As inclusive as Seattle

Seattle is a big city and diverse as any other major city in the world. With origins from almost every part of the globe, Seattleites make the city one of its kind, what many call a hyper-diverse city.

For a year and half that I have been living in the Greater Seattle area, I have found the people very welcoming and appreciating of what I am and where I come from.

Every Seattleite, no matter where they originally come from, feel and think alike about how to keep Seattle what it always is, a hyper-diverse city. One that has all tastes and cultures from across the globe.

To show the inclusiveness of the city and provide the connect the people here with their origins, Common Language Project, a non-profit journalistic organization housed in University of Washington’s Department of Communication, has been making efforts in recent years to connect communities here with people and their issues across the globe.

The Seattle Globalist

Today, I had the opportunity to participate in an event of the CLP in which the nonprofit launched one of latest journalistic ventures – Seattle Globalist.

Seattle Globalist is a new initiative from the CLP. It’s a blog that covers “the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe.” The blog mentions itself as a place “where Seattle meets the world.”

What I learned

Like every other human being, I have my own stereotypes about people I come across every day. But with the passage of time, I have come to understand that what we term as our stereotypes are actually the paradigms that we are born into. We view the world around in a way that we have been repeatedly told to over years, that by our parents, teachers, the society and whatnot. We stereotype and get stereotyped every single day.

At the Seattle Globalist’s launch party, I had the opportunity to meet and network with this amazing, young woman of Iranian descent. Initially, I took Roxana Norouzi, a social worker with a local non-profit, as a Muslim, as anyone who comes from my part of the world would. But the fact is that she is not; she is a Jew of Iranian descent. I unfortunately come from a part of the world where every single individual is trying to make their neighborhood, city or country exclusive. Iran as a country has been no different.

In a write-up on the Seattle Globalist earlier this year, Norouzi wrote how being a Jew of Iranian descent presented her with a complex situation of dueling identities amid recent war-mongering rhetoric from Iranian and Israeli leaders.

If we put our stereotypes aside, we will find that all people of the world are one whole, no matter where they belong to. In societies like here in the US, this wholeness or ‘globalness’ becomes more evident. Whether one is traveling in a public transport, walking on a sidewalk in a crowded city or sitting in coffee shop, the babbles around may sound different but every single of them makes the same sense that in our own language(s), it would make to us. Our differences could be of color, appearance, beliefs, ideas, language, etc., but we all are alike despite all these difference. We are all made of the same fabric.

The Seattle Globalists and The Baloch Hal

I was fascinated by the idea of the Seattle Globalist. It tries to connect the community here with people living elsewhere in different parts of the world who have a common bond with Seattleites. The Globalist for sure will make these bonds stronger.

I also find a lot of similarity between the Globalist and The Baloch Hal. What we do at The Baloch Hal and what the folks at the Globalist do has lots in common. For instance, we try to connect the rest of the world with a region and its issues that hardly get any coverage in local Pakistani media, let alone in any international media outlet. Whereas, the Globalists try to bring stories to the communities here that otherwise would not reach them through other sources. We call ours a ‘hyperlocal news site; the Globalists term theirs a ‘hyperglobal blog’.