The Reluctant Fundamentalist

After reading two chapters of the book “The Reductant Fundamentalist”, I have mixed feelings about the story. The start of the book was eye-catching, and I found the setting of the story to be quite interesting, mainly because I almost never read stories where the setting takes place in a middle eastern country. Changez’s personality is quite different from the stereotypical middle eastern man. He is perceived as a confident guy with various interests and a hardworking attitude. I find Changez interesting as a character, but the book itself have not catched my interest yet. I have not read enough basis to judge the book yet, while I have only read two chapters.

Changez explains he’s not happy with the way his friends act in Greece. He said, “I had never in my life had a vacation like this one” and “I will admit that there were details which annoyed me”. Changez seems frustrated in a way because of the way his friends treat other people. I guess there’s a reason he chose to travel with them, which could be because they have known each other for a long time, but rarely hangs out together.

Changez joked about him wanting to become the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability, but his friends did not find the joke funny. They reacted by not saying anything, probably because they were sceptical to whether he was joking or not. Erica seemed to find the joke funny, and she smiled quietly while looking at Changez. She understood the self-irony in his joke and did not find it scary or concerning.

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David Cameron’s Speech

In 2012, at the Munich Security Conference, David Cameron held an extraordinary speech with the main topic being terrorism and extremism. He talked about the difference between being a part of Islam, and being an Islamic extremist, as well as how these two ideologies are often perceived as the same. This is not the way Britain want to perceive Islamic people. If you have no extreme political views, you should not be harassed or even looked down on in your country.

Cameron started of by lightening the mood a little by cracking a joke about his wife being jealous about him eating lunch for six hours with someone else. David Cameron consciously did this to set the mood for the rest of the speech, which is a great way to make the audience more interested and ready for what is to come. At the start of the speech, he stated some facts about Britain and what they do as a country to keep security on top. Britain has the 4th biggest military in the world, and they are one of the few countries who spend 2% of their gross domestic product on military, which is one of NATO’s criterias.

To conquer terrorism and extremism, we must go to the root of the problem and work to prevent people from joining these extreme ideologies. Many argue having extreme Islamic ideologies if you’re nonviolent is fine. This scenario can lead to the nonviolent person teaching their extremism to someone else, and when the new person picks it up, they bring the violent part with them. Therefore, the statement “nonviolent extremists are just as dangerous as violent ones” is partly true. Even though the nonviolent ones don’t hurt anyone, they can make new people believe in this ideology and these people can eventually become a terrorist.

According to David Cameron, this is a raising problem in Britain and we can therefore not accept these extreme ideologies, even though they claim to be nonviolent. We must confront these ideologies and not welcome them in our countries. This process won’t be easy, but we must face this problem with confidence and believe we can solve it. By doing so, it will become much harder for the terrorists to succeed in their mission to hurt people to front their political views.

#metoo movement

Before reading the article, I knew the #metoo movement was about human’s rights, especially women’s. After reading the article from New York Times, I realise how many people support this movement, and how much people care about these crimes.

The #metoo campaign started in 2006 on the go-to social media at the time, MySpace, to empower women who have experienced sexual abuse. Just recently this movement has blown up in the media due to all the harassing cases being brought up lately against different politicians and celebrities.

 

“If I said his name, definitely he would kill me or one of my family members,”

 

Zubadia, a 26 year old former police officer who quit her job after being sexually assaulted by one off her colleagues, said this statement to the New York Times. She made it sound like it was normal that either her or one of her family members was in danger after Zubadia had been assaulted. It was kind of strange to me that her life was in danger after someone did something she couldn’t prevent.

Before reading this post, I didn’t really know a lot about the afghan community. The community need people like this working for women’s rights and people working for a change for the better. By educating people at an early age about what is right and wrong, we can definitely change the culture.

Gran Torino Poster analysis

Gran torino - Poster

The movieposter for the movie “Gran Torino” has a dark mood and an intense look. The man holding the rifle is staring into the camera with an aggressive look on his face. The car in the background is an American produced vehicle, most likely produced during the great years of the automotive industry in the USA. This detail, gives the impression the movie is taking place in America. It’s hard to tell what the movie is about, but we can tell that it has some action and drama in it, because of the dark theme and the expression on the man’s face. “Gran Torino” has an interesting poster, which gives the impression the movie is interesting as well.

International Day

The international day on Fagerlia is an event meant to inform and inspire the students about different things going on around the world. The students can visit what we call “human libraries” where different people will talk about different topics, such as the current situation in Venezuela or how the police work to save refugees taking big risks by leaving their country by boat. The students can decide themselves who they want to listen to and are free to leave whenever they want.

Me, Henrik and Sander cooperated to host the room called the “Black box”. The goal of this room was to inform the students about the “play alter native”. A play the drama-, dance- and music classes are currently working on. We gave the students the opportunity to read a part of the play’s script and then let them write a comment on the wall in coherence with the play. People wrote a lot of different things on the wall, and at the end, the wall was filled with different words, slogans and drawings regarding the play. After hosting the “black box” for about two hours, we went to the UN-room. We expected to help the two girls talking during their presentation, but they did not need any help, so we decided to walk around and check out the different rooms ourselves.

Before hosting the Black Box room, we had to prepare ourselves, so we could answer different questions about the play. In preparation of the international day, we read and analysed the script. The reason we chose to host the Black Box instead of a human library at the start was mainly because we wanted to interact with the students checking out our room, instead of just sitting down and looking at other people listening to a presentation. I’m glad we chose the Black Box, because we got to inform the students ourselves, and we had the opportunity to decide how we should arrange the room. We could for example play music in the background to lighten the mood, or put some yoga mats on the floor for people to sit down and read the play, and we also let people talk with each other as much as they wanted.

I think our ability to decide how the room should be, made it more interesting for the visitors. It would have been boring if we just told people to sit down on the yellow chairs and read quietly by themselves. People interacted with each other and had a great time, which is the most important.

We also made a poster saying, “play alter native black box”, but the tape failed to keep it hanging on the wall, so we had to remove it. Me, Henrik and Sander discussed the script in the preparation process and thought trough how the room should be set up. For the UN-room we did not really prepare anything, since the girls presenting was doing all the work, and we were just meant to sit there and make sure everything went smoothly.

The Black Box was a little hidden from the other rooms, so we had to do some recruiting on the other blocks to let people know about our room. People came mostly in bigger groups, which meant there was a lot of people for about 10 to 15 minutes, then the groups left, and the room was almost empty for a while, before a new group decided to have a look.

Even though me, Henrik and Sander managed to make the Black Box interesting, I think the fact people had to read by themselves, turned a lot of them off. It would have been even more interesting if we had a video playing, or some of the drama students preforming parts of the play instead of just handing out the script to the students. That is the only thing I can think of we could improve till next year. I think me, Henrik and Sander all got better at explaining the play as time went by, but other than that, we did not learn a lot ourselves in the black box, but I think a lot of the students learnt something.

I was surprised over how many students showed interest in the play and talked about it. Of course, when we walked around ourselves we learnt a lot about the different things. I found the guy talking about Venezuela to be quite interesting, as well and the police officer explaining how they save hundreds of lives every year. After all, I would consider the international day, especially the Black Box room a success.

Niger delta blues

The song «Niger Delta Blues» made by “Bantu” is about the current situation in Niger Delta. The artists sing about the inhumane conditions, who they refer to as “their people” live under. In the start of the song they clarify that there are no schools, medical clinics or social services in their villages. There are also deadly diseases such as malaria and cholera.

It sounds like the artists are looking for someone to help them get out of their situation. They give the impression they have struggled to get out of their situation for a while, but are no longer able to continue fighting without other people’s help.

“We have petitioned the African Union, United Nations
And all kinds of international institutions
Yet there have been no reactions
Our women, our men, our children
The elderly and weak
Are still being murdered
Cold-blooded
Jungle justice style”

They are clearly against the way their country is being ran and mad at the people who are responsible for it. They have tried to call for help several times to different organisations such as the African Union and the United Nations, but have not got any response back.

Asria Mohammed is fighting for Western Sahara

On Wednesday, the 27. September, a woman named Asria Mohammed visited our school and talked about the Moroccan occupation, the life in Algerian refugee camps and what role the UN has in this conflict.

Western Sahara is currently the only country left in the whole world living under another country, as a colony. Spain still to this day partly control Western Sahara. During a war taking place from 1975 to 1991, Morocco tried to establish Moroccan presence in Western Sahara. This occupation kept on for 16 years, until they signed an agreement of peace. To this date, the people in Western Sahara live in refugee camps and are totally dependent on human aid from other countries.

All the kids in Western Sahara has the right to go to school and almost everyone can read. To get their education, they must leave their families when they are 13 years old. They are away from their parents for 12 months, then they go back to their families for two months, before going back to school again.

Asria said “It’s okay to grow up as a refugee, but it’s not okay to know you don’t exist”. Almost no one in the Western part of the world knows about the situation in Western Sahara. The media does not talk about the conflict because they the conflict is nonviolent, and the media does therefore not post news about the conflict.

I got surprised when I heard Western Sahara still was in this conflict. I guess I never heard about the conflict because of how the media handles it. Since they don’t report about the country, I don’t get any information about the conflict. I hope the United Nation eventually will manage to end the conflict going on so the people living there can get a better place to live, rather than living in refugee camps.