Thursday, November 15, 2007

HW 34: Iraqs Culture

In Iraq gold is seen different than here in America. As Riverbend states, “Gold is a part of our culture and the roll it plays in “family savings” has increased since 1990”(Riverbend, page 100). In Iraq after the 1990’s people began to exchange the money they had for gold because the value of gold never will change, unlike money that was changing at the time. In Iraq when a couple gets married the husband will offer the wife a dowry filled with gold jewelry, and when a child is born into a family the gifts that the family will receive are often gold trinkets. In the Iraqi culture a lot of gold is more common to have than in our culture where money is often more common to posses. In Iraq palm trees are thought of as a big part of their culture and home. “They are a reminder no matter how difficult the circumstances, there is hope for life and productivity”(Riverbend, page 105). All of the parts of the palm tree can be used. The leaves can be used to make baskets, mats, brooms and much more. The dates that the palm trees produce might be the most useful and cherished part of the tree. The Iraqi people eat dates, produce syrup from the dates, vinegar can be made from the dates, and dates can be used in trading. Even the pits of the dates can be used, the cows and other pasture animals can eat them, and they can also be used to make jewelry.

HW 35: Letter to Blog Readers

Since this is my almost last blog post for the class A Blog of One’s Own, I would just like to say that I learned quite a bit of information. If I had not taken this class, I do not think I would have ever started a blog in my life. Blogging was something that I was completely unaware of before I entered into the course. Now that I am in the course, I hear about blogs and blogging a lot more, on T/V in the news, and I actually have one too. The material we have been reading and blogging on is once again material I never would have read or had knowledge about if I had not taken this class. I do not think I have a particular blog that I am the most proud of, but I do enjoy writing about Riverbend because it is something happening in the world right now and I find it very interesting to hear the other side of the story since we only get one. For any one who has read my blog, or will read my blog, I hope they just understand where I was coming from and understand my point of view on the various topics that I have blogged about. When the class ends I do not think I will end up continuing to blog, but I do not think I will go back and delete all of my blogs either, I think I will just leave them where they are.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HW 33: Iraqi Teens Work to Help Their Families

The podcast “Iraqi Teens Work to Help Their Families” was part of the Alive in Baghdad series. The podcast was published on October 15th, 2007. After watching the podcast, it is quite obvious that the message that the podcast is trying to get across is the simple message that most teens in Iraq must help their families with the work because the unemployment rate in Iraq is over half of the population, so those who are able to help their families do. Throughout the podcast three children are shown talking about their lives in helping out their families. The first is Hussein Kamal who tells us that he helps his father with carpentry. The next is Mustafa Malek Fathullah Ali who informs us that he has worked with his father in carpentry since he was a child. He is now fourteen and currently helping his uncle at his house. The final child that they show us is named Yousif. Unlike the other two boys, Yousif does not help his family with work; he is enrolled in the College of Agriculture. Yousif was born with a birth defect and is currently unemployed; he lets us know that a habit he has developed is just sitting at the computer. Yousif is sitting on a patterned dark couch with a white curtain hanging behind him. Outside there is a lot of clay stone structures and the streets look dry and dirty. Any viewer who may watch this podcast might feel a sense of pity towards the Iraqi people who were once able to live normal lives, but since the war are forced to be more cautious with their daily lives and help out their families by working with them instead of attending school. Although I have not seen many videos from Iraq, this video seems to be put together nicely. The boys they chose to interview were very honest and sweet. The most memorable thing I find about this podcast are the boys ending statements to the world. It is like a cry for help, saying please just fight terrorism and defeat it so I can go on with my normal way of life.

HW 32: School Supplies

While reading through Riverbend's posts in the book Baghdad Burning, she talks about going with her cousin, his wife named S, and E to go shop for school supplies for her cousins two younger daughters. The girls used to be able to go to pick out their own school supplies, but since the conditions have drastically changed in Iraq S does not feel that it would be safe for them to go along with her. Riverbend describes the stores that line the streets of Iraq and informs us that there are no malls, just stores that have a variety of things in them. The stationery shop is where they went to get the girls school supplies. It took them a while to decide what the girls would want according to their age, one was ten and the other was seven. After finally reaching a decision on the various supplies, they left the store and returned back home to see the girls. Shopping for school supplies has seemed to change drastically since the war has broken out in Iraq, and it's too bad that the children now have to be guarded at schools and bring their own chairs. Hopefully soon the life in Iraq will go back to being the way it was before the war occurred.