- Written by World Trade Center
- Published: 25 mrt 2021
An intercontinental intersection
Due to it’s location in the administrative heart of the country, the Ankara WTC has a privileged perspective on Turkey’s trade and business opportunities. The country as a whole offers an intercontinental panorama, combining Europe and Asia and facing Africa.
“BLACK ALL LIVES MATTER”
“I still have a dream …”
Discrimination is no longer a white male ‘matter’, concerning conservative characters that refuse to deal with people of different skin colour, origin or religion. Over the years, the meaning of the word discrimination expanded, as did it’s adherents.
“I have a dream that one day …”: historical words that probably sound familiar to everyone. This mesmerizing mantra ‘colored’ Reverend Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington on August 28, 1963. King’s words moved ánd put on the move. Millions of people throughout generations embraced his message and dreamed along of an equivalent evolution. 58 years later, these words and the rest of the speech are more relevant than ever.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
Living together is a challenging story, not least in multiracial and multicultural metropoles such as Antwerp. In our dynamic hometown, 164 nationalities live together or at least try to, blending languages, races, religion, and habits. Antwerp outscores New York (150 nationalities) and is only narrowly beaten by Amsterdam (177 different nationalities).
These different nationalities have themselves crystallized around the three major monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - all of them with a wide range of interpretations. Religion can be a wonderful way to unite, as well as it can be abused to divide. Moreover, religion lost it’s monopoly as a social beacon. There’s a growing group of people who have lost their faith or found it elsewhere.
Within these different nationalities and divergent religious beliefs, there’s an impressive variation of colours, sexual orientations, gender-based identities, political beliefs and social-cultural ways of thinking ànd behaving.
In a best-case scenario, this melting pot would be the soil of a magical mix in which everyone is united in diversity, in which we would ánd should all be equal. Reality looks slightly different: 75 years after the release of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, some animals are still more equal than others. By referring to ‘a dream’, King used wise words in 1963.
On the one hand, there has never been so little racism or discrimination and on the other, the cry for equality and equal treatment has never been so harsh.
Meanwhile, the patchwork of nationalities, origins and beliefs is increasingly torn apart. As often, America sets the bar: next to ‘Afro Americans’ and ‘Asian Americans’, we have ‘Native Americans" or "American Indians", "First Americans", "Indigenous Americans" … Their numbers are still on the rise, as is the fanaticism of some. Make America great again? Which America do you actually mean? The nickname ‘Divided States’ is an ironic indication of a torn nation in which diverse groups ‘live apart together’. Way to often, contrasting cultures clash. Demonstrations drift into rageous raids. Fake news is joined by fake motives. Shop windows are destroyed, the shops themselves are looted.
‘A dream’ becomes ‘a nightmare’ for hard-working, dedicated retailers, who already have been hit hard by the economic repercussions of this viral vintage. When the thin top layer of civilization disappears, we are soon confronted with the raw wood, called society. This sad statement deserves a positive perspective, provided by an aboriginal proverb:“Those who lose dreaming, are lost.” Change? Yes, we can!
President WTC Antwerp