Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HW 35: Calling all Readers!

Dear Reader,

This will be one of my last written blogs for my ITW class. It has been a journey over the last 13 weeks and I have learned so much. I never imagined all the neat things you could do on the internet. I got to create a wiki, make this blog and leaned more than I could imagine about virtual worlds. In doing my research paper I actually had to listen to my boyfriend talk about World of Warcraft for about an hour. That was probably the longest hour of my life. No, I’m just kidding. But I really hope who ever reads this blog in the future gets something out of it. I hope that by reading this blog that they understand that blogs actually are useful and you can gain a great deal of knowledge from them. HW 31 was probably my favorite post just because Ellen R. Sheeley, the author of Reclaiming Honor in Jordan posted a comment on my blog. I found it really exciting that other people outside of my classroom read my blog. I read the comment at home and I was yelling to my dad “Dad, Dad, an author of a book read my blog!” Ellen commented about what I wrote about Yanar Mohammed and agreed that women’s shelters in Iraq are important. She also added that in Jordan, there isn’t a single shelter for these poor girls and woman to escape. That was just quite sad that these women aren’t able to escape honor killings in their country. But thank you Ellen for commenting. I appreciate it! I definitely won’t delete this blog because I would like to referrer back to it for historical and sentimental purposes. If I find something interesting to post about what we have been learning in class I think I will post it on this blog just for others to see. So good-bye for now and I hope you all enjoyed reading my ITW blog. Thank you all for reading my blog!


HW 34: Riverbend's Cultural Experiences in Iraq

While reading Burning Baghdad the readers get to learn about Iraq’s culture through Riverbend’s eyes. In Iraq everyone drinks tea everyday. Riverbend exclaims “No matter how busy the day, everyone sits around in the living room, waiting for tea” (Riverbend, 108). Tea drinking is taken various seriously. It’s not just dipping a tea back in to hot water. To make the tea you first put the kettle of water on the burner to boil. Once the water is boiling the tea leaves and the water are put into a separate teapot on a low burner until the tealeaves rise to the top. Finally the teapot is set on top of a low burner setting to settle. There are hundreds of types of tea available in Iraqi markets. Riverbend says that the best types are from Ceylon. Iraqi people also drink tea from special glasses shaped like the number “8” called Istikans. Drinking tea in Iraq is very important in Iraqi culture. They drink it at breakfast, the afternoon and with dinner. Gold is also important in Iraqi culture. “Iraqi people don’t own gold because they are either spectacularly wealthy, or they have recently been on a looting spree….People began converting their money to gold--earrings, bracelets, necklaces--because the value of gold didn’t change” (Riverbend, 100). People in Iraq also use gold when a man and a woman marry. The man often gives the woman a dowry, a “mahar,” which is composed of gold jewelry. Gold is also often given to a family in little gold trinkets when a couple has a child. In Burning Baghdad, Riverbend explains her experience with the raids. On October 8th, 2003 the American troops were on Riverbend’s street. Her and her family feared they would take the gold jewelry. So the women in the family wore the jewelry underneath their cloths and put the rest in their pockets. That way if the troops did invade their home, they would not take their valuable jewelry. Luckily Riverbend’s home was not raided and their jewelry remained safe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HW 33: A Pod Cast of a School in Iraq

I recently watched Alive in Baghdad‘s “Challenges at a Girl’s School in Baghdad” at It was published May 21, 2007. This pod cast was shot by Isam Rasheed and Translated by Qabas Al-Khafaji. “Challenges at a Girl’s School in Baghdad” talked to girls and teachers at a school in Baghdad. One teacher wearing a white head scarf and light marron lipstick was mainly featured. She said 225 students attend the Safina Middle School in Adhamiya, but just a couple of months ago over 300 girls attended the school. The woman said that “…Sectarianism and displacement has force some to join other schools.” She explains that this is the reason why there has been a great number of students dropped in all schools. When one student was asked if she was faced with any troubles on the way to school she said “Yes, sometimes when the Americans search the area.” The pod cast was shot at the school. The wall were bland and white with cracks and chipped paint. The classroom had desks, chairs and a chalkboard. The students all dress the same. The girls wore a long sleeved white shirt with a black dress over it and some wear headscarves. The teachers on the other hand wore colorful blouses. I learned a lot from this episode and I think others can learn from it too. Students there appreciate going to school and don’t take it for granted. I learned that one student said her family no longer wanted her to attend school because they feared for her safety, but the girl insisted on going. In America, I don’t think some children would necessarily choose to go to school if their parents did not want them to go. I found this quite memorable and touching. This footage differs from the footage you see on the news. I imagined the school to look a lot worse. On the new, they mainly show destructive property and violence, but this was different and allowed the Iraqi people to explain what they are face with in their country.

HW 32: A Pretty Horse with a Plait and a Bow…

In Riverbend’s, Baghdad Burning, Riverbend describes her experience school supply shopping on October 5, 2003. The day before her and her cousin‘s wife, S., went school supplies shopping for her 7 and 10 year-old nieces. “Every year his wife, S., takes the girls to pick out their own pencils, notebooks, and backpacks but ever since the war, she hasn’t let them step outside of the house--unless it is to go visit a relative” (Riverbend, 94). Riverbend, S., E., and an other cousin went to the stationary shop to look for school supplies. Riverbend and S., went inside while the men stayed in the car. S., was in a hurry so she went to go get pencils and crayons, while Riverbend went to go get copybooks. Riverbend took a Barbie and a Winnie the Pooh notebook. Riverbend also wanted to get fun erasers for the girls. So they got a strawberry eraser that smelt like peaches. It seems the Riverbend shops like Americans for school supplies. When I was younger, I remember having pictured notebooks and fun-shaped erasers. The only difference I see is that the men had to bring the women to the store to protect them and that the mother was too afraid of her kids safety to bring them to the store. Kids are kids though and what ever you pick out for them, just isn’t good enough. The 10 year-old girl was pleased with her school supplies, but the 7 year-old was quite unhappy with her Winnie the Pooh notebook. Riverbend tried to make matters better by telling the girl that it was a “pretty horse with a plait and a bow…” (Riverbend, 96). She was of course referring to Eeyore. The girl quickly replied that it was a purple donkey and “if I (Riverbend) liked donkeys so much, I could keep the copybook” (Riverbend, 96). Kids in America say sassy remarks like that just like Iraqi kids do. We not that much different, they just have a war in there backyard.