Monday, April 25, 2016
I chose to write about Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad also known as Dean Ahmad. He is a part time professor at UMD College Park and other schools as well as the president of Minaret of Freedom Institute which is a Muslim think-tank and the president of the Islamic-American Zakat Foundation which is a religious charitable organization providing services for poor muslim families in he U.S.. He was born while his parents were fleeing Palestine for the U.S. and was raised in Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelors degree from Harvard and a doctoral degree in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Arizona. He has been involved in lots of political activism, speaking out against the neoconservative U.S. foreign policy. He was also one of the Muslim Americans who were part of the "First Conference on Jerusalem" focused on their liberation. He has served as chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland and has managed four campaigns. In 1988 he ran as a libertarian for the U.S. senate even though only republicans and democrats could run. He challenged this law and was able to obtain 1000 signatures to get on the ballot. Dean Ahmad has been a very active muslim in the United States. He not only teaches but practices his ideas in politics.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Alaa Al Aswany is an Egyptian author who wrote and still writes articles in Egyptian newspapers as well as being a novelist. In his novel "The Yacoubian Building" he criticized Egyptian government and displayed its corrupt ways. His book and later the movie based off of it, was one of the only dissenting pieces of literature about Egyptian government, discussing the rigging of elections and other taboo topics. It is believed that his book sparked the Egyptian revolution in 2011 because it brought attention to the issues in the government. Aswany was also one of the most prominent people during the revolution although it had no real leader. He was there when the president resigned during the revolution. He also confronted and questioned the newly appointed president and got him so flustered and out of control that he was fired. Aswany had a large role in the education of Egyptian citizens and brought to light the many issued with the government. He was a key part of the beginning of the revolution and remained a strong supporter of the revolution.
The Lecture Dr.Leahy gave was incredibly interesting. She presented with a lot of enthusiasm and clearly stated all of the reasons for the tension between the USA and the Middle East. I knew very little about our involvement with the middle east except that i knew it was a big issue and that our relationship is not very positive. In learning about the issue between Israel and Palestine in previous classes and lectures i had a new appreciation for how ridiculous it is for the US to support the Israeli army, especially when we don't support other dictatorships and governments that violate human rights the way the Israelis do. We give 40% of our aid to Israel but they have one of then highest incomes and do not need our money. One of the few things i knew about the US and the Middle East was our invasion of Iraq. What i did not know was that the claim that there were WMD's was false and a cover for the real reason to invade which was mostly for oil and to spread Westernization. The Middle East has a very negative image of the US, rightly so, because we only interfere when it is in our interest. We look to gain things from our relations with them and disregard the harm we are causing. When we cut funding to places in the middle east they lose food and jobs. The US also indirectly harms the middle east through their dealings with Israel because many of the horrifying acts perpetrated by the Israeli Defense Force are only possible through our funding of them. an example of this is The Battle of Jenin when the entire Jenin refugee camp was demonished and civilians were killed because of a suspected terrorist threat. I believe that the middle east has every right to the anti-American sentiment we hear about based on all of these atrocities committed by the US and Israel which it funds completely
Sunday, April 3, 2016
I think that it is incredibly hard to come to a solution for a problem as large as the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. I felt my first twinge of confusion when i learned that when the Israeli's were displaced during WWII they invaded and settled in Palestine, resulting in the displacement of Palestinians. I find it strange that people flee for their safety and choose someone else's home as their destination and end up hurting them. I don't see why they could not have found a way to incorporate Israelis into Palestine without displacing Palestinians and causing so much conflict. conflict resolution is so weak when this type of thing happens, there have been many conflicts in history due to the invasion of new people and displacement of the ones living there. I honestly do not know what can be done to prevent this or solve it except for the Israelis and Palestinians to learn to live together. It is so incredibly selfish and horrible how the Israeli army invaded Palestinian land and turned them into prisoners of their own homeland, stripping them of rights and freedom. I do not see why this happens so much in history and why people seem to still think its okay. Perhaps if they cannot live together in harmony there should be a divide in the state, giving half of it to Palestinians and half to Israelis so that they can each control their own area and limit the fighting. This probably would not work particularly well either, but without telling one of the groups to vacate the state, this is the only solution i can see.