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.