Language

By Sarah Ali, 9A

One of my favourite things about myself is that I’m fluent in more than one language.
I can slip seamlessly from Dhivehi to English, switching between the two with such ease that sometimes I don’t even realise I’ve done it.
‘Aslutha?’ rests as comfortably on my tongue as ‘Really?’
Words like ‘dhoni’ and ‘kaashi’ and ‘moodhu’—words that, to me, feel distinctly Maldiviannever fail to make me feel just a little bit more at home.
I revel in the convenience of finding the perfect term in English for a experience I can’t quite capture in Dhivehi.
I feel my chest bloom with pride whenever I do exceptionally well in English at school, because I did so well, and this isn’t even my native language.
I feel so proud, and so grateful, because often, I consider my skill at English a privilege, too.
I stroll along this road of bilingualism with ease, with comfort.
But sometimes
More often than I’d like to admit
I trip.
I stumble with my words, and Dhivehi sits foreign on my tongue.
Restless. Fidgeting.
I find myself flustered and ashamed when I can’t remember the word in Dhivehi for something as simple as mathematical multiplication (‘gunakurun’).
My language,
My mother tongue.
The one I was supposed to be born with.
And I feel I do not do it justice.

Untamed

By Zaain Ahmed Hameed, 12A

Have you watched, or read about, Mowgli? Or Tarzan?  Or perhaps you know of the story of Shasta of the Wolves. What do all these stories have in common?

Yes: all three stories are about a child raised by animals. It is not uncommon to see this depicted in fiction, even in myths and legends. People have been fascinated by human-animal interactions, and the ability of animals to bring up human children, for centuries.

The legend surrounding the foundation of the city Rome is proof enough. In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were twin brothers who grew up in the care of a she-wolf. Later on, Romulus founded the Roman Kingdomalthough not before killing Remus.

Throughout history, accounts of wild or ‘feral children’ have captivated the human imagination. A feral child, by definition, is a human child who has lived isolated from any human contact from a very young age, and is therefore someone who has been inadequately socialised. This results in the child having little, or sometimes no, experience with human care, behaviour, and language.

They may be unable to walk upright or use a toilet, and face many difficulties in learning human languages. They often seem mentally impaired, and sometimes do not have any interest in any ‘normal’ human activity. They are also unable to eat cooked food, as most of them are accustomed to eating raw meat.

Historically, there have been many cases of feral children. One of them is the infamous case of Genie.

Geniewhich is not her real name, but a pseudonym used for her protectionwas brought up in an isolated room, strapped to a child’s toilet or bound in a crib. Her father decided to keep her as socially isolated due to his belief that Genie was intellectually disabled. Once rescued, psychologists attempted to help Genie develop language and basic social skills, but she remained severely delayed for her the rest of her life.

There are many other such cases. Vanya Yudin, a seven-year-old boy, was found to have spent his entire life living in a tiny, two-bedroom apartment surrounded by birds. His mother never spoke to him and treated him as a pet; Vanya was thus unable to communicate except by chirping and flapping his arms like wings.

Natasha was a five-year-old girl who spent her entire life locked in a room with cats and dogs, and had no access to heat, water, or the sewage system. When she was found, she could not speak, and would jump at the door and bark.

Oxana Malaya was another such child. For 5 yearsuntil she was 8 years oldOxana Malaya was neglected by her alcoholic parents and lived with dogs. By the time she was found, she was unable to talk, ran around on all fours barking, slept on the floor, and ate directly with her mouth instead of using her hands.

Sociobiologists, or biogrammers, say that the social environment plays little to no role in the development of human behaviourinstead, humans are born with a tendency, or instinct, towards certain behaviours.

Yet, if behaviour is instinctive, then why are feral children so different from other human beings? And when they are brought back into society, why do they struggle to learn and pick up on ‘normal’ human behaviour?

‘Father hit arm. Big wood. Genie cry… Not spit. Father. Hit facespit. Father hit big stick. Father is angry. Father hit Genie big stick. Father take piece wood hit. Cry. Father make me cry. Father is dead.’

The Birthday Present

By Zuhura Ismail, 12A

Marxist

Do #AllLivesMatter?

By Zaain Ahmed Hameed, 12A

In the Trending list on Twitter, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter would be followed, by #AllLivesMatter. A tweet about Black Lives Matter would be sent out, and in no time there would be a tweet back saying it is all lives that matter. One person says, ‘Black lives matter.’ Then another responds, ‘No; all lives matter.’

Why is it this way though? It is because people do not understand what the slogan Black Lives Matter actually means. People tend to interpret it as ‘black lives matter more than all other lives.’ However, the point of Black Lives Matter is not to suggest that blacks lives are, or should be, more important that any other lives.

So what does Black Lives Matter really mean?

The Black Lives Matter movement is an international activist movement founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. This movement campaigns against violence and institutionalised racism towards black people.

The point of Black Lives Matter is to reveal and remind people that black lives are undervalued, and by doing so to put an end to inequality.

What ‘Black Lives Matter’ essentially says is that ‘Black Lives Matter, Too,’ not ‘Only Black Lives Matter.’

In the United States, race and police brutality are closely linked, and have provoked many ethnic conflicts throughout the years. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is one of the many movements that involved excessive force by the police.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public spaces and ‘banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.’ However, it did not stop inequality and discrimination then, and it still does not stop the violent crimes of racial hatred that occur today.

All lives matter, yes. Black lives are also lives. Therefore, black lives matter. Black lives matter because, just like any other person, it is the life of a human being. And any human, despite their race—whether white, black, brown, or any other colour—should be treated with equality.

‘All lives can’t matter unless black lives matter.’

The Demise of the Romanov Dynasty

By Aishath Faathin Maseeh, 11A

R: Romanovs dictated oppressive rules

U: Until they portrayed themselves as fools

S: Spring blooming with promises*, through their abdication

S: Soon the Winter of Resentment** was to say farewell

I: In the midst of War time, Hope prevalent through the nation

A: A tragic Tsar replaced, muddling Russia, far too well

 

*Rise of Provisional Government (new hope)

**The repression and economic problems Russians faced due to Tsar Nicholas II

Bloody Sunday

By Jumana Shahid, 11A

22nd January 1905,
Released wasps from the hive;
Under the power of Tsar Nicholas the II
The Golden Days nearly came to an end

Shy was he, a timid maiden.
His moustachethe one good thing he had then.
Though almost as dumb as the 16th Louis,
He, at least, didn’t marry a banshee.

He gave his people the Russo-Japanese War:
This was during the fun year of 1904.
He tried to make his people patriotic,
But alas! He just got more idiotic.

Russia was agricultural then,
While Japan was industrialisedsince when?
Enough of that. It lead to starvation.
He blessed all with hunger, and a deadly vacation.

300,000 people and Father Gapon,
Were tired of the Tsar, and became so done,
That they marched to the Winter’s Palace with a petition,
To get back their food, and wages in addition.

Sadly their surprise party for the Tsar
Could not make it so very far,
Because they scared a baby Cossarc
Who shot the people while it was still not dark.

And when Tsar got scared and ran away,
His people’s trust in him began to sway.
Badabim Badaboom, with a Bibidi Bobidi Boo
He started the 1905 revolution too!

How, under one man, came 3 revolutions, I don’t know,
But it’s history; I guess it was just so:
All men start drama worse than a Hindi drama.
Goodbye TV. I’ll read a textbook instead.

ROBERT MUGABE: Rose to Power As a Hero, Fell From Grace As a Joke

By Zara Samy, 11A

One may wonder how a leader, once regarded a freedom fighter, now holds the title of the current longest-reigning dictator. Ruling for nearly four decades, the president of Zimbabwe, to this day, refuses to cease his power and controleven at the ripe age of 93.

President Mugabe was once a hero to the nation, as he fought against British colonisation and its disregard for the rights of black people in Southern Rhodesia, triumphing over their rule. In the process, he had been imprisoned for over a decade, for he had founded his own movement against the system, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).

Strongly holding Marxist beliefs, he opted for a guerilla war, and even carried out secret operations whilst in prison to launch such an operation. He eventually escaped from prison and assembled troops to initiate a war, which would continue throughout the 1970s. His long battle for freedom, however, had its setbacks as the war crippled the nation’s economy.

His reign began when the war was won and Southern Rhodesianow named the Independent Republic of Zimbabwewas freed from British rule by 1980, and he was elected prime minister. In 1987, he was elected the president of Zimbabwe, and for the first few years, he had managed to successfully execute a five-year plan. The country’s economy grew, improving living standards.

However, the public began to see their hero transforming into a totalitarian dictator. Mugabe began to seize the lands of the white people without any compensation. This began his dictatorial reign, which ironically contradicted with his own views regarding Marxism. He justified his actions by saying it was the only way to gain full liberty for the black. He even went as far as passing an amendment, in 2000, that the British were to pay reparations to the blacks for the land that they had seized.

Growing unpopular among his people, he further refused to allow members of other parties to be involved in the constitution, assuring his dictatorial power. To make matters worse, he has been alleged to scam the elections in his favour through means of violence or corruption. These suspicions have been largely assumed to be true, as he pardoned attackers of his opposition. He has even gone to the extent of recounting votes for an election that he had lost against Morgan Tvangirai, a democrat.

Zimbabwe’s foreign relations have been greatly strained due to Mugabe’s many doings, leaving them no support to overthrow such a government. Tvangirai may now be the prime minister but Mugabe has ensured that most power still lies in his hands.

Though some still believe Mugabe to be a revolutionarya hero to Zimbabwehe is now cited a controversial figure due to his power craze. He refuses to hand over authority till the day he dies and defies anyone who attempts to do so.

While he is noted nowadays for dozing off at eventshe had even read out the wrong speech in the parliamenthe has lived up to a shocking of age of 93, and even retained his power over a whole nation. This leaves one to speculate just how long this man may continue to rule.