THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST

The main character in the novel “The reluctant fundamentalist” is the Pakistani man Changez. Throughout the book he narrates the story of his time in the United States to a stranger. He attended Princeton and worked with finances. These things are told through Changez himself, where he talks and explains to the stranger. There is not a lot of dialogue so far in the book, so my impressions of him go through what he talks about and his behavior. He is proud of his culture and seems to be open to not only new people, but also new cultures.

 

Changez talks about an interview with Jim, the vice president at Underwood Samson. Eventually he becomes Changez’ mentor. He also talks about his girlfriend he had in the States, Erica. She attended Princeton with Changez, and they originally met during a trip to Greece. Chris, Erica’s ex-boyfriend, died one year before she met Changez, and this affects her feelings throughout their relationship. Erica is, through her name, more like a description of “America”.

 

Another important character in “The reluctant fundamentalist” is the stranger. His name is not released yet, however this is an American man. They are in Lahore, Pakistan. He seems quiet because of his participation in the conversation. Despite him not being part of the story itself, the story would not take place without him.

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DEMOCRACY – A THREAT?

Democracy is under pressure in many parts of the world. Looking across the globe, it might appear at times that violence, chaos and fear are getting the upper hand over democracy. What is really happening in the government? Many journalists were killed in 2018 because they were speaking the truth. The editor Musa Abdul Kareem was abducted by unknown assailants and later found shot dead with signs of torture. He was described as a humble, loving person, always giving back to the community. He often raised money to support people that needed help. Extremist groups are everywhere in Libya, and there is no safety or rule of law. Despite this, his death came as a shock to his colleagues. They couldn’t believe that “someone like him” was kidnapped and murdered.

 

“Someone like him” was just doing their job and telling the truth. I don’t know whether the murderer did it in order to protect a secret, give a warning that this should not be published or that he did not want anyone to search on the case because he was scared of the consequences. However, I think it is crazy that anyone can kill to feel protected. Why is torture and death the right answer? What did Musa do, other than his job? I think that his colleagues had never even imagined that something like this would happen. A man who told the truth, and nothing more, was killed, and sadly it was only one out of many.

 


 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/dec/05/journalists-murdered-khashoggi-kuciak-panama-papers, Wed 5 Dec, 2018, By Aamna Mohdin and Bibi van der Zee “Killed for speaking the truth”

MULTICULTURAL BRICK LANE

Multiculturalism is a situation in which all the different cultural or racial groups in a society have equal rights and opportunities. The film Brick Lane does in many ways portray the challenges you face when living in a multicultural society. There are to find many different people, cultures, religions and traditions in the movie, and they highlight some of these difficulties.

 

Living in a multicultural society can lead to fear of influence. When different traditions, religions, people and cultures are all put together, it can make it difficult for people to express themselves as they are. Their individuality disappears. This is something I noticed in the main person Nazneen when watching “Brick Lane”. Numerous times in the movie she experienced flashbacks of herself and her sister playing, enjoying life and expressing themselves. However, they are just flashbacks. Whereas in the film she seems quiet and mysterious, as if she somehow tries to hide her identity. This is especially in front of her family and husband.

It seemed difficult living in Brick Lane for the family of Nazneen because of how they were adapting to the new culture. They talked about “home” several times, and I had the impression that they missed their home country and had a difficult time adapting. When her husband and children were off to work and school, Nazneen was home, quietly waiting for anything to happen and thinking about her sister back in Bangladesh. The communication and language within the family was confusing, where sometimes they mixed English and Bengali. All in all, I noticed troubles adapting to the culture, and that shows a big challenge when living in a multicultural society.

I was surprised about how the different cultures looked at each other. I consider this the most visible and important challenge for the people in the multicultural society. Nazneen did not go out of the house many times, but when she did, the other people living there were talking about her behind her back, glancing and almost looked down at her as she walked by. In addition, there were conflicts, people screaming and name-callings.

 

Living in a multicultural society can be hard. “Brick Lane” shows us an example of this. Fear of influence, tension between the cultures, communication and adapting are just some of the examples that the film shows.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/multiculturalism

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/jul/17/film.uk

http://www.visitbricklane.org

INTERNATIONAL DAY AT FAGERLIA

The International Day at Fagerlia was an exciting and educational day. We attended lectures, met people and refugees that are all somehow involved with this year’s project which is devoted to Palestinian youth. The following day, many students chose to work and raise money for the project. The International Day was indeed necessary for us to understand what we worked for, and the purpose behind. Throughout the day, I learned more about the conflict between Israel and Palestine and met some refugees that told us about their experience.

 

Unknown

 

Listening to people talking about their experience as a refugee made the biggest impression on me, because it is relevant and educational. The part where the students got to walk around and attend in lectures by own choice, showed us the basis for Operation Day’s work. It is not just about raising money, moreover it is about solidarity. Conversely, not only do the students help people in need, they also get to learn about different cultures and feel like a part of something good.

 

 

BY GIRLS, FOR GIRLS


Girl Rising is a documentary from the director Richard Robbins and was released in 2013. The film follows the life stories of nine girls from different parts of the world who struggle every day for freedom, education and a chance to be heard. They face arranged marriages, child slavery and among other things. By getting an education, they are able to create change.

 

All nine stories made a great impact on me. However, the stories of Yasmin and Amina made the greatest. Yasmin is a young Egyptian girl who experience a violent attack, but she will not allow herself to become a victim and let it happen. In contrast, she looks at herself as a superhero. Amina is from Afghanistan and is confined by her gender and expected to only serve men. She is a child bride hunched underneath a blue burqa. Instead of allowing her reputation as a girl who is weak and under control, she is determined to not accept the expectations in the society and lead others to do the same.

The stories about Yasmin and Amina made the greatest impact on me because they both went against what is expected of them. Young Yasmin who faced a much older man did not see herself as a young, weak girl. She choseto believe in herself. Amina accepted herself as a child bride, a young mother, but wanted to change those traditions and rules. She choseto throw her burqa and was determined to go to school no matter what happened. Accordingly, many women followed her as she threw away her burqa, and together they went the opposite way of the society’s expectations of them.

 

“One girl with courage is a revolution.”

While watching “Girl rising” I noticed that all the nine girls had a lot of courage and was part of a change. I think the phrase above implies that one girl who has the courage to stand up to herself and not accepting the society’s expectations to them, can make a change and inspire others. These girls’ lives are not determined by the women who came before them and they choose how they want to live. They have the power to write their own destinies and speak out about their rights. Amina told herself that “I am change,” and made change. Hence, this is how one girl with courage is a revolution.

 

GirlRising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girls in the documentary live in difficult circumstances but do not consider themselves as victims. They go through terrible things that I could never imagine happening to me, and this is why I am only able to sympathize to the girls. It is hard to relate to their lives because I have never experienced something like they have. This proves how much the circumstances and where we live has to say for our lives. There are so many stories out there, and so many different lives.

 

I think people who are not already familiar with this issue will resonate the most to how things that we take for granted every day can mean a lot to them. For instance, education. The message behind “Girl rising” is: Educate girls and you will change the word. While watching, we see how much education means to them, and to the world in general. The family of Ruksana from India have to choose between education or safety for the children. Seeing how some lives are affected by certain factors, can make a huge impression on people who are not familiar with the issue. The terrible things the girls in the film go through, and how they keep living their lives like it is normal to them, can have great impact on people.

“Girl rising” is briefly about her story to write. As the narrator said: “Girls are not the problem, they’re the problem solvers.”

 


Sources: https://girlrising.org/meet-the-girls/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-horansky/the-story-behind-girl-ris_b_4967372.html

QUALITY EDUCATION AND GENDER EQUALITY

Education benefits every human being and should be available to all. The text about the sustainable development goal number 4, about quality education tells us how levels of poverty, armed conflicts and other emergencies can affect our access to education. Sustainable development is highly affected by quality education among the people. After reading the text, I believe that the equality of the genders plays an important role in quality education. However, this is where a big part of the problem is. In developing countries, one in four girls are not in school, and more than 60 percent of the youth that lack literacy skills, are women.

 

Gender equality refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of both genders. As said in the text about sustainable development goal number 5, gender equality is not only a human right, but is necessary for a peaceful and sustainable world. The Millennium development goals include equal access to primary education between girls and boys, and this is where we see that gender equality and quality education are intertwined. For these two goals to be achieved, they must work together. Quality education for all is not achieved if there is still gender discrimination. Equality between the genders will not exist if some girls drop out of school because of their gender.

 

SDG_Icons-education

 

So why is quality education and gender equality so important? Well, sustainable development is dependent of everyone being part of the change. Equality between the genders will make everyone feel like they can achieve something, help, and be a part of a positive development. Education is the key that allows most of the sustainable development goals to be achieved. We can use it to change the world.

 

The world should take these two goals more seriously. People should be aware of how important quality education and gender equality are for development. I think people need to understand that these topics are important to everyone, even you. The speech Emma Watson held is a great example of how people among us, can open our eyes and make us want to work with these problems. I would like to know more about these issues and see how serious they are. Perhaps talk to people that are affected by these, and see how the people living on Earth is helping to not only make progress, but also how we can make it worse.


 

Sources:

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-4-quality-education.html

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/

“Gender equality is your issue too” – speech

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER

Global challenges can impact each other in many ways. The situation for many women in the world, access to water and education are connected. On average, 125 million hours are spent collecting water by women and children every day. 

 

The situation for many women in the world is directly connected to water and sanitation. In several countries, women are in fear of leaking their privacy, and then forced to wait until dark to relieve themselves. This can affect their health and safety. More than half of the world´s primary schools do not have proper sanitation, and here we see an important connection between education, water and the situation for women. In schools that lack sanitation and clean water, girls usually drop out when they reach puberty. This is a problem for their education. Toilets should be mandatory in a school.

Every hour spent fetching water is an hour less of school. The people who collect water are mostly girls and women. Many girls do not have time for their education, because they are occupied with fetching water. However, water is a human right. 80% of all diseases and deaths in the developing world can be connected to the lack of clean water. Ten-year-old Violet mentioned in the text, has to collect water every day for the family´s survival, not for her own education.

 

The text Thirst, written by Max Andrew Dubinsky makes the importance of water sound even more important. I liked how the author made me picture water as a role, for instance when Johnny told Carly that he loved her. “That’s just water talking.” Furthermore, the characters in the text try to forget about the water problem and live their life normally, but water is such a big part of their lives, and the issue can´t be unseen. How their showers were limited, how they dug ditches in their backyardsand how theywere begging God to give them rain, makes us understand the importance of water.

water


Sources:

http://access-internationalvg2.cappelendamm.no/binfil/download.php?did=82122

Thirst – text