Weekly Report 6

Six months ago, President Obama declared a goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the US by the end of the fiscal year (October 1st). Unfortunately, he is very far behind. In September, Obama told his administration to scale up the number of Syrian refugees that would be welcomed into the united states by the end of the fiscal year with a target of 10,000, this was in response to the migrant crisis in Europe.

So far only 1,300 Syrian refugees have been accepted. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon plead the international community to accept more refugees. The UN is currently undertaking an effort to resettle 480,000 Syrian refugees. There are currently 5 million Syrian refugees registered with the UN. UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has called this “the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time”,

The US State department has said they are taking steps to speed up the process. One of the ways they are speeding it up is by creating a new “pathway” for Syrians with relatives in the US. The US State department also said that they are committing $10 million to the UNHCR to help with refugee resettlement. They except Syrian refugee arrivals in the US to steadily increase throughout the fiscal year and eventually culminating in the 10,000 goal.

Unfortunately the publicly available data shows that the rate of Syrian refugees being accepted has decreased in four out of the six months. “The system is not designed to move too fast” State department spokesman John Kirby said. Currently it takes an average of 18 to 24 months for a refugee to be fully vetted for resettlement by the UN and then referred to the US. Once referred refugees have to go through a extensive review process that involves interviews, medical evaluation, and an interagency security screening to ensure they don’t pose a threat.

Public opinion of accepting Syrian refugees into the US has changed also in light of recent terrorist attacks. A bloomberg poll found that 53% of American adults didn;t want Syrian refugees resettled in the US after the Paris attacks, in September the percentage was 44%.

Syrian refugees have also become a topic of debate in the 2016 presidential election. At the state level, governors have pledged to stop accepting refugees or limit financial support for resettlement. Congress also took up a bill that would have suspended resettlement of Syrian refugees until they were certified of not being a risk to the US.

The effect this could have on the middle east is that it could lead to other middle eastern countries struggling to take care of them, cause conflicts between shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims, and also create more terrorists since these people would have nothing to turn too. It’s important for the US to accept these Syrian Refugees to foster better relations with the middle east, and to hurt ISIS’ propaganda.

 

 

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Weekly Report 6

Weekly Report 3

A famous Arab musician i found interesting was Khalil Gibran a philosphical essayist, artist, novelist, and poet. He was born January, 6th 1883. He was born in Bsharri, a mountainous region in northern Lebanon which at the time was subject to Ottoman rule. Gibran was influenced by the lush scenery in Bsharri which he often wondered in when he was young, he was also influenced by an event in his life when he was 10. He fell off a cliff, wounding his left shoulder. His family strapped it to a cross for 40 days, this reminded him of Christ. Gibran also grew up poor, he could not afford to go to school. A village priest visited him to teach him the basics of the Bible along with Syriac and Arabic languages. The priest also taught him the alphabet and basics of language. Gibran and his mother and half brother moved to the United States on June 25th, 1895 due to his father being sent to prison for tax evasion. They settled in Bostons south end. It had the 2nd largest Syrian community behind New York at the time. Gibran entered school on September 30th, 1895 in an ungraded class for immigrants who had to learn English from the beginning. A mistake happened when he was being registered for school, it shortened his name to Khalil Gibran for the rest of his life despite many attempts to change it back. Gibrans curious nature took him to Boston’s cultural side. He was exposed to theatre, opera, and art galleries. He soon took to drawing which his teachers took attention too. They contacted Fred Holland Day, a artist and supporter of the arts who further taught him about the arts. Gibran would go on to have his art exhibit in Boston in 1904, study art in paris with  August Rodin from 1908 – 1910, in 1912 he settled in New York where he devoted himself to writing and painting, and finally in 1920 he founded “Mahgar” a society for Arab  writers. He died on April 10th, 1931 in New York. His most famous work is “The Prophet” a book of 26 poetic essays. It was translated into 20 languages. Gibran wrote poems both in Arabic and English.  https://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/gibrn.htm      http://leb.net/gibran/

 

Weekly Report 3

Reflection 2

Today in class we had a guest lecture from Dr. Deveny. He told us about Al-Andalus or Islamic Spain. Islamic Spain is something we never really learn about in history class so coming into the lecture i had a open mind. I learned about how the Arabs made Cordoba the most important city in the world at 1000AD due to their focus on science and scholarly subjects, the library in Cordoba alone had 400,000 books that were all hand written. We also learned about the Arab influence on the Spanish language such as words that start with a “al” in a Spanish come from Arabic. We also learned that the political climate in Al-Andalus wasn’t black and white. There were Muslims fighting Muslims, Christians fighting Christians, christian fighting Muslims, and Christians fighting for the Muslims making for a very confusing political climate. I thought the lecture was very informational. I wish Al-Andalus was a subject talked about more in history class because it’s very interesting and lasted for a significant amount of time from the 700s-1400s AD.

Reflection 2

Weekly Report 2

Abu Jaafar Mohammad Ibn Mousa Al Khwarizmi was a arab mathematician who helped to perfect algebra. He was born in Uzbekistan around 780 AD. His parents settled in Baghdad where he eventually became a sunni muslim. He was invited to the house of wisdom in Baghdad where he translated many Greek philosophical and scientific works eventually going into the study of geometry and astronomy. His most significant contribution was the “Hisab Al jabr Wal-Muqabalah” because it defined the study of algebra. It provided many simple quadratic equations. It dealt with solving practical computational problems so it was limited to the first and second degrees. Al Khwarizimi also wrote a treatise on Hindu-Arabic numerals, it was called the “Algoritmi de numero indorum” in latin. It described the Hindu place value system using the numerals 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 0. This work was responsible for introductimg arabic numerals and the 0 symbol to the west.

Source for blog post

Weekly Report 2

Weekly Reflection 1 – why i am taking “Arab World”

I decided to take “Arab World” because i was interested in learning about Arab culture. They have a interesting culture that i wish i learn more about. My interest in the Arab world began when i was in middle school, sixth grade to be exact. My dad serves in the US Navy and was deployed to Afghanistan for a whole year. I knew nothing about the middle east at that time, i didn’t even know that Afghanistan was a country. I remember that we learned some history and geography in middle school but it was never in depth. When i was in ninth grade, my dad was deployed to Qatar for 6 months. I knew a little bit more about the arab world at that point but not enough. I took AP World History in high school but the course was fast paced so we moved very quickly through units in order to be prepared for the AP test in may, this meant that we didn’t really focus on the arab world that much. My dad told me how beautiful Afghanistan was further sparking my interest. I’d like to visit the arab world one day. I’m hoping that taking this course will give me a much better understanding of the arab world.

Weekly Reflection 1 – why i am taking “Arab World”