For them or for me?

An honest reflection on the exploitation of crises for personal gain and how this may be manifest (consciously or unconsciously) in the Syrian-American community

My Short Foray into Voluntourism

On July 19th 2015, I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to teach at a 3-week summer camp for Syrian refugees. I specifically taught them computer skills, while others taught English, Arabic, Turkish, Art, and Quran (the Islamic holy book). This travel and volunteer model is typically labeled “voluntourism,” and is a growing – yet problematic – … Continue reading My Short Foray into Voluntourism

Let’s Not Repeat History – “The 9/11 of Paris”

Note: A French translation of this article is available here. This past Friday, over 100 people were killed and countless others injured in a highly coordinated terrorist attack in Paris, France. France’s president, Francois Hollande, was quick to respond and delivered a short speech in which he instituted a state of emergency and then also closed … Continue reading Let’s Not Repeat History – “The 9/11 of Paris”

«Le 11 Septembre de Paris»

Note: Une traduction anglaise de cet article est disponible ici. Vendredi, le 13 de Novembre, plus de 100 personnes ont été tuées et de nombreuses autres blessées dans une attaque terroriste hautement coordonnée à Paris, France. Le président, François Hollande, a répondu rapidement et a donné un court discours dans lequel il a institué l'état … Continue reading «Le 11 Septembre de Paris»

Back to School, Back to Social Justice

So it's back to school week for DePaul university and this week, we're talking about the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). It's also Labor Day so to keep things relevant: The hope is that you answered "absolutely not!" because it would be terrible to take advantage of another human being that way, right? So it's expected that … Continue reading Back to School, Back to Social Justice

When Mexicans crossed our border to feed Americans in need

The 45-vehicle convoy crossed the border at Laredo at dawn on Sept. 8 and arrived in San Antonio later that day. The only glitch was that the USDA would not allow the Mexicans to serve the beef they had brought because they couldn’t prove it had been produced in a mad-cow-free facility. Undeterred — and … Continue reading When Mexicans crossed our border to feed Americans in need

Since When is the Hijab a Pillar of Islam? – Via MuslimGirl

This obsession with the hijab within the Muslim community is detrimental to a woman’s spiritual health because it sends the message that covering her body is far more important than any other component of her Islamic identity.  It implies that her personal relationship with God, her intellect and character, her treatment of others, and her … Continue reading Since When is the Hijab a Pillar of Islam? – Via MuslimGirl

First Reflections on Turkey (and Syrians+Turks)

I barely remember the last time I was in Turkey. I was maybe 11 years old and did mostly tourist-y things with my family. So the situation is a lot different now: I am travelling with the US-based Syrian Orphans Organization to help teach Syrian refugees in Istanbul during a 3-week summer camp. I also have some … Continue reading First Reflections on Turkey (and Syrians+Turks)

What Should “Racism” Mean?

I hope that every white person reads this so they can understand that racism is not narrowly defined and that one can be guilty of it without being consciously aware of it. Please read and share!

The Weekly Sift

There’s a type of faux scandal that’s been happening … well, I haven’t exactly kept track, but it seems like there’s a new one every month or two. They all fit this pattern: President Obama does something that symbolically asserts his status as president, and the right-wing press gets outraged by how he’s “disrespecting” something-or-other related to the presidency.

So, for example, in January, 2010 this photo caused FoxNation.com to ask whether Obama was “disrespecting the Oval Office” by putting his feet up on the antique desk.

Of course, it didn’t take long to uncover similar photos of previous presidents, none of which had raised any particular outrage at the time. But everybody forgot again, and so we had an almost identical flap last September. “This just makes me furious,” one woman tweeted. “He was raised so badly.”

Or remember last May when marines held…

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