proved to be the real heirs of colonial policies. Education before the thirties was only for prescribed numbers of male citizens to prepare them for clerical works and lower civil jobs and, small elite group to be sent abroad as means of shutting up criticism and curbing protest, and total neglect of women education. They worked intentionally towards the suffocation of knowledge which need an atmosphere of peace and quiet and a platform of basic education to be productive. Our country woke up one day to find that the robbery once started by Colonization is now taking another form by National Governments (political parties and other forms of segregation and favoritism and lack of foresight in all kinds of planning).
    4- That was the age of Technological awareness of the people. The glimpses of light from different sources facilitated the leak of tools of the new world to pour into our countries (if we are part of the Middle East) with the rate of 50 new electronic items entering the markets every day through the legal or official commercial protocols. We were not equipped neither with the knowledge through stable education and training, nor with the basic infrastructure to put contents of the carton boxes we bought into well maintained service. You all know that the splendid Arabic Language (which can by no means be called deficient) could not even cater for the names of the flow of machinery and new electronic or machinery imported. So the cooker, telephone, microwave, bicycle, automobile and much more stayed transliterated until the emergency meetings of the Arab Academies in Syria and Egypt and later Jordan started seeking solutions for the problem of foreign terminology unequalled with equivalents in Arabic to avoid as a learnt Sheikh of Al Azhar said (contaminating the Arabic Language with foreign words). They started coinage of new terms for sciences and medicine and vocabularies for every day used items to meet the pouring tec in our homes, hospitals (AIDS), manufactories etc.(car parts)(spare)الطشت والجردل والمصطلحات العسكرية
    التعريب، النقل الصوتي، النحت، القياس الترجمة.............................................توسعة اللغة..........
    The reason for this can not be called linguistic. It is the lagging behind of both Arab and African countries, to both of whom we relate, in technology and specialized creativity. Even when we created world peculiarities like the Pyramids we could not sustain and show to the world. We waited until the World has come to us and started educating us about our history and ancestral civilizations.
    5- Also at this level, interest got diverted, from knowledge and productivity in its primitive form encouraged by need, to ownership. This happened at many levels: individual, family, community, ethnic group, whole regions.... all seeking a 'better life' instead of 'settlement'. It is as if nomadic nature of most of the urban dwellers of Sudan is now adopted for the search or achievement of other goals.
    The unfortunate centralization of administration and knowledge, and the unfair distribution of the tools and means of a better life stunted 'production' even of the vital needs of people in distant areas of the vast country and people exoded to Khartoum to acquire ready made stuff.
    The knowledgeable exuded further either for more knowledge, where atmosphere and institutions are available for creativity, or for more money to be able to buy and move on with others or for sheer boredom and despair.
    6- That is the sad situation we are living in now; feeding on our past glory. Even the glory we now tell our children about is the glory of a beggar and not a master or owner. The real glory was beyond the time when we were made to think that identities matter.
    In conclusion I would say:
    * Knowledge, without field work and atmosphere for practical application, stays a philosophy for theoretical contemplations.
    * Available technologies and end products at hand are abused. Because knowledge production and investing of products are complementary; otherwise we end up trading in antiques.
    What is the use of producing if you do not apply؟
    * Centralization of knowledge encourages interactive results least of which is draining the continent or peripheral areas.
    * Degrading minorities and ignoring the solution of their problems host hatred and consequent violence.
    RahmatuAllah a'la both Prof Mohammed Omer Basheer and Mohammad Abdelhai who quoted the former as saying:
    'Freedom and Development are Goals which could only be achieved by accepting diversity'.
    'Cultural diversity guarantees strong national unity. It does not obstruct it'.
    Thank you

Arabic Forum

03-29-2018, 09:00 PM
الصادق يحيى عبدالله
<aالصادق يحيى عبدالله
Registered: 10-02-2009
Total Posts: 928

Re: Identity and Knowledge Production by Asha Musa Elsaid (Re: عائشة موسي السعيد)

    Quote: Effect of Identity on Knowledge Production

    Dear Asha
    Could you give more specific examples of knowledge production؟ I read the article twice but failed to grasp the relationship between these two variables.

Arabic Forum

04-23-2018, 00:03 AM
عائشة موسي السعيد
<aعائشة موسي السعيد
Registered: 07-10-2010
Total Posts: 1638

Re: Identity and Knowledge Production by Asha Musa Elsaid (Re: الصادق يحيى عبدالله)

    Dear Al Sadig.
    Thanks for passing by and sorry I haven't been around for sometime due to the usual technical problems.

    (Could you give more specific examples of knowledge production؟ I read the article twice but failed to grasp the relationship between these two variables)*
    That was your question.
    I hope you add your own contribution to the subject as it is obvious you have something in mind.

    My simple interpretation is that if you know, you can improve your status or 'develop'. In other words 'development is an outcome of knowledge'.
    Therefore we should take into consideration the most suitable planning of the basic fields of knowledge like education, training, agriculture, health, security etc. etc.
    If we believe that Knowledge is Power, then we know that it must be an accumulative wealth of hard work, education , experience and learning in varied fields and
    specially exposure to modern technologies and development availed by new media. These
    will then be tools towards the building of an environment dependent on a stable social. economic and political grounds.
    Principles of Knowledge can be invested for developing the targeted aims of projects suitable for the peripheral parts of our enormous country, a strategy which will
    reduce exodus to the city , namely the Capital. .......
    I hope I touched on your query.

    Thanks again and stay well.

Arabic Forum

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