My name is Kerim Melik Becker.
Owning this title might be one of the greatest challenges I will face in my life.
Neglect is a strong opponent to growth and I have been neglecting part of myself for most of my life. Only recently have I been able to look at myself for what I am: a child of a globalised world, a result of a man choosing diaspora over home to escape the sticky grounds of exploitation carefully and brutally laid out by European predomination on the planet.
I am the collision and mergence of two worlds that aren’t easily combined without friction and tension. An Arabic man of Berber decent and a German early day feminist. My parents.
My family. And amidst all this mist of history of culture I grew up, scared of my own name/heritage.
German society didn’t exactly make it easier for me to look at my true reflection.
Though it provided a great and otherwise fairly safe platform to grow and learn from, the Islamophobic and biassed imagery and narratives constantly surrounding me triggered fear and confusion. It was an aura hard to pin down and even harder to brush of.
Only after stepping out of this surrounding and starting afresh in South Africa did I dare looking and feeling into my self.
I started realizing that my heritage bears strength and puts me into a very important position in the human race. Children like me are the linking threads in this broken web of humanity. We have a unique perspective on the pain inflicted by colonial history and globalization.
We do not only understand it rationally, we feel it deep inside.
And as I grow into the ability to see I also understand that I have a task, a role to play and a voice to use. I do not only have an opinion – I have a duty.
I have the duty to explore myself and to heal. I have the duty to facilitate a similar process for all those who do not have the privileges of time, education, freedom and resources the way I do. And I have the duty to try and make all those around me understand my reality.
I want to be a unifying energy in a divided and scattered world.
Reclaim, revive, readjust, observe, learn, teach, preach, listen.
My name is Kerim Melik Chouraqui/Becker.
We all have a role to play.