Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reflection 7

Reflection 7

May 3, 2016

The reason I took this class was because I was interested in understanding the Arab world. I wanted to understand the relationship between the Arabs and Islamic religion and the culture. I also wanted to know what it means to be an Arab and I also wanted to know why Arabs and Muslims are categorize as “terrorists” by most Americans.
Now I have a better an understanding of the Arabs and Muslims in general. I know that an Arab is anyone who speaks Arabic. They could be black, white, brown or yellow. They could also be from Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia or any other parts of the world. A Muslim is someone whose religion is Islam and he/she does not have to be Arab to be Muslim. I honestly got what I expected and wanted to know from this class.  
As an example, my favorite topic from this class was learning about ISIS and having Dr. as a guest speaker. I honestly didn’t know much about who ISIS really are. I thought they were real believers who just happen to hate everyone. But Dr. Boukhars’ lecture gave me a completely different perspective of what ISIS really are. Now I know that ISIS are youths ages 16 to24 who hang out with girls, go to night clubs, smoke weed, don’t go to mosque, they don’t associate with Muslim communities, most them have serve in prison, they don’t speak Arabic, and don’t even know anything about the Quran. The question is why don’t they show all of these on the news when talking about ISIS? All we see on social media and news is that all Muslims are terrorists. But even if ISIS were real Muslims, it won’t make all terrorists or bad people. They are Christians who use violence and they are not classify as terrorists. Muslims themselves fear ISIS because ISIS are also killing innocent Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Being able to know all of these fulfill my expectations of why I took this class.   
Overall, I am glad I took this class because now, I have a knowledge of the Arab world and I can use it to educate other people.  

Reflection 6

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reflection 6

Reflection 6
April 7, 2016
Dr. Leahy’s Lecture
Dr. Leahy is a Political Science and International Relations professor here at McDaniel College. Today, Dr. Leah came to our class to talk about the USA involvement in Arab countries. In here lecture, she talked about the USA support toward Israel and how it affects the Arab world in many ways.  Israel is small state with a super power.  As Dr. Leah mentioned in her lecture that Israel only represents thousandth of the world population and receive about 3.1 billion dollars from the United States each year. This itself says a lot about America’s relationship with Israel. This kind of money should be going to third world countries and as we know Israel is not one of those countries. Israel uses money given by the US to buy weapon and kill innocent Arabs and the US is doing nothing to stop them from doing so.

And then they are asking this question: “Why do they hate us?”. According to the book Understanding the Arabs, Arabs do not hate America nor do they hate American people. They are just anger because of the US is too involved in the lands. Dr. Leahy made some important points about the US involvement in the Arab World. Number one the US support for dictators in Arab countries and violating human rights in those countries. Number two, the US military base in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in Mecca. They promised Saudi government that they were going to remove their military base after the war for failed to do so. They are still there today. All of these are some of the reasons why most Arabs are anger at American government.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekly Report 6

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Weekly Report 6
April 10, 2016

Who is Alaa Al Answany?
Alaa Al Aswany is the bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building  and other books published in Arabic. He is also journalist who writes a monthly opposition newspaper column in Cairo.  He is a dentist and his first office was in the Yacoubian Building.  Al-Aswany was born on 26 May 1957 in Egypt.  He attended Le Lycée Français in  Cairo and received a bachelor's degree in dental and oral medicine at Cairo University in 1980. He went on to pursue a master's degree in dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985. interestingly ,he speaks multiple languages, which includes Arabic, English, French and Spanish (Qualey, 2015).

Role in Egyptian Revolution  
Alaa Al Aswany is one of the few prominent faces of Egypt's so-called leaderless revolution, a Vaclav Havel for this Arab Spring. The was in Tahrir Square each of the 18 days before Hosni Mubarak fell from power two months ago (Rustin, 2016). In January 2015, the Gingko Library published Democracy is the Answer: Egypt's Years of Revolution, a collection of newspaper columns written by Aswany for  Al-Masry Al-Youm between 2011 and 2014. He believes that democracy is what Egypt needs and the only way to get it is to take action.   
For years before the Egyptian revolution in January 2011 Al Aswany, had been a critic of the Mubarak regime. As mentioned earlier, when the revolution broke out he was among those in Tahrir Square calling for democratic reform and demanding that Hosni Mubarak stand down. Since then Aswany has continued, through his popular weekly column for the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, to propound the ideals of the January 2011 revolution, embodied by the young protestors that risked everything to occupy Tahrir by his side. In his many columns over the ensuing three years collected and translated here for the first time Al Aswany confronted the crucial issues of the day head-on as an increasingly stratified and divided country sought to agree a constitution and elect a democratic government (Qualey, 2015).

Interesting facts
According to the article, In October 2010, The Israel/Palestine Centre for Research and Information (IPCRI) said it was offering its Hebrew  readers the rare privilege of reading the best-selling Egyptian novel  The Yacoubian Building. While Alaa Al-Aswany refused for the book to be translated into Hebrew and published in Israel , a volunteer had translated it and the IPCRI wanted to offer it for free to expand cultural awareness and understanding in the region. Al-Aswany was deeply frustrated by this, as he rejected the idea of normalizing with Israel, and accused the IPCRI and the translator of piracy and theft. For this, he complained to the International Publishers Association.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Weekly Report 8

Weekly Report 8
April 28, 2016

An Arab Poet, Lawrence Joseph

Lawrence Joseph is one of the most famous Arab American poets in America.  He is a grandson of Lebanese and Syrian Catholic immigrants. He was born in Detroit and received his BA and JD from the University of Michigan, and a second BA and MA from Cambridge University. His early poetry often references the discrimination and violence he witnessed as a child, including the 1967 Detroit riots and the violent attempted robbery in 1970 of his father, a grocer. Joseph’s work, informed by his practice as a lawyer, engages themes of power and truth with an unsentimental clarity.  
Joseph is the author of several collections of poetry, including Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973–1993 (2005). His debut, Shouting at No One (1983), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Bookslut critic Nicholas Gilewicz praised Into It (2005), which addresses the events of September 11, as “a very intimate book, one that counterintuitively and productively sidesteps confessionalism.”
As a student at the University of Michigan, Joseph won the Hopwood Award for Poetry. He has also won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the third recipient of the New York County Lawyers Association’s “Law and Literature Award,” joining prior winners Louis Auchincloss and Louis Begley. His poetry has been widely anthologized, including in The Oxford Book of American Poetry (2006). He is also the author of the prose work Lawyerland: What Lawyers Talk About When They Talk About the Law (1997).  
Joseph is not only a great poet but also a professor of law at St. John’s University School of Law in New York City.  He also taught in the Council of the Humanities and Creative Writing Program at Princeton University in 1994.  Joseph served as law clerk to Justice G. Mennen Williams of the Michigan Supreme Court.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Report 7: Wentworth Miller III

Weekly Report
April 24, 2016

Wentworth E. Miller III, an Arab American?

As I was doing some research on Arab American singers, songwriters, and actors, I found out that one of my favorite actors was of Arab ancestry.  Wentworth E. Miller III is an American actor, model, screenwriter, and producer.  I was shock to find out that he his mother is half Lebanese and half Syrian.
Wentworth E. Miller III was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom) on June 2, 1972.  Miller’s mother, Roxann was a special education teacher, and his father, Wentworth E. Miller II was a lawyer and teacher.  Miller's family moved Park Slope, Brooklyn when he was a year old. He graduated from Princeton University in 1995 with a bachelor degree in English literature. While at Princeton, he performed with a cappella group the Princeton Tigerton’s, and was a member of the Quadrangle Club and Colonial Club.   
 In 1995, Miller returned to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. His first TV appearance was as student-turned-sea monster Gage Petronzi on Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Go fish”, in 1998. Miller's first starring role was in 2002 as the sensitive, introverted David Scott in ABC’s mini-series Dinotopia. After appearing in a few minor television roles, he moved on to co-star in the 2003 film The Human Stain, playing the younger version of the Anthony Hopkins character, Coleman Silk. In this movie, he strongly identified with the core dilemma about a black man who chooses to “pass” as white. In 2003, he had another minor role in the film Underworld, playing a doctor and friend of the character Michael Corvin.
In 2005, Miller was cast as Michael Scofield in Fox Network’s television drama Prison Break where he played the role of a caring brother who created an elaborate scheme to help his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) escape death row after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. His character had a full upper body (front and back) tattoo. His performance in this show earned him a 2005 Golden Globe Award nomination for best actor in a Dramatic Series. Miller was also a guest-starred in the Season 11 premiere of Law & Order.
Miller wrote the screenplay for the film Stoker, as well as a Prequel to Stoker and Uncle Charlie. His script was voted to the 2010 “Black List” of the best unproduced screenplays then making the rounds in Hollywood. He scripted the film the loft, an American-Belgian thriller film, which is a remake of 2008 Dutch-language Belgian film loft by Erik Van Looy. He also sold a screenplay for a film called The Disappointments Room, the story reportedly also a family drama with horror elements similar to Stoker, to Voltage Pictures and Killer Films.
In 2007, Wentworth E. Miller III denied to in style magazine that he was gay. However, he came out as gay in 2013 when he posted a letter on GLAAD’s website declining an invitation to attend the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival because he felt "deeply troubled" by the Russian government's treatment of its gay citizens (referring to Russian LGBT Propaganda Law enacted the previous June which banned "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations”).   At the 2013 Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Seattle, Washington, Miller said he had attempted suicide multiple times as a teenager before coming out as gay.    

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekly Report 5

Weekly Report 5
April 3, 2016
US Air Force F-16 Crashes in Afghanistan

The United States troops have been in Afghanistan since the US invaded Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks, where hundreds of people were killed by the military . The US is/was supported initially by close allies; they were later joined by  NATO beginning in 2003. This followed the Afghan Civil War's 1996-2001 phase. Its public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power.  Those allies, including the United Kingdom, supported the U.S. from the start to the end of the phase. This phase of the War is the longest war in United States history.

According to the news article, a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed on takeoff near Bagram Air Field last Tuesday morning. Bagram Air Field is located northeast of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and is the U.S. military's main base of operations in Afghanistan. News reporter, Cook added that the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The news article stated that there are 9,800 American troops still in Afghanistan as part of a training and advisory mission. However, the number of U.S. troops was slated to be reduced to 5,500 by year's end, but a resurgent Taliban has led U.S. military commanders to review those plans.   

Friday, April 1, 2016

Israeli-Arab Conflict

Reflection 5
April 1, 2016
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the land and has been going on for decades. Professor Zaru’s lecture and the speaker from Palestinian Center informed me about different sides of the conflict that I never told or read about.   From a personal experience, Professor spoke about what it was like for her living and growing up under Israeli occupation.  Her lecture was powerful!
She talked about how Israeli soldiers would stop kids on their way to school for no reason. And when kids tried to question why they are being stopped, they would be taken to military detention center where they would be punished or kept for hours or even days. They were not allowed to speak up for themselves and if they tried to, they entire family would be punished.  Palestinians are still going through these obstacles today. Their lives are being controlled by Israeli military. They are not allowed to have their own flag. They cannot draw or write the word Palestine. This makes me so anger because how can people live their entire lives like this believing they are living normal lives?  Below is a picture of students being stopped by Israeli soldiers.

After learning more about Israel-Palestinian conflict through Professor Zaru’s lecture, class reading, and Palestinian Center’s speak, I think there might some possible ways of solving the issue. First, people need to understand both sides of the situation. This is a complex situation and people have to pay more attention to what’s happening to Palestinians each day and the lives they are living. Second, both Israeli leaders and Palestinian leaders have to agree on one thing. Instead of fighting and killing innocent people, those leaders have to sit down and talk their problems out peaceful. I personally think two-state solution can end the conflict. However, the land has to be divided equally and based on the population on each group.