Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taking a breather from working on my draft, I had friends over to conquer the world (play Risk) and eat pizza (from the ever-delicious Maison Thomas). Getting kicked out of Europe was less fun than the good conversations and endless joking around that last until the early morning.
This morning, I finished off the very rough draft of my thesis proposal, printed it out, and went to class. As I looked over my literature review some more, I realized that I've finally reached that magical point where I want to delve further into something, to do lots of unassigned reading, and to work on academic things in my free time. I'm looking forward to get started with my thesis! In class, I ended up downloading articles on theories in sociology to read later.
Tomorrow, our new landlord (our old landlord's brother) comes to collect the rent. Hopefully they'll accept my deposit to pay for the month of May rather than June and let me out of the contract early. I don't want to have to impress upon them that their countless violations of the contract have already nullified it, but we'll see.

Migrants, among them at least ten Egyptians, die when ship sinks en route to Europe
Arab League rallies behind alleged war criminal
Muslim Brotherhood to participate in the upcoming 6th of April strike

I feel like I sort of just leave this news section disembodied, not really giving much context, so here's some commentary: I'm including the link about the sinking of a ship carrying migrants to Europe because it's an all-too common phenomenon. Irregular migrants desperate to find work abroad take huge risks in migrating, sometimes costing their lives. This happens all around the world (take Mexican migrants heading to the US for example).
The Arab League summit in Qatar start off by condemning Israel and with Israel being accused of war crimes in Gaza, perhaps rightly so. But tired rhetoric doesn't bring anyone to justice. Al-Bashir, the president of Sudan has, since having a warrant issued for his arrest, kicked vital aid groups out of Darfur, worsening the humanitarian crisis he fueled in the first place. I cannot begin to understand why the Arab League is roundly supporting him other than interpreting it as a circling of the wagons seeing the ICC as a tool of Western intervention.
As for the 6th of April, it will be interesting to see just how many people come out to protest. Even some foreign students at AUC are planning on taking part. I personally do not feel it's my place and, as part of my Rotary scholarship, I am meant to "exercise caution when expressing personal opinions about controversial political, racial, religious, and other issues."

Finally, I'll leave you with this link to an excellent Al-Jazeera documentary (in English) on the history of the relationship between Egypt and Israel.

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