Verily* : 60 second read by Farriz Mashudi 09/12/2020
Verily, with every difficulty there is relief . . . This beautiful verse from the holy Quran spoke to me, beamed from the walls of Bin Jelmood House also known as the ‘Slavery Museum’ in downtown Doha. Yes, it happened here, at this former abode of a trader of such shameful commodity, a stone’s throw from the Souq Waqif.
Resplendently refurbished in puritan white, the pain of past practices endures in life-sized audio-visuals. Within these confines that includes a well-stocked library, the voices of slavery’s descendants confess to still being victims.
No more of physical shackles. But of a stigma that dwells universally amongst us. Deep in people’s psyches. Beyond the bounds of our rational minds.
“No need for denial or covering up, let’s talk about it openly,” their talking heads beseeched. Racism won’t be abolished by pretending it doesn’t exist. Nor, will its close cousin — Discrimination.
In this spirit, might each of us consider how in our heart of hearts as good people to be rid of the black marks of prejudice? Then to duly observe these steers in our daily practice. Eventually, to perfectly eradicate the ways in which we might otherwise stereotype.
Does this sound unrealistic? Like a far-fetched miracle or middle-aged fantasy?
Nothing worth doing, as the old adage goes, is ever easy. On this score, an abundance of credit and thanks must go to Her Highness Sheikha Moza, the beloved ‘Queen Mother’ of Qatar, if we may respectfully call her this — for her vision of freedom that made the museum possible and sparked this timely conversation for the entire community.