Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Report 7

For this report I researched Sheldon Adelson, a very prominent Arab-American business man. He owns many casinos and therefore has a lot of money with which to allocate to various possible organizations. Recently he has pandered to Republicans, reportedly backing Newt Gingrich in 2012. Although he is Arab, he is not in fact Muslim. He is actually Jewish, having some incredibly strict ideas and conceptions about what the Israeli people should do to counteract the Palestinians desiring a nationhood. In fact, he is incredibly afraid of the Palestinians getting control. This is very interesting, as a stereotypical Arab would be Muslim and support the Palestinian revolution. However, Adelson instead is a Jewish man looking forward to the demise of the Palestinian people. What is even stranger to me is the fact that he is a Republican. Most of the Jews I know are in fact Democrats or libertarians, because American Republicans are seen as more conservative and Democrats as being much more diverse and open to change. Yet Adelson is incredibly conservative, and even anti-Arabic. At one point he suggested dropping a nuclear bomb into Iraw as a show of strength so the United States could have an easier time invading if needed and knock out any Arabic or Palestinian rebellions. Overall, Sheldon Adelson is an interesting Arab-American politician, who breaks the norm, or stereotype, of being an Arab-American.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Weekly Report 6

Alaa al Aswany is an Egyptian author who has a lot of influence on the Arab world and Egypt through his novels, such as "The Yacoubian Building." His novels shed a truly real light on the Arab world, especially Egypt, and that is exactly why he has became so influential. Aswany has been basically nixed from any and all media in Egypt because his beliefs and works go against that of the current Egyptian president al-Sisi. Al-Sisi has made it very well known and public that you are not allowed to speak against the government. Instead of abiding by this ruling Aswany is forced to write everything through social media, one of the only forms of media not censored by the Egyptian government. In America, we have the right to pretty much completely uncensored material in nearly every facet of our lives. But in Egypt, they run everything as if conflict in opinions could completely shatter the government to the detriment of the government rather than the people. So the government cancels Aswany's events and blocks him on all sites and does whatever they can to make sure that their people do not listen to or try to take offense against the government for the actions that Aswany  brings light to. He was even brought to court, so the government is taking his words and turning them into punishable offenses. This is the more stereotypical kind of view about the Arab world, or at least of the governments within them. Yet even still, their actions are not radical as one would believe from the media's interpretation of the Arab world. They have not assassinated him or threatened his life. While this censorship may be heinous on many accounts, the Egyptian government is at least not attempting to silence him world-wide by murdering him. Doing so would stop the anti- al-ASis speech from Answany directly, but it certainly would start an even more vicious civil war between the government and the many people that have read Answany's works and posts.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Reflection 5

Considering the field trip that we went on to the Arab World centers, the Jerusalem Fund and Palestinian Center gave me a good idea on how to possibly settle the current Israeli-Arab conflict. One of the biggest concerns is that Israel is essentially unchecked because the United Nations cannot vote to enforce any consequences against some of the unethical practices the Israeli nation has committed thus far to the Palestinians all because the American government has repeatedly voted to vote pro-Israel. And since the UN relies on the American vote to act on anything, I think that the best course of action would probably be to set up another Camp David summit. However, the goal should be to make the PLO, the now official representative of the Palestinian people and the Israeli government sit down with the counsel of the American government and figure out a solution. The original Camp David Accords merely set up shaky grounds for further debates, but a full treaty is now necessary. While the American government becoming involved may seem like a risky choice, their vote is the only thing holding back any intervention from the national community, and considering current events, it is finally effecting more and more parts of the world outside of the current Israeli occupied areas. Sitting down all three of these parties and aiming to finally find a resolution between the territory, ruling powers, and transport to and from the middle east needs to be discussed in person, with the goal of finding a solution. Everyone needs to put their national egos aside and do what is right and safe for their people, so that the attacks stop on both ends, and for the sake of the Arab-Israeli relationship.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Reflection 5

This field trip was incredible! I learned so much about the Arab World! I learned that while there are certainly connections between all the Arab states, they still have so many differences! I loved the Tunisian embassy because it was interesting, yet the Qatar embassy was even more interesting! The economic differences were staggering. I thought that was an accurate representation of the diversity of not just the Arab world, but the whole world. I especially enjoyed the Islamic Center. I have never been in a mosque, but it was so interesting and unique. I had a tough time understanding our speaker's accent, for which I really am ashamed, because I really feel like I may have missed some interesting facts. Overall I had so much trouble paying attention because of the beautiful art all over the walls and ceiling. I think this experience truly enriched my Arab World experience because it allowed inspection from within the actual culture, rather than studying it from afar as we do almost every day in class. Being able to say that I stepped into other countries is also really interesting, and I am proud to say it was into the Arab World.