I watched the recording of the final current event catch up. I was sad I did not have time to make it to the final current event night because they were my favorite IA scholars event to attend. The first story that was talked about was how Miss Grand Myanmar spoke out against the military coup in her country. This was very shocking to many, as beauty queens tend to stay away from political statements. The unrest in Myanmar continues after the military started a coup when the democratic party won a recent election. The military has killed hundreds during protesting against the coup. By taking a stance she is drawing attention to the issue and was a brave move on her part. The second story brought up was how Oracle is in a 10-year lawsuit with Google. Oracle is suing over a copyright technology that Google stole from them. The software that is being debated over means that if Oracle won the lawsuit they would have a monopoly over modern phone technology. The United States likes to try and avoid monopolies when possible so there is a big problem trying to balance the theft of an idea and product and avoiding monopolies. The supreme court overruled a lower court decision on this case in Google’s favor.
The third story that was talked about was how pop singer, The Weekend, has promised to donate a million dollars to Ethiopians caught in the conflict in Tigray. The Weekend is the son of Ethiopian immigrants and has taken to help those millions of Ethiopians who have been left homeless due to the conflict. The million dollars he will be donating will be given to the United Nations to be distributed. In the last story, we talked about how two dozen world leaders have signed a treaty to pledge to avoid prioritizing isolationism and nationalism as an act to prepare for future pandemics. Among those who have signed are Britain’s Prime Minister, the German Chancellor, and the Kenyan President. The treaty comes after current struggles with international coordination with Covid and the distribution of vaccines. I think this is a great initiative and the United States should get involved especially because we have a bad history of taking nationalism too far.
During this meeting, we had a guest speaker from the Dayton Peace Museum, Kevin Kelly. This was our last community meeting of the semester. Kelly’s background is media and eduction but has now ended up in the non-profit world. The peace museum in Dayton was started by a local farmers who wanted to create a contrast to the very military driven Dayton. So the peace museum was created with an anti-war message in mind. The focus has shifted more to the protection of rights.
The museum has been closed for a year because of COVID, but they have been actively working on new projects during their time of closure. A current focus of the museum is gun violence and education. We went into a talk about red lining which is very important topic to me. I go to an African Methodist Episcopal Church and our church burned down. While trying to get approval to buy land in my hometown of Lebanon, Ohio the city consul only approved use for a undeveloped plot of land in the only black neighborhood in Lebanon. The mayor actually outlined the plot in red. The locals refer to the area as “Brown Town” and is the most underdeveloped neighborhood in the area. I think when we talk about red lining we need to acknowledge that yes the affects of past red lining is going on, but POC are still being red lined to this day. I am glad that he brought up the problem though and it was acknowledged in the Dayton area where I now live.
During this current event night, we started with a Kahoot, which I won. We then jumped right into current events starting with talking about Switzerland Mask Plead. They voted to ban face coverings in public. This is very targeted towards the Muslim minority who do use face coverings as part of their religious practice. This is a questionable move especially during a pandemic where many wear masks for public safety. Hopefully, the public will move to encourage the Swiss government to repeal this.
The second story we went over is George Floyd’s family got a large settlement for his death. This is a huge settlement at 27 million dollars after almost a year after his death. I am glad that his family finally receive this well-deserved settlement. The third story is about the Bolivian arrest of a former leader. Jeanine Anez organized the coup against leader Evo Morales. Anez announced there is a warrant out for her arrest after Morales returns to power. This is a very tense time in Bolivian politics. The fourth story we discussed was the EU struggle with vaccines. The EU is behind Isreal, UK, and the US in vaccination percentages. Italy’s Prime minister announced restrictions and national lockdown for Easter weekend. This is a sad reality that based on where you live depends on your access to healthcare and the right to protection against illness. I hope that countries can start working together to move us towards a healthier covid free world. The last story that we talked about is how Amazon put in a policy that it will not sell books that frame gender or sexual identities as mental illnesses. Conservative politicians in the US were being mad that a conservative author was silenced. A bill was just passed in the House that helps stop transgender discrimination. I am glad to hear Amazon is taking a stand against any kind of discrimination.
In this meeting we had a guest speaker talking on the topic of Coping with Food Security: The Experiences of Agricultural Communities in Developing Countries. The speaker Rafael has an extensive global background in agricultural studies and is well-traveled. He started talking about food security and how COVID has impacted the food security problem in our world. Developing countries receive the first impacts of pandemics. A great point Rafael brought up is that the people you are trying to help in any field have the best knowledge of what they are dealing with because they have first-hand knowledge. I think this is a very important thing to remember in any kind of work that deals with people are to first take into account their experience and knowledge.
We then talked about the importance of water in our life and what having a clean water source means. Food security can span over very many aspects such as culture, gender roles, economics, agriculture, and many more. These are very important to keep in mind when addressing food security. With these aspects in mind, Rafael went over different communities and how they helped the community with a need they had. We went over the different classifications and strategies used to address food security. The focus shifted to specifically central america where Rafael is from how this food security is playing out there and how it is affecting the area.
Food waste is the biggest problem in developed countries that are contributing to the food security problem in our world. Growing up my family never wasted food, we ate expired food and leftovers all the time because my family has a very Appalachian culture where you eat what you are given and never waste. As I got older and saw my friends family throwing away leftovers and adults and kids not finishing their plates I was shocked. I think there needs to be a culture change in the United States around food and specifically food waste.
I watched the recording of the International Affairs current event night that was on Monday. The first event talked about was the Myanmar Coup. This is a coup happening in Burma by the military after the election of a new democratic leader. There are protestors calling for the release of the new leader and others detained by the army. There has also been an internet shutdown to stop people from protesting. I thought it was interesting that they are using the hunger games three finger salute in protest against authoritarian rule.
The next event discussed was Russia expelling European diplomats. This is the result of the countries joining protests in support of opposition activist Alexis Navalny who was jailed for speaking out against Vladimir Putin. Hundred of thousands have protested across Russia in support. I think its interesting there are two protest in two different countries opposing authoritarian rule.
The third news story covered was the post Vale dam compensation. Two years ago 270 people were killed by a dam disaster. The communities affected will get a 7 billion dollar payout from the company Vale who is facing murder charges. This is only an initial payment and they will have to pay more if needed. I am glad that these communities and families are getting justice for the disaster that was caused by Vale.
The fourth story we covered was the Perth bushfire. Hundreds of Australians have had to evacuate their homes because of a bushfire on the outskirts of Perth. This area is in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown which is complicating safety advice messages for the population of 2 million. This event brings up the important idea of an immediate danger taking priority over another potential danger and weighing the pros and cons of the actions that need to be taken.
I attended this presentation in person and we learned about the College Mentors For kids organization. Right now the program is virtual but they plan to go back in person. This organization brings kids from elementary schools to campus in the greater Columbus area. It is Monday through Thursday and you assigned a buddy to mentor for a couple hours. To be a mentor you have to fundraise for your kid, which is very easy. As a mentor you can do so many activities on campus with your buddy on campus and widen their horizon.
This program sounds very interesting to me especially because I love working with kids. I loved being a camp consular over the summer and I think this would be a great program to get involved in to continued that kind of work. I plan to look into this program further because I really want to get involved in service work. This opportunity would be great to better support the Columbus community.
In this second IA meeting on Feb.3 we had the guest speaker Logan Ward who presented “Learning About Other Through Art: The Case of Korea”. Logan has a BA in Arts management and Korean he works at the East Asian studies center here at OSU.
I really liked this presentation because it was very interactive with polls and a lot of interactive art. I also love history and art so this presentation was right up my alley. We learned how to observe, describe, interpret, and prove. Firstly, we looked at an art piece of a tiger, discussed it in break out rooms, and then shared our observations . This part of the presentation was great because I noticed that you get so many different perspectives on an art piece when you talk with others about it. The people in my break out room and in the main room shared observations and interpretations that I had not noticed nor thought of. I really liked this because I have never been apart of an interactive art discussion and it was much more enjoyable then observing art on my own.
This presentation was very enjoyable and I learned lots of new things about art that I have never even thought about. I learned that I enjoy discussions about art and how it can completely change your view of a piece. I will seek out other events like this in the future because it has been one of my favorites so far.
In this Current Event night, we started by talking about the massive hurricanes that hit Latin America. These have been very devastating especially to Guatemala’s central region. Hurricane Eta killed 200 people earlier this month and the next hurricane that’s about to be hit is warned to cause massive landslides. The next event we discussed was the Diwali celebration. This celebration is a festival of light for the victory of good over evil. This is a large celebration in India and Nepal which raised concerns about COVID spread. Going on to a more serious event we shifted to talking about the Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan Agreement. This was a very negative experience for the Azerbijan President but did it to stop the bloodshed on certain territories. Russia has been the middle man to try and compromise and a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. On a happier note, we talked about Turkmenistan’s golden dog. This is a statue of a dog made of gold as a symbol of national pride in the authoritarian nation. Dogs are seen as a part of the national heritage and are used as herders with a population of six million.
We then talked about the Sudan Coup. There are many aspects playing into this situation like raising living costs, loss of oil revenue, and an economic collapse. There was a non-violent protest met by violent government response. Their leader was put under house arrest for his crimes against the people. Lastly, we finished up by talking about the unemployment crisis in the United States the is starting to shrink. The unemployment rates are at an all-time high but the numbers continue to decrease. The economy is not producing at the full outcome and will result in a higher price level eventually.
I really enjoyed this Current Event night I feel more informed and educated about what is going on in the world.
I watched the recording of the current events catch up with Sam Zimmerman. The first event that was discussed was a beheading that happen in France. A school teacher had been beheaded after showing controversial political cartoons of the prophet Muhammed during class. The person who committed the beheading was shot dead soon after. Protests have been taking place all over France to support freedom of speech in the country after this event. The idea of Islamaphobia becoming worse in France was brought because of this event.
The next event discussed were protests in Bangkok. These were student led revolts against the military influence in classrooms, along with the deep rooted social and economic issues. The third event brought up was also about protest but in Nigeria. These are anti-police brutality protests that are shaking those in power. The hashtag ENDSARS has gone viral in support of Nigeria. An interesting fact is that 60% of Nigeria’s 200 million population in under the age of 24.
I find all three of these events very fascinating due to the current protests happening in the United States. I think that all of these protests that are happening in different countries all over the world at the same time is a thing to take notice at. A common theme through out all three of these protest is that they’re against the government and tarted by young people. The protests in the US, Nigeria, and Bangkok are all against the police force of the respective countries and their over use of power. Did these protest influence each other? And how will each country handle these protests?
At the International Affairs and Humanities Scholars Community meeting we had a special guest speaker, Harry Kashdan. Mr.Kashdan is a researcher on the Global Mediterranean in the Department of French and Italian. During his time with us he presented his work on his latest project on The Quarantine Cookbook: Documenting Migrant Food Networks Under COVID-19.
I found his presentation to be very intriguing because I had never given much thought to the role of food in our current pandemic. The Quarantine Cookbook is a collection of recipes and their stories during our current pandemic. All of the recipes and writing pieces come from a multitude of different people with different jobs and cultural back rounds. Some of the people mentioned in his presentation who will contributing are writers, chefs, restaurant owners, artists, cooks and local families in Columbus, Ohio, and around the country.
My favorite story Kashdan shared was of a how a father during the pandemic started sharing the family recipes to his son and it brought back memories of when his mother taught him the recipes. He also mentioned how the father noticed that each generation made the recipes a little bit different. I loved this story because it reminds me of when my mother taught me family recipes when I was little. A heartwarming story of cultural preservation through food during the pandemic is a great addition to the cookbook. This cookbook is a brilliant way to document the current crisis through food, people, and culture.