This blog was originally designed to keep me sane as I began learning Arabic. It morphed into a blog of musings about Arabic, the Middle East, and the Islamic World, as well as book reviews about those topics. Then, the blog became a place to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures while I was living abroad. During May and June of 2012, I had a 6-week long internship in Cairo, Egypt through a international student organization called AIESEC. I taught English at the Awladi Orphanage in Cairo, home to several hundred children. I lived in an apartment in Nasr City before moving to Maadi (each is a distinct area of Cairo). I experienced President Mursi's election, camped in the western desert, rode camels by the pyramids, and had countless other experiences. I have since moved past this blog, on towards new endeavors, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Syrians Protesting in Spain

When checking Al-Jazeera earlier for their take on the attacks in Norway, an opinion column on the side caught my attention. It was called "Living in Spain and Fighting for Syria." Basically, the article talks about Syrians (and other supporters of the "Arab Spring" movement that has spread into Syria) who live in Spain and are pressuring the Spanish government to take a hard line against the current regime in Syria. I find it interesting to read anything that ties together my second and third languages (Spanish and Arabic), and seeing these protest videos/posters/t-shirts is really pretty cool. I watched this video, which (if you don't speak either language) has one guy asking the other, "What are you afraid of?" and then gives examples of things that the man may be afraid of, first one being the "mujabarat" (which the video defines as the Intelligence Agency of Syria, but the word can be used to describe any number of government intelligence collecting groups throughout the Arab world), and other fears being "hunger" or "death." He is saying that the young must take up this fight for a hope of a better life.

According to the article author, Leila Nachawati, social media has lead the way during these protests, and the Spanish-Syrian community is planning protests on the 24th and 30th of July. They wish for the Spanish government to take a stand for the Syrian people, and not wait for the larger European powers like England and France to do it first. She quotes journalist Mazen Yaghi as saying, "We ask the government to remove the Spanish ambassador in Syria and have the Syrian ambassador in Spain resign. We also ask them to take a stand on the drama of the Syrian refugees and to demand the free access of Spanish journalists into Syria."

I have to say that I find it quite interesting how little the U.S. news seems to be covering those kinds of stories now. Now that we are well into late Summer, media outlets have moved on to more "pressing" news stories, like... how Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy? right...

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