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#09 Cultural Heritage And Intellectual Property w/ Kubra Avci

The text is a transcription of the episode made by Natural Language Processing Technology.


tusem: disclaimer: because of some technical issues, the audio quality of this episode is kinda low. Lower than usual. This is actually the usual quality. But I think it's still understandable and bearable and you get used to [00:01:00] it after some time. So please, bear with me with this one. I see I have listeners from a range of nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

I want to ask you, as my listener, What does culture mean to you? Well, for me, I see culture as something like a collective identity, a home without walls. It has many forms, like traditions, sacred monuments, places, food, language. So culture is a form of identity. And for a lot of people, culture is the source of inspiration.

So this is where intellectual property steps in the game. There is an overlap between Intangible cultural heritage and intellectual property. Where does inspiration stop and intellectual property begin? This is exactly what we are going to talk about with Kybra Auger. Kybra embarked on her academic journey by studying law at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Currently, she is pursuing her studies. Actually, she graduated. Yeah, I just graduated. She mentioned to me that she graduated. Congrats for that, by the way. Thank you, Uh. [00:02:00] In cultural studies at KU Leuven and she is diving deep into the topic of culture and law at the same time. She recently finalized her master thesis on this very subject of cultural heritage and intellectual property.

She explores the delicate balance between between preserving our cultural treasures and protecting intellectual rights, but there is more. Beyond her academic achievements, Kibra has been active in various student organizations. Her dedication extends even further. As a young representative for the Flemish UNESCO Commission, she spreads UNESCO's vision among the youth.

That's what

kubra: we try to do. So, Salam Kubra. Hi, wa'alaikum salam. How are you?

tusem: I'm doing great. Thank you. I'm so happy to have you here. I'm

kubra: very happy to be here and welcome to Brussels, too. Yay, Brussels. I am a huge fan of your podcast since day one. Oh my gosh. I know. It's really an honor

tusem: to be here. Thank you.

One of the first supporters of this podcast. [00:03:00] Um, but I will straight ask the question, what does culture mean? to

kubra: you. Oh, wow. That's really a very beautiful first question to start with. And you already answered it in a very poetic way. Um, but I think, yeah, culture is, it's indeed like a very vague concept.

And that's, I think. the beauty of it. Everyone can give it their own meaning. And of course, there are thousands of definitions. If I wrote two dictionaries here, probably both of the definitions we were, we would look for, none of them would be exactly the same. And I think also, like, if you say culture, there are different approaches to it.

In cultural anthropology, for example, there is this distinction between culture with a big C and with a capital C and culture with a lowercase. And cultural knowledge is often described in terms of little c, as I said, yeah. And then the big C culture is literature, [00:04:00] art, and everything, like the institutions that occupies with literature and art.

But you can give like a definition to culture, but for me, Whatever definition you would give to culture, for me, culture is something that defines how people feel, how they think, how they behave, and even when, what they believe in. And in my opinion, I would divide culture in, in two categories. The first one is something we all have.

We all possess. It's our personal culture. And on the other hand, the second category. would be more the general culture of the society where we're living in. And for that one, I would probably start from UNESCO's definition. And UNESCO's definition, which is in my opinion, the most broadest, uh, definition to culture.

UNESCO defines culture as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, [00:05:00] intellectual, and emotional features of society. Or a social group. Wow. Yeah. That is not only art and literature, but also lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions, and beliefs. And as you said, culture is about collectiveness.

It's about a social group. It's about society. It's about belonging. Uh, it's about a sense of unity. And I think there are a lot of elements that contribute to this sense of unity. Within culture, of course, as you said, like food, language, social rules, but also norms and beliefs, cultural symbols, et cetera.

But yeah, I think for me, not all of them are on the same level. So

tusem: you say that culture is something on identity level, but at the same time, it's also something on society level. Yeah, exactly. But this is also, you talked also about, you talked both on collectiveness. So this means that we can generally understand the [00:06:00] link between identity and society.

That's where culture, actually, the definition is maybe. The collaboration between identity and the society.

kubra: Yes, exactly. And that's what, where I was going to end actually. This personal and general culture that results in the kind of hybrid cultural identity. Because that hybrid identity that consists of the fusion of these two cultures or the more cultures you probably have, um, your religious culture, but also maybe the country you were born in is a different one.

So there are a lot of different cultures that, uh, defines you and you will have like a hybrid identity at the end. I think that this refers to the idea that identity in a multicultural society No longer relies on one specific culture, but it relies on, on a lot of, it's subjective. It's definitely

tusem: subjective.

[00:07:00] Yeah. As a youth representative of the Flemish UNESCO Commission, how do you see UNESCO's role on preserving? cultural, intangible also, but cultural

kubra: heritage. Yes. As you all may know, UNESCO is the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization. It's a specialized agency actually in culture and it has the aim to promote world peace and security.

True. culture through the international cooperation in culture, education, arts, but also sciences. And I think to, it's very interesting to mention something that is mentioned in the preamble of the convention of UNESCO, uh, declares that since wars begin In the minds of men, it's in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.

Wow. Yeah. So the aim of the organization is actually building peace [00:08:00] in the mind of mankind. So, and in that regard, I think UNESCO is of course doing a great job and UNESCO's work is really important and crucial in preserving cultural heritage, but also in. Promoting cultural diversity, because when you have this international institutions, they foster mutual respect between countries and they try to, you know, the world heritage list, right?

Right now it's the world heritage committee that is taking place in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. So they come together to discuss whether they are accepting the nominees of countries to the world heritage list. And, uh, maybe interesting to know is. That one of them is I think five mosques or I don't remember the amount, but five mosques in Turkey, the wooden mosques of medieval Anatolia, they are now, yeah, there are now added to the world's heritage list just a couple of days ago.

And also in [00:09:00] Belgium, the first world war sites in France and in Belgium are also added to the list. So I think it's really important to know this because this means that these heritage is not only. Turkey's heritage or not only Belgian or France heritage, but heritage of the humanity of humanity.

Exactly. Yeah. So I think UNESCO's work is, is really important in that.

tusem: While you were also mentioning the definition of UNESCO on culture. When you talked about spiritual, the behaviors, I thought immediately, like in this materialistic Century we're living in. That's such a beautiful way of looking at culture.

I think this is actually also a recent switch they made, right? In 2000. 2003, I guess, the, uh, the perception of culture elaborated actually of UNESCO.

kubra: Yes, indeed. It was in the year 2003 that there was a significant development in the perspective on culture because most of the time when we say [00:10:00] culture, people think of literature, art, but also the heritage that we have, more the material heritage we have, such as monuments, buildings.

Museums, but in 2003, UNESCO established the convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage is like, are the practices, the representations, the expressions, the knowledge, the skills, and the cultural spaces that communities. And, and in some cases, groups or sometimes also individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.

And this can be also a language, a ritual, a specific dance. So at that time, indeed, like UNESCO broadened their perspective on cultural heritage and they said, okay, also, we do have to preserve also. The intangible ones. And that's why the convention was made up in 2003. You explained

tusem: [00:11:00] that so well, maybe we should immediately dive into today's topic because you wrote your thesis about the link between intangible cultural heritage and intellectual property.

Can you tell us more about your thesis?

kubra: Yeah. Okay. It's really hard to do it like in a very short and brief

tusem: way. You have all the time. Okay.

kubra: Take your time. I don't want to be, uh, that this will be very boring and no one will

tusem: listen. Well, if it's boring, people wouldn't listen. They shouldn't tune in. So, okay.

You have all the space.

kubra: Thank you. Thank you. So my research explores the balance between intellectual property rights and intangible cultural heritage. So since I have a law background and I have a huge interest in cultural, uh, studies, a cultural heritage in general, I really wanted to do something with my both interests.

And yeah, so while intellectual property stimulates innovation by protecting creative ideas, cultural heritage, on the other hand, [00:12:00] plays an invaluable role in, uh, human identity and traditions. They have mutual benefits, but despite that, these two domains. can sometimes also conflict. For example, intellectual property rights can block the sharing of cultural knowledge and that can result in a loss of heritage.

And in my dissertation, I'll try to explore how to harmonize these conflicting interests and whether there is an alternative protection mechanism to protect and preserve intellectual property and cultural heritage. And I'm, yeah, I try to analyze challenges and conflicts, and I also try to explore some possible solutions.

So I

tusem: think you created a good basis for us of intangible cultural heritage. So I want to make like a shift to the problem in here. So you said the overlap between. cultural heritage and intellectual property. This makes me immediately think about cultural appropriation. How does [00:13:00] cultural appropriation actually play in this picture?

Because we see there is a lot of awareness going on on social media. How, what's your take on this?

kubra: Maybe, I don't know if we, if I gave like a definition of intellectual property and Intellectual

tusem: property not, but with cultural heritage you, well, you did. Yeah, I

kubra: mentioned like intangible, yeah. So yeah, so intellectual property rights are the legal protections granted to individuals or entities for creative and intellectual work.

And to come back on your question, you mentioned cultural appropriation. That's, I think, a huge topic and a topic on itself to write a thesis about. So the intersection between intangible cultural heritage and intellectual property, there are a lot of challenges and problems, and one of them is actually cultural appropriation.

So intellectual property laws, they grant exclusive rights to creators, but intangible cultural heritage often [00:14:00] involves communal practices, and also knowledge. And when individuals or entities from outside these cultural groups use or even modify or profit from these elements without proper understanding or respect or permission, you can label that as cultural appropriation.

And that can also lead to tensions and disputes over intellectual property rights. I think I've mentioned also in my thesis a case about Mexico and some fast fashion brands. I think it was in 2021 where Zara and other Fast fashion brands, well, Anthropologie and Patol, they were accused for cultural appropriation.

They used some symbols. They were, that were characteristic to the Mixteca community in Mexico. So they just used the designs for their own profits, for their own benefits. [00:15:00] And the problem is actually with those communities, with this indigenous communities. They don't have the knowledge and they don't have the tools to fight against these violations.

And I think, I believe it's very, very important to increase awareness and understanding of both intellectual property rights and also, on the other hand, intangible cultural heritage. Because Thank you. Many people are just unaware of the value of intangible cultural heritage since it's like, you can't touch it so it's there so they, they just take it for granted, but they don't really see.

the, the value or.

tusem: Yes. It's like the oxygen in the air. It's crucial to live, to continue your life. Yeah. At the same time, we don't appreciate it. So culture is also.

kubra: Definitely. So understanding and awareness can prevent actually such events, such violations of rights, and also can promote [00:16:00] respectful interactions.

Indeed,

tusem: by shedding light to this subject and you also talk about Indigenous people facing a lot of hardships to protect, even not protect, they are not aware of it, that they have to protect their culture. I think as like bystanders, we know this and maybe we can have the awareness and talk about this more openly and educate ourselves.

That's also actually what I want to connect to. Intention and education is also very important when it comes to. Taking something and using it from another culture. I also shared this with you, the social media experiment where this man wearing like the classic Mexican outfit and it's got, he goes to the college campus and he goes to the students and asking like, is this, um, offensive, does, yes.

Does this offend you or is this offensive to Mexican people? And they say all, almost all the students that are not Mexican, they all say. Yes, this is offensive because you're not Mexican. So you shouldn't. Um, but then this man goes to the [00:17:00] Mexican town in this area and all the Mexican people love it. They like, no, this is not appropriate.

This is, I love this. Uh, it looks good on you. So you see the intention is very important. This man does not wear the Mexican outfit just to like mock Mexican people at the same time. But I see the people are. Too much. Do we call this the woke culture? I hate that word, but yeah. I hate that word too. But it has like some truth in it, I think.

This is where education and open communication steps into the game, I think.

kubra: Yes, definitely. I agree on that, but. On the other hand, if you see like the video you're talking about, the younger generation is like, this is not correct, but the older generation, I don't know if they're that aware or what it's going, what is going on in the world.

So maybe, I think like for them, like also talking in another language is like very nice for them or whatever, but. Um, yeah, maybe you [00:18:00] have to make this distinction between generations too. But on the other hand, yes, intention is, is the key. I think if, if you want to, if you wear that on carnival or whatever, like a party or something that's.

Totally different. Yeah.

tusem: I saw this video on social media where it was a long time ago where there was like a costume party going on and this woman, um, clearly not in a Muslim environment because I didn't, I mean, Muslim, Muslims do not do costume parties, right? But she was wearing a hijab and she was like dancing like crazy.

And she had also a baby. The costume that she was wearing was the costume of an immigrant. That was so offensive. And if someone would wear the hijab, the headscarf, just to try it out, I would just love it. I won't even mind it. I would love it. The costume of an immigrant, this idea, it makes me like.

kubra: Just the fact, it's not a costume.

So [00:19:00] yeah, that's where it all starts. You don't have to wear it as a costume. Yeah, definitely.

tusem: So I agree on that. So this problem we're talking about, where do you see, how do you see the long term. And short term consequences or effects, maybe that's a better word. Well, I

kubra: think on the short term, I would say cultural appropriation.

This is on short term, that's a conflict between communities, individuals, but also, as I mentioned, this fast fashion brands and also between corporations and also governments. And this can, and most of the time it can result also in legal battles and disputes. But that's one thing. The other thing on long term.

I would say, I don't know if that's the correct word, but cultural erosion. So these conflicts, these prolonged conflicts over intellectual property and cultural heritage, that can contribute to the erosion of traditional practices and knowledge. And yeah. On the long term, some [00:20:00] cultural heritage can even disappear.

I don't want to say that. I always want to stay positive, but I think it's

tusem: a realistic point of view.

kubra: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So I would say cultural erosion. Yeah. Not to say The distinction of cultures.

tusem: Yeah. Distinction is maybe too much because culture is most of the time, it's something ancient. And if it survived all those years, so it will probably also continue living because of the, maybe the digitalization era we're living in.

But I want to like shift the gears to the topic of intellectual property. I see intellectual property as something like a two edged sword, because you mentioned that intellectual property rights. Yeah. Motivates people to create new ideas because they know they get the guarantee that their rights will be protected and they can, they can just freely invest their time in creating new products, new intellectual products, and they, they get financially rewarded for [00:21:00] this, for their ideas.

Which is great, of course. Maybe I should give an immediate example of how this motivates actually innovation. I immediately think between, maybe it's like a technical example, but the patents war between Samsung and Apple. They are continuously in a war. They always try to be innovative in what they're doing.

So that's okay. That's good. But at the same time, what the reason why I call intellectual property a two edged sword is I immediately think about the example of Dr. Jonas Salk, he invented the vaccine for the polio. It's a disease that affects mostly children for centuries, but this man invented this vaccine and he was able to eliminate this disease in America in just 25 years.

But what's interesting about this doctor is he did not start any income. He did not patent this product. So people will be. Access it without disconsequences, legal consequences. This was how we were able to eliminate the polio disease from the world. So this is actually a [00:22:00] very known phenomenon in the pharmaceutical industry.

Maybe like for the listeners, if they're interested, they can check the TED talk called Intellectual Property in the Age of Open Source by Liam Greenbank. But what's your take on this

kubra: maybe? Maybe it's necessary to make a distinction between. Industrial creations and more creative creation. Because like industrial creation, mostly they're protected by patents, while artworks are mostly protected by copyrights.

These are different kind of industry, uh, intellectual property rights. And yeah, I think intellectual property definitely, they play a dual role. Indeed, motivating and motivating innovation and creativity, they motivate by providing incentives, rewards, but also an income, but however, they, they can also stifle innovation when they result in.

[00:23:00] Monopolies, like high enforcement costs, overprotection, or even limitations on, on creative freedom. And I think it's important to like, have a balance between the benefits and yeah, the potential drawbacks of intellectual property rights. And it's a complex challenge, I think. And it is probably. A discussion that is going on that, yeah, legal scholars try to find the right balance between encouraging innovation, but also ensuring access, like open access, open source, um, and, and competition.

And. The cultural domain, the cultural domain encompasses the rich tapestry of cultural expressions and traditions within a community or a society. So, and on the other hand, you have the cultural domain, but on the other hand, you also have the public domain. And the public domain consists more the creative works and the knowledge that are freely available.

Um, and, and can be used by the public [00:24:00] due to the absence of intellectual property protections. But I think both play a very important role in shaping culture and also promoting creativity and preserving human knowledge and heritage too.

tusem: It's such a delicate topic, right? There is a lot of maybe pressure of institutions to regularize.

This as good as possible because such an complex and delicate problem. So we talked a lot about communities and societies because there are the source of culture. So instead of maybe generalizing people and as the Dutch expression goes, like putting people into boxes, maybe these entities should look more at the community level rather than like generalizing everyone.

So that's also what you're talking about on your thesis. Yeah.

kubra: Definitely. That's also like, there is no, I think there is no one solution for this problem about intangible cultural heritage and intellectual property, but it's very important to [00:25:00] know that there is no one size fits all approach. There is a need for a right balance between intellectual property and the preservation of cultural heritage.

And this requires an ongoing effort. You have to cooperate between different stakeholders, between communities, between indigenous people. And for me, I think intellectual property rights we do have right now are not enough to protect, um, intangible cultural heritage. Also, because the nature of intangible cultural heritage is different.

There is no one creator or there is no, you can't attribute the intellectual property to one person or one institution or one entity or one corporation. For example, if you grant Limited and shared property rights to a whole community as a whole rather than individuals that can prevent actually the [00:26:00] exclusive rights from falling into the hands of one person or one individual representing the heritage.

And. In, in law, there is a term sui generis, so sui generis principles can provide something like this. So in legal context, sui generis means there have to be an independent legal classification for this. So that's one thing. And on the other hand, I think Can you

tusem: maybe take a step back again? Because I couldn't really catch

kubra: what sui It means like, that there is a specific system or specific rule for each different community, for example.

So I don't think that you can generalize intangible cultural heritage. You can see it as a whole and just make rules. You can, like, have a sort of framework or something. But at the end, it's so specific, like, Each community has their own vulnerabilities. They have their own specific [00:27:00] needs. So I think you have to adapt these frameworks to them,

tusem: their needs.

Kind of tailor made. Yeah. For each. Definitely.

kubra: Okay. Yes. That's one thing. And then on the other hand, we already talked about this, but. I think awareness is very important and she creates understanding among people of both intellectual property but also intangible cultural heritage. I think the value of intangible cultural heritage is underestimated.

So I think you

tusem: gave us a handle. for most of the people to create, have awareness around cultural heritage and intellectual property. And as I said, by openly talking about this and being open to this, it helps us protect these kind of, these heritages that are maybe subject to erosion. Which was a beautiful way of expressing it, by the way.

Before this whole recording happened, we talked about the cultural melting pot. Because in the beginning of this episode, you also said, we are like in a hybrid society. We [00:28:00] have like so many identities, so many cultural backgrounds. You are probably somewhere, like we are from Turkey, for instance, but we live in Belgium and we have like this Flemish identity and the Turkish identity and the Muslim identity at the same time.

I love this. I, I really love this.

kubra: Sometimes it's hard, but we'll try to, we are trying

tusem: to live with it. So maybe we should talk about the integration or assimilation dilemma. What's your take on this? Who? That's a whole different,

kubra: um, yes. So I think when we say integration, It's most of the time we think of people who are migrating, for example, my parents came from Turkey to Belgium, they had to integrate, but most of the time you see it, or you think of Uh, something that is happening in one direction, but that's not the case.

It's something that has to take place in two ways, in two directions. Otherwise, you have this, as you mentioned, assimilation. And also, I think it's very important to, [00:29:00] um, to see it as. The right to choose your culture, because for me, for example, personally, there are things that I really like in Belgian culture.

And there are things that I really don't like in Turkish culture, for example. So the fact that I have the freedom and the right to choose. Which one I'm, which ones I'm taking and which ones I'm just throw, throwing away. I think that's beautiful. And that stimulates integration.

tusem: You get the, you get the best of the both worlds.

Definitely.

kubra: Yes. Yes. The best of the both worlds. And when you mentioned, you mentioned this like cultural melting pot, I think it's, on the one hand, we have to preserve our own culture. We have to learn our own languages, but we also have to accept that there will be like a melting pot of cultures. The culture of yesterday will not be exactly the same as today's or Mm-Hmm.

uh, that one of the co of the future. And yeah, it, it's [00:30:00] important that we appreciate that we respect that too for me. Language, as I already mentioned, language is very important. As long as you have the freedom to express yourself in whatever language you want to, I think then, then yeah, then we

tusem: You have all of the world when you are able to Yeah,

kubra: definitely.

And in Turkish we have this saying, you're One

tusem: person,

kubra: two languages, two people. So yeah, definitely the whole thing. And as long as you have the freedom, because otherwise if you're restricted and you don't, you are not allowed to speak in, for example, your mother tongue at school, because that's a huge debate topic here in Belgium.

in Flemish Belgium, which is, if it's that the case also in Wallonia, but that yeah, children with a migration background, that they have to speak Dutch at school and they're not allowed, they're even sanctioned for speaking their mother tongue. [00:31:00] And I think this is ridiculous. It is. Right. Because, uh, for me, I think, uh, as a child, you don't think about I, I need to express myself in Dutch because this and this and this or otherwise I will get a sanction.

So it's really important to be yourself and to have this freedom. Yes.

tusem: A lot of people have now different experiences with the language of Dutch because, or maybe other languages in other countries. For me, Dutch is. a language that I really like, but it was a language that I had to speak. I had to speak the language.

And so it was a form of oppression to me, which sounds very weird. I know, because it's not something you can see. It was a passive form of oppression. And that's why, when I, when I talk. When I speak in Dutch, I feel oppressed. It's nothing that I have towards that language. It's the feeling from the childhood that indeed, like in the schools, we had to speak Dutch.

But this language topics, [00:32:00] hopefully we will create an episode about this, right? Yes. I'm reading right now, Language and Being by Kübra. Speaking and being, I think. Yeah. What did I say? Uh, yeah, speaking. Okay. It's about language. It's, it's about language, but it's great to like a little bit touch into this because indeed choosing, choosing your culture without any form of passive aggression.

from the outside is actually the best way to have integration in a healthy way. Otherwise it's assimilation, of course. Okay. Taking a step back, you created a solid foundation for us, uh, on this very, very complex and delicate topic. I want to take a step back and, uh, on the Thinkware podcast, I talk about many, many topics and Most of the time we love, we love diversity.

I'm trying to talk a lot about role models and I invite also guests over that, um, that I think that are [00:33:00] in some more, in some form, a role model. Yes. Yes. Keep it on YouTube. Um, and I think I want to ask you the question, who is your role model? Okay. Wow. Okay. Like as a theme of this podcast, maybe I should ask this to every guest that I will invite.

Yeah. That's

kubra: a really nice, but tough question. I can understand. I think anyone can be my role model. Just if, if I can feel that the person in question, uh, love the thing he or she does. Um, that's for me, someone who can be a role model. I can take that person as an example. Most of the time. When we think of role models, we think of people with a huge influence, right?

Yes. Maybe as successful and rich success. Successful. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Uh, artists or, um, politicians may, [00:34:00] whatever. Mm-Hmm. . But for me, even my, my neighbor. Uh, is a role model, the way she treats, um, her grandchildren, the way she talks with her flowers, the way she waters her flowers, the way she connects with her surroundings.

That inspires me a lot. And I think being a role model is. You can be a role model in, in a lot of things or on, on different levels. And it's, it's an ongoing process. One day you can be a role model and the other day you cannot. And as long as it's someone who empowers and who also, how can I say, has a positive impact on their own life, then that means that they also can have a positive impact on the lives of those around.

So someone who. Is a positive, who can bring a positive impact can be for me a role model.

tusem: So I think you have a broad understanding of a role model. Yeah, definitely. [00:35:00] Even though we can, as humans, we have this in our natures that we can hate someone. Maybe hate is a strong word, but. We can get irritated easily, or we can not like, maybe that's the better word.

But if you look at everyone as a form of a mentor, even though you don't like the person, you will say like, okay, I don't like these characteristics on this person. So I will, this is an anti role model for me. So I'm not going to do that. Or in your case, like your neighbor, she, her, the way she talks to her.

Beautiful way to look at it. So you can see, you can imagine yourself maybe doing the same thing.

kubra: Because in the case of my neighbor, for example, I don't have anything in common with her. She's much older than me. She is, she is Turkish. That's okay. She's Turkish. But besides that, we don't share that much, but yeah, the fact that she is, I think, I believe that she's a beautiful human being and.

Why can't she be a role model on that specific thing, the [00:36:00] way she treats her children or the way she waters her flowers, as I said. So yeah, I always, I don't want, sometimes my sister calls me Pollyanna.

You're just too kind and too sweet, but no, I'm not. I'm just trying to, to yeah, focus on the positive things and. Try to, to, um, eliminate all the negative around me because yeah, otherwise I don't think my mental health would, would survive

tusem: it. So, yeah. Well, it has no, it has no bad sides of being positive or like being, being a Pollyanna, you should say.

But if I ask you a specific name, maybe someone you look up to, who would you say? The first person that pops into your mind when I say

kubra: Does it have to be someone who is still alive or? Doesn't matter. Okay. I want to say, uh, Khadija. Also [00:37:00] because it's one of the first female leaders we learn about when we're, when we were a small child.

Yeah. The fact that she was an independent woman. An entrepreneur. An entrepreneur. Yeah. I was searching for the word. Yes, definitely. She was an entrepreneur and decades ago. So that really inspires me. The fact that she was also older than our prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Yeah. So I definitely, it's as I said.

It's really cliche, but it's really a role model.

tusem: Um, there is a reason why it's a cliche. Yeah,

kubra: yeah, definitely. There is a reason. And also, yeah, from childhood on, I remember that I had to make a drawing of a role model or superhero or something. I drew Khadija, but I don't remember how I drew it, but I remember that I did that.

But now when, when I'm thinking about role models, I also want to mention my [00:38:00] teacher in, uh, in fifth grade. Do we say, I don't know if it's VEV Deliriar. Yes. Just say fifth grade. It's fifth grade, right? It's in, in, in primary school. So she, uh, we were just, we moved to another place. So I had to change my school and the first day we, we had to go to our class, but I didn't know where I had to go.

to go because yes, I was totally new. And then there was this teacher called Yuf Rabia, as we say in, in Dutch, we call our teachers Yuf. And yeah, I was like, Rabia, that sounds Turkish. Yeah. No way. And then, yes, I remember that I was so happy that I had a Turkish teacher. And yeah, I. Yeah, I looked up the way she dressed.

She always wore like this big necklaces and, and I was like, I also want to wear that. And my mom was like, you're 10. Why are you wearing these things? And I was like, I, I love it because Euphraim [00:39:00] does wear it too. So yes, I. Always think about her. I think teachers have a very important role in children's life and especially when you're growing up in a society where you are a minority.

So yeah, I don't know if Euphrabia will listen to this. Euphrabia? I have to find her actually. Thank you Euphrabia. I really have to find her. And uh, yes, um, I'm really grateful for teachers like her, but I also had like, in secondary school, some teachers, um. They were, they were very inspiring, but yeah, Euphrabia has a different place in my heart.

Such a coincidence,

tusem: the interview I did with Saja Tawadba about artificial intelligence, we also talked about teachers a little bit. And she also mentioned her teacher that her teacher said to her, Saja, you will be a cute professor. And what she's right now doing is she's doing her research in AI and she even lectured [00:40:00] students in the university.

So it really has an impact on, on like the person, the child, because it's like a way of parenting. Like a teacher is actually a form of a parent. You mentioned something about being in the minority, and I think this is the best moment to talk about the minority thing. Going on. So one of the episodes of the ThinkWorks podcast, I said being in the minority, minority always like pushed me to act like the representative of my own community without actually realizing I'm, I am doing this.

I had to like function as a normal human being on my job or as a student, uh, perform as a normal human being. But at the same time, I felt like I was responsible to be successful, to not fail other. community members. What's your take on this?

kubra: Well, to be honest, I'll, I try to never label myself as such.

It's easier to say, but yeah, as you said, like we are visibly Muslim. We're, we're wearing the [00:41:00] hijab. So you can sometimes feel like representing who community or who neighborhood unconsciously. But I don't believe that I really feel that pressure. And that's maybe because yeah, in the past it was more difficult.

To accept this, exactly. But maybe it's about getting older. I just accept the fact that I'm not perfect and I don't have to be, um, the spokesperson or the representative of a whole community, but I'm always curious about men, do they also feel like this? I, I've never had the conversation with a male Muslim, but because it's most of the time because we're ruining a hijab, right?

We're visible. Yeah, we're visible. So you are always thinking, oh no, if I'm doing something wrong in my professional career or even on the streets or whatever, they will just blame my who community. And they will say, oh no. Oh, Muslims are, it's again the Muslim. Muslim, yeah. And yeah, I've, I'm really curious about, about men.

Okay. Because they, they're not. Sometimes you [00:42:00] can, yeah. With the beard, whatever or something. Yeah. Okay. But what if, if they don't have a beard or if you don't really see that they are in must like the stereotype they also feel Yeah. Do they also feel this pressure or is it really a thing? Um, only for visibility.

Yeah. Yeah. Maybe

tusem: we should, like, with this podcast, we should ask the male

kubra: listeners. Your female, your male audience. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely.

tusem: What's your, what's your feeling? What's your experiences on this? Do you also feel the representative and it doesn't matter if you're a Muslim or not, like being a visible community member.

Have you ever experienced such thing? DM me on Instagram of the ThinkWorks podcast and I will share it. But I

kubra: also want to mention one last thing about that. That I think it's more. If you feel like that, it's more the counterparty's problem than yours. Um, because they are generalizing you, they're putting you in, in boxes or they just generalizing you and saying like that, that the whole [00:43:00] community is like that, but I think they have to be smarter and to know that every person, every individual is responsible for their.

So, yeah, that's my coping mechanism, actually, I, I say, okay, that's not my problem. That's their problem. They're just generalizing. It sounds

tusem: like a you problem. Yeah, definitely. Well, um, yes, you said also it's, it has also to do with the age. Maybe it has also to do with the parents, like blame the parents. No, no.

But, uh, maybe we weren't prepared enough, realizing that. People will look at us as a representative, as like she or he is a spokesperson. If we realize that people from the outside will attribute the function, the role of being the spokesperson, we should then realize like, no, I'm sorry, but that's not your place to decide.

I'm going to decide whether I'm going to be a representative or not. This mindset comes, I think, too late in most of the individuals. [00:44:00] That was also the case for me. So maybe preparing children or like teenagers from the beginning, like, okay, people will say a lot of things. They will expect a lot of things, but you should only do what is expected from me, like for Muslims, for instance, what's expected from, from God, from Allah.

So maybe that's another way of looking at things and a more healthy way, I guess.

kubra: Yes, I totally agree with that. But also Being, when I was younger, I was just suffering from an identity crisis. Like, I don't want to go further on that topic, but.

tusem: I can understand because

kubra: same girl. So yeah, I think it's also has to do with that.

The fact that you're not really. We're prepared for the real world. Yeah, well prepared for the real world, but also not. You were not really yourself. You had to push you, to push yourself in different roles and stuff. So yeah, it also has to do with that, I think,

tusem: definitely. Okay. We covered a lot today, but I like [00:45:00] this really.

It's just so nice

kubra: to speak with you, too, Seb. so much. I really love

tusem: our conversations. I really enjoy and we can, how do you call? People that have many interests. I think they call it generalists. Generalists. Yes. So generalist people, hit us up because we need more, like we need more conversations where we talk and talk about everything.

Before we wrap up our conversation, I want to thank you again. for being here with me today and shedding light on this very, very complex and delicate matter of intellectual property and intangible cultural heritage. I think, as I said, we created a good handle, a solid basis for people to understand this topic at the same time and create awareness.

It was

kubra: really a great pleasure. And yeah, to see you next time.

tusem: Yes. Okay. So this was the end of the episode. If you have any value from this conversation I had Please consider to follow and turn on your notifications [00:46:00] on whatever platform you're listening from. You can also DM me on the Instagram page of the Thinkwear podcast.

In any case, next time I will be here again with more thinking work to do. Salama.




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