Posts

(170): Saudi Arabia and the need for more reforms

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By Muhsin Ibrahim  Even a visually impaired individual can perceive the evident transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia. Although we came from Germany, a country renowned for its technological advancements, we express our admiration for the aesthetic and infrastructural qualities of the Haramain High Speed Railway station. Furthermore, we observed a vast expanse of land undergoing construction, situated a short distance from the station. The name of this project, the Knowledge Economic City, provides an indication of its intended purpose. This is part of the Vision 2030 project. Additionally, numerous construction sites for hospitals, schools, and other facilities are visible in the surrounding area of the railway station. However, it is evident that further reform is necessary. Our taxi driver appeared to be of South Asian descent. During our brief conversation, I discovered that despite his grandfather being born in Saudi Arabia, he does not possess a Saudi passport and is consid

(169): Local languages: Panacea for social interaction and more?

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  By Muhsin Ibrahim   Language  is   one  of the most amazing things in the world. We often overlook  its  influence  in our lives  because  it is  mundane . W e all use a language ,  verbally   or non-verbally ,  daily. We acquire language , i.e.,  we   grow up speaki ng  effortlessly. Thus, we don't care much about its profound  impact and influence   on how we interact with others, think about and view the world .   We had international conferences on Africa in  Cologne, Germany and San Francisco, United States.  This short piece is about something other than  the many academic papers  presented; it is about  how hearing someone speaking our language  or a local language   we are familiar with  in a foreign country attracts our attention.   In both Cologne and San Francisco, I observed a pattern. People speaking the same language form a circle. It does not matter if you are an ethnic speake r  of the language  or just a speaker .  People quickly click, for i t is easy to use a l

(168): Top 7 Kannywood series of 2023

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By  Muhsin Ibrahim & Habibu Ma’aruf muhsin2008@gmail.com As 2023 draws to a close, the closure of Kano Filmhouse Cinema is one of Kannywood’s most regrettable events in the outgoing year. Consequently, there was a significant decline in the number of cinematic releases. Nevertheless, amid this setback, a silver lining emerged as it spurred a notable shift towards series films, with prominent producers and directors venturing into the evolving market. From  Labarina ,  Alaqa , and  Manyan Mata  to  Fatake ,  Amaryar Tiktok  and  Gidan Sarauta , Kannywood’s audience has been captivated by numerous enthralling TV and web series. While the series market faces criticism for potentially fostering second-rate productions, the following list highlights the best seven series films aired in the year. Please note that the numbering is not hierarchical.  1. Labarina Labarina  stands out as a household name among Hausa film enthusiasts. Despite premiering in 2020, this show’s latest seasons con

(167): Losing my religion: A call for dialogue

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By Muhsin Ibrahim   I have observed a disturbing development among some young Muslims on social media. As soon as they read some philosophy books, they begin to question their faith and condemn their ‘conservative’ culture.    The youth view anyone disagreeing with them as ignorant, uneducated and uninformed. That enrages some of their followers, who, in turn, insult them (back), and things fall apart. Both sides are wrong.   First, I call on those youth not to rush in their conclusion on matters they barely understand. I, for instance, passed through a similar stage. While growing up and reading voraciously, I imagined myself as more learned than I actually was. In public (especially online fora), I challenged some people, including a professor many of you here know. I was wrong. Second, those who respond to those young guys in kind (by abusing them back) should change their approach and tactics. We need to listen to them. We must find ways to answer them with wisdom, patience and res

(166): 2024: Time to reflect on the 2023 resolutions

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  By Muhsin Ibrahim   The year (2023) will end in less than a week. Many of us had “New Year’s resolutions” around this time last year. It’s time to look back and check what you have achieved or failed to achieve. You should also deliberate on what you can do better to realise your dreams for 2024. Yes, there is always room to do better. As a famous saying goes, “Man proposes, God disposes”. Still, we must do our best to actualise our dreams—there is no room for complacency. The world is changing and changing very fast.    The world is also becoming very competitive. Thus, as we say in Hausa, " Idan kana da kyau, ka ƙ ara da wanka ", meaning, “Step up your game”. Explore the internet for opportunities (such as scholarships, fellowships, legit jobs, etc.). Don’t waste your data or Wi-Fi sub on trivial, often viral topics. Stay focused.  It’s also essential to build a network and knock on other’s doors for more opportunities, referrals, recommendations, and other benefits. I am

(165): Social media and self-promotion: My experience (I)

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Social media and self-promotion: My experience By Muhsin Ibrahim I had a Facebook account before my current one . Fearing that the new social media (SM) platform was taking too much of my time away from other, more important pursuits, I deleted it. However, I returned. This 'new' account is almost 15 years old. To date, Facebook is my most cherished SM space, and some people I met there have impacted my life enormously. How does that happen? I won't claim sainthood - I have my sins and mistakes. However, I always try to better my best and project some of my best versions on SM . Even when I join controversial debates, I avoid insulting anyone. Writing can quickly expose you or land you into trouble; it can also fetch you fortune and fame or loss and infamy. So, please be sure to write carefully. Naples, 2022 In this age of the virtual world, knowing how to use SM effectively should be a part of our curriculum. For example, we had this conversation on self-promotion re

(164): Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal: A short tribute

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The tribute was published a day after the death of my father, Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal, on Facebook. He was 78. The news of the death came to me while I was alone and far away from Nigeria and Germany. I was attending the 4th Symposium on West African Languages – SyWAL2022 – in Naples, Italy. Three weeks ago, against people’s travel advice, I insisted on going to Nigeria, especially for our aged and ailing father. They argued that it was not very safe for me to visit. He was delighted to see me , and that meant everything to me . The day my friends and I met Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu at his Sabon Titi office, they asked to see our father, and we went. As we delivered Prof.’s greetings, he began to shed tears while reminiscing their days of yore together at Bayero University, Kano. We somewhat quickly had to leave him, for only he knew what was going on in his heart. Despite that single moving scene, I had a wonderful, memorable time with him during the trip. It was like I fulfilled his desir