Thursday, November 15, 2007

HW35: Letter to my Blog Readers <3

It is crazy to think that my first semester of college is over in just a few days. It has gone by so fast but I have learned so much in this short amount of time. In the past 13 weeks of our Blogging class and maintaining a blog of my own I have learned that anyone can blog and you don’t have to be a computer genius to do so. I have also had the opportunity to read other blogs and learn that they are another source for information. I always thought that blogs were teenagers ranting about how bad their lives were but now I know that they are used for many more reasons than that. If someone was to read my blog now or in the future I would hope they would get out of it some help on the readings that they are doing and maybe some guidance. I think our blogs would help other students understand reading and conversations that we have had in the class which were difficult for us. The work on my blog that I am the most proud of would be anything that is my opinion I feel that I usually stand strong with my beliefs and I don’t hide them and change my opinion because someone else doesn’t agree. I think I prove this in the blogs about Baghdad Burning, because the book is really effecting the way I am viewing the war in Iraq, but it is also really making me nervous about the friend troops I have in Iraq and the friends I have that are shipping out in January. Once this class is over, I’m honestly not sure if I will use my blog. I find myself so centered with classes and friends right now that I don’t even take them time to email or use MySpace or Facebook like I used to use them when I was in high school and had a lot of free time. I guess if I was to us my Blogger account it would most likely be to rant about something that was going on in our world that I didn’t agree with. I recommend this class to all the freshman and even upper classmen it really helped me understand what is going on in today’s society and how much our world is being changed by technologies. It was always interesting and I learned so many new things. To my pod, it was great getting to know you ladies and I wish you the best of luck through out the rest of college and life. :) peace and love <3

HW34: Responding To Riverbend 2 Questions

According to Riverbend in Baghdad Burning……..
Question 1: What is the role of gold in family savings in Iraq? Riverbend says, “Iraqi people don’t own gold because they are either spectacularly wealthy, or they have recently been on a looting spree… Gold is a part of our culture and the role it plays in “family savings” has increased since 1990 when the Iraqi Dinar (which was $3) began fluctuating crazily.” (Riverbend 100) Riverbend continues to describe how when an Iraqi couple gets married the male usually gives the female a “mahar,” which is a dowry made up of gold jewelry. When a couple has a child the child usually receives small gold jewelry. Before the raids occurred parents could keep or sell their child’s jewelry in order to help bills and such, but since American invaded they no longer can sell their gold.

Question 2: Why are date palms important to Iraqi people? Dates are so important to Iraqi people because they provide food and different types of uses for the people in Iraq. “There are over 300 different types of dates-each with its own name, texture, and flavor.” (Riverbend 104) She continues to explain how the palm dates also are made to make date syrup, “khal” or vinegar, “areg” a very high alcohol content drink and they are also used to trade with neighbors so they can sample the fruit you are growing. It can also be used as oil for cooking, and some of the pits are cleaned and sanded and made into necklace pieces.

HW32: Responding to Riverbend KBR

In the book Baghdad Burning by Riverbend, on page 78 she talks about KBR and foreign contractors in Iraq. KBR stands for Kellogg, Brown and Root, a part of the oil company Halliburton. Riverbend quotes them as saying “They handle construction and engineering services for the energy community.” I think in this blog post Riverbend is trying to prove to her readers that Iraqi’s are capable of rebuilding their own country, they have don’t it before and they can do it again. American government is giving American companies all the work to be done in Iraq and the Iraqi’s are not able to work and make money so they have no money to buy anything to feed their families. She also mentions that American companies are hiring Iraqi help but not paying them the correct amount of money for the work that they are doing or not giving them enough money to complete the projects that are set before them. I find it mind boggling that we went into Iraq to help them build into a developed country and what are we doing, we are taking al the money ourselves and not even giving the Iraqi people a chance to help themselves.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HW30: Citizenship Symposium

November 6, 2007 started the week long Citizenship Symposium at Keene State College. The first talk the I attended also was the first talk of the symposium. This talk was titled, "What kind of Democracy do we want?" There were a few different talkers, the Keene State Provost, Mayor Micheal Blastos, and guest speaker Nancy Tobi. The speakers all talked about out democracy and touched upon subjects such as the increasing interest that Keene State Students are taking in politics and government. The Mayor presented KSC with a plaque to announce that "November 6th, Citizenship day was here at KSC." And Nancy Tobi allowed us to view a slide show she called "Citizens Gone Wild." Her main position on the subject was that every person in our society can make a difference if they try. She also talked about Election Crime.

November 8, 2007 was the third day of the Citizenship Symposium here at Keene State College. The second talk I went to was titled "Citizenship and Responsibility" by Tom Lantos. Tom Lantos is a Holocaust survivor and he is the only Holocaust survivor to be in the US congress. Mr. Lantos came to the United States after WWII, he is the Chair of Foreign Affairs. He stated how he had spoken to the new President of France the day before and he then stated that "America did not teach men the idea of freedom, she taught them how to practice it." Mr. Lantos was also very excited because the day before they had passed the Employment Non Discrimination Act, and he said that was a dream come true for him. Tom Lantos then spoke a lot about how the image of the United States is at an all time low. People in surrounding countries are forgetting the good things Americans have done for them and concentrating on the negative affects that are happening around the world such as in Iraq. Mr. Lantos said that are next President has a big task ahead of them because they have to drasitically bring our country back together. Citizenship means the status, rights and duties of a citizen, especially of a particular country, that means that we have a duty to up hold as Americans and I think that Mr. Lantos was trying to tell us that we cannot give up because of everything that is going on because it will get better things are getting better.

HW31: Responding To Rivebend

I chose to do some research on the head scarfs known as a hejab, that woman are being forced to wear in Iraq. I got my information from, .
In the Islamic holy book, the Koran, it tells a Muslim the reasons why they should wear a hejab, but those are the religious reasons. The woman in Iraq today are not wearing them for religious reasons, they are wearing them to save their own lives. In the article I read the woman stated that, "The whole point of wearing scarves now was to be annonymous and unimportant, to aviod being singled out and followed, or kidnapped, or shot." This problem is new for the Iraqi women. Before the American invasion many Iraqi women felt that wearing the hejab was an option and they could chose not to wear it.Fadhil Shaker said " They want to hide or take shelter or protect themselves. For women, the scarf is the best way to protect them. Women believe the scarf will be the wall to prevent people from looking at them." I don't think it is fair that the most advanced country in the world invades another country and causes there women to fear their safety and fear for their lives when they go outside their homes. I feel awful for these womens, it seems they no longer have any rights because America invaded and has occupied their home land and their have been so many shooting and abdunctions that they are no longer safe in their own towns out side of their homes. It just doesn't seem right to me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

HW28: Open Letter To Riverbend

Dear Riverbend,
As I read your blogs from Baghdad Burning August 19th to the 30th, I have gained a great respect for the people of Iraq. The way the story is told to me from the American troops is different from what you see and suffer every day. On page 8, August 19th you talk about the raids and how a ten year old boy was killed during an American raid. Tears came to my eyes, I have a lot of friends over in Iraq and stationed in different parts of the world, but those are the things that they don’t talk about and the news doesn’t show. On the other hand on page 13, August 22nd I found it interesting how you said “I don’t hate Americans, contrary to what many people believe.” I found this interesting because it made me change my view on the people in Iraq. When you talk about how you are just like we are, and you wear jeans and watch television and use the internet it made me realize that the view I had of Iraq from the media is not what Iraq is like at all, and it made me feel very guilty. I was also very touched and made me take a step and examine my own life when you talked about how woman could no longer work or go out of the house without a male and or bodyguard present. In my life I have the ability to come and go as I please and I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you to not be able to leave your own home in your own country as you wish. I cannot express to you enough how sorry I am that I did not understand what this war was all about until I began to read your blog and it has really made me think about the American government and what they are thinking and how they can just go into another country and invade and try to rebuild a country to be more like America when it’s not America. When you talked about how big American companies are getting all the opportunities to rebuild Iraq and Baghdad it made me realize how selfish Americans can be. If we want to advance Iraq in their government and economics then why aren’t Americans giving them a chance to rebuild their own communities and make money for their families? I am very confused and very interested in reading more of your blog. My heart goes out to you and all the people in Iraq and Baghdad and all the places that are being invaded by American troops.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

HW27: Anontated Bibliography

Riverbend. Baghdad Burning, Girl Blog From Iraq. New York: Feminist Press.2005
This book is written by a 24 year old female living in Iraq during the current war. The book is written in the form of Blog posts, almost like a diary. This book is relevant to the course because it is a blog and it talks about and shows the reader how blogs are affecting people all around the world. I think this book will teach me a lot about the different uses that blogs have and I like the point of view it is written in. As Americans we only see things from our point of view on the war and I think it will be good to hear about what it is like to actually be in Iraq. I think the hardest thing about reading this book is going to be that it is the truth and that it is scary stuff. I think it will be great to read but scary because some of my best-friends are in Iraq and the guy I am currently dating will be deployed for Iraq in January, so I think that will be my biggest challenge, is knowing what they are being faced with over there. But I also didn't want to put the book down last night either! So I think this book will be very interesting and informative.