Thursday, April 28, 2016

Weekly Report 8: Edward Said

Edward Said is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century and spent the majority of his adulthood advocating for the people of Palestine. Edward Said was born on Jerusalem on November 1, 1935. His father was an American citizen who fought in World War I and because of this Said was not allowed to speak Arabic growing up, only English. In 1947 Edward Said and his family moved to Cairo, Egypt permanently, and until he turner 15 he attended Victoria College. When he turned 15 Said headed off the Massachusetts to attend Mount Hermon. He never felt that he was accepted at the boarding school; he did not understand American teaching and did not really have a close group of friends. Post high school, Said went on to study at Princeton University for his bachelor’s degree and then onto Harvard University for his master’s degree and doctorate degree. In 1963 Said went to teach at Columbia University as a professor of English and comparative literature. Said was married two times and has a son and a daughter.

Edward Said’s first book was published in 1966 and titled Joseph Conrad and the Fiction Autobiography. Said co-authored this book with a fellow author named Conrad, a Polish man. His second book, Beginnings: Intention and Method, was written in 1975 and was inspired by the Six-Day War that occurred in the Arab World.  

Said eventually became dissatisfied with the peace making process that was in place. After the Oslo Accord took place Said started to criticize Palestine’s leadership. In 1991 Said resigned from the Palestinian National Council because he thought that they were being too weak in negotiations. Said was eventually nicknamed “professor of terror” when he was photographed throwing a stone at an Israeli guardhouse. In 2002 Edward Said’s leukemia became extremely bad and he worked tirelessly to finish his last books. In 2003 Edward Said passed away, before dying he received many achievements for his literary works. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Report 7: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali, originally born Cassius Clay Jr., is most likely one of the most famous boxers, but aside from being an amazing athlete and roll model he is also extremely involved with philanthropy and supporting certain political views. Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942. Being raised in the south during a time of segregation is what led Ali to boxing. The writer of the article says, "He wasn't afraid ..." Muhammad Ali's first boxing experience was with a Police Officer Joe Martin who then went on to teach and train Ali in the art of boxing early in his career.  Later on in his career, Muhammad Ali began to show off his cockiness by referring to himself as "the greatest". We all know the quote "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, I am the greatest. Muhammad Ali." In 1960 Ali won the gold medal in the boxing Olympics and then went on to become the heavyweight champion in 1964. Muhammad Ali's health took a turn for the worst in 1984 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. But after the diagnosis he dove into philanthropy, which pard the road to him receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2005.

In 1964 Muhammad Ali converted to Islam and joined the black Muslim group. He nicknamed himself Cassius X (because of his birth name) but then went on to change it to Muhammad Ali. In 1967 Ali was called upon to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, but refused on the grounds that he was a practicing Muslim minister and his beliefs kept him from serving. This action led to Ali being suspended from boxing and to him being arrested on felony charges. During his case against the justice department, Ali was stripped of his titles and was not allowed to box at all. He lost three years of his career to this. He lost his case and focused on philanthropy.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Weekly Report 5: United States and Turkey Relations

The relationship between the United States and Turkey is in crisis, but the real issue is that both countries hold a vital level of importance to one another. Recently the president of Turkey visited the United States in order to limit the damage and possibly repair the relations that are still left between Turkey and the United States, but the trip was not as successful and the president would have hoped. Jeffery Goldberg, of The Atlantic, says that President Obama’s opinions of President Erdogan have drastically gone downhill recently. Goldberg says “ that ‘early on’, Obama saw Erdogan ‘as the sort of moderate Muslim leader who would bridge the divide between East and West - but Obama now considers him a failure and an authoritarian, one who refuses to use his enormous army to bring stability to Syria.” One significant issue causing the strain between the United States and Turkey is the Syrian crisis. The Syrian crisis has revealed fundamental differences on both strategy and goals. A main reason why the Turkish have strong opinions on how Syria should be handling the crisis is because the crisis has effected the country, not only with the overflow of Syrian refugees but also with the fact that terrorism has crossed the borders as well. This issue facing Turkey has led to the Turks backing “safe zones” in Syria that would be protected by United States and other allies. President does not agree with this plan because Iraq has been Washington’s main concern according to Jonathan Marcus, diplomatic correspondent for BBC News.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Reflection 5: Israel-Palestine Conflict

With regards to the Israel – Palestine conflict, I believe that the current two – state system should remain as the solution for these two countries and divide up the capital. I believe that this is the best way to solve this issue without a war being started. Now there are some changes that I think should be made. A major issue is that it is very difficult to travel from Palestine to Israel because of the insane procedures; every country does need a border patrol and laws for who and what can come in and out of the country. However, Dr. Zaru told us during her lecture about how there will be times when entire families will attempt to get a visa to cross the border and everyone in the family will be approved for a visa…except one person. Another issue is that even if one receives a visa, there is still a chance that at the border they will be denied entry into the country. This issue has manifested itself in many different ways, but it all leads back to one main issue that I can clearly see…respect. Respect between countries, especially countries that are neighbors that share a capital, is vital. Both countries need each other for support and without it, the current issue will only get worse. Another way that I believe the United States could aid in solving this conflict is to not get involved. This is an issue between two countries that does not involve ours. And if the issue continues to escalate to war, the United States will be involved. This, I believe, will lead to a bigger war because there are many countries that have withdrawn support of Israel and therefore will support Palestine. Overall this is a problem with a tough solution, and the solution is not going to come from just one person. Many people are going to think they have to solution, but overall the solution will be one that comes from the minds of many.