The Cuba Question

Ninety miles south of Florida lies what most in America would agree is one of the greatest blunders in American Foreign Policy.  Over the last 48 years, Cuba has staved off a US sanctioned embargo intent at toppling the communist government of Fidel Castro. For the last 28, Cuba has done so despite the collapse of its one time largest partner, the Soviet Union.  So what went wrong? Why the embargo? Continue reading

Unholy War Terror in the Name of Islam- a Review

            They are called God’s warriors, young men and women who are driven to rid the world of its evil ways and restore it once again to the divine state it was meant to be. Such warriors are seen in western media taking hostages by the bus load, shooting into crowds of people and becoming walking bombs… all for a complex issue which each religiously minded young Muslim person struggles to fulfill… all for jihad. –Or do they? 

            The term jihad in the late part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century is a term that has been altogether hijacked. It has as many different definitions as there are people. Jihad according to the BBC Team under their religion & Ethics page is defined as:

·         A struggle or effort

·         A believer’s internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible

·         The struggle to build a good Muslim society

·         Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary

With so many different definitions out there it is no wonder the word has become associated with the less desirable aspects of a supposed holy war.   Continue reading

Culture clash

Sometimes it feels as if the worlds that I live in are connected and coherent. Then things happen and it proves to me how far each of my worlds are. Last week it was proved once again.

Every culture has their own tollerences. What is acceptable and what is not. I don’t doubt that often missunderstandings arise out of the smallest of differences. For instance one can ask for a rubber in England and be handed an erraser, yet in America a flushed face stammering “You would like what?” would be all that one recieved. ….. The list goes on… Just as it did last week.

Last week a friend of mine and I were crashing our African Brothers house for the evening. A communal meal of hot chille con carne was in the cards (it is always a wiser disicion for me to make hot and spicy food that I like verses the peanutbutter/ hot pepper combination that the sudenese men find so attractive while i choke down 3 ant-acids and pray that there is enough milk and bread in the house to allow me to put a small amount in my belly.) and well… The evening at first was going grand. We sat 3 Sudenes, 3 Americans and 1 lone Ethiopian around the small endtable that held the splendor of our evening meal. Jokes were exchanged as we all commented upon the differences between Africa and the United States.

Unfortunatly a joke was pushed a bit too far. One friend told my American sister to move so I could sit next to the boy they were teasing me about marrying. He told her to come sit with him. She, due to her past as a dancer, took it the wrong way. Within minnutes, my lone African brother was covered in tang. I couldn’t believe it and neither could anyone else. Now you would have believed it would end with an apology from her for squirting him with tang and for him to say sorry that the joke was misconstrued. But no…. lets just say that 2 of my other African brothers didnt know when to drop it. In less than an hour a screaming match ensued causing us (not just my american sister) to be evicted from the apartment by a man that would not listen to reason. In fact his behaviour was even worse than that of hers when she squirted the tang. He would not accept an apology from her, and made sure she knew that he was the “man”. Even my brother that we came to see at the apartment was not allowed to accept her apology by these 2 men.

Now in the end My american sister, my ehtiopian brother, and one of my brothers from sudan are all on good terms. The other 2 i’m sad to say are still not speaking to us. Nor do i think we will be speaking to them while they hold to the attitude that they are above all others. Grrr. sometimes it is fustrating. As the world shrinks you would think these clashes of culture would be less intense and that people would be more tollerant as well as patient with misunderstandings. Unfortunatly, as proven last week.. sometime this is just not the case.

Can Gaza find peace?

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Just last week the Al-Jazeera blog boards were going crazy with the blog posting of ‘Can Gaza find peace?’. That my friends has been the million dollar question since the creation of the Modern Middle East. Just what exactly needs to be done in order for 2 peoples (with the same inherent roots) to productively move forward and put a massive history of hate behind them? What is reasonable? What can be compromised? What is a viable legitimate option? Continue reading

Top ten reasons…

Everybody loves top 10 reasons for anything. At least I do. I love finding out why people like, believe or support the things they do. So it was no shock to find myself perusing though the facebook groups that supply those reasons. One such group I stumbled across what titled “The top 10 reasons why I support Israel”. It immediately caught my attention since I am an avid supporter of Palestine and because it claimed to have over 23,000 members. I decided that maybe i should see for myself just what their reasons were.

Continue reading

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