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Ep 8: Culture & #Corona انثروبولوجي بالعربي: ياما جاب الخفاش لامه

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Hello, I would have liked to see you guys in better times than these In the times, where the world is witnessing a pandemic outbreak such as what is happening now with Corona virus (Covid-19) the doctors and people in medical professions are mostly the ones in the front lines in dealing with the situation This of course makes sense and we are so grateful for all their efforts in such times Generally, there is no significant presence of social Scientists in times of pandemic outbreak But of course, anthropology is different and becomes very important in such times Why you ask? because anthropologists deal with cultures and the way to deal with pandemics is mostly cultural in this episode, in a brief and light manner I will try to show you the role the culture plays in a pandemic and even creating it and ways to avoid such a situation. And how the culture can change after a pandemic and what is the role of the anthropologists in this? We are apparently so important! anthropologists are crucial in such times as they have the capability to understand and evaluate the economical, political, and cultural dimensions on a local level. all which could be reasons for the outbreak of a pandemic and in what ways does an outbreak happens in a social or cultural realm and what other factors affecting the efficiency of the control or spread of the pandemic In most cases, this insight is done by English or French anthropologists in Africa or Asia But do you think that this time corona will turn tables and we will find anthropologists from the third world studying the Europeans behavior during such a pandemic? the cultural and social factors that helped in an outbreak of this magnitude in Europe and we start to analyze and preach.. mhmm Well, back to reality in the last 10-20 years, there has been a call for cultural anthropological research for pandemics Especially, after the SARS pandemic and Ebola Virus in Africa and then came the Zika Virus that appeared in latin America and some Asian countries and even the spread of cholera in Yemen in 2017 For instance, during the Ebola outbreak in Africa the WHO asked for the help and assistance of the anthropologists of course those who are specialized in these societies. As they were able to understand and locate the cultural and social factors that leads to the spread of the virus in the community but during the ebola virus the anthropologists weren't just communicators communicating between one local culture and the WHO and other world organizations They were also consultants to the WHO for measures that they can undertake to stop the virus outbreak They also started training for the medical staff that will go there to control the virus outbreak situation The biggest dilemma that the anthropologists faced was the cultural rituals for burying the body In these African countries, when someone dies, they have to carry out their traditions and rituals as they believe that when their relative passes away and they didn't honor him/her properly, the deceased's soul will come back and punish those who are still alive One of their other rituals, is washing the dead They even would wash those who have died from Ebola Not only that some African countries, have a tradition that they all in a collective manner to wash their hands from the same water that they have used to wash the face of the dead person They call it "Love touch" so for them, it isn't worth it that some foreigners who don't know anything about their culture come and preach them of what to do and don't do that's why dealing with them should be from people who understands their culture and are able to deal in a culturally sensitive manner Actually, there is starting to be collaborative researching platforms between the virologists, medical professionals, and the anthropologists and initiatives started emerging such as Ebola Emergency Anthropology Initiative there was even another initiative that had utilized the internet in a very effective way "Ebola Response Anthropology Platform" At the moment, We are still in the beginning of the Corona pandemic but there was a forum called Somatosphere Covid-19 it gathered 17 anthropologists and historians to deal with the pandemic through a joined cooperation of many fields to check how the countries affected by corona have dealt with the viruses pandemics, and quarantines in the past. so they could through the information they collected affectively help the world through accelerating and facilitating overcoming the pandemic. Coming back to "culture" In China for instance, the corona emerged because of a particular Chinese culture. I would like to point a disclaimer here that I am trying to analyze a cultural practice and not judge it or discriminate against. In some parts of china there is the culture of eating wild animals for them it isn't only about the food but also it's symbolism of one's social status for those who consume it or gift it if you have seen my previous episode on gifts you will understand more about the moral aspect of gifting gifting you a wild animal from the market is a way to show respect by giving a high value gift. Here, another problem prevails the culture of markets in the first place it's nature creates a fertile environment for the virus to move from animals to humans. and because this practice is cultural just like the burying culture in Africa the situation should be approached in a culturally sensitive way as it raises some moral dilemmas and if you have watched my previous episode "one rationality" you will understand how this dilemma is problematic That's why the presence of anthropologists is crucial as they are aware of these dimensions of these dilemmas and are capable of dealing with it in a culturally sensitive manner, as I mentioned earlier. Currently, China actually took measures to limit the consumption and trade of wild animals A study that was conducted in 2012 about whether the Chinese approve of such measures or not the study found that the percentage of people who agree with the limiting measures regarding wild animal trade was 52 percent of the sample that's only 10 percent increase from a study conducted in 2004 so there is an apparent slow change in the culture But as Doctor Poon, from University of Hong kong said that at the end it's a culture and because its a culture it's very hard to be banned completely there can be laws that limits its presence yet some people will still want to consume it whats more imortant he says is the strict hygiene laws on how these animals are reared, traded and eaten. An anthropologist called Fredrick Keck his book now is a best seller and sold out in his book he foresaw the outbreak of such pandemic as he studied in a very detailed and in an ethnographic way Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore after the SARS the Corona virus that spread from China in 2003 He started to study how these 3 cultures are preparing for a pandemic that can come again even though these 3 countries are near each other yet the culture of the preparations and measures each country took was completely different from one to another each country adopted a different way of dealing with such scenario as well there has been a radical change in the relation between the humans and the livestock especially with poultry in these 3 countries. A pandemic can change a culture Fredrick Kecks's work and predictions were accurate

As currently, although those 3 countries are close to china yet the numbers of Covid-19 patients in these 3 countries are way less than the ones in Europe. Nowadays, there has been anthropological articles trying to understand the way European culture in dealing with the pandemic and how they are "othering" towards the virus or them seeing the virus as something coming from the other and that it will not affect them But of course in reality this isn't what happen and this is a culture coming from the governments and their nations, that harmed them greatly. On the bright side, hardships such as pandemics can create drastic change in culture and society. For Example, during the middle ages when the black plague outbreak happened and killed millions At that time the system was that some people are so rich and own lands. While others are so poor and work for the land owners. inevitably, when the plague happened the poor were the ones affected greatly and this made the ones who lived after the plague to have revolutionary thoughts they started to see like never before how the class differences can kill the poor The working class that survived as there was high demand for them they started asking for more rights and higher wages. On the religious level, a big change was also happening the people's trust in religious authorities was shaken because the popes forbid the people to seek treatment outside the church. The religious men who were promising the people to save them from the illness, were dying in front of them. This inevitably started creating existential questions and concerns about the justice, religion, and life. The people started talking and reading again in Greek and Roman philosophy. From here the black plague became the beacon of light for the Enlightenment in Europe. Finally, I would like you to take care of yourselves and to document your daily life in quarantine write about it, take videos or pictures I am a strong believer that history shouldn't be written in one official narrative. When I was preparing for this Episode I came across a man's diaries documenting his life during the Spanish flu in 1918, that killed 50 million people. He spoke about his daily life that is similar to the daily life of each of us him seeing people dying around him he also describes his isolation Instead of history be only about how many people died and how many infected it can be about personal stories of people who lived that era and an outlook to life that changed drastically afterwards. and of course take care of yourselves!

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 54 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 4
Posted by: farahhallaba on Mar 28, 2020

" ياما جاب الخفاش لامه" #كورونا

ايه دور #الثقافة في انتشار #الوباء او الحد منه؟ و ازاي ممكن الثقافة تتغير بعد الوباء؟ و دور الانثروبولوجي المهم في الازمة دي.
Best thing to do in your quarantine today is watch today’s episode about: Cultures and their roles in spreading or containing the epidemic. And how important is the role of anthropologists now. English subtitles will be available soon
#Covid19 #Corona #انثروبولوجي #anthropology

the Ebola Emergency Anthropology Initiative (
Ebola Response Anthropology Platform (a weblog and information clearinghouse:
(Somatosphere’s ‘Ebola fieldnotes’ series:

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