Lale Gül talks about self-determination and freedom during 10th anniversary ITEps


Thursday 1st September none other than bestselling author Lale Gül (24) was our guest at our college tour during the ITEps Conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of our study programme International Teacher Education for primary schools. We invited Lale to talk about her award-winning book ‘Ik ga leven’ (I will live) and her life as a young girl growing up in a strict Muslim family in Amsterdam and her struggle to live a life without boundaries and barriers. After the book was published, she was banned by her family. During the college tour she talked about  self-determination and freedom, subjects that also lie at the heart of our ITEps programme along with equality and diversity and the belief that education is meant to get the best out of every child. Students had the opportunity to ask Lale about these subjects, her life and her book.

During the college tour, Lale described how she felt about the contrast between her non-religious school and the Koran school she attended in the weekend. ‘I had Dutch female friends who could do stuff like going to the beach, going out, go on schooltrips and things like that, but I wasn’t allowed to do such things. I asked myself, why couldn’t I do those things? In Koran school was just one truth we learned about. We learned norms and values and all kinds of rules about what we couldn’t wear, couldn’t do, couldn’t say or think. And what we should wear, do, say or think. You’re growing up in a bubble. So I began to question the Islam and began to discover other truths. Everyone has the right on their own religion. You are the only one that will choose for yourself. Now I don’t let anybody tell me what to do. I only do something when I want to.’ In the end she said: ‘Freedom has a very high price sometimes, but it’s worth it. Always choose for yourself.’

Our students found it very interesting. Sahar Chen, ITEps student describes: ‘I think in my job as a international teacher it will be very important to bridge the different religions and the general society, so people understand more truths and have less misconceptions and understanding. There ís more than one truth. It’s more about how we can do it instead of is this right or wrong. Everyone is exploring nowadays and it’s a learning process. We’re all in the same world so we build it together. ‘Sahar Chen, ITEps student’

Did you miss the live stream yesterday? No worries, you can watch the recording below!

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