One World Vol.2 Issue 2 UIC OneWorld UIC Spring 2008 1
Dear OneWorld readers, I am very honored to present to you the Spring 2008 issue of OneWorld magazine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As an organization, we bring forth the product of another semester of hard work, which we sincerely hope has fully addressed our overall theme of awareness. In this issue you will not only read about the current political situations and social injustices taking place globally, but you will also read of recent journeys taken by our readers, and of personal reflections on the state of humanity, all of which have impacted our writers and have come to shape the way in which they view our world. From Pakistan, to Kenya, to Costa Rica â€“ the articles you will find in OneWorld this semester are ones that we hope will open the eyes of our readers and challenge them, if only for a moment, to adopt a perspective on the world that is perhaps different from that of their own. It can often be easy to scan through the headlines that tell of conflict, unrest, and poverty, however taking a moment to recognize the humanity behind those headlines can increase our awareness and bring us closer as a global society. Through a simple awareness of the issues, we can prove that knowledge really is power â€“ the power to ignite an enduring hope and to create positive change. Priscilla Kunamalla President
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PRESIDENT Priscilla Kunamalla EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & ART DIRECTOR Adam Kuranishi EDITORIAL BOARD Anand Sandesara Emily Finchum Faizan Shakeel Sujay Shah
Acknowledgments: UIC Honors College UIC Study Abroad Office UIC Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Chicago Organization Fund (COF)
Front cover photography by Lee Springer Back cover photgraphy by Carf
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Cause for Compromise: Turmoil in Kenya by Faizan Shakeel
Spring Break: Destination, Refugee Camp
20 Who is an Arab? The Confusion of Arab Identity by Anand Sandesara 22 The Nirmada Dam Project
by Kathleen Tsai
by Shital Gandhi
Health for Humanity by Emily Finchum
23 Heifer International by Susan Hogan
The Mirage of Alternative Energy by Omar Siddiqui
24 Iraqi Kurdistan by Ramanujan Raghavan
10 Israel at Sixty by Eugene Liebenson
25 Photovoice: Empowering to Create Change by Dan Schneider
12 Global Warming: Our Planet, Our Future by Helly Parikh
26 Benazir Bhuttoâ€™s Legacy by Kumud Kataria
14 Sexual Assault in Kosovo by Caitlin Sullivan
28 Man Humanity on the Moon by Joshua Isaac Bishay
16 Chicago Through the Eyes of a German Girl by Jasmin Weinert
Photography by Susan Hardman
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Compromise Turmoil in Kenya
by Faizan Shakeel
During January and February, violence rocked the savannah. Tear gas filled the air as shield-bearing police officers fended off mob after mob and rioting and looting became commonplace in the streets. A thick smog was visible, the aftermath of edifices being set aflame.4 OneWorld UIC Spring 2008
Bystanders did their best to stay clear of the crowds that roamed the streets armed with machetes and guns. Presently, the death toll as a result of this violence has reached over 800, and over 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes. The cause of this violence was Kenya’s most recent presidential election, the major candidates being the incumbent president Mwai Kibaki and the challenger Raila Odinga. Many observers from the international community called the elections dubious and voiced suspicions of rigging. The Kenyan people, specifically those who supported Raila Odinga and his ODM (Orange Democratic Party), found the prospect of rigged elections to be intolerable. Corruption, however, is not an anomaly in Kenya. Rated as the fifteenth most corrupt country in the world and a place where the average person pays 16 bribes per month, Kenya and its people are somewhat accustomed to malfeasance. Knowing this, one would think that the majority of the Kenyan people would perceive the election rigging as another minor episode in the country’s marred past - this is not the case. Improvements in Kenya’s politics, economy, and education in past years are promising and for the first time many of the country’s citizens are glimpsing a future of prosperity. Kenya’s recent advancements have fostered a generation that will not take corruption lying down. Mwai Kibaki is a husky man, one who gives off an air of amiability and smiles often. His rise to power is a tale of moil and dedication to the government of Kenya. In 1960 he helped to draft Kenya’s first constitution, and three Photography by Pan-African News
years later was elected into its parliament. He served in several government positions, including the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. In December of 2002, Kibaki won the presidential election in a victory where he received twice as many votes as the runner-up. Raila Odinga’s climb up the political ranks was a difficult one. After a teaching career as a professor, he decided to pursue a political role and was appointed as a Deputy Director for the Bureau of Standards. In the early 80s Odinga was active in the Kenyan Revolutionary Movement, an underground organization that was attempting to bring a multi-party system to Kenya (which had a one-party system at the time). When Odinga’s connection with the movement was discovered, he was charged with treason and was incarcerated without trial for six years. After being released, Odinga fled the country. His father, Jaramogi Odinga, continued to push for a multi-party system in Kenya in his absence. Only when the dream of a multi-party system was close to being realized did Odinga find it safe to return and he was elected as a member of the parliament. He ran for president in 2002 and 2007, placing third in the former and “losing” a controversial election in the latter. There are a large number of illiterate voters in Kenya. For this reason, “yes” and “no” votes are often cast with symbols rather than written words. For the constitutional referendum held in 2005, an orange symbolized a “no” vote and a banana meant “yes.” This is where Odinga’s party – the Orange Democratic Movement – derived its name from; the ODM was founded by a group of people who banded together to vote against the new constitution. Many politicians, including President Kibaki, were in favor of the proposed document. The final draft of the constitution gave ultimate power to the President and Kibaki knew that getting it passed would augment his authority. The Kenyan people, however, were wary of a constitution that gave dictator-like powers to the President. The constitution’s final draft did not pass the referendum, with 58% of Kenyans choosing the orange over the banana. The peoples’ rejection of the proposed constitution came as a shock to President Kibaki, who acted quickly and dismissed every member of his cabinet. Kibaki explained his decision by saying that he wanted to re-organize the government to make it “better able to serve the people of Kenya.” The public’s reaction to the cabinet’s dismissal was positive, but many Photography by Usum Delphini
of the political parties that stood behind Kibaki withdrew their support. The ODM gained momentum and followers as it held rallies to call for new presidential elections. Meanwhile, Kibaki appointed a new cabinet consisting mostly of his close political allies. The December 2007 elections, in which Kibaki faced off against Odinga, had several irregularities noted by international observers. The enigmatic way that votes were counted was an important issue, but observers could not say with certainty which side was responsible for the wrongdoing. The fact that the outcome was decided by only two hundred thousand votes added fuel to the fire. When President Kibaki was declared the winner, the ODM accused him and his party of fraud. Rioting and violence ensued. The largest death toll in one instance thus far occurred when ODM supporters set fire to a church with 200 people inside; the people were members of the Kikuyu ethnic group, the same group that President Kibaki hails from. Thirty-five people burned to death. The ODM called for rally after rally, and each time they were beaten back by the police with teargas, shields, and guns. One hundred twenty-four people died in the first two days of unrest alone. Important figures, including internationally renowned athletes and members of parliament, lost their lives in the violence. Violence continued in spurts throughout the months of January and February. Concurrently, mediation between Kibaki and Odinga for a power-sharing deal began. Third parties were called in to lead the mediation at different times, including President of the African Union John Kufuor and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. After weeks of vacillating opinions and stubborn statements, an agreement was signed on February 28th. The agreement is essentially a power-sharing deal between Odinga and Kibaki. Its terms include the creation of the position of Prime Minster, which is to be occupied by Odinga. Odinga’s duties will involve “coordinating and supervising government affairs.” Kibaki will retain his post as President, but with more restricted powers. Whether the President can over-rule the prime minister, or vice versa, is still inexplicit. All told, nearly a thousand people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands lost their way of life. The chaos experienced by the nation was often downplayed by its leaders. Government spokespersons insisted that the situation was a “local problem, to
be handled locally.” Many citizens made accusations of police brutality, declaring that the police has opened fire on protestors. After the violence subsided, the police issued a statement in which they claimed that they did not intend to kill anyone, and that they tried to avoid firing their weapons. The people, the police believed, were being “used by the politicians.” As stated earlier, corruption is not a new occurrence in Kenya. The country has been making changes for the better. Kenya’s economy has been steadily growing since the early 1990s. Several reforms were introduced, including the privatization of publicly owned companies, removal of foreign exchange controls, and reduction of the number of civil servants. To fight corruption, the government established the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA) in 1999. Reforms involving payroll transparency for government employees and an improved judicial process have lead to donations from major world organizations. Perhaps the most important step that Kenya took towards advancing itself was mandating, and providing, free primary education for all children. This move garnered admiration for the Kenyan government by prominent figures such as former US President Bill Clinton. The country has unveiled plans in 2008 to start helping students pay for college tuition as well. The people of Kenya know that their country is improving. They have seen an upward trend in their economy and their literacy rates. They have seen steps taken by the government to subdue corruption and they have benefited from the fruits of these actions. The violence that took place after the elections this past December represents the peoples’ voice, a voice that demands justice and fairness. The people of Kenya know that they have hope, to one day live in a country that is prosperous and educated. They will do what it takes to hold on to that vision. The past presidential election may have once again blemished Kenya’s political reputation, but its people proved that they will stand for what is right. If the people of Kenya had shrugged off the presidential election results, it is likely that a powersharing deal would not have been reached. Kenya’s citizens defended their right to have an equitable government, but they did so at the cost of many lives. Faizan Shakeel is a junior, BioEngineering major, and editor for OneWorld Magazine. He hopes to attend medical school after graduation from UIC.
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Spring Break Destination Refugee Camp by Kathleen Tsai
Photography by Kathleen Tsai
covered by Costa Rican health care and it is If you have ever been to Costa remember Dayan telling us a story about through free charity–based clinics like the Rica, you will understand how enchanting of a baby with an ear infection and how his ones we worked in, that they receive medical a country it is. It is a tropical lifestyle with mother had not understood the concept of aid. people hawking their wares beachside, happy oral medication. She had shoved the pills On our first day at the Alajuelita hours, and crowds screaming, “¡La pura into his ear instead and was shocked when vida!” This Costa Rican motto means pure pus started to form. We had to make sure we clinic, Dayan, the health education coordinalife, a carefree lifestyle within a safe, democounseled the patient very clearly and never tor took us on a tour of the communities we assumed that they had any prior knowledge would be serving in. One small three-room cratic nation. Here, the elections are honest, of western medicine. the military is abolished, and this resource clinic served three communities, El Jasmín Diabetes mellitus was a common rich country hosts a thriving economy. (Jasmine), Los Piños (The Pines), and a fardisease at the clinic, which was extremely Costa Rica not only hosts 5% of the world’s ther away El Tercercillo. I remember Dayan biodiversity, but is also a leader in the Latin taking up us a large hill overlooking San Jose, hard to treat. Diabetes is a chronic disease for which patients are expected to take American world. The country is not only the flourishing capital between the valleys. medications everyday and make huge lifestyle politically progressive, but it is also a leader He said, “Do you see that barren spot? Startchanges. But if patients here do not even in literacy, life expectancy, reduction of ining from there is the Ring of Poverty. Look have houses, how are they expected to buy at how these metal shanties encircle the city. fant mortality, birth rate, control of tropical diseases, and protection of the environment. How can you not want to help?” healthier, diabetic required foods? If the Costa Rica may seem like the Before walking back to the clinic, clinic doesn’t even have a regular supply perfect Latin paradise, but there is a side of of medications, how are we going to treat Dayan took us to see the water pipe that it that is often forgotten or even intentionally fed the Los Piños community. He explained them for this chronic disease? There is never enough money, there are ignored. Unlike Costa Rica, never enoughmedications, the country to the north of Since offering them asylum, crime rates in the and there aren’t enough it, Nicaragua has continually country increased, health issues have arose, and resources doctors, but there so many been in political and economic have been drained. To most Costa Ricans, Nicaraguans are people needing aid. strife. Ever since the SandThe afternoons at the inistas Revolution in 1981, a bearers of bad news and are viewed as a societal outcast. clinic were spent making small, yet significant populahealth education presentation of Nicaraguans have been exiled from their own country, having lost how these communities survived on stolen tions to keep the children occupied. A their citizenship and having no home to reelectricity and water and that the water came forestry area by Los Piños used to be filled from a rich farm up the mountain. The with trash and drug addicts, but when the turn to. By far the largest Nicaraguan refugee farmer used this water for his cows, the cows population, 250,000 of them have come to Alajuelita project started in 2005, the area would excrete into the water, and it is this reside in northern Costa Rica. Though Costa was cleared out, a wooden stage was built, and it was made into a play area for the kids. Ricans allow Nicaraguans to stay, some of infected water that flows down to the villages them have come to resent the extra ecobelow. The largely uneducated refugee popuDuring the day all the adults are at work nomic burden these refugees have placed on lation ingests this water without understandand the kids are left to fend for themselves. Most of our afternoons were spent playing ing basic sanitation. It was extremely sad them for the past twenty years. Since offering games with the kids and teaching them about to see, but I understood that this parasite them asylum, crime rates in the country hygiene, heath and exercise, and passing out infested water was the only available source increased, health issues have arose, and vitamins, medications, and toothbrushes with the refugees had. resources have been drained. To many Costa Being just a group of pre-med stuRicans, Nicaraguans are bearers of bad news our broken Spanish. Our favorite game was and are viewed as a societal outcast. dents, there wasn’t much we could do back at “Salud, salud, germens,” a game we made up It was in one of these Nicaraguan the clinic. We spent mornings shadowing the to teach kids to run away from the “germs”. doctor, Christian Elizondo, entertaining sick This trip was an amazing experirefugee camps that I gained a first hand children in the waiting room, and doing odd ence. I got to meet many life-long friends, experience of the situation. The five of us jobs around the clinic. Most of the disease was able to see many great acts of humanity, friends had heard about a medical missions cases brought to the clinic were easily treatand I got a sense of inspiration and hope trip in Costa Rica with the Foundation of that could not be obtained from anywhere International Medical Relief of Children able. Some of them included diarrhea, head lice, malnutrition, persistent coughs, gastro(FIMRC). Nicaraguan refugees are not else. Situations like these are all over the intestinal parasites, unplanned pregnanworld, but it only takes the ambition and drive of a few kind individuals for great cies, alcoholism, skin funguses, drug change to be induced. This mission trip addiction, and HIV. It was dealing with helped me gain a life perspective that no such a largely uneducated and uninsured population that made the task difficult. adventure tour or five-star resort could ever I remember coming to the clinic at provide: yes one person can change the seven in the morning and already seeing world. All it takes is belief in a cause and a a line forming at the door. I recall having will to get there. to tie up our hair so we wouldn’t get head lice and that while organizing mediKathleen is a 1st year student at UIC’s School of cal records, we noticed that every single Pharmacy where she is pursuing a degree as a Doctor child was being treated for parasites. I of Pharmacy.
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by Emily Finchum
Health for Humanity
Celebrity efforts have had the amazing effect of drawing attention to emerging infectious diseases and raising funds for their prevention, treatment, and research. The negative aspect of this awareness is that some diseases become popularized as haute couture causes, while others get effectively ignored in the media, as well as in the pocketbooks of philanthropic Americans. Practically everyone that owns a television knows something about the global HIV/AIDS crisis and malaria epidemics. Meanwhile, very little attention, both from the media and from “big-name” non-profit organizations, gets paid to common diseases and painful conditions, the breadth of which spans multiple nations. Working to change this disparity is a non-profit organization called Health for Humanity. Health for Humanity is a Chicago-based group that attempts to build community health through grassroots treatment and prevention efforts both domestically and abroad. Their potent combination of humanistic support and traditional medical treatment promotes their vision of humanity as a single community. Many of Health for Humanity’s international programs focus on building a community support structure that facilitates the implementation of effective interventions. By coordinating the volunteer efforts of undergraduates, medical students, physicians, and administrators they are able to train health professionals in medically-underserved nations so as to instill sustainable change using a “teach a man to fish” philosophy. In 1992, Health for Humanity joined forces with the University of Tirana Eye Clinic in Albania in order to address the issue of insufficient ophthalmologic care in the area. Through philanthropy and volunteerism, Health for Humanity was able to update the medical education of Albanian ophthalmologists, increase residential access to the clinic, and provide newer equipment for more effective treatment. Since the project’s inception, the eye care standards in Albania have increased such that most of the eye care needs of Albanian citizens are being fulfilled by Albanian physicians, instead of American physicians. This is the basic principle underlying all of Health for Humanity’s work; change should not be instilled with constant occupation, but through education of new resident health professionals and increasing the accessibility of resources. Another main component of Health for Humanity’s work is the attention that they draw to widelyunknown diseases, such as river blindness (onchocerciasis). River blindness, a disease named for its transmission via infected blackflies that infest riverbeds, is the second leading infectious cause of blindess in the world today. It affects a total of 35 countries. The symptoms of onchocerciasis are extremely painful and often severely debilitating, and yet, the condition is wholly preventable and effectively-treatable. The pro-
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gram that Health for Humanity instituted in Cameroon has not only provided educational resources to local citizens, but has supplemented this education with annual health maintenance including the anti-parasite medication, ivermectin. Following major progress in the beginning phases of the Cameroon Blindness Program, Health for Humanity is now in the process of ensuring that the change will be continued by local physicians with the same level of efficiency. Health for Humanity and its smaller, local subsidiaries have tackled significant domestic issues as well; they currently have projects addressing wellness of senior citizens, overall health promotion, and smoking cessation. The projects are run completely by community activists under the guidance and support of Health for Humanity. One of the most successful endeavors, denoted by its 11-year lifespan, is the Ohio Wellness Club in Youngstown, Ohio. This initiative helps to inform senior citizens by offering lectures about health changes that accompany the aging process, remedies and treatments for common ailments, and legal concerns of the elderly. Another major project in its infancy is the Community Health Promotions Program, which aims to bring health education to children in a fun and interesting way. Again, the smaller events take place in secondary schools all across the country and are organized by the community for the community. Topics of discussion in these assembly-like presentations include global health, total wellness, and asthma awareness. In this way, Health for Humanity is not simply a charitable organization, but deeply-rooted in the paradigm of “people helping people.” Their goals are to build a strong community such that it can, with a little help, begin to heal itself. Through smaller organizations on college campuses and with the aid of community organizers, Health for Humanity is shedding light on issues that have long been trivialized and bringing sharp focus back to humanitarianism in medical treatment and education. Emily is a 3rd year biological sciences/psychology double major. Her goal is to attend medical school and public health school specializing in emerging infectious diseases and social epidemiology.
The Mirage of Alternative Energy
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Israel at Sixty by Eugene Liebenson
In The Beginning On November 29, 1947 the United Nations (UN) voted to partition Palestine, based on borders that were determined based on population densities of Arabs and Jews. The proposed Arab State included what is west of the Golan Heights, and expanded areas of the West Bank and Gaza. The new Jewish state would consist of the Golan Heights, a thin strip of coastland from Haifa just south of Tel Aviv, and the Negev Desert, which had few people either Jewish or Arab, but the UN decided to allocate it to the Jews because it had to go somewhere. The incipient Jewish state consisted of 60% desert and was noncontiguous . The Zionist leaders accepted, because this was the first chance in nearly 2000 years for the Jewish people to have a sovereign nation, and they feared if they rejected the partition plan, it could also be the last. Considering that millions of European Jews were made homeless because of the Holocaust, they felt it was an offer they could not refuse. The Arab world rejected the partition plan and began to attack Jewish settlements on the borders. Under the leadership of the country’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948 and immediately 5 armies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq) amassed on the incipient state’s borders. The Palestinian leadership, lead by the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini ordered the Palestinians to leave their homes for their own safety and assured them they would return after Israel was defeated. Many of 10
his year marks the 60th anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Many people in the United States know Israel only in the context of conflict and Palestinian refugees; ask the average American what they know about the country and you probably have them stumped. Israel consists of 20,770 sq km, an area slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. Yet, it is rare for a program of the nightly international news to elapse without at least one mention of Israel, almost always in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many international news viewers know that Israel declared statehood in 1948, and as a result hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs became refugees. The number of internationally recognized Palestinian refugees has grown to 4.4 million because all of the descendents of the original refugees are also considered refugees by the United Nations, regardless of where in the world they may live, a unique status seldom given to other refugees . There is more to Israel than the refugees and the conflict, but few nightly news watchers know the events that preceded the displacement of those refugees, and even fewer know about the people of Israel and the country’s extremely rich cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity.
the Palestinians went to the surrounding Arab countries, mainly Jordan, as well as the West Bank and Gaza strip. Though the new Jewish state was outnumbered and under equipped it survived the onslaught and expanded its territory beyond the partition plan. Israel was not the only state to gain land from the 1948 War; Jordan and Egypt conquered the West Bank and Gaza respectively. Today, Israel’s population is much more than its formative years, both in terms of numbers and demographics. In 60 years Israel has changed in its character and population dramatically. If one were to pose the question of “who are the Israelis?” the answer would be extremely complex. Israel is home to over seven million residents, over ninety distinct ethnic groups, almost twenty different religious groups, and a population that is forty percent foreign-born. To write about every sector of Israeli society is beyond the scope of this article, rather we will explore three of the most visible and distinctive groups in the country. The Arab-Israelis, the Soviet Jews, and the Mizrachim are three populations that arrived in the modern state of Israel by different means, and their stories are continuing to unfold through the decades and generations of their presence in the country. There are about 1.4 million Arab-Israelis, 950,000 Jewish immigrants and descendants from the former Soviet Union, and nearly 400,000 Mizrachim who are Jewish descendants from Arab countries and Iran.. Photography: http://flickr.com/photos/pensiero
The Israeli-Arabs Israel’s declaration of independence invited Arab inhabitants to “participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions” . Arabic is an official language of Israel. All public signs, such as road signs, are in both Hebrew and Arabic. Almost all of the Arab-Israelis were descendants of the inhabitants of the land prior to Israel’s official statehood . The vast majority of Arab-Israelis are Sunni Muslims, as well as Christians of various denominations, Bedouins, and Druze (not considered Arabs, though their primary language is Arabic). Arab-Israelis are Israeli citizens with the same rights as Jewish Citizens. Israeli Arabs vote in elections, govern their own municipalities and religious functions, maintain political parties in the Knesset (Israeli parliament), and are exempt from mandatory service in the armed forces. Druze, Bedouins, and Circassian (non-Arab Muslims) men are not exempt from service in the armed forces due to the request of the leaders of their communities. Since the founding of the State of Israel the Israeli-Arabs have made tremendous strides forward. From 1961-1996 the median of number of years spent in school for ArabIsraelis rose from 1.2 to 10.4 years, infant mortality rates dropped precipitously (Muslims from 46.4 deaths per 1,000 live births to 10, Christians from 42.1 to 6.7, and Druze from 50.4 to 8.9). These numbers are even more striking considering the much bleaker situation for Arabs in the countries neighboring Israel. These statistics are not meant to suggest that there is no gap between the Israeli mainstream and Arab-Israelis. Arabs, like other minorities in Israel and elsewhere, live under lower economic and developmental levels. The average Arab family household is larger than the Jewish, which renders fewer providers per dependents. Arab women have a lower presence in the workforce than Jewish women, and Arab communities tend to be smaller with less economic infrastructure. In October of 2000, the Israeli government designated resources to improve all sectors of Arab-Israeli communities, including schools, clinics, dental centers, and roads; spending was the equivalent of one billion US dollars between 2001-2004. The Soviet Jews After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the door opened for hundreds of thousands of people that desired to emigrate. In the former Soviet Union, the government disrupted traditional Jewish life. Synagogues existed is scarce numbers and
under close government supervision. Jewish education was practically stamped out. Many of the Soviet Jews who immigrated to Israel came with their distinct Russian cultural identity and in appreciable numbers with non-Jewish spouses. Tens of thousands of Soviet non-Jews immigrated to Israel with their Jewish family members . The influx of Soviet immigrants has had a profound impact on the country- an impact which is heard and seen on the street by the buzzing of Russian language, the sights and smells of Russian butcher shops, and the massive expansion of the ballet and orchestra. Most of the Soviet immigrants are secular Jews. Many of them came to Israel with excellent educations trained as doctors and engineers. Partially for that reason, Israel has more scientists per capita than any other developed country in the world: 140 scientists and 135 engineers for every 10,000 employed people . Russian immigrants are still in the process of assimilating to life in Israel and many have found the task daunting. Many are nostalgic for their old country and find life in the Middle East strange and uncultured. Overall, however, the story of Soviet immigration to Israel is positive. Many of the Russian-Israelis are finding a balance between the ways of life they were used to in the former Soviet Union and the expectations in their new country. More Russian-Israeli teenagers are taking Russian as their foreign language in high school and a greater number of their parents are acquiring Hebrew. The Mizrachim The influence of the Mizrachim can be heard in the night clubs of Tel-Aviv, where DJs spin pop beats laced over shrieking Yemenite vocals, and it can be tasted in the Malawach bread that is fried fresh and served with chopped tomatoes in the Jaffa bazaars. The Mizrachim are much less recent arrivals to Israel than the Soviets. They have a diverse history but are largely integrated into Israeli society. In 1945, more than 870,000 Jews were dispersed over almost all 22 of the Arab countries and Iran, many of their communities dating back as far as 2,500 years . Compared to the Jews of Europe, the Mizrachim, or the Jews from the Arab countries and Iran faced little persecution. However, they still lived under the status of dhimmi, a tolerated religious minority subject to special taxes and restricted from owning property. After the establishment of the state of Israel, many Arab governments took their frustration out on their indigenous Jewish population, either expelling them or making life so unbearable that they had little recourse but to immigrate to Israel. In effect, an unspoken population
exchange took place between Israel and the Arab countries, but the Jewish refugees were absorbed into Israeli society while the Arab States did not absorb the Palestinian refugees and many remain in refugee camps until this day . More than 600,000 Mizrachim immigrated to Israel and many others to Western Europe with no compensation by the Arab governments who confiscated their homes and possessions . Most of the Mizrachim came from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. The Jews who had lived in the Middle East since biblical times were joined by many of their brethren who had fled Spain during the inquisition in 1492; this is true particularly in Syria. Many of Syria’s Jews supported both the emerging Arab Nationalism and Zionism in the mid-1940s. They believed that the two ideologies could be reconciled and that friendship could emerge between the incipient Jewish state and the Arab countries. After Syria gained independence from France in 1946, anti-Jewish riots occurred in Aleppo. Of the 30,000 Jews that lived in Syria in 1943 almost all have gone to Israel. The vast majority of Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel in 1963 . In 1949, Yemen agreed to let 45,000 of the country’s 46,000 Jews leave. In a dramatic non-stop operation of 380 flights codenamed Operation “Magic Carpet”, Israel flew the Jews of Yemen “home” to Israel. Before the 1990s and the massive wave of Russian immigration, Mizrachim comprised over 70% of the Jewish population of Israel; today, they account for about half . Conclusion The next time you are watching the international news and there is a story about the conflict, remember that there are people in Israel with lives like us anywhere else and stories that are as unique as can be imagined. After 60 years of statehood there is so much more to Israel than an ongoing conflict. People from every corner of the world have come to Israel and have added something new to the culture and the society. With its impressive diversity and no clear single ethnic majority all confined to a space of 20,770 sq km, Israel is one of the most impressive ethnographic experiments in the world. Arab-Israelis, Russians, and Mizrachim; three of the most distinctly visible sectors of Israeli society, have made tremendous contributions and strides forward since their beginnings in the State of Israel. Eugene is an anthropology major at UIC. Now a senior, he plans to enter graduate school to study international relations. 11
Our Planet, Our Future Imagine a world where snow and ice did not exist. Considering the harsh winter storms experienced by the United States Midwest and Northeast regions recently, a planet with no blizzards would be favorable. Without the winter weather patterns, however, the world would be an ecologically draconian environment, threatening human existence. The world may face these dire consequences if global warming persists. Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near surface air and oceans which has grown into a continual trend for decades. The global average temperature near the Earth’s surface rose about 0.74 C in the past hundred years. The rise in temperature has occurred due to the greenhouse gas effect. The greenhouse gas effect is a natural phenomenon that helps regulate Earth’s temperature. Greenhouse gases act like an insulating blanket and trap solar energy that would otherwise escape into space. Without the greenhouse effect, temperatures would be about 60 F lower and life as we know it would not be possible. In recent years, however, the greenhouse effect has been enhanced mostly due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. The United States is the largest consumer of fossil fuels and d eforestation. The Kyoto Protocol was a proposal to reduce greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The United States refuse to sign the protocol because their lifestyle would be the most affected. Overall, total U.S. emissions have increased by 16.3% from 1990 to 2005. The greenhouse gases are expected to continue rising by about 1% per year if the current consumption trends continue. The Earth is already feeling the effects of climate change and these effects will continue to amplify until something is done about this issue. One of the main causes of global warming is the greenhouse gas effect. Some greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and water occur naturally, whereas some greenhouse gases such as cholorofluorocarbons are produced only through 12
Photography by Ben Heine UIC Spring 2008 12 OneWorld
human activity. The “greenhouse effect” is the warming that happens when certain gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap heat. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the more heat gets trapped. The Earth receives most of its energy from the Sun in the form of radiation. Most of the energy is in visible wavelengths and infrared wavelengths. 30% of the incoming solar radiation is reflected back and 70% of the radiation is absorbed warming the land, atmosphere and oceans. This greenhouse gas keeps the Earth’s surface temperature near 60 C and livable. Through the burning of fossil fuels and natural gas, humans are enhancing the greenhouse effect causing the levels of greenhouse gases to rise which have been fairly constant over the past few thousand years. Occasionally, other factors such as volcanic eruptions or solar variation change the temperature near the Earth’s surface but the changes that have occurred in recent decades are unprecedented. Polar ice caps are expected to melt and sea levels have risen about 4.8-8.8 inches during the last century. Just last weekend a huge sheet in the Antarctic measuring approximately 160 square miles broke off proving the real threat of global warming. The greenhouse effect is a cause for concern because it is rapidly changing the climate and if the trend continues it will have a huge impact on the climate near the Earth’s atmosphere. The effects of this climate change are many and varied. Fiercer hurricanes will be more likely because global warming heats the oceans and hurricanes derive their power from warm waters. Do we really want another Hurricane Katrina or worse? At least 1836 people died in Hurricane Katrina and it has caused an estimated $82.1 billion dollars in damage. Hot, dry conditions are perfect for sparking wildfires. Scientist are trying to trace the link between the warmer climate and the recent increase in wildfires. Higher temperatures will also cause more droughts because water will be evaporating faster. The dried out soil will increase water shortages and put livestock and crops at risk. More rainfalls and floods like Photography by Slow Loris
by Helly Parikh the one in New Orleans in 2005 are also possible. Scientists also speculate that “killer” heat waves will be more likely. Arctic ice is also rapidly declining and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by the year 2040. Glaciers and mountain snow is also rapidly melting. For example, Montana’s glacier national park had 150 glaciers in 1910 and that number has now been reduced to 27. We need to take immediate action if we are going to offset our carbon footprint on the Earth. “Cap and Trade” is right now the most effective way to reduce global warming emissions. This concept is based on the 1990 Clean Air Act. There are many congressional bills being introduced to combat global warming. The Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007 was introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman and Arlen Spector, which will place an emissions cap by 2012 and cut GHG emissions to 0% by 2020 and -15% by 2030. Sources covered by this act include coal facilities, petroleum refineries, natural gas processors etc. The Global Warming Reduction Act introduced by Senators John Kerry and Olympia Snowe, which also puts an emission cap by the year 2012 and cut GHG emissions by 15% by 2020 and 67% by 2050. Also urges people to use more fuel-efficient cars such as hybrids and reduce fossil fuel usage. The government is taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but everyone has to put in an effort to reduce GHG emissions. People do not have to wait for the government to take actions. Small changes in our lifestyles can also help reduce GHG emissions. Some of the changes that people can make include taking showers instead of baths, using energy efficient bulbs, using public transportation or car pooling. The list continues and even small changes such as these can reduce emissions if people are willing to do them. We should be concerned about the fate of this planet that is our home and should make sure that its beauty is not destroyed. Most importantly, we should make sure it continues to stay our home.
Helly is a freshman at UIC, majoring in Neuroscience, and planning on pursuing a career in healthcare.
10 facts about Global Warming 45%: Increase in world’s solar generating capacity in 2005.
2: Rank of China as global producer of solar cells, behind Japan (U.S. ranks 4th).
$1.5 billion: Amount US government spends a year on renewable energy research.
$1 billion: ExxonMobil’s daily revenue. $2 billion: Amount GE Energy Financial Services invested in wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy in 2007.
$200 billion: Amount China has committed to invest in renewable energy sources over the next 15 years.
0.74%: Projected cost of smart cap-and-trade climate policy on US economic output in 2030.
100%: Projected growth of the US economy by 2030. 53: Number of senators supporting cap and trade legislation.
0: Number of bills passed by Congress to cap and reduce America’s global warming pollution.
Sexual Assault in Kosovo by Caitlin Sullivan
Starting during the NATO bombing campaign, Serbian and Yugoslavian
army and legal officers have committed war acts of rape against Kosovar Albanian women. Seeming to be an act of terror, these officials raped, executed, robbed, and burned the abandoned towns of the Albanian civilians they drove out of the Serbia at gunpoint. These acts of sexual violence resulted in many women living in constant public denial about these incidences, as sexual violation is the utmost humiliating and disgraceful thing that can happen to a Muslim woman. Kosovar Albanian, Muslim women say they would rather die than try to live a life after rape. Regardless, rape victims have slowly begun coming forward to seek help dealing with their past while some try to raise and love a child that symbolizes the injustices and devastation Kosovo and its people have felt under the Serbian-forced Kosovar Albanian exile. 14
To provide historical-political context, in 1989 Serbia suspended the autonomy guaranteed to Kosovo in Serbia’s 1974 constitution and diminished Kosovo’s human rights. Further, in 1999, Serbia dissolved Kosovo’s government, and at this time, Belgrade, Serbia took complete executive control over Kosovo. Under Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's control of the Serbian government, Serbia was responsible for destroying much of Bosnia and parts of Croatia, killing hundreds of thousands of people in these nations. In response, NATO launched an air strike on Serbian military targets in Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo, aiming to wound and disband Milosevic’s regime. Serbia retaliated by continuing it’s ethnic cleansing, and drove Kosovar Albanians out of Kosovo. Hundreds of thousands were forced into Albania, Mecedonia, and Montenegro as Paramilitary forces descended upon Kosovo, burning towns and executing civilians. As of April 20, 1999, over a half million refugees have been forced out of Kosovo. In greater detail, while burning towns, executing civilians, and robbing the fleeing Kosovar Albanians, Serbian Paramilitary officials also committed rape offences against Kosovar Albanian women. The Human Rights Watch reports that there have been 96 documented cases of rape by Serbian and Yugoslav forces against Kosovar Albanian women surrounding the 1999 NATO bombing campaign. However they believe that this figure does not represent the entire number of offences and that many more incidences of rape have gone unreported. In Bosnia, the Serbian army raped tens of thousands of women and set up Bosnian ''rape camps'' where mostly Muslim women were held captive for days. In these Bosnian rape camps, women were repeatedly assaulted and often killed afterward. BOES.org, a civil rights advocacy, writes that Serbian-Albanian border towns in particular were used as rape posts by the Serbian army. Here Serbian Paramilitaries drove the towns clear, then filed Kosovar civilians through, separating women and teen-aged daughters from their families to rape the females - sometimes raping them there in front of their families. As rape is the highest form of humiliation, the public rapes were no doubt hardest on Kosovar families These rape camps in Kosovo towns remain discouraged rumors among even victims, because of the shame it brings the women and their families. Even within families, members sometimes refuse to admit to one another that sexual assault took place, let alone seek help dealing with this trauma. To exemplify Muslim families’ wishes to keep these incidences hushed, I introduce Valentina Gjuraj, 24 and a journalist in the western city of Djakovica, (where
one of the worst massacres of the Serbian terror campaign occurred) and her husband Behan. Their story was featured in a New York Times article. Valentina, married four months, says she was taken from their small southern village by Serbian forces, held for a day in the local police station, beaten, then threatened with death. But she was not, she said, raped. Her husband, Behan Thaqi, thinks differently. “‘I am 100 percent certain that they raped her,’ said Mr. Thaqi, 34, a farmer imprisoned by the Serbs for supplying weapons to the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Albanian guerrillas who fought Serbian forces. ‘I know that when women get in their hands, there is no chance [for that woman] to escape [without being raped].’” Mr. Thaqi says his wife denies the rape because “‘she doesn't dare tell that kind of story.’ If she admitted it to him, he said, ‘I would ask for a divorce -- even if I had twenty children.” As his wife listened, silent and shamefaced, in a corner of their empty home, looted of all furniture and possessions by the Serbs, Mr. Thaqi added: ‘I don't hate her, but the story is before my eyes. I feel very cold toward her.’ … ‘Kissing her’, he said, ‘is like kissing a dead body.’” (NYTimes). It is hard for these Kosovar families affected by the Serb’s war tactic of rape, to recover. It is expected that it will take some time for the Kosovo people to become more conscious of their civil rights in order to accept the reality of what happened to their Kosovar Albanian women. “…Just as in Bosnia, where a post-Communist urban feminist movement encouraged rape victims to speak, investigators expect that more testimony from women will come to light during the next several months, after one million refugees settle back home and bury their dead” writes the New York Times. It is expected that as time passes and people return home from refugee camps that the number of rape victims will climb as more and more seek help dealing with the resulting emotional trauma. But for now, “a horrific social stigma accompanies rape in Kosovo, bringing lifelong shame to a woman and her family” (NYTimes). I hope that these women gain social freedom with their independence as a nation, and that they seek help overcoming the shattering events that are estranging these women from their families.
Caitlin is a senior at UIC with a major in secondary mathematics education. After graduation, she hopes to obtain a job teaching high school mathematics.
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Chicago through the Eyes of a German Girl Photographed and authored by Jasmin Weinert
I took up photography as a hobby for the same reasons I play music and write poetry. Only occasionally do I partake in this amusement. I donâ€™t see myself as an artist by any means. These visual, acoustic, and linguistic devices allow for me to let out emotions and thoughts, and transform it into something subsumable. I have an the opportunity to handle problems others wouldnâ€™t fully understand. When taking photographs, I mostly focused on nature motifs, including the human being, often as a substitute. The images reflect my expression of nature which is especially important to me as it means relaxing, finding back to me, and my inner wishes and needs. Taking those pictures helps me to experience the silence of nature, its pure essence, and the variety of colors, as well as shapes and textures in a much more intense way. These images also represent a little piece of home.
When I came to Chicago, I had an issue with its lack of a natural and rural environment. It was difficult for me to connect with nature. I am not very fond of the modern architecture and I feel more comfortable with smaller cities and old-fashion buildings. I prefer a little disorder and winding streets and hills, as opposed to 90 degree angled streets. Indeed, the roads are conveniently made, yet very boring and bland for my eyes. At first, the perfectionism and order of the city was painful. There were no interesting corners that varied from street to street, nor were there wild growing plants. Nature did not seem to have a change to grow amidst Urbanization.
In an attempt to discover the tiniest bit of natural elements, I ventured near the lake shore and Millennium Park. I viewed myself as an outsider because I could not identify with my new surroundings. The lack of people in the photos is a reflection of my loneliness, homesickness, missing friends and family from home, and remaining disconnected from Chicagoans.
Despite my loneliness, I was able to discover common elements with water and reflection. I identified with the colorful butterfly and its contrast with the grey, big city in the background. From my perspective, Chicago was not a tourist attraction or an admiring enormous metropolis. My experience was of an individual searching for similarities that would remind me of home.
My view would change, over time, as I discovered Chicagoâ€™s unique beauty and style. Using a special camera, the Holga, I capture images that represent the heart of Chicago. Using my hobby as a tool for connecting with nature and my surroundings, I no longer perceive myself as a stranger.
Who is an Arab? The Confusion of Arab Identity by Anand Sandesara Foreign to the Middle-Eastern and North African culture, I walked into my sociology class on Arab society at the American University in Cairo with high expectations. As one of just a few Americans in the class during my time studying abroad in Egypt, I learned a great deal and shattered many of my own misconceptions about what is referred to as the Arab World. The very first day, my effervescent professor walked to the front of the room and asked, “So how many of you consider yourselves Arab? Raise your hands.” Not a single hand in the class of twenty-five was raised, and I was stunned. But, for the most part, the students were Arabic-speaking Egyptian Muslims, so why didn’t they consider themselves Arab? This conversation extended a few class sessions, and I learned more than I ever thought I would. The media sometimes uses the term Arab inter-
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changeably with national or regional identities in the Middle East and North Africa, as is seen with constant mention of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Often, Arab is used in a manner to indicate a follower of Islam from this particular region. However, attaching a religious definition to the term is misrepresentative and misleading. The area traditionally identified as Arab is home to a diversity of religions and religious traditions. Egypt is home to a strong Coptic Christian community and Lebanon is nearly half Christian, the majority of whom are Maronites. Arabic-speaking Jews exist, as do various sects of Islam that vary greatly from what is traditionally thought of as Islam, such as the Sufis. Despite the fact that the religious factor is most commonly associated with the term Arab, the majority of the world’s Muslims do not even inhabit the socalled Arab world, as the largest concentrations of Muslims Photography by Anand Sandesara
are found in South and Southeast Asia. Some try to racially distinguish Arabs, but there are Arabic speakers in North Africa and the Middle East who are black, white, and every shade in between. When attempting to define an Arab, scholars have tried to approach the term from a genealogical, linguistic, or political perspective. By taking a genealogical perspective, Arab is defined as someone who can trace their ancestry back to the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. With such a definition, most of those that even identify themselves as Arabs presently would be excluded. There is no such thing as a “pure Arab” at this point when taking into account the centuries of migration and mixing that have taken place in the Middle East and beyond. It is thought that the only remaining “pure Arabs” remain in southern Yemen. Some have chosen to define an Arab as the individual who speaks Arabic as his or her first language. This definition is much more encompassing for the North African and Middle Eastern region, but problems still emerge. The first problem arises from the fact that there are large segments of the region that do not speak Arabic as their first language. For example, many Algerians speak French as their first language, and therefore speak French better than they do Arabic. At the same time, there is much diversity even among those that speak Arabic, seeing that it exhibits the phenomenon of diglossia. This means that the language consists of two levels, one of which is classical and the other is spoken. Modern Standard Arabic, derived from the classical Qur’anic Arabic, is the unifying marker across the Arabic-speaking world for use mainly in printed material, such as newspapers and magazines. The spoken form, however, varies tremendously. Moroccan Arabic, for example, integrates Spanish and French elements into its conversational form. A speaker of Iraqi Arabic would have difficulty understanding a Tunisian speaker of Arabic, and both dialects would differ respectively from Gulf Arabic or Egyptian Arabic. Therefore, language is a unifying factor, but loosely so. The third way to approach the definition has been to approach it through a political lens. This perspective espouses that if an individual is a citizen of a country where Arabic is an official language or a member of the Arab League, they are to be considered Arab. This definition would include
the greatest amount of individuals, but there are still some problems. Berbers, Kurds, and Somalis would be accepted, but they do not speak Arabic. Somalia and Djibouti are members of the Arab League, but they are not traditionally Arabic-speaking nations. Also, by limiting the definition so, the entire Arab diaspora that has moved out of Africa and the Middle East no longer would qualify as Arabs seeing as they are citizens of different countries. These explanations were all fascinating at the scholarly level, but I also wanted to know how locals felt. When I saw that not one Egyptian had raised their hand, I was determined to find out more. My friends told me that they never identified as Arab because it was a term that forcibly tried to umbrella hundreds of millions of people together when Egyptians were simply proud to self-identify as Egyptian and nothing else. One Egyptian regarded the term as slightly derogatory, especially with the Western media portrayal of the term and thus the negative Western preconceptions that were associated with it. Others used the term Arab solely when speaking about individuals hailing from the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region. And still, others referred to the Bedouins and other tribal nomads as Arabs, which in actuality is what the word A’rab means. Those that claim that Arabs are unified by a common culture also face the argument that Arab culture is analogous to a mosaic consisting of different ethnic and religious groups that never fuse together to form a common culture but simply exist side-by-side. The term itself gained use concurrently with the rise of Pan-Arabism under Gamel Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s second president, but while the idea of Pan-Arabism has lost popularity, the term has remained. The confusion with Arab identity essentially underlines the problem of categorizing groups of people. The use of a single term always produces conflict (not necessarily violent) because outsiders have chosen how to identify individuals who may self-identify differently, whether it is nationally, religiously, racially, or culturally. Anand Sandesara is a junior majoring in History with minors in Sociology and French. He hopes to become a physician involved in international urban public health and policy.
OneWorld UIC Spring 2008 21
The Nirmada Dam Project A Problematic Solution by Shital Gandhi India has gone from being a poverty-stricken country to one of the leading industrial nations in the world. Going back today after a long period of time, it would seem as if one has entered a whole new world. India has gone from having dirty roads and little money to having more efficient cars and enough funding to industrialize its infrastructure. Unfortunately, not all of this money goes to the people in need; rather to beautifying its land and often causing people to lose their homes. Since the 1940’s, the Indian government has been working on the Narmada Dam Project, known as a plan to build a series of dams on the Narmada River, in order to irrigate farmland and transport water to parts of India such as Kutch and Saurashtra in Gujarat. The Nirmada River is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh and flows into the Gulf of Kambat between Hindustan and the Deccan Plateau. As helpful as this idea may seem, the Project is causing people to be displaced from their homes and forced to live in flooded acres of farmland. In the 1940’s, India’s prime minister at the time, Jawaharlal Nehru, planned the Narmada Dam Project, however it was not carried out until 1979. The idea was to build 3,000 small dams, 135 medium dams, and 30 large dams, the biggest being the Sardar Sarovar which has a height of 136.5 meters. Its main purpose is to irrigate 18,000 acres of land in drought-prone areas such as Kutch and Saurashstra and to increase hydroelectricity. Other characteristics of the Narmada Dams include the ability to send drinking water to 8,215 villages and 135 cities in the state of Gujarat, a flood capacity of 5.7 cubic kilometers, protection against desertification, flood control reaching 300 squared kilometers, and the potential to develop communication systems. The building of these dams is also said to increase agricultural production, domestic water supply, and power generation. Not everyone is happy with the benefits that come with the Narmada Dams. An organization known as the NBA, or Narmada Bachao Andolan, consists of farmers and other human rights activists in opposition of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. One can not build without destroying, and the NBA activists have opposed the destruction of trees within the borders of the Narmada River, as they would be drowned in the dam’s water. Though this is still an issue, the bigger problem is the effect that the project has on the lives of the poor who have no place else to go. As the waters rise, the hutments are flooded, and the citizens find themselves left with absolutely nothing. The government does not seem to find this to be a huge problem, because they gave no notice to those living near the river. It was realized that, though the World Bank agreed to finance the Project, they had not taken the aftermath into consideration, and therefore the World Bank later withdrew their financial assistance. The NBA protested against the Sardar Photography by Ashit Parikh
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Photography by Gunnar Geir
Sarovar Dam through hunger strikes, mass media publicities, and by obtaining support from celebrities. One of the organization’s spokespersons, Medha Patkar, went on a twenty-two day hunger strike which forced the Indian government to withdraw from its loan agreement with the World Bank. This is because they wanted to give up the loan before the World Bank itself took it away after seeing that India was not complying with its policies of reducing poverty and achieving supportable development. Another reason that the NBA protests to the Narmada Dam Project is that they feel that it is a waste of money since 10% of India’s agricultural products are lost to rodents. Also, as the government claims that the dams will help distribute electricity, 70% of households still do not have any, while the poor are in greater need of food and shelter. 114,000 people from 162 villages have been displaced with no prior notice as they were chased out by floods and rats. These people went from being farmers to laborers, some working as servants in the officers’ bungalows. The rising of the waters is also causing diseases such as malaria and diarrhea and as well as sickness among animals and livestock because they are stranded in
the mud. After one year of resettlement 38 children died due to malnutrition in a rehabilitation site. These displaced families are forced to start all over again and must learn new ways of living. This includes learning a new regional language as well as simply how to use western-style bathrooms. After a hearing of the Supreme Court of India, The Narmada Bachao Andolan seems to be getting its way. Today, the project is still an issue, although the ruling determined to have the project stopped until the rehabilitation process is complete. The government has not been completely successful at this and is still contemplating raising the heights of the dams. It has been argued that the dams can help produce more food for India’s growing population, but the long process is causing hardship among families all across the region, and the people still feel that the government is not acting on its ability to help its people. Shital is a second year student as UIC. She is majoring in Mathematics and French and is exploring possible careers in either Optometry or in teaching.
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It’s about creating change for the better. In the neighborhood that was once Chicago’s stockyard district, you will now find an urban farm of fruits and vegetables. This project, called “Growing Home,” is an initiative of Heifer International, an organization dedicated to ending world hunger and poverty. Here in Chicago, they provide an opportunity for the formerly homeless to manage this farm, where they grow produce for local restaurants and farmers’ markets. The farm provides new meaning to the lives of those who work on it, not only improving their health, but granting the workers financial stability as well. This is one of the newer endeavors of an organization that began in 1944, when the first shipment of seventeen young cows, or heifers, left Pennsylvania for Puerto Rico, on their way to families whose children had never even tasted milk, according to their website, www.heifer.org. They define themselves in their bi-monthly publication, World Ark, as “a global nonprofit working with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.” In the time since those first seventeen heifers were delivered to families in need, more than 8.5 million families have been positively impacted by Heifer International, in more than 125 countries around the globe. Heifer works to provide struggling families with livestock and training in environmentally sound agriculture, helping people move towards greater self-reliance. These gifts come entirely through donations. Whether on their website, through their catalogue, or in insert to the World Ark magazine, people throughout the world can share what they have, by paying for heifers, llamas, chickens, honeybees, or other livestock animals. Heifer also encourages thoughtful gift-giving, such as donating a flock of geese in your mom’s name, instead of buying her another sweater for her birthday. http://www.heifer.org/
And, unlike that sweater, which will eventually find a permanent home in the back of the closet, this gift will keep on giving. Heifer International has an important component to its program called “passing on the gift.” Every family that receives an animal through Heifer International agrees to pass on one or more of its offspring to another family in need, thereby building ties between different families and communities, as well as increasing the impact of the initial gift exponentially. An example of Heifer’s recent success takes place in Rwanda, with the story of Agnes Uwanyiligira, who lost twenty-five members of her family in the devastating conflicts between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups. She also lost her entire farm and all of her livestock. However, through a contribution through Heifer International, which started with just one cow, Agnes now has milk to feed her children and can derive an income from the sale of extra milk, which she puts towards food, medicine, and clothing. Heifer International is supported by Bill Gates, Walter Cronkite, Bill Clinton, and other thoughtful people throughout the world. In 2004, the organization was awarded the world's largest humanitarian award, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. While their main office is located in Arkansas, they also have a local office at 311 N. Aberdeen St., Chicago. Further information can be found at their website, www.heifer.org. Susan Hogan is a junior, with a major in English and a minor in Russian. She aspires to be a published poet and to be fluent in multiple languages. Susan is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of UIC’s Red Shoes Review.
The recent intervention of Turkey into Northern Iraq caught many people by surprise. The event has highlighted a number of challenges that the United States faces in the foreign policy arena with both an international and domestic component. In the case of the former, a number of issues can be raised regarding the autonomy of Northern Iraq, the question of Kurdish sovereignty, and the current geopolitical situation that the United States finds itself in. The autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan has been often cited as a model for the central government of Iraq. Selfgoverning and with low levels of violence and increasing levels of socio-economic stability, Northern Iraq has been highlighted by analysts on all sides of the political spectrum as a positive sign of progress. There are internal issues that have arisen, of course, regarding the potential secession of the region from the country. The deep involvement of Kurdish leaders (for example Jalal Talabani, the current president of Iraq as well as the secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), however, seems to suggest that this can be avoided. What is more pressing is the Turkish invasion’s potential impact on the stability of Northern Iraq. It should be noted that Turkey has been present in Northern Iraq for many years in order to combat what it recognizes as terrorist elements who seek refuge in Kurdistan. This latest invasion, on the other hand, seems to have involved an intrusion into the civilian regions of Northern Kurdistan, rather than the mountainous regions previously used by the Kurdistan Workers Party (Turkey’s objective). This highlights a number of problems for the United States that it must somehow resolve. The primary difficulty that the United States faces is maintaining its politically vital relationship with Turkey. Turkey has been receptive of American forces, is a key member of NATO, and is currently pushing for acceptance into the European Union, a move that would solidify its place as a role model for Middle Eastern countries. Its military is one of the most proficient and well-equipped, an effect of its relationship with the United States as well as its membership in NATO, making its incursions into Northern Iraq potent. Looming beyond all these difficulties is the well established fear of an independent Kurdistan arising in the Middle East and annexing part of Turkey’s territory, an idea which complicates the situation even further, and is particularly antagonizing to Iraq’s neighboring nations. 24 OneWorld UIC Spring 2008
The United States is therefore caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to determine which mode of action to pursue. An endorsement of Turkey would threaten the stability of Northern Iraq, which in turn would have certain repercussions throughout Iraq and on an already burdened American military. Any move towards endorsement of Iraqi Kurdistan’s resistance to these attacks threatens to antagonize a fragile and pivotal geopolitical relationship between the United States and Turkey, as well as potentially damaging future relationships with other neighboring countries. The Unites States’ domestic problems are not helping the situation. A civilian populace, largely unaware of the situation of Northern Iraq (of either its stability or of its problems) makes finding a solution to the problem difficult. While polls suggest a large majority of Americans are in favor of a withdrawal, it is predictable that the collapse of a Turkish-American relationship or the collapse of Iraqi Kurdistan would deal a severe blow to the United States position in world affairs in general, a notion which has not yet dawned on the minds of many Americans. Concern over the current state of the economy, as well as the prolonged absence of “positive” media reporting from Iraq, has lead to a general apathy amongst the populace. Despite one’s political tendencies, the situation deserves our full attention, for the solution will demand the creativity of both our political figures as well as our citizenry. Ramanujan is a second year student at UIC He is a double major in biology and psychology. His career goal is to pursue a doctorate in cognitive science.
Photovoice Empowering to Create Change by Daniel Schneider Realizing that a social problem exists in a community, is the first step to creating positive changes, but it still leaves the question: What can I do about it? This is not necessarily an easy question to answer, especially if one is not a member of the community in which this inequality exists. It becomes exponentially difficult if the people in that community themselves, are not in control of the forces that are causing the problem. Caroline Wang of the University of Michigan developed an answer to that question in the late 1990s: Photovoice. Photovoice is a methodology that empowers people to better understand and create change within their own communities, and it can be an affective strategy in combating social problems. To undertake a successful Photovoice project one needs three things: a group of people bound together by similar experience, cameras, and film. Each person in the group is given a camera and basic knowledge about the ethics of photography. Following this instruction, participants are encouraged to go out into their community and take pictures that exemplify the community. Often the best photos are images of the characteristics that illicit emotional response: feelings of pride, respect, fear, anger, sadness, or worry. Utilizing these images, participants discuss the reasons that such emotional responses are present and together embark on a journey to discover the hidden themes represented in each. Dialogue and discussion lead the group to uncovering the sources of both positive and negative aspects of the community. The positives give the group a platform from which it can base the struggle to change the sources of the problems. The initial struggle will be fought to change the things in the community that its members have the power to change. From there, the fight moves on to the policy makers that have the greatest influence. By using the knowledge obtained from the Photovoice methodology, the community can educate policy makers to legislate changes that are powerful and create a long-term positive impact on the community. Photovoice was used by the Neighborhood Violence Prevention Collaborative in Flint, Michigan in 1999. Flint struggled with economic transition, race relations, and cultural issues. These issues were eating away at the community and causing it to slide into a stream of deterioration and escalating violence. In 1987, Flint was named by Money magazine as the worst community in the US to live in. The collaborative gave cameras to youth participants, community activists, and policy makers themselves. By following the methodology explained above, the Flint Photovoice Project was successful in obtaining an increased awareness of the community, a deeper community understanding of violence prevention techniques, as well as the creation of Youth Violence Prevention Center. Photography: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ejazasi/
The benefits of Photovoice are many. Firstly, Photovoice empowers people to create change themselves. Often the people in need are the ones who feel the most helpless to create change. By utilizing Paulo Freire’s philosophy of educating for a critical consciousness, Photovoice provides a voice to the voiceless. Secondly, Photovoice restores a sense of humanity to people often represented only by numbers and percentages. Photographs represent real people living in real situations; accompanied by the proper captioned context, photographs can rouse emotions that people with a good conscious cannot ignore. Putting a face to the statistics instills a sense of “realness” to problems that seem to exist only in abstract dimensions. Finally, Photovoice is applicable to people of all education levels. The cameras utilized are simple and easy to operate. With a little practice, almost anyone can take pictures. Furthermore, with the understanding that each person is an expert in his own life, individuals gain a sense of self-importance and new found feelings of ability to positively affect one’s own life. Photovoice has a lot of promise, but it certainly is not a perfect methodology. The camera is a source of power that can also be used to negatively impact a community. Proper judgment and care must be taken to ensure the safety of subjects and to do no harm to the community. The photographer’s power can also put her or him in danger. If the camera is seen as an item of value or if individuals being photographed do not want to be, the photographer could be harmed by others wishing to obtain the camera and/or prevent pictures from being taken. Lastly, Photovoice has the power to instill false hope. A photography project does not automatically equate to social change. An understanding must be established between the project leader and the community that Photovoice is simply a tool, not a primary means to an outcome. If this understanding does not exist, the relationship between the leader and the people involved could be damaged greatly. In conclusion, Photovoice is an effective way to empower people to create change. It has the ability to unite people along shared experiences and create stronger ties within a community. Photovoice also has the power to do more harm than good, but if precautions are taken and participants are educated in the methodology, the dangers of Photovoice can be reduced dramatically. If someone is looking for a tool to launch a grass roots attack on the social problems within a community, consider Photovoice as a possible plan for action. Daniel is a second year student at UIC, majoring in anthropology.
Photography: http://www.flickr.com/photos/recompose 25
Benazir Bhuttoâ€™s Legacy by Kumud Kataria
When we first hear the word democracy, we usually almost immediately associate the concept with revolution, egalitarianism, liberty, and even feminism. In fact, taking a glance at our current presidential race, we see exactly that â€“ a woman and a black man running for president. By-and-large, Americans would agree that democracy is the best form of government. In fact, other countries too have illustrated their support for a democratic government, as they currently fight to establish a democracy in their own homelands. One woman in particular who was valiantly combating to transform her nation is late Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, who was recently assassinated on December 27, 2007 at the age of 54. As she fought to bring Pakistan out of a military dictatorship, the Pakistani people came to see Bhutto as the embodiment of not only change, but also of hope that one day there will be justice and freedom to practice their complete human rights.
Being the first woman to lead a Muslim country, she carried strong ambitions of advancing Pakistan in every aspect from education and healthcare, to providing opportunities for the underprivileged. Among the myriad changes she advocated, the most exemplary, however, was her activism in promoting women’s right in Pakistan, a country that held women as secondary. Bhutto was born into a prominent political family on June 21, 1953 as the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a political leader and former Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Nusrat Bhutto, former Member of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan. At a very young age, there was pressure for her to follow her father’s footsteps into the political world, which she eventually did as means of keeping her father’s legacy alive. Bhutto attended Harvard University at the age of 16, where she completed her undergraduate studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Subsequently, she continued her education at Oxford, studying International Law and Diplomacy. Bhutto had always desired to go into journalism and wanted to be a diplomat, but instead had no choice but to complete her father’s unfinished work after his imprisonment and subsequent assassination – that is what was expected by her father’s supporters. The unfortunate reality, however, is that both Bhutto and her father died fighting for a promising political future for their country. Following her father’s death in 1979, who was hanged by the military government of General Zia Ul Haq, Bhutto started to lead the Pakistan People's Party already established by her father. After completing a period of exile given to her by the military, she returned to Pakistan and was elected prime minister in 1988 and once again in 1993, but both times expelled from office on charges of corruption. Bhutto faced accusations of corruption not only in Pakistan, but also in Britain, Switzerland and Spain. Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, found his role to be a contentious issue following her expulsion. A well-known figure during both of her administrations, Zardari has been indicted by the Pakistani government for stealing millions of dollars, and has served eight years in jail. Today, there is speculation as to whether Zardari was a player in Bhutto’s demise. Regardless of what her negative reviews may have been, some even claiming her political actions being “imperious” and “impulsive,” Bhutto’s progressive movements and efforts do not go unnoticed. Upon being elected as the first female Prime Minister in an Islamic State twice, from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to1996, she brought immediate reform during her reign. Bhutto expended Photography by Zahid Pix Photography by Naeem Khan
much of her hard work caring for the poor and the underprivileged communities in Pakistan. As she brought electricity to the countryside and built schools throughout the country, Bhutto also focused heavily on crucial topics particularly hunger, housing and health care. Additionally, she advocated independent press along with free market, just a few of the many rights that many Americans take for granted. Bhutto’s goal was to instill in Pakistan the roots of democracy, pulling it from its impoverished conditions. Essentially, she wanted to provide equal opportunities in all aspects for every citizen, with an intense focus on women’s rights. Seizing the opportunities that came with being in power, Bhutto immediately became invested in giving women a chance to succeed. However, the road traveled to achieve this came with several hardships. After receiving the prestigious title of the first woman executive of an Islamic state, Bhutto inevitably became the victim of much criticism and verbal abuse. In one interview she claimed, “…that was the biggest challenge. I don't know how to deal with OneWorld UIC Spring 2008 27
that, I can deal with political differences, but how do you deal with it when someone says I don't like you because you're a woman and you've taken a man's place.” Taking the disparagement directed toward her quite hard at times, Bhutto eventually learned to handle it. She later learned in the process she didn’t have to adapt male leadership characteristics, in order to prove to the male population of her strong leadership abilities. She could simply be a female leader, and be just as effective in her tasks. On this matter Bhutto stated, “…now 30 years down the line, I think we can be more comfortable with the notion that its no longer only a man's world. There are quite a few women out there and we women can start being more like women, we don't have to outdistance or outperform men we can start being confident about ourselves.” Furthermore, in order to promote the role of women in Pakistan, Bhutto pushed toward controlling population growth and domestic violence, allowing access to credit for women to venture into their own businesses, along with opening women’s police stations, courts, and women’s development banks. Even though Bhutto accomplished much for her country, the rewards came with great personal sacrifice. Bhutto admitted that with having both a career and a family, she had to pay the price by not always being there for her children when they needed her. Additionally, after trying to juggle both family and career, she realized that it left her with very little time for herself in the end. However, even after admitting this, she claimed that the sacrifice was worth it and that she found great satisfaction in it. Bhutto’s love for her country is further illustrated in one of her quotes declaring, “If I had thought it [marriage] might hurt my political career, I know I would never have taken this step. I would never have gotten married at any stage. I would have never sought personal happiness at the cost of my country. If people have given their lives for the cause of freedom and constitutional rule, then I surely could have sacrificed marriage and children.” The tragedy of this woman’s life, however, was that her sacrifices would be more than she had imagined. On December 27, 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. After leaving a rally in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, just two weeks before the elections, she was shot in the neck by a suicide bomber. Immediately after the shot, the bomber blew himself up, while also taking the life of many others around him. For the citizens of Pakistan, Bhutto’s third term was a hope for freedom. Sadly, this was taken away from them. This tragic incident led to the devastation of an entire country. However, even after her death, Bhutto will always be remembered as the “Daughter of the East,” who became the “martyr of democracy.” Regardless of how we remember her, let us not forget to remember her as how she had desired to be remembered, “…but above all I want to be remembered,” she once said, “for what I did for women. My identity comes ultimately from being a woman and I felt that my life has to make a difference to the lives of other women…” Whether as a politician or a feminist, her incomplete legacy will always remain in the hearts of her believers. Kumud is a freshman neuroscience major who aspires to be a neurologist. 28 OneWorld UIC Spring 2008
Man Hum We all have moments in our lives that offer realizations that truly alter our perspectives on humanity, the world, or even ourselves. These moments may be the result of a professor, a friend, an event, history, or even self-meditation. On February 20, 2008 between the hours of 7:30 and 10:30 pm CST, the world witnessed a spectacular celestial event: a lunar eclipse. We are living in a western, developed, modern nation. We have technology. We have Science. Yet we all gazed at the sky in complete humility. We were captivated in a child-like trance as our beautiful blue planet darkened our massive moon, which normally lights up our sky.
manity on the Moon by Joshua Bishay by Joshua Isaac Bishay
It then occurred to me, we mirror our ences based on the short time I have spent in ancient counterparts: the Maya, Aztec, Inca, this finite life tells me there is no one factor, it is a Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Arabs, Persians, beautiful cocktail of ideologies, religions, worldetc. Even with our scientific explanation of what views, and idiosyncrasies. When one thinks about exactly was happening, I couldn’t help but imagit, the differentiation between “Us” and “Them” ine the girl next to me who was wide eyed, jaws doesn’t seem very hard. In fact, we are taught it is open, smiling in complete awe as an ancient natural. However, anthropological findings sugMayan, gazing at the sky the same way, believing gest that the degree of genetic variation observed it was an Omen from the gods. Or even as a Chibetween a Black man and an Asian man is equal nese woman watching to the degree of an eclipse serving as a variation observed So as I hear about genocides, messenger to the King, between two Asian warning to the possible persecution, child soldiers, war, men. So there racism, or even abuse against end of the mandate of is absolutely no heaven. women, I cringe and think of the term biological basis to I looked further the “us” and “them” coexist. It seems impossible. at the now growing theory. I know collection of stargazthis won’t make it ers, each sharing the little bit they knew about tempting to cross off “race” category in an applieclipses in order to further the group‘s overall cation and write in human or Homo sapiens. I am knowledge of cosmic events. In the crowd were not advocating homogenization, only a celebraAsians, African Americans, Arabs, Indians, and tion of differences or even (more likely) tolerance. Caucasians. We all looked the same; the sight beWhen one practices tolerance, they do not have to came almost as beautiful as the moon itself. Sure, harmonize or even love their neighbor, but simply they tell us phenotypic variations make us differcoexist in peace. Break that word down: coexist. ent, but I beg to disagree, I do not see race in this Co-: joint, mutual or common, -exist: to have an moment. None of us do. essence of being. So we are in existence together, So what makes us so diverse? My experieven now there is no lie in that statement. http://flickr.com/photos/atomicshark/2280919507/ Photography: http://flickr.com/photos/atomicshark
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So as I hear about genocides, persecution, child soldiers, war, racism, or even abuse against women, I cringe and think of the term coexist. It seems impossible. Almost like peace and love do not exist. How can they exist when all we see is the absence of love in a never-ending black hole of hate? Pessimistic? Probably. But look at the positives; human rights organizations speak for those who have no voice, regardless of their color or creed. Nations like Indonesia are breaking the stereotype of violent Islamic nations; songs like “Imagine” are being played across the globe sharing the universal message of coexistence. People like you and I advocate love and peace. So it is not impossible: “be the change you wish to see in the world” because “an eye for an eye will only make us all blind”. I could not help but wonder if everyone thought this way, what would this lonely planet be like? This world is shrinking, it is not hard to spot a Chinese freight on a truck in Chicago, or see imported Italian clothing in Cairo. The clothes you wear are sewn in Taiwan or Vietnam, the food you eat is influenced by Mexico, the language this article is written in is European, the channel you are watching is showing live footage of riots in Kenya, the internet depicts the globe in one instantaneous moment. A war is fed to you with 24-hour coverage of every bombing campaign, while extremists do the same for their side. No longer is racism, intolerance, or ignorance an option. As our population reaches 7 billion, it becomes crucial; we have more to lose. Once again my mind began to wander, I began to question where in the world this magnificent display of cosmic beauty could be seen, Palestine? Kosovo? Kenya? Darfur? Uganda? Is it possible that in these crisis areas, each party could lay down their arms for a moment, to feel as unified as we felt at that moment? Joshua Isaac Bishay is a second year student at UIC. He is an anthropology major and intents to pursue a career in archaeology.
One World University of Illinois at Chicago email@example.com
32 OneWorld UIC Spring 2008
Published on Dec 9, 2010
Published on Dec 9, 2010
A magazine from the L1W chapter at the University of Illinois- Chicago. This magazine explores local and global justice issues with a persp...