Sharing things

Daisy and Dalia: Childhood excitement, happy folders and love over hate.

October 08, 2020 The University of Edinburgh Season 3 Episode 3
Daisy and Dalia: Childhood excitement, happy folders and love over hate.
Sharing things
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Sharing things
Daisy and Dalia: Childhood excitement, happy folders and love over hate.
Oct 08, 2020 Season 3 Episode 3
The University of Edinburgh

In this episode, guests Daisy Narayanan and Dalia Al-Dujaili talk about childhood excitement, happy folders, love over hate and more.

Daisy is Director of Urbanism at Sustrans, a charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. While on secondment to the City of Edinburgh Council between 2018 and 2019, Daisy led the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation project.

Dalia is a final year English Literature student who has recently started a platform and newsletter showcasing emerging creatives called MISFiT. She was formerly editor-in-chief at Mxogyny, an online platform for marginalised creatives to share poetry, art and writing related to prevalent social issues.

Each episode of Sharing things is a conversation between two members of our university community. It could be a student, a member of staff or a graduate, the only thing they have in common at the beginning is Edinburgh. We start with an object. A special, treasured or significant item that we have asked each guest to bring to the conversation. What happens next is sometimes funny, sometimes moving and always unexpected.

Find out more at

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, guests Daisy Narayanan and Dalia Al-Dujaili talk about childhood excitement, happy folders, love over hate and more.

Daisy is Director of Urbanism at Sustrans, a charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. While on secondment to the City of Edinburgh Council between 2018 and 2019, Daisy led the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation project.

Dalia is a final year English Literature student who has recently started a platform and newsletter showcasing emerging creatives called MISFiT. She was formerly editor-in-chief at Mxogyny, an online platform for marginalised creatives to share poetry, art and writing related to prevalent social issues.

Each episode of Sharing things is a conversation between two members of our university community. It could be a student, a member of staff or a graduate, the only thing they have in common at the beginning is Edinburgh. We start with an object. A special, treasured or significant item that we have asked each guest to bring to the conversation. What happens next is sometimes funny, sometimes moving and always unexpected.

Find out more at

Richenda  0:05  
Welcome to Sharing things the podcast that takes a closer look at the people who make up our University of Edinburgh community. Each episode starts with two invited guests and an object, which can be something personal, treasured or significant. It's something that unlocks a story and starts a conversation. We take it from there. I'm Richenda, your new host, conversational guide and a final-year medical student. Today as with all this season's recordings, I'm sat at my kitchen table in central Edinburgh. In this episode, I've invited along for a chat Dalia Al-Dujaili, an English literature student and Daisy Narayanan, director of urbanism at cycling charity Sustrans.

Unknown Speaker  0:44  
[Theme music]

Richenda  0:47  
Welcome to Sharing things. So today I have Dalia and Daisy with me and we're sort of recording online virtually. I think that means I have to ask the question of where exactly are you guys calling in from?

Daisy  1:01  
Well, I'm calling in from Edinburgh. I live in the city centre of Edinburgh, and I absolutely love the city. It's a glorious, beautiful sunny day strangely enough in August. Yeah, it's just a perfect end to the week.

Richenda  1:16  
What about you, Dalia?

Dalia  1:17  
I am in Surrey. I left Edinburgh ages ago, like during coronavirus stuff. I left, came back home. And it's been absolutely sweltering. I think today's the hottest day of the year. It's like 30, 35 degrees that it got down to here, so yeah it's been hot but at the moment I'm surviving.

Richenda  1:38  
We'll start with what object did you bring along to Sharing things today?

Dalia  1:42  
So I have a memory box. So this was really tough for me because my memory box-- I actually have two because like one is overspilling. I tend to keep a lot of stuff  - I'm a bit of a hoarder. So I really struggled to pick something. But because I'm an English literature student, I thought I have to pick a book. So I picked The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. And it's like a collection of stories about the faraway tree. And yeah.

Richenda  2:07  
So why did you choose to bring along The Faraway Tree then?

Dalia  2:11  
So um, I actually can't remember, like all of the stories in it, because I read it when I was probably about 10 years old. But basically, I chose it because I, I-- when I first read it, I didn't read it myself, my year six teacher at school, she basically used to get my whole form in class. And it was like a Friday afternoon just before we'd go home. And for half an hour, she'd just like sit us in a room, and like dim the lights and it'll be like a summer outside and she just like sit on her little cosy chair and read to us. And we'd all just kind of sit there and listen to her. And it was just very, like, I don't know, there's such good memories that I have, cuz I went to a very small school. So we were all like really good friends. I knew everyone at the school. So it was a really nice environment. So yeah, I think I just have a lot of good memories associated. It's not the book so much as the memories associated with it. But yeah, I think that's the main reason I chose it.

Did you keep in touch with anybody from your school then if it was that-- I feel like small close-knit schools, people always tend to keep in touch.

Yeah, we all kept in touch. So I have, I was actually there for 14 years at the same school. And a lot of the girls also stayed for a very long time, like eight to 10 years. So I have a very good close group of girlfriends from that school. And it was lit-- it's just down the road. It's in like my village in Surrey, it was anything like special and-- well it was for me but um, yeah, we all keep in touch. And I think some of us have like, I think some of my friends obviously have gone in very different directions in life. So it's hard to keep in touch. But yeah, we, I saw them the other day actually.

Richenda  3:58  
That's so nice. Yeah, that you're still able to see them. And then this one might be a bit of a tough question but why-- so you said it's all come out of a memory box, but why did you choose that over the other stuff then?

Dalia  4:09  
Probably because I have the-- My fondest memories are from that time at school when I was like in like primary just before secondary, like I'd still love secondary school. But I think those are just the most like innocent days of your life, right like your childhood. And I don't know, the pure excitement that you feel at certain things like being able to just read with your teacher for half an hour just was like the most exciting part of your week for some reason. And I feel like nowadays it takes a lot more for us to get excited about things like that. So for me this book like when I see it, I just feel that like childhood excitement again.

Richenda  4:51  
I mean, yeah Daisy, thse have you ever read it? Cuz I've I've read The Faraway-- I feel like The Faraway Tree story is one that sometimes will just pop into my head and I'll think and I'll be like, mad concept. But then I was so into it as a kid, you know that your imagination is just something else.

Daisy  5:06  
Absolutely and the characters stay-- stay with you, I think was a [unintelligible]. When you see the cover you go, yeah. And it's interesting watching my kids read that now because my, my son is nine and my daughter's seven and she's the reader in the family. And she's been reading it and she loves it. And just just a little characters in the quirkiness, and you see that it works for a seven year old in a different way to a nine year old and a different way. You know, to us, because it's a, you just get different things from it, you know, nostalgia, or whatever, the memory.

Dalia  5:39  
It's kind of crazy as well, because the I'm just reading in there, like when it was published, as was the first-- The Enchanted Wood was published in 1939. And the rest of them were in the mid 40s, 19-fort-- yeah 1940s, which is kind of crazy that it's 2020. And kids are still reading the same stories that they did in the 1940s. Like the same stories just seem to resonate. I think obviously, they're the ones that are really universal for children, and instil that kind of like wonder and curiosity in them.

Richenda  6:12  
Yeah, and it's nice. It's, it's definitely it's passed down as well. I feel so do you pass it down to your kid? And then you had it passed down to you Dalia from a teacher?

Dalia  6:21  
Yeah, I think I went out I think of like, stories that I want my children to read if I have children, like Harry Potter is number one, like, I'm just gonna force it on them when they like or not. Because I feel like they're just the kinds of stories that-- Yeah, and like stuff like Lord of the Rings, and that kind of like magical realm always excites children, no matter what time frame you're reading in.

Richenda  6:41  
Have you ever re-read it? Have you read the Faraway Tree? Or you just sort of left that and lock the--?

Dalia  6:47  
Yeah, I put it on my bookshelves, but it's just been sitting there. I think I tend not to re-read childhood stories just because, because I do English all of my reading is taken up by like, very serious, like intense political, and like religion and feminism. And it's all very interesting, but obviously really heavy stuff. So it takes me a while to get back into like, a kind of youthful mindset.

Richenda  7:13  
Do you reckon if you ever did re-read it. Would that change your perspective on it? Do you think, because I think I'd be scared to, it's like broke the magic almost.

Dalia  7:22  
I think you're right. I think that there's-- it's it's like, you know, when you have you guys watched a Disney film, when you were like really young, like you watched Bambi or something or like Finding Nemo or whatever, like, and then you watch it. You don't watch it for years. And you watch it again, when you're older. And you're like, what, what is it like this all takes on a completely different meaning to you. Like I remember I was watching Shrek, and I hadn't watched it for like, eight years maybe. And it all just took on such a different meaning to me than it did when I was a kid.

Richenda  7:56  
I assume Daisy that having kids you must actually see that in that role.

Daisy  7:58  
It's really interesting because there are books that you know, I tend to go back to books after years and know my copy of To Kill A Mockingbird has accompanied me wherever I've gone and in the world. And you always go back to it. And genuinely, there's always something new that jumps out or something that you think, oh, I've never got, you know, I've never got that before. And it's completely heightened now having kids and reading to them and reading with them. And you know, seeing what they get from it. Because every time we you know, my daughter finishes a book, she then wants to talk about it. Talk about the characters, and it's my favourite thing. It's just amazing to be, you know, to do that. And it's really interesting seeing something like that from, you know, from a six year old perspective and I don't know it, was it your teacher who, who had quite an impression, did she make quite an impression on you, which is why you chose to do literature?

Dalia  8:50  
Um I think yes, I think every person who studies English or even maybe any degree, I don't know, but I think specifically with English, it's always like a teacher inspired them to-- you know got them into reading. I think I was always a like a bookworm. For as long as I can remember. My brother read a lot. I think I just got it from him as well. But, um, no, I think there were definitely teachers at secondary school that inspired me like I can think of three teachers that were like very inspirational for me, but not so much this one, she was called Mrs Botting. I don't know where she is right now. She she had fiery red hair. She was very bossy, but really cool. And we all loved her.

Richenda  9:30  
And then what else is in the memory box thing? You mentioned one thing but is it always books or things from being a kid or is there more recent things you've added in?

Dalia  9:39  
Um no it's like a complete mix of everything. So it's filled with stuff like tickets. I don't know postcards, badges, things like that. I have. Yeah, just loads of especially when I travel. And I have like train tickets from different countries and tickets for art galleries and stuff. It's a really nice way to relive a memory without having to look at a photo or video.

Daisy  10:05  
I love it, I love the concept of a memory box. And you know, I haven't, I keep stuff away for the kids and I've got their memory boxes. But I suppose my work life, it's interesting because it's almost like an analogy of that, or an extension of that, um a friend of mine, an ex colleague of mine, she has what's called a happy folder in our inbox, her emails. So, you know, whenever she gets, you know, an email that, that makes her happy, or that's, you know, praises some, some work that she's done, or she says, it just goes into a happy folder. So whenever she's, she feels down about something or a little bit low, she goes into that, and she you know, and I just think that's such a nice thing to do, especially as a, you know, as a professional, you, you kind of forget that you need the backup of joy, I suppose, in your life.

Dalia  10:50  
Yeah, I think I am. I can't remember who told me I-- well a good friend of mine, she was, I used to tell her that, you know, we used to talk about journaling. And I used to have journals when I was younger, but then I kind of stopped as I got older, cuz I already have time to write in a diary or whatever. But a lot of people recommend it when you get older for just like general like control of anxiety, or, you know, low moods or whatever, it's really good to write down your thoughts and feelings. And it's a lot of people always suggest that you have like a gratitude, like section. So you write down things you're grateful for. So that, you know, you can always go back to it and remind yourself of like these things you're really grateful for if you're feeling down, but that happiness folder has really ignited an idea and I'm gonna, I'm gonna make a happy folder.

Some people just go, oh so cheesy, and it is cheesy it'll-- it works and I have one now. And I was saying to, to my colleague today, this afternoon when I was talking to her, she said something I was like, oh, that goes into my happy folder. Because that's such [laughing] nice thing so yeah, so I'm 45 and I have a happy folder, I like that.

Unknown Speaker  12:01  
[Theme music]

Richenda  12:03  
And then, Daisy, what did you bring along? As your object?

Daisy  12:07  
I struggled a bit, because, you know, as like you Dalia I think you travel a lot, you keep stuff and all of that. But what I've got to show you is this slightly quirky clock, and it says-- I come from India, it says on it, it says 'bhai saab time kya hua', which in Hindi translates as, 'Hey, buddy, what's the time?' so there's a big quirky Indian humour. I don't know if you notice that the numbers are all askew, it stopped working, it used to work. And it's all a bit weird and strange, but it's travelled with me everywhere I've gone. And my brother and his wife brought it all the way from India for for my wedding when I got married here, but gosh, over 10 years ago now. And they brought this and they brought lots of this, you know, Indian furniture stuff, quirky stuff with them, bubble, all the way in this [unintelligible] from India and more than the object itself. It's the love behind it. And it's the thought and, and it's my connection to home. And it's my connection to family. It's my connection to India to the sense of humour and the quirkiness and all of that wrapped up in this slightly crazy little clock that sits on our-- on a wall every day.

Dalia  13:27  
I love that it kind of reminds me of reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. I was yeah. To carry on with the fantasy theme. It's very like-- doesn't make sense. But it kind of does in the same the same time. The um, the quirky Indian phrase, is it something that's like it-- you can't really translate it into English so much?

Daisy  13:48  
Yeah. You can't-- I mean it's if you translate it as, 'Hey, buddy, what's the time?' But that's not what it is. It's the nuance and it's you know, if you're walking the street, make friends with somebody who's standing at a bus stop. And you want to strike up a conversation with somebody next to you it's it's a thing. It's like you talk about the weather here. 'Hey buddy, what's the time?' and then you strike up a conversation. So back home in India, you would you would have a chat with anyone, you know some laptop or a train and you're travelling. And the conversations get quite personal quite quickly as well. So you know, when I, obviously, I left India in 2002. I lived in the US and then it came here. But every time I go back, it still surprises me. You know, if I sit in on a bus with someone, this lady, she'll ask me, right, so you're married? How many kids do you have? How old are they and how much do you earn, you know, are you earning enough? I'm like, who are you? You don't even know me.

Dalia  14:49  
Was that quite a culture shock coming like as in-- it's the same-- I'm Middle Eastern and it's the same in the Middle East. Everyone who wants to be in your business. It's very normal for us. Was it like quite weird for you to then go from that to the US and the UK where people are not so keen to start chatting to you on the street?

Daisy  15:11  
Yeah, well I grew up in was born in India, but I grew up in Indonesia. And I've worked in Singapore. You know, when I went to the US I lived in the south and in the south in the US, they're quite, they're very friendly as well. Everyone's really friendly. Hey, you know, some nice day and it's it's very, it's-- Yes, it is a culture shock everywhere you go, because it's very different. When I came here to study because I think it was university and it's, it's a different, it's-- you know everyone's friendly anyway. But I remember very clearly a friend of mine had come to stay with me from India. And we went into a shop and I was just chatting away. And then she said to me, I didn't think you you know, you would you were [unintelligible] over here. And it's funny how perceptions as well, like back home, you have perceptions of what it would be like over here. My husband, he's British. And it's interesting going back to India with him, you know, the shock sometimes, [laughing] it's just, it's such a sensory experience-- must be the same in the Middle East, I dunno.

Dalia  16:15  
Yeah, we were Iraqi. So my dad is half Egyptian, half Iraqi. So we went to Egypt a lot, because I've never been to Iraq. And I really want to go, but obviously, it's not safe. So it's been very difficult. But yeah, we went to-- travelled around the middle east a lot. And it is extremely sensory. And it's a lot. It's very intense there, it's very, very different to the UK in so many ways. But I love it. I love it.

Daisy  16:47  
Oh I know my husband says everytime we come back, we go back once a year, we go to India once a year because I'm keep the kids to have their, you know, they're so lucky. They have two cultures to draw on.

Dalia  16:55  

Daisy  16:56  
To make sure they have a connection to India as well. And every time we come back, my husband says [whispers] it's so quiet. It's so quiet, the silence is deafening over here. And I think it's so calm. It's so lovely. That's quite interesting. We both have kind of, you know, switched the, the perception of quiet as well and calm.

Richenda  17:18  
Are there any bits of being in India that you'd rather so of like bring back here and you wish for part of, say, Scottish culture?

Daisy  17:25  
I think, I think just being outdoors more, you know, enjoying being on the street, where you've got your neighbours and the connections that you make that are so natural outside, you can just drop into somebody's house, and you don't have to call in advance or put a date in the diary. So that whole social aspect, I think, you know, I missed that. But then it you know, that comes with its own its own flip side, which I love. Over here I have my own kind of my life, my boundaries. And, you know, it's nice to have that, in that space, which sometimes you don't get back in India. So yeah, it's a-- it's in-- I love, I love both cultures. And when I go home to India, I miss home, that's Edinburgh. And when I, when I live here, I miss home, that's India. So I tell my son, I'm lucky to have two homes to miss.

Richenda  18:19  
Mhmm, because you grew up somewhere different from where you live and work now, do you feel like that actually is a strength--

Daisy  18:24  

Richenda  18:25 you, like do you feel you approach say like a project at work or a conversation with a friend differently than if you'd been here the whole time?

Daisy  18:32  
I think so. I mean, I wouldn't be able to pinpoint how but I think, you know, having a multicultural outlook can only be a good thing, especially when you're working. I work in city design, and you know, work with town planning and re-- redesigning our streets to make it safer for people to walk and cycle and all of that. So for me to, you know, having, having experience of diversity, diversity of thought and diversity of opinion, you know, as you were saying Dalia, you know even in literature, when you're studying feminism and studying politics, all of that, I think add up to how you, you deal with a project or you deal with colleagues or you deal with the things that are going on around you. So yeah, I think it's a strength definitely.

Unknown Speaker  19:22  
[Theme music]

Richenda  19:24  
What would you both say, I know it's kind of a big question, but is the importance of hearing from people who have different backgrounds?

Dalia  19:31  
Yeah. I tried to make it like as, I don't think I've even tried, I think naturally it's become a focus of mine, like creatively, to, to hone in on stories that are very difficult to like people who are in between two things. So most often that's between two cultures, like Daisy and I. It can be a number of things though, and I think those people are often in the margins or marginalised individuals or communities. So I think it's important because it gives people more, I guess, compassion, more just of an understanding of where other people are coming from. I think for me, having grown up between two very different cultures, I grew up in the countryside, but I'm Arab, and they're very opposing things. I think it's given me... like a skill in that I can understand where certain people come from, even if I don't agree with them. So I will always be ready to hear someone's opinion, even if I vehemently disagree with it, I'm always ready to just like, take their argument and listen to it and sit with it, rather than just say, like, I disagree with you, I don't want to listen to it, because it's very hard to not empathise with someone, when you do come from a background that's so, um, conflicted with one another, that make sense?

Daisy  21:00  
Such a good point, and I think we need more of, we need that in the world, we need more of that in the world. Because especially as we're facing a climate crisis, and as we're coming out of lockdown, all the big, big things, the challenges that we're facing, collaboratively, we have to make sure that we can, we can have grown up conversations and listen to each other and understand where other people are coming from and all that stuff. So the work that I do, and, you know, in, in Edinburgh, and Scotland, and the UK, with my UK role is exactly that, you know, if we are reshaping our streets, we have to make sure that right from the, you know, the communities who live there and work there and visit, they have to have a role and a say in shaping what happens to their street or the neighbourhood. And policies, politicians who make policies, they have to represent the, you know, the diversity of the communities that that they're making policies for, and whether it's gender or whether it's in ethnicity, or race or, you know, the whole equality and equity of what we're trying to achieve cannot happen if we don't have those conversations earlier. Like you were saying, you know, and it's such a good point that, maybe that's why you and I are doing what we do, because we have that understanding of two different cultures. I've never thought of it that way. But it's really, really good point. Yeah, because it brings it gives you empathy, I suppose.

Dalia  22:32  
Yeah, I think, um, I, I'm doing this magazine right now, which is about uh second generation immigrants. And one of the writers, one of her, like, finishing sentences was that we should start seeing our kind of marginal place in society as less of a weakness and more as a power as as a superpower. I think it's super empowering. And I think it's helped me massively. And I think that also it was like Reni Eddo-Lodge in her book, 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race', she says that the fastest growing demographic of children are mixed race children. So I mean, no, we're not gonna have this world where someone's black or white, or this or that. It's, it's so mixed, and it's so varied. And we-- yeah, we need to start looking at those stories and listening to them, because they're going to soon be the norm.

Daisy  23:32  
It's so-- I mean, absolutely. My kids, you know, they mixed race, obviously. And my son is very much like his, like his dad, like my husband, he's, he's a, he's white. He looks like a white boy. And my little girl looks like me, she looks very Indian. So they, you know, they look similar, but they all four of us have very different skin tones. And it's been quite interesting during, you know, we talk about this year, and we talk about what happens in America and the conversations happening across the world, and obviously, age appropriate, but and during the Black Lives Matter protest, which, you know, how we've, we've been talking about that at home, was interesting watching them react to that, and I overheard them both they were in the bath. And they were discussing what colour their skin was. And they were saying, um we're not-- we're not white, we're not brown, we are golden. And I just thought, how beautiful is that and how beautiful is it that that's what they think, but also how sad that as a nine and a six year old, that's-- you know, they have to think about skin colour or talk about skin colour. So yeah, it was, I think we're living through a very interesting time. And, you know, as you say, going, we can see already not such a distant future that, you know, people are going to look very, very different to all things [unintelligible]. Yeah, it's good to see kids who have that sense of self.

Richenda  24:51  
And do you worry about your kids? Because I feel like if I was in your position, I'm seeing the way the world is say in the States just now. I think I'd feel quite concerned about them when they're a bit older, and how the world will see them, even if they see themselves as themselves.

Daisy  25:06  

Richenda  25:06  
The more-- the labels that people will put on them,

Daisy  25:08  
I do worry, because I think that's, you know, that's the joy and the curse of being a parent. You know, regardless of whatever happens around the world, you worry about what happens to them. But yes, recently, you know, everything going on, it has been, it has been enhanced. But also the other hand, you know, I see them, I watched them, I watched them with their, with their friends, and, you know, they, it's such, there is so much strength in young people at the moment. And even the work I'm doing with, you know, when I speak to children in schools, or we work quite closely with universities, and, you know, it's just incredible to see the level of understanding and engagement and with this topic, you know, right from my kids were six and nine to, you know, university kids. And I-- that gives me hope. And there is optimism for the fact that it's that generation that's going to change things. Now there's a there is a very old, old guard that's kind of going away. And I think this is the last rattling of cages that we seen. I don't know how, how-- because you're obviously-- are you second generation um immigrant, aren't you? Is that how you would--

Dalia  26:25  

Daisy  26:25  
Do you see yourself like that? Because it would be interesting for me, because that's how my kids would be, you know, the second generation in schools, half Indian.

Dalia  26:34  
So. Yeah, it's a good question. I, I think, again, because of my upbringing, because I grew up here. And I think if I grew up in London, it would be very, very different. My cousins grew up in London, I think they have a very different-- it's not better or worse, it's just very different. We have very different, like, ways that we define ourselves. I think because London is so multicultural, you probably fall into a habit of just sticking with your community. So if you're of a Middle Eastern and background, you're probably more likely to stick to a Middle Eastern community because the community exists there. There is no Middle Eastern community in Surrey, um it's very white and English and middle class. So yeah, I never thought about my race until... I can't pinpoint it. But I was definitely like a young teenager, maybe about 11 or 12, no 11, 12 aren't-- isn't a teenager, but I was tween age. Um. All I knew about race was that I just looked different to my friends. But no one ever like. No, I never got like bullied for it, or race never came up. It was more like, I would mention that I ate something at home and my friends would ask me, what's that? And I would be like, Oh, you don't you don't know what timman bagilla is? I thought everyone ate that. And then we talk about it. But it was never like, oh, you're Arab and that's weird. And it was never, it was just a very, you know, children have conversations that are just very innocent and it's not tainted with these like insidious views. Obviously, when you get older, I've-- have experienced a lot of racism, but I never considered myself to be like different. I just knew that I was darker and had curly hair.

Unknown Speaker  28:16  
[Theme music]

Richenda  28:20  
And I feel like both of you seem quite passionate, even if you wouldn't like explicitly des-- like describe your yourself this way as sort of raising other people up as well, it's like you've seen the challenges that are there for you and the benefits that are there in society as well for you. And you've decided, I'm not just going to sit here complacently. I'm going to purposefully raise other people up.

Daisy  28:42  
Yes. There's an example, you know, give an example of when that became so clear that it was so important to do that and to be seen to be doing it as well. I was leading a project in the city centre in Edinburgh. And it was quite, it was public issue. It's, you know, I'm not a politician. But it was a public issue. And on social media, sometimes these things can be quite vicious. And there was a racist attack against me quite publicly, which then got picked up by newspapers, and it wasn't pleasant at all. And I called it out and usually, you know, sometimes you just go, ugh, it's just ignorance, it's rubbish. It's best just ignored. But I just it was at that point in time where I was like, I'm calling this out. And then you just there was this huge wave of kindness and empathy and just amazing positive support that came my way that I started to feel a bit like oh, gosh, I've made a fuss you know, like this, all this attention is a bit-- is a bit-- I shouldn't have, you know, you start to question why you do that and I got an email from from someone who said that it was good for her to see someone who looks like her standing up and saying these things because she comes from you know, a background-- won't go into the details but and that I think was a moment of, you know, unlocking something as well, you know, because that-- it's so powerful when you can be a positive role model and not by not by picking yourself up in any way or form, but by by calling out stuff, and by the calling out where there's injustice. And if there's someone who can see that, and then do that in their own lives, I think it's just, I think it's just a good reminder of privilege that we have in the position that, you know, we found ourselves in, um, I think that kind of thing is, we should use it. Otherwise, what's the point?

Dalia  28:42  
Yeah, 100%. I think-- it's really interesting what you said actually, the-- what-- every single kind of like racist encounter that I can think of that I've experienced, has been met with 10 times more positivity and kindness and love and respect than the incident itself. So whenever things like that happen, I just, I, I it's very difficult, obviously, not to get upset about those things when they happen to but the amount of overwhelming positivity that you receive after that just shows you that how, how imbalanced hatred is in the world, there's 10 times more love in the world, and there is hatred. So anything you will encounter, it will be outweighed by all the positivity that you're going to experience-- experience in life.

Richenda  31:26  
Yeah, I think that's a probably a very good sentiment to leave this on. But I do have one final question and it's to take us back to the objects actually just to round everything up, which is, if you had one word to describe the object that you brought along, what would it be?

Daisy  31:44  
I call it love. Because it's, you know, as we're ending our conversation on this is just, it's family and home and love.

Dalia  31:53  
Gosh, lovely. I'm not going to be that cutesy about-- I guess, one word. Curiosity, because, yeah, curious. There's so much. I think we've just all got to keep our youth, stay curious and constantly question things around us. And I think childhood literature is a great way to get into that.

Richenda  32:14  
I feel that you've done my job for I me in summarising everything up so nicely. Thank you very much for calling in to chat. And it's a sunny day today, for once in the UK, so go out and enjoy it, please [laughs].

Dalia  32:27  
Thank you so much.

Daisy  32:29  
Lovely to meet you.

Dalia  32:30  
Yeah, lovely to meet you, Daisy.

Unknown Speaker  32:31  
[Theme music]

Richenda  32:37  
Thanks for listening to Sharing things. If you enjoyed our podcast then pease tell your friends, colleagues and neighbours and it might even be a good excuse for getting in touch with a university mate you haven't talked to in a wee while. If you'd like to listen to more episodes, you can find us on Spotify, iTunes, your favourite podcast platform, and we also have a website. Take care and see you next time.

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