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.