Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21 Final Presentations

I really liked Ben's project because it gave a lot of the important history of Jerusalem and how the history influences the current interactions between Jews and Arabs in Israel. I personally struggle with history in general, so learning Jerusalem's extensive history is still something I am working on. I enjoyed Ben's project so much because it outlined the huge points of Jerusalem's history, which really helped me out. If its not obvious by now, I am definitely a visual learner who appreciates maps, charts, lists, PowerPoints etc. So thanks Ben and great job!

I love Amber's ideas as well and I would love to help out somehow. I do agree that social activism is commonly misunderstood, so your project idea itself is making a positive impact on the community. This is a great idea and if I can think of anything to help out I will let you know!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kete's Final Project

I really enjoyed Kete's final project on food in Israel. I agree with his proposal that food is something that everyone has in common despite cultural differences or even political divides. It was extremely interesting to see how similar Israeli and Palestinian foods are, and this idea makes complete sense because they live in such a small area and use a lot of the same ingredients. I enjoyed the segment from the Chefs for Peace organization. I thought this was interesting because instead of youths coming together to fight differences, adults were taking part in this call for peace, which is fairly rare. Good Job Kete!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Course Evaluation

This class has been a great experience, therefore my evaluation will highlight the great opportunities our class has gotten as well as how much we have learned. Some of the topics I will include:

1. Karen Armstrong reading
2. weblogs
3. video conferences
4. class activities
5. Jerusalem trip

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Question for Video Conference with Aaron

Do you have to be familiar with music to be involved in the Heartbeat project, or are there other ways to get involved?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Response Nov. 2

Palestinian vs. Israeli Rap:

Although each site was extremely interesting, for this reading response I wanted to focus on the Palestinian and Israeli rappers. I really enjoyed the Palestinian rapper, Prince of Jerusalem. I think his name is very entertaining and catchy, and his music is also very interesting. Not only can he rap, but he can rap in English, Arabic, and German. The biography provided gave little information about what he usually raps about, but it did explain that he will be releasing his album this year. Surprisingly, his album is not only focused on the occupation and politics; it incorporates lyrics about his everyday life. I really like how rap music is spreading to other parts of the world. I personally really like rap music, and it is nice for it to be shaped according to language and culture.

I had a different opinion about the Jewish rapper, Yitz "Y-Love" Jordan. He left a very bad impression through his filmed interview. I felt that he was very defensive when answering questions and he presented poor arguments. I was also confused on how he decided to convert to Judaism, he was not very clear on his personal path. I was honestly very annoyed by him during his interview; hopefully that was his first time and he was nervous because he was very unprofessional. However, his music is not bad. I like how his music focuses on the religion by incorporating messages from the Torah, etc. One of his goals was to reach out to those children who can only listen to religious music. Y-Love is doing a good job in expanding the music scene in Israel. He also made a great point that because rap is so lyrically based, you can get many messages across in such a short amount of time.Unfortunately, I could not help but be suspicious of him when he said, "Here in Jerusalem I am way bigger than in New York, with the yeshiva kids." This makes me wonder if he only comes to Israel in order to boost his career, or does he actually feel a connection to the Holy Land?

Weblog Journal #6

I feel like I do not have that much to say about music, because it really isn't a huge part of my life. I like listening to music, but I rarely do during the school year because I have limited free time. I know that I like music in general, but I don't have a deep connection with it. I have absolutely no musical talent: I can't sing, read music, or play an instrument. It has just never been a part of my life, but there are times when I really like a song because it is inspirational, uplifting, or motivating.

I rarely listen to music this year, which is sad because I used to all the time. The only times I listen to music is when I am exercising on my own, or at my job. I use music to choreograph exercise routines to beats of a song. Learning to count beats in a song was the biggest challenge to me, sometimes I still can't hear it! This is just one example of how musically challenged I am.

But I see how important music is in everyday life, and how it is a huge aspect of other's lifestyles. Music is a way to escape and relax. Or it is a way to spread a message and speak your mind. I think music has the possibility of playing a huge role in conflict. The majority of the world likes music, so it is a great way to connect people to each other because they have something in common, even if it takes different forms. I have heard the Palestinian raps about the occupation and I really enjoy them. I think it is an alternate form of propaganda that has a bigger impact on people because it is through music.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reading Response: October 31

Sharon and My Mother in Law by Suad Amiry

I really enjoyed reading the excerpts from the Ramallah Diaries, It was a nice change to read a story instead of an article. I like reading stories based on real life events every once in awhile, because you learn a lot without realizing it. I thought the chapter about the gas masks was a good way to understand the everyday life in the Occupied Territories. The fact that they waited in line for hours in order to have a gas mask was infuriating to me. They even ended up going home empty handed which is extremely careless and dangerous of the Israeli government. I tend to forget that these awful stories that I hear of are actual real life accounts. There are people out there, in this case Palestinians, who live under very hard, unfair conditions. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is not just history, but that it is happening right now.
I was actually really upset that she only picked one puppy and left the other sibling alone. I would have defiantly taken both, but she should not have left one puppy alone and scared! That isn't even an important part of the story, but it really got to me. I liked how she used the metaphor of the dog with the Israeli passport to describe the living situation in the Occupied territories. I can't imagine my dog being able to get a passport before I could, I didn't even know animals needed passports! Overall I really liked these excerpts!