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.    

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekly Report 4: Israeli-Palestine Conflict

Weekly Report 4
March 27, 2016
Israeli-Palestine conflict
The land conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been for going on for years. In class, we learned about how the conflict between these nations started. It started when Israel gained its independence in 1948, where most the land was given to Israelis who were immigrants and minority in the land of Palestine. As we can see below, Palestinians were the original owners of the land and today they have no land at all. 
The Israeli Prime Mister believes in two-state solution as a solution to Arabs Israeli conflict. According to an award-winning journalist and analyst on Arab affairs, Sharif Nashashibi, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to convince audiences outside his own country from time to time that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state. But in reality all Palestinians know that his plans are to prevent the creation of the state.

According to Nashashibi, On March 22, Netanyahu reiterated this mistake while addressing the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington's most influential pro-Israel lobby group. He said he was willing to resume talks on a two-state solution "immediately … anytime, anywhere", if only his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas was willing to do the same. The happened one day after the Israeli government issued notices to seize nearly 120 hectares of land from Palestinian villages in the northern West Bank, and days after it declared more than 2,300 dunums of land in Jericho as "state lands", which are then usually granted to Jewish settlers (Nashashibi, 2016). Netanyahu is claiming to accept the creation of Palestine as a state while he and his people are destroying and taking the rest of the land that was left for Palestinians. And he expects Palestinians will agree with him?   

There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way people view the conflict and ways to solve it. That involves acknowledging that Israel has created a one-state reality, and finding ways to make that state equitable rather than a vehicle for the apartheid system that exists today”, writes Nashashibi. People need to understand the conflict in order to come up with a solution otherwise, the conflict will continue.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dr. Boukhars' lecture

Reflection 4
March 22, 2016
Dr. Boukhars lecture on ISIS
ISIS:  Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is a Jihadist group based in Iraq, which stands for countries like Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Jihad means that fighting in the name of religion (Nydell, 2012). ISIS was created after the United States invasion in Iraq in 2003, which we never hear people talk about. 

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. Below is a picture of ISIS shooting innocent Arabs. 

As Dr. Boukars mentioned in his lecture, ISIS are looking for identity because they do not fit anywhere in Muslim societies. And instead of creating their own identity through something else, they are using Islamic religion and putting a bad image of the entire out to the world. Islamic is supposed to be a peaceful religion.  

The United States, Russia, Iran, and Turkey are some of the countries that are involved in Syrian and Iraq claiming to help defeat ISIS. These countires, especially US and Russia are there for their own interests.  Dr. Boukhars stated that it is impossible to defeat ISIS because the situation is more complicate than it seems.  In order to defeat ISIS, we have to address the conflict between the Sunni and Shia. ISIS gets their support from Sunni and other failing states in the Arab world. This means that these are the places where the issue has to be addressed first.

Brussels and Paris’ attacks
On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb. The attack killed 130 people and about 368 were injured. According to an article, seven of the attackers also died.

On Tuesday, March 22, the same act took place in Brussel where at least 30 people were killed and 300 people injured. As of today about 150 people are still in hospital. According to a news reporter, both acts were carried by one group known as ISIS or Islamic State.

In his talk, Dr. Boukhars mentioned that the goal of the attackers is for Americans and Europeans to overreact and one way of doing that is by attacking those nations.  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Reflection 3

Reflection 3
March 3, 2016
Massaba Diop’s Concert

         The concert with Massaba Diop, Abdu Sarr, and Tony Vacca was beautifully amazing. The part I love the most was when Abdu was dancing. He was amazing! I think he is one of the most talented people I ever met. The best part was when Dr. Esa danced with MassabaJ. I didn’t know Dr. Esa got some moves.
           Music and drums have been always Africans way of uniting. In Africa, people tell our stories through music and talking drums, and dances. Though Africa is a big continent with hundreds of tribes, they share the same values, beliefs, cultures and land. In Africa, Muslims, Christians and Jews live together and they all believe in one thing, which is respect. They respect their differences and treat each other like brothers and sisters.  Africans live under traditional societies where they educate their children about past generations through oral stories telling. Music and talking drums play important roles in most African countries because they use music and talking drums tell their kids the importance of our culture and the people before them.   

The rise of technologies and western countries involvement in Africa is slowly destroying most African cultures and traditions.  As Massaba mentioned that they called Television “Uninvited Gust” because people are losing parts of their identity due to technology investments in Africa. Today most of African kids know nothing about their own culture. What they see on TV and internet become part of their everyday life.    

I think it was interesting how this relate to Tayeb Salih’s story. This actually made me realized how the entire continent is connected in every way. Massaba and Tayeb came from different parts of Africa, but they have so much in common in terms of culture, tradition, and values. I found compelling because my father’s older cousins used to tell us stories about the generation before us when we were back home.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Mohammed Assaf

Weekly Report 3
Sunday, Feb 28, 2016
Mohammed Assaf
As I was researching for the most famous Arab Musicians, I came across a very intelligent young Arab singer. This young man had done and continues doing so many incredible things to help young people. He used the power of his music and voice to change the world. And in fact, I was inspired by him and what he does.
Mohammed Assaf, a Palestinian pop singer was born on September 1, 1989 in Misrata, Libya to Palestinian parents.   He lived there until he was 4 years old, when his parents moved back to Gaza, he grew up in Khan Younis refugee camp to a middle class couple where he attended UNRWA elementary school. His parents had to leave their homeland due war between Israel Palestine.  Assaf math’s teacher started getting him involved in singing when he was only five years old and had an excellent voice. Before he was on TV, he attended Gaza City's Palestine University majoring in media and Public relations.  He started his singing career at weddings and other private events. He broke out to public view in 2000 during a popular local television program where he called in and sung a nationalist song to the host's praise. He traveled from Gaza Strip to Egypt to audition for Arab Idol  and inspired other young Arab around the global. In 2012, Assaf won MTV Europe Music Award as Best Middle East Act. He also won MTV Europe Music Award for Best Worldwide Act.  
Mohammed Assaf is not only a great singer, but also an individual who is making positive changes in other’s people lives around the world. As a refugee from Gaza Strip, he knew what exactly he had to do to help others.  As a child the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Mohammed Assaf is the ideal individual to be the first goodwill ambassador in the more than six decades of the UN history. He was appointed by Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi, as the Agency's Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine Refugees in June 2013. Since his appointment, he has used his voice and his talent to help UNRWA give other young people the same support it gave him. With the universal language of his music, he carries the message of UNRWA and young Palestine refugees to new audiences, including in the region to Dubai and Kuwait, and others. In November 2013, he took that message to the United States, bringing the voice of Palestine refugee youth to the United Nations in New York City.  
On April 8, 2015, Mohammed Assaf, UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine Refugees was the special guest and gave a performance at an event in Gaza organized by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to celebrate the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. He also gave a performance at an UNRWA fundraising reception hosted by Madam Sawsan Asfari in London.  Assaf continues to use his music as the voice of people today.   

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dr. Deveny's lecture

Thursday, Feb 18, 2015
Dr. Deveny's lecture

I learned a lot today from Dr. Deveny. I was glad he was able to come to our class today and teah us about the long Islamic legacy in Spain. Dr. Deveny started his lecture with the history of Spain before Muslims and Christians. He started from the time when King Fernando and Queen Isabel were the rulers of Spanish territory. As he went on with his lecture, I was able to learn about one of the most important and powerful cities in Spain in 1000 which was Cordoba.

I thought it was interesting when he said “Spain is part of Africa.” I don’t think most people have thought about it this way before.The Muslims armies so successful in conquering Spain because they were willing to fight and were not afraid to die. They were used to fighting battles in desert and traveling a long way from home.       

The Visigoths ruled Spain before the Spaniards and had power over much of the land from the fifth century until the year 720 when battles went on and Christians were able to take over Spain.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekly Report 2, Malala

Weekly Report 2
Sunday, Feb 14, 2016
Malala’s Impact on World Civilization
Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan. At very young age, Malala began blogging for the BBC about living under the Taliban’s threats to deny her education. For this reason, she had to hide her identity and used the name Gul Makali. However, she was revealed to be the BBC blogger in December of 2009. She continued to speak out about her right, and the right of all women to education. Malala and her family learned about the Taliban’s issue with her when she was fourteen years old. On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala when she was traveling home from school. She survived and has continued speaking on the importance of education. Her activism resulted in a nomination of the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. That same year, she was awarded Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize. 

On October 10, 2013, she was nominated again as the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thoughts in acknowledgement of her work in the European Parliament.  That same year, she was nominated for Novel Prize. Malala gave a powerful speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday, in 2013. She has also written an autobiography, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which was released in October 2013. In 2014, she was nominated again and won, becoming the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She continued to take actions on the world education by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon. Its expenses covered by the Malala Fund, the school was designed to admit nearly 200 girls from the ages of 14 to 18. Today young girls are getting the education they deserve because Malala was able to stood up for the right of women to education. She made and continuing making impacts on young women’s lives around the global. She inspired a lot of young women to stand up for what they believe in. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016


 Sunday, Feb 9, 2016
Weekly Report 1


Syria is facing a civil war where its citizens are seeking peaceful places to live.  Most of Syrian refugees are currently in some of the European countries. Latest news reported that a few Western countries are involved in Syrian civil war. Russia  and the United States are playing significant roles in Syrian war.  Reporter, Donnell stated that Russian president has called for a broad international coalition to fight Islamic State, including the participation of the United States and other Western countries already carry out airstrikes against the militants.  Russian warplanes launched their first airstrikes Wednesday, September 30th against opposition targets in Syria, signaling a new uncertain turn in the long conflict there. A U.S. defense official said, a three-star Russian general arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to advise officials that Russian warplanes would begin launching attacks in Syria one hour before the strikes began Wednesday, September 30th, 2015. According to the Syrian observatory for Human Rights, the Wednesday attacks killed at least twenty-seven people, including five women and six children, airstrikes in the opposition-hold towns of Rastan and Talbised, as well as in the village of Zafaraaneh, all north of Homes. The airstrikes came two days after Putin and President Obama met in New York about coordinating military efforts against Islamic State. Officials at the Pentagon view Russia's decision to carry out the strikes as a rebuke to those talks. Russia moved warplanes, helicopters, tanks and naval forces to western Syria last year in a move that Western leaders feared might signal the Kremlin’s intent to set up forces to protect Assad's government from terrorists. 
             Russian officials said the attacks in support of President Bashar Assad’s government target position of Islamic State, the Al Qaeda breakaway faction that has seized control of vast areas of Syria and neighboring Iraq.  Nonetheless, “Syrian opposition activists said the areas hit were in the hands of other rebel factions, including some fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, a loose grouping that has received aid from Washington and its allies in the Persian Gulf and Turkey.” (McDonnell, 2015). North parts of the city of Homs struck by the Russian warplanes are also reportedly strongholds for a number of hard-line Islamist militias, which include Al Nusra, the official Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and Ahrar Al Sham, which also has Al Qaeda connections. “The Kremlin leader has insisted, however, that Assad be involved in the anti-terrorism campaign and that any foreign interventions be subject to the approval of the Syrian leader, whom he has described as a bulwark against terrorism.” Western countries are involved in Syrian war because Syrian leader asked for their help.Syrian leader fears losing his country to Islamic State, which explains why he invited Western countries in their war. 
 Syrian state media reported that Russian military planes, operating in cooperation with the Syrian air force, attacked seven areas housing Islamic State “dens” north of Homs, “achieving direct hits and inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorist organization.” (McDonnell, 2015).As a result of Russian president calling for a broad international coalition,  the U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq for more than a year, but its effort has not coordinated with the forces of Assad., said Donnell. Due to Russian attacks against Islam states in Syria, U.S. counter-terrorism officials are concerned that Russia’s airstrikes in Syria will unify militant groups there as well as energize Islamic State’s recruitment in the Caucasus, North Africa and the Middle East, causing militants to temporarily set aside their differences to fight together against the Assad government and its Russian backer. This means that Russian involvement in Syrian war created fear for Russia government because other Islamic countries, such as  North Africa and Middle East might come together to fight Assad and Russia's government. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reflection Number One

The Arab World

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reflection #1
I'm a Political Science and International Studies major. I'm not only taking this class as part of my major, but I'm taking it because I think it is an interesting class.  I'm interested in learning about the Arab World and the relationship between the Arabs and Islamic religion. Most of the time when people hear about Arabs, what comes to their minds is Muslims, but are all Arabs Muslims? Because I don't trust what I see on TV, I'm here to have a better understanding of the Arab World. In America, kids grow up learning that Arabs are terrorists and Islam is a religion of violence and killing. We are being exposed to the bad side of the Arabs and Islamic and never been able to see the big picture. For example, we never learn about the Arab culture and tradition. I expect to learn about the history of the Arab world and what it really means to be Muslim. By the time I get out of the class, I hope to have an open minded about the Arab world and their culture. My view about 9/11 was that the attackers had their reasons. There might be some political reasons we don't about for the attack. I was not in America when 9/11 happened but from my perspective, there were several reasons why the US was attack by terrorists. The US being involved in Middle East's business might be one possibility.