Ally Azizi is studying BA French and History at King’s College London. This personal statement was part of her successful application to King’s College London, University College London, University of Bristol, and University of Edinburgh for History and French.
My multicultural and diverse community in Malaysia is a veritable melting pot. The influence of the various European powers that colonised here remain evident and I take genuine pleasure from reading tales of how they shaped the society in which I Iive. By studying History and Language, I hope to apply lessons from history to combat modern social injustice in a global, multilingual setting. The study of History is not only an account of the past but a method for us to foresee the future through our interpretations, enabling us to prevent mistakes from before. Furthermore, with the help of language we can expose ourselves to various cultural practices that provide different accounts of history.
My studies of the Russian Revolution illustrated that the peasants’ desire for a ‘fairer’ society was a contributing factor to Lenin’s employment of theories to transform Russia into a utopian society. In many people’s eyes this would be perceived as something impossible or dream-like however Newman argues in ‘Socialism: A Very Short Introduction’, that a ‘utopian’ vision is necessary to start a social transformation and that ‘today’s utopia is tomorrow’s reality’. In modern social revolutions, I see parallels to Lenin’s Russia. My internship at the The Asean Post, a digital media organisation, illustrated that it is possible to evoke a utopian transformation which can reach out to SouthEast Asian countries, that are mostly developing nations, and help them evict the corruption that haunts and distresses them. As part of this experience, I had the opportunity to publish an article regarding the rights of migrant workers within this region, providing my readers with an insight of the side that is commonly overlooked by us, the ones who benefit from their services.
I used my EPQ to explore my interest in historical leaders of past social revolutions as they are vital to decisions on world affairs. Many great leaders have taken countries through to either victory or defeat and I look forward to understanding their motivations, what influenced their life-changing decisions. Tsar Nicholas II and King Louis XVI are infamous for drowning their countries in a sea of debts that accumulated from their years of irresponsible rule. However, of these two, Louis XVI piques my interest the most, as his spending habits were arguably one of the largest contributors to the French Revolution, which I am currently investigating in my EPQ title, where I look at the ‘before and after’ effects of the revolt and measure the causes of it as well. This project allowed me to put my French level to the test, challenging myself to read sources with complicated sentence structures and a range of tenses – I can access such sources with ease and it is most gratifying.
My passion for the French language has led me to immerse myself in its culture in various events held by l’Alliance Française, including regular volunteering at la Fête Française where I met and stayed in touch with many French speakers. For me, French is a language that symbolises preciseness and intricacy. Compared to English, there are many rules that have to be obeyed, such as the gender of inanimate objects, verb conjugations and syntax that enable a whole new expression. I love to read in French, regularly keeping myself updated through French news outlets and take great pleasure in French film. The academic pursuit of History and Language will allow me to dive deeper into both topics. History leading into political and economic ideas by using experience from the past to prevent the same mistakes despite the inevitable repetition of history; French highlights the deep connection between language and culture. History and language shape our humanity and I am excited at the prospect of dedicating my studies to this at university.
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