Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Naomi Shihab Nye

Reflection 8
April 26th, 2016

Naomi Shihab Nye is an Arab-Amercian poet who was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Though born in the United States her family moved to Ramallah in Palestine during her high school education. But before moving over the waters to a different country, farther more before she was even born, Naomi's family were refugees of the Palestine and Israeli conflict. They were one of thousands of Palestinian families who lost everything they own to the hands of the Israeli government.

Most, if not all, of her poems are her experience as an Arab-Amercian women. She is a figure of peace and humanitarian work. She calls herself the "wandering poet", due to her extensive amount of traveling all over the world to present workshops for individuals on poetry and her writing works. In 2009, she was elected to be a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Suheir Hammad

April 21st, 2016

Suheir Hammand is a highly respected, admired, Arab-Amercian women who migrated with her parents to the United States as Palestinian refugees. Before coming to Brooklyn, New York, her family resided in Lydda, which is now in Israel. Placed right in the middle of the evolving hip-hop, rap, r&b word, Suheir was influence by the world of 1980's-1990's Brooklyn individuals.

She became a memorable face to respectable names, one of them being Russell Simmons. Russell Simmons was highly into the works of Suheir and lead her into the path of being signed by his label for writers, poets,lyricists, HBO's Def Jam Poetry.

Suheir Hammand most famous poem was that written just days about the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11th.

"..today is a week, and seven is of heavens, gods, science.
evident out my kitchen window is an abstract reality.
sky where once was steel.
smoke where once was flesh.

fire in the city air and i feared for my sister's life in a way never
before. and then, and now, i fear for the rest of us.

first, please god, let it be a mistake, the pilot's heart failed, the
plane's engine died.
then please god, let it be a nightmare, wake me now.
please god, after the second plane, please, don't let it be anyone
who looks like my brothers.

i do not know how bad a life has to break in order to kill.
i have never been so hungry that i willed hunger
i have never been so angry as to want to control a gun over a pen.
not really.
even as a woman, as a palestinian, as a broken human being.
never this broken..."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Alaa Al Aswany

April 11th, 2016

Narrating the Revolution...
[The Cairo Review-Spring 2011]

Before reading this interview between the Cairo Review and activist Alaa Al Aswany, I have to confess that I had no clue who this remarkable man was. Not only did he publish The Yacoubian Building around the time of the Egyptian revolution, he participated in this revolution, having hands on experience on fighting for the Egyptian dictatorship regime to end.

January 25th-the day the revolution begin for the Egyptians. In this interview, Alaa Al Aswany said,
"...I had once written that if we have five hundred thousands protestors in Cairo, the regime will fall. I could myself with one million people."One million people. The Egyptians were all on the same boat to remove then president, Gamal Mubarak, from the system due to his agenda becoming more of a dictatorship then a democracy. And this was exactly what they did. There were demonstrations and manifestations that Aswany participated in that lead to the resign of Gamal Mubarak. Egyptians also knew this was not the end but just the beginning of the movement. They wanted to democracy and knew that once Mubarak resign they needed to act quickly to get the right an honest individuals into their government. Not only did they had so much support for the citizens, scholarly names, and the army, the revolution of Tunisia (which was happening more so at the same time) was a motivational platform for the Egyptians. If one country could achieve democracy so could Egypt and the citizens had belief that they will achieve this goal of democracy.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

THE, Professor Christina Leahy

April 7, 2016 

Another one of my favorite professors on campus, Dr. Christina Leahy, who is ahead of the Political Science Department, is incredibly knowledgable on the ever confusing topic of the United States relationship with the Middle East. It seems like the conflict between the United States and the Middle East could have, with lack of a better word, easily could have been less violent and detrimental to the Middle Eastern countries. There were topics Professor Leahy reviewed I had no clue happened post 9/11. 

I mean on 9/11 I was only 3 years old, almost turning 4, but I still can directly remember how that day turned out. And after then, I can still remember my too young of classmates to even try to understand what was going on. I remember them saying how they hate Muslims and people from the Middle East are nothing but completely evil. 

Where did this sudden hate come from? And most of all, I thought to myself,  the Middle Eastern's could easily say the feeling is mutual. This hate coming from the Middle Eastern, more specifically the Palestine's, is completely justifiable due to the on going horrific events that happened just weeks after 9/11 and are still continuing into 2016. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Where is the United States? Are they going to even help?

April 4th, 2016

Why U.S Leadership Matters
[Commercial Appeal-04.04.2016]

President Barack Obama has very obvious views on what he thinks of the Middle East and what he thinks the United States can do to help-"...the Middle East could not be fixed-not on his watch, and not for generation to come."

As a young adult, I somewhat can and can not believe these words that President Barack Obama said. He statement of thinking the Middle East is in this time of not being fixable is outrageous. In this article, "Why U.S Leadership Matters?", the author stresses on the policies of Obama pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan is not a good one. He compares policies of Obama of the war in the 21st century to those of Truman during WWII. Truman was under pressure to withdraw all troops from Germany and Japan but stood his ground for many years to established a democratic foundation for both of these countries. The question of, "why can't Barack Obama do this also?" raises for those individuals who see the importance of keeping troops in the Middle East. Though it is very understandable to be the president of the United States and want to pull out of this long, driven-out war, the peace for the individuals who remain in these countries need to helped before the United States thinks its necessary for them to pull out al troops from the Middle East.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Professor Zaru's Lecture

April 3rd, 2016

Who knew someone on the McDaniel campus had a first-hand experience of living under occupation of the Israeli's? One of my freshmen year professor, Carol Zaru, heard the blast, smelled the toxic air, and saw her own friend's home be destroyed by the Israeli army.

I honestly had no clue how to feel when Carol was telling the class about her early years living in Palestine. How she would turn up the volume of her television set so her children would not have to hear the sounds of the demolition that was happening right by her home. How she was in Palestine when the start and end of the Seven Years War had began and ended. I could not even imagine how her life had been prior to moving her whole life to the United States.

I feel so small in this enormous world of war and evil. I feel so unaware of what actually is going on and what is actually being done to help the individuals who are being tortured by the Israeli-Palestie conflict. I, overall, can not think of an actual solution that can help stop all the hate between these two different identities. At the most, which is a very simple thought, is for the United States to at least have more saying and more aid for the individuals in this struggle. From the past lectures of Dr. Boukhars and Professor Carol, from my understanding its obvious to these intellectuals that the United States hardly has put any of their power to help out the nations in destress.