Annie Jiang9 October 2017
At the beginning of August, the University of Melbourne held its annual Women in Higher Education Week, aiming to explore the experiences of women in tertiary education, both the positive aspects and some of the challenges. A few weeks later, as some sort of distantly linked follow-up, I had the chance to moderate a panel aiming to unpack some of the gendered structures that affect women in this field and explore avenues for change.
There’s a scene in Journey Beyond Fear in which father Bismillah describes losing his entire family as a child in Afghanistan. “I have not had any happiness since,” he says. It’s a stark reminder of just how profoundly struggle and loss have defined the lives of him and so many others. And yet, despite all the obstacles they face, all the uncertainty of their circumstances, they go on, day after day.
Earlier this year, my Grandpa published a book of poetry. It’s a compilation of over 150 poems spanning half a lifetime, a bona fide history of his experiences in China and then subsequently here, in Australia. There are poems about everything, from the flowers in our backyard to my late Grandma. There are even a good five or six poems dedicated to yours truly.
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