Our next guest speaker for episode 20 on ‘Turning Negatives into Postives’ features independent scholar, Dr Mounia Mnouer, who will be talking about rediscovering her family’s history during the colonization of Morocco.
I am an Indigenous, Muslim North African, specifically from Morocco. I reside in Arizona, in a beautiful mountain town north of the state. I was a faculty member teaching Arabic and cross-cultural understanding content, but was recently laid off due to Covid-19 budget cuts. Living away from my family, especially during a pandemic can be very taxing. So, I decided to call my parents more often, and ask them to share stories growing up in colonial Morocco, and stories about their parents. Writing down these memories of my parents gave me a sense of resilience, and strength. I also found writing poetry and essays about my heritage as an Indigenous (Amazigh) woman very empowering. I decided to take time to relax, and practice gratitude through journaling. I am also taking part in reading/conversation groups about decoloniality, and am rethinking higher education in order to take action for social justice, inclusion, and commitment to diversity in higher education spaces. All of these activities have been helping me get through Covid-19 times.