Weekly Report 4 – Israeli- Palestinian Conflict

The latest incident of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict took place earlier this week in Hebron.  The incident involved two Palestinian terrorists and an Israeli soldier.  This incident involved a rare aspect to it which was that the whole incident got caught on film by a Palestinian citizen and posted onto the web.  The two Palestinians attacked the soldier and wounded him by stabbing him.  Following this, other Israeli soldiers responded by shooting and wounding the two terrorists. Soldiers and medics came running over to help the injured soldier by gave no attention to the two wounded Palestinian terrorists.  The disturbing incident happens right after this when a medic walks over to one of the terrorists who had a head wound but not to help him but to just film him and then a shot was heard.  One of the soldiers shot the terrorist at point blank range in the head.  This is highly controversial and extremely alarming since it was all caught on film.  These two sides have an agreement to treat terrorists somewhat decent that they would treat the injured terrorists as best as the could and if the end of dying then that’s that.They are by no means suppose to execute a terrorist at point blank range who was already wounded and posed no threat of danger.  Since this was caught of film and spread so everyone could see it, it will surely raise tensions on the Israeli-Palestinian front.


Massamba Diop Drumming Session/ Discussion

From the minute I entered the recital hall I felt alive!  I could feel the vibrations of the instruments the melody that was being portrayed.  The attitude of the room was changed within minutes and everyone gazed at the three people playing instruments and dancing.  The leader of the group was Massamba Diop and he was joined by two other people who played the drum primarily and they other one would dance.  They were all brought together and they really emphasize their playing on how they feel.  Massamba Diop played an instrument called the talking drum.  I have never heard of the talking drum before and I was absolutely amazed by how much it means to the african culture. The talking drum is used to tell stories in Africa and is a used as a much easier form of education.  Instead of using a phone and calling a people within the town one by one, a person who plays the talking drum would go to the center of the town or village and relay the message.

Everyone single one of the members were not a fan of the word indigenous and what it stood for.  They believed that you are from a place where you started but you shouldn’t and don’t have to automatically be forced into a lifestyle or career based on where you were born.  One of the members of the group example was that he was from a town where all of their people were fisherman and farmers where he went on to be a dancer.  One of the members thought everyone belonged together and belonged to the earth and just because you are from a different place doesn’t mean you can’t share resources with another.  Another example was that one of the member identified himself as Muslim and prayed five times a day but he wanted to learn about everything.  Because of this he would learn from Jewish and Christian people about their heritage and wouldn’t neglect them just because he believed in a different religion.

Another important topic that they discussed was the role media played within their society and culture.  A lot of culture and story telling is being lost very fast in Africa due to the media and the internet.  There is also about 60% less people playing the talking drum then there was fifty years ago.  Television is also the uninvited guest within the house and brings in bad media that is not needed.

Weekly Report 2 : Arab and Muslim Contributions to World Civilization

Aziz Sancar is a biochemist and molecular biologist that focuses on DNA repair and cell cycles. Sancar is the first Muslim to be awarded the Nobel Prize in the field of molecular biology in 2015. Aziz was born in the Savur district of Mardin Province to an Arabic-speaking family on September 8, 1946. He graduated Istanbul University in 1969 with a M.D. and later UT Dallas with his Ph.D. in 1977. Aziz Sancar is married to Gwen Boles Sancar and is the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His wife is also a Professor of Biochemistry at UNC.


Aziz Sancar won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for his work in mapping DNA repair. He mapped cellular mechanisms that underlie DNA repair which respond to damage caused by outside forces. His groundbreaking work has produced the crucial knowledge to develop greater treatments against DNA damage that usually results in cancer. Sancar has also discovered how cisplatin, the common cancer drug, damage DNA of cancer cells. After receiving the award, Sancar said, “We’ve been working hard for many years and I think we’ve made significant contributions to our field. It’s been a great team effort.” He also proceeded to say, “With this map, we can now say to a fellow scientist, ‘tell us the gene you’re interested in or any spot on the genome, and we’ll tell you how it is repaired.’” “Out of six billion base pairs, pick out a spot and we’ll tell you how it is repaired.” This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for Dr. Aziz Sancar.

Weekly Report 1 : Syria

Syrian refugees are fleeing to the border of Turkey in the latest development in the Syrian War. As many as 35,000 syrian refugees joined together outside the turkey border on Saturday trying to flee the Syrian government onslaught. The governor of the Turkish border province of Kilis said that he would help the refugees of Syria but would only open its borders if there were an “extraordinary crisis.”

At an European Union meeting, councilmen urged tukey to open up its borders due for internation protection for the Syrians and that they would do everything to aid Turkey in helping the Syrians. The European Union nations have already given Turkey 3.3 billion dollars for aid for the Syrians. The Syrian armed forces have been advancing across the north behind the support of Russian airstrikes. Syrian’s Foreign Minister has said this week that “they are on pace to end this conflict” behind the likes of Syrian ground troops and Russian airstrikes.




Reflection 1 : The Arab World

I am about to embark on the spring semester of 2016 at McDaniel College and one of the courses that I am taking is “The Arab World.”  I chose to enroll in this class because I need to fill my SIS requirement but also because I am ignorant to the Arab world and most of the Middle East. I thought of learning about a culture and whole different “world” excites me. I expect to learn a lot of things during this course. Firstly, I expect to learn a lot of the culture of The Arab World. I also expect to learn about the importance of religion and where the roots came from. The history of both religion and the culture will be a big learning point leading all the way to present times. After that, I expect to touch on the current events and motives behind decisions being made in the Middle East. The main objective that I want to get out of this class is to become knowledgeable about the Arab culture, the religion, and the history of them. I have never been outside the country so I have never been to the Middle East and don’t know what I would think about it. One day I hope to travel there and to get a chance to experience the culture. I was very young before 9/11 so I didn’t have any views about the Arab and Muslim world and if I did, I don’t remember any. Growing up I learned about the attacks that took place on 9/11 and I became hurt and threatened by the Muslim world. Though, being ignorant to them and their culture, I didn’t have the best taste to them because I guess I held against a grudge on the people who did it but not on the whole culture or society.