A matter of Genes, or Culture
4/25/2012 2:43:07 PM -
The Author Kofi Dankyi Beeko, MD
Whilst boggling for an answer that I might, or might not find, there emerged something else of interest, even if I should fail to be able to explain. On one occasion, I was asked to wait and collect a book which I badly needed from an Arab, a co-student. Then someone turned up at the hostel where the bore should soon take place. He was tall, dark skinned, and with a nose somewhat flatter than mine (and I have a Negroid-flat nose). If I were to score who would be more handsome of the two, you would bet I would put the winner's mark towards my own side. Then appeared, yet another student, smallish, with an aquiline nose and 'bluish eyes'. Nobody had to lecture me, he too, was Arab. It finally turned out to be the first gentleman I encountered, was also an Arab. Wouldn't you agree I was confused, even though, for sure, you would not guess I should be the daftest of men? Was there anything common in them, or with them, their genes, perhaps? They both spoke Arabic. One came from 'The Sudan', and the other from Iraq. Was that the reason why they were believed to be Arabs, both of them? I wished one would ask me different questions. I was a medical student, but I was that day looking for my book, which had been 'cross-borrowed.' It wasn't long, and a third Arab appeared in the foyer of the big hostel, and greeted the three of us in Arabic (or Islamic). I chanted too, 'Salaam Aleikum!' What followed next turned out to be more interesting than the Islamic culture, especially, when I wasn't Moslem. The new arrival had come to invite the other two, for dinner. Guess what? I got invited too. For the first time, I came face to face with a meal called Kapsah. Steamed mutton and rice, a bit over-salted, and with a series of seeds that included sesame. I had never eaten anything like that before. The third Arab was from the home of the Prophet Mohamad, Arabia Saudia, and direct from Mecca. So, all were Arabs, except me! Time and events were subsequently going to teach me more about Arabs from Sudan, from Iraq, from Saudi Arabia, but from Egypt too, 'my Continent'. I hadn't forgotten the then 'Darling Boy' in the form of the Head of State of the young Republic which was my home, was married to an Arab lady too, who hailed from Egypt. African Unity and the members were as mosaic as one would have to see, rather than be told of. Dark skin, almost like blue, if you might be encouraged to imagine! Then you have fair skin somewhat darker than most Egyptians. Jet-black was included too. The confusion was that some were as white as snow. From Alexandria, Egypt, there existed a white mix, like Rudolf Hess, Hitler's Deputy, whose saga shouldn't pre-occupy us today. He was born in Egypt, but of Bavarian blood. The African Unity that Dr. Nkrumah was drumming loudest should have all Africans come with one voice, one thinking, one desire, and therefore, one destiny, African! In the form of a joke, a very good African friend of mine once said: 'My friend, you don't say it's confusing, because, you are educated, and they would think you are dumb. But, who says it isn't confusing? You meet Japanese, and they uniformly are one colour, and their nose is shaped the same. Travel by whichever means from Tripoli, Libya, to Durban, South Africa. What do the differences mean? Anything or nothing? Sickle Cell Disease is one example of a disease, which is so typically for the African, and at times, even of some medical advantages. HIV-AIDS narrowly missed being tagged with the Black African only. There are some diseases that chase the Jew, no matter where he runs to. Multiple Sclerosis is an example. I do not desire getting the laughter into a medical exercise. But, so many things have been associated with the African, when the black skin colour is what is meant. There are a lot other stigmata that seem so at home with us, black-coloured! The one some of us would like to hammer on, but they better not, if, would be, when a German ceremonial Head of State 'borrows money on soft terms' and he must resign but that is not the case in an African cultural/political set-up. 'Scientific/historic ideas are emerging, which dare suggest that the recent British discovery/invention of CLONING is, as a matter of fact, a method that must have been known ten thousand years ago, if not longer, a method which 'some genius evolved', and with it, cloned the black race to serve mankind - True or untrue? Keep it a postulate, but think of it (I do, even if it angers me thick!) The human being, like all other animals (indeed plants too), are instinctively made to take more of what is available for himself, and we humans brag with it for being more industrious. Certain facts make a little bit of sense, when you would think in terms of science. The blue whale for example, the largest animal, which is said to have brought God to exhaustion, after creating it, has only one natural enemy, the Orca. The Orca is less than one third the size of the blue whale, and three orcas gang-up and kill one blue whale to eat. You got it? A moment of consolation: I was lately told that an Encyclopedia is in the making to register all the violent take-overs of political power in Africa since 1966. The good news is that it has come in the nick of time, in a time when computer capability would make storage not such an ordeal. Then again, a moment for joy and hope, perhaps, forever, is that an unlawful grabbing of political power occurred in the Republic of Mali recently. This time around, the argument was straightforward, with an awful lot of common sense. 'A legitimately elected government has been unlawfully up-turned. That doesn't fit into the dictionary of the modern-day running of any state, even if in Africa. This method belongs into the dustbin of yesteryears, when we in Africa hadn't yet got ourselves enlightened. Mr. coup-maker, please get your act together and relinquish the position, so it could go back to who you grabbed it from. Or, such and such will befall you! The method worked, indeed! Well, has it over the years been an act of genes or culture? What do you think? That seems to be the brand new version of minding our own business!