Author: Africana95

A Speech To The Negus

O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship Allah alone, and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah. He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness, and not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women. He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with him, to uphold Salat, to give Zakaah, and fast in the month of Ramadan. We believed …

The Politics Of Being A Chinese Jamaican: An Interview With Howard Sun

Half of MZAB mag, Soraya met Howard whilst in a taxi in London. Read onwards to find out more about his his fascinating, life, heritage and culture Where are you from and what does your name mean? I was born in Jamaica in the year of the infamous hurricane Charlie but my ancestors are from the Pearl River Delta area in Guangdong Province of Southern China and they made their journey to the USA for a better life, during the goldrush in California in 1849.  My Surname SUN, in Chinese, means descendant. When did you move to London and what drew you to live here? I moved to London in 1978 having lived and studied Electronics in New York. Living in the USA was not for me and I returned to Jamaica after living for 7 years there. While working and doing some businesses, I met a girl from England, got married then decided to emigrate as things were getting quite dangerous. This coincided with a yearning to live in a more developed society which …

Scent As A Sanctuary: Aromatherapy Amongst The Tuareg

Plants have always played a vital role in the physical emotional and spiritual well being of human kind. The Tuareg of Niger are an example of a people for whom scent plays a major role in everyday life, exchange and kinship. The Taureg are a nomadic people largely scattered across North / Northwest Africa. They can be found in Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Libya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Tunisa, Algeria and Niger. The Tuareg are instantly recognisable as the ‘blue men’ due to the blue cotton turbans/garment (tagelmust) the men wear to protect their faces from the harsh sandy terrain. The Tuareg speak Tamacheq, are largely of Amazigh ethnicity and form a system of clan membership largely practising the religion of Islam. The Tuareg of Niger like many other civilisations before them heavily use the power of aroma, aromatherapy and scent as a part of their sociocultural systems and local sociability. Anthropologist Susan Rasmussen in her 1999 paper ‘Making better scents in Anthropology’ analyses culture from the underexplored standpoint of the circulation of aromas. In her essay, …