Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HW 35: Goodbye

Dear Readers,

Over the past 13 weeks of my ITW:101 course, "A blog of one's own", I have learned many things. I have come to realize that blogging isn't as unimportant and insignificant as I thought it was. It can really change a persons life and help people when they are having a tough time. I have learned that their is a huge political and business aspect of blogging that helps incorporate as many people into campaigns and new businesses as possible. I hope that if anyone has the chance to read my posts about blogging, they will see that in the beginning of writing my first few blog posts, I clearly was not interested in blogging and I did not think that it had a point. Over time, I have come to realize that blogging isn't so bad. It's a quick and efficient way to find out about certain topics and hear other peoples opinions on topics that interest you. I feel as though blogging has opened my eyes to a different world of the Internet which is definitely excited. Throughout my blog I don't think that I produced any great and interesting work, but I would like to think that the fact that I learned so much about blogging was my best work. After the next few posts I'm sure my blogs will stop coming. I'm sorry to tell you that I just don't have the time or dedication to keep up with my blog without having it be required of me. I might occasionally come on and post a few jokes or an interesting story, but otherwise I doubt that anything will be kept up with. For whoever out there that has sat and kept track of my blog, I hope you enjoyed my entertaining posts and it has urged you to learn or write about some of the topics that I discussed.

Thank you very much.

HW 34: Gold & Date palms

In Iraq gold does not mean that you are an extremely wealthy person. Gold plays a part in their everyday culture. In 1990 the value of Iraqi Dinar kept changing value and caused it to become very hectic. When this happened everybody had their money exchanged for gold jewelery. All types of jewelery were bought, like, gold earrings, gold bracelets and god necklaces. "Women here call gold "zeeneh ou 7*azeenah (khazeeneh)," which means ornaments and savings. Gold can be shown off and worn, but in times of economical trouble, a few pieces can be sold to tide the family over." (Riverbend, 100) This action of transferring money into gold is like changing the currency from Dinar's to gold almost. If many people keep gold in their homes as their savings then it is almost like a new kind of currency. Especially if you can sell your gold when your not economically stable for money.
The palm trees in Iraq are very common. Palm trees don't seem as important anywhere as they do in Iraq. They Iraqi love the presence of all of their 500 different types of palm trees.
"A palm tree is known as a "nakhla" and never fails to bring satisfaction and admiration. They are the pride and joy of Iraqi farmers and landowners. A garden isn't complete if there is not a palm tree gracing it." (Riverbend, 103) The Iraqi people collect the somewhat 300 different types of dates off of the palm trees in the summer. Every date has a different taste, color and texture. Dates are not only used for vinegar, alcohol, and food, but they are used for brooms, baskets, mats, hats, bags and plenty more. The one thing that is liked by Riverbend the most is the fact that she gets beads out of dates. Not only are dates one of the prime resources in Iraq, but they represent beauty too. (Riverbend, 104) "Historically, the palm trees have represented the rugged, stoic beauty of Iraq and its people. They are a reminder that no matter how difficult the circumstances, there is hope for life and productivity." (Riverbend, 105) The palm trees give Iraq a sense of hope and security that as long as they are there, everything will work itself out.

HW 32: Burqas, Hijabs, and veils

On Wed. October 1st, 2003, Riverbend posted a blog that talked about 3 different types of things. She explained how people, including an anthropologists do not know the difference between a veil, burqa and hijab. She has read an article in the New York Times that presented this question to her. She talks about how much different the meaning of a veil or burqa is in Iraq as compared to in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia . (Riverbend, 92) She goes onto to say that in Iraq the most common worn thing is a hijab and not a veil. A veil is only worn by someone who is an "extremism". (Riverbend, 92) A veil in English is called a burqa. In Iraq it is called a "pushi", or a "khimar". When worn it is a piece of cloth that covers a women's face and head, sometimes without covering the eyes. The hijab, as described by Riverbend, is much different than a veil. A hijab or "rabta" is a cloth that wraps around a womens neck and head. This can be wrapped in many different styles. Most women in Iraq wear hajibs if they are "covered". (Riverbend, 92) The hijabs can be any color and design. The hijabs can be worn with any type of clothing as long as they Boldare long enough and appropriate. Women wear teh hijabs to protect themselves from sexual harrassment. Riverbend goes onto discuss another type of garment that is called the abaya. This is a long cloak like garment is worn by both men and women. Riverbend describes it as a "traditional graduation gown". (Riverbend, 93) Many Muslims wear the headscarfs because it is important to them in their religion. Not evey women in Iraq wears them. Nobody is forced to wear a hijab or a veil.

Riverbend. Baghdad Burning. New York, NY. The Feminist Press. 2005

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hw 31: Responding to Riverbend

The group Al-Qaeda was mentioned in Baghdad Burning by Riverbend in the blog post titled "Blog fights". (Riverbend, 44)I have always heard a lot about this group, but I never really knew much information about them. I thought that Al-Qaeda was a bad terrorist group formed by Osama Bin laden, but that is all I know. I wanted to know where they came from, how they developed and what they do. I found a website called FAS Intelligence Resource Program that discussed where, how, when and why Al-Qaeda was formed. The first thing I noticed was that ion the website they spelled Al-Qaeda differently than Riverbend. They spelled it al-Qa'ida. I don't know if it is common that the group has many different spellings, but I thought that was interesting. Al-Qa'ida, which means "the base", is a radical Muslim group that wishes to overtake all Muslim countries that they view as corrupt. This allowing their group to rule all Muslim countries. Al-Qa'ida now remains in small groups across South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In the 1980's, Usama Bin Laden formed the Sunni Islamic group. Al-Qa'ida is an extreme group of Muslims that does not approve of non-Muslims. It was said in 1998 that the duty of all Muslims was to kill United States citizens, whether they be military or civilians. This was an issued statement under “the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders”. This statement is very shocking to me. I knew that the group did not like America but I did not know they were told that it was their duty to carry out the death of all Americans. This ties into the book Baghdad Burning because Al-Qa'ida is a widely known group in Iraq.

Pike, John. Al-Qa'ida (The Base). 12 Oct. 2005

Hw 30: Citizenship Symposium cont'd

On Thursday, November 8th, I attended a second symposium speaking. This session was also at noon. I was privileged enough to listen to Congressman Tom Lantos speak about Freedom in America. His daughter was the one who introduced him and she introduced not only has her father but as her hero. This showed that Tom Lantos clearly was an inspiration and had a wonderful thing to talk about. When the Congressman began talking he talked about how he came to America originally with nothing. He came with 5 dollars in his pocket and salami in the other pocket, although salami was taken from him. He then began to describe how much better his life was when he arrived he. He started with nothing and gained everything. The main idea of this speech was "All men are created equal". Congressman talked about how much this was emphasized in the United States and how he enjoyed this aspect of our country. He says, "The image that I have of the U.S is the image that is present in so much of the rest of the world." He continued to state "I am passionately patriotic". During his speech he showed how patriotic and grateful he was for living here in the United States. Tom Lantos was very involved in foreign affairs, especially with the President of France. He spoke about a recent meeting he had encountered with the President where the President of France said, "America, did not teach men the idea of freedom, she taught them how to practice it." This engulfed the entire idea that Congressman Lantos talked about. America is about freedom and we should love her for that.