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Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in Global Communication's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007
1:33 pm
[sarah_inam]
Dubai and Modernization
My friend told me to check the ABC 20/20 news, not sure if I should say news or info-tainment, but regardless the rape case that took place in Dubai has attracted a lot of attention. A French-Swiss boy of 16 years along with his friend jumped into a local stranger's car after a long day at the beach and ended up being kidnapped and taken to the desert where the terrible atrocity took place.

The boys were not killed or left to desiccate in the desert, in fact, to their great luck, the car the culprits were driving got stuck in the sand and so they called for help. The boys managed to escape and report the crime. This case clearly caused much controversy considering that homosexuality is considered illegal.

The boys met with an "american-arab psychiatrist" who claimed that the boy who was raped was in fact gay and that there was "evidence" of repeated activity. The Swiss boy and his mother were outraged by such audacity, both of them denying this calumny. Apparently the government denied that the psychiatrist implied the boy was homosexual and assured the family that the culprits will be executed and the local who kidnapped them punished, since he is a minor.

The worst part of the story is yet to come... the rapist apparently tested positive for Aids meaning the boy has a very high chance of being infected. It takes 6 months to be able to detect whether he tests positive or negative, and so the boy patiently awaits.

In such a society that is considered the most "modern" in the Middle East, with its fascinating infrastructure, its flourishing economy and its endless business opportunities, I can't help but point out that rapid "modernization" may change the outside image of the place, but not necessarily the mentality of the people who love there. While Dubai sells alcohol, celebrates Christmas, and apparently has a "red-light district," certain points like homosexuality is still illegal. To the extent of suggesting that the Swiss boy was homosexual and consented to this act so not to shed light on the possibility that a local is gay and a rapist? but then again the government denied such accusations.

The point is, I was reading the blogs written in reaction to this piece, and it's funny to see people who are going to move to Dubai wondering if they should change their mind, or if it is dangerous for them to live there? Other comments deriding Dubai and the backwardness of Arabs and the Middle East. I agree with one of the blogs written that these things can happen anywhere, it is an atrocity whether it happens in the US or in Dubai or even on the moon to anyone who decides to take a ride from strangers.

I sincerely hope the boy tests negative and I hope that the culprits do get punished for their evil doing, but the moral of the story is not so much the backwardness of the society, but the necessity for 1, good parenting and 2 . acknowledging that these things happen and placing stricter rules. There are homosexuals, just as there are heterosexuals, there have always been and will continue to be, by denying their existence, they prolong the presence of laws that could regulate and prevent these things from happening. Rape has its severe consequences when it is heterosexual, the same should be applied for homosexuals, rape is rape regardless, and when I think about the boy, I feel bad that he is a rape victim at 16, and I know there are many others, it's just these things should be stopped. Turning a blind eye on this will not make it go away, it will just allow for more cases and damage other lives.

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
2:33 pm
[sarah_inam]
My first blog ever!! success!

I arrived home around 10 p.m. last night after my Organizational Communication Class, to find my roommate extremely excited to tell me all about what happened with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University earlier that day (Monday September 24, 2007). I watched clip after clip on youtube, CNN and Fox News.

I watched as the leader of Iran was bombarded with comments and accusations leading from him denying the holocaust to possession of nuclear weapons and Gay rights in Iran. I watched as he kept a straight face and managed through all the criticism to calmly say that in his country, a guest would never be invited and then disrespected. He continued to explain that their ownership of nuclear weapons was just for safety and that the concept of gays did not exist in Iran.

I was impressed by his relaxed demeanor even though he had obviously been humiliated, I wondered just how “honored” he was to be there. This incident struck me as a perfect example of intercultural and international communication. While it was seemingly normal for Westerners to express their candid opinions, guest or no guest, it was and always has been a custom in the Middle East to respect your guest, no matter what he/she does to you. It was also an example of Aristotle’s deliberation, he could have insulted back or thrown some kind of tirade, but his careful deliberation of the situation kept him calm and in place.

My discussion with my roommate led us to talk about democracy and the controversy that arose out of the cartoon character created of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). In our argument she played the role of a Westerner protected by her right to freedom of speech and I played the role of a person outraged by such disrespectful behavior.

We ended up in a heated debate in which from her perspective it was completely irrational for Arabs and Muslims in general to have blown this incident out of proportion escalating to such heights as blowing up buildings to emphasize the point that this cartoon was considered blasphemy. While I agreed that they should have not taken certain extreme measures, in their defense I mentioned that Denmark refused to apologize for the cartoons claiming that it was their right (freedom of speech). They had initially tried as we say in Arabic “nicely” and when that did not work, they used more extreme measures. They wanted to be heard! My point was it was no one’s right to criticize someone else’s religion or disrespect it in any way. I explained that it is clearly stated in our religion that no depiction in drawing should be made of the Prophet (PBUH). There are no sculptures, nor paintings, nor drawings of him. Even in movies such as Message in a Bottle, the character that supposedly plays the Prophet PBUH is never shown.

Her counter argument was that whatever my religion says does not affect her, because once again she is entitled to freedom of speech. How was she to know that what I was saying was true, or that just because it was said in our religion rendered it a fact?

I felt our discussion was like a ping-pong match, the ball just going back and forth and each time smashed a little harder. I knew my roommate was playing the devil’s advocate, but I also knew deep down she had a good point. Does freedom of speech mean one has the right to express their opinion about anything, even if it is disrespecting another person’s faith?

What about incidents like Salman Rushdie? His book the Satanic Verses caused a lot of commotion and had him running for his life because he—a non-Muslim—wrote a book that was interpreted as an insult to the Islamic faith… blasphemy.

Personally, I think having an opinion about something does necessarily mean one should act upon it. In the case of the cartoons, was it so necessary to make them in the first place? I just wonder how much it would have added or taken from that person’s life if he/she had made the cartoons or not? If one wants to criticize Islam, which many have done, I would not fault them for thinking a woman is oppressed because naturally when you see a woman covered you would think it was forced on her. But cartoons; I just do not see the relevance of this whole escalation of events? Why make them in the first place? Have an opinion; just do not act on it, especially if it does not effect you in any way. Once again, deliberation.

Understanding a culture’s ethics and beliefs is becoming more vital than ever now considering that globalization is bringing the corners of the world closer and closer together. If we are meant to live in harmony, certain precautions should be made. You will always find something wrong in the way people live or think, as they will find something wrong with the way you live or think. Is it not through our differences that we make life more exciting? Our diversity is what causes one to expand their horizons and think with different pallets. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place to live in.

Current Mood: accomplished
1:07 pm
[chelsey_platt]
OUTFOXED = OUTRAGEOUS
For the record...this is my first official blog....I just hope I did it right!!

OK, OUTFOXED, let's call it what it is: frustrating, shocking, ugly, a disgraceful piece of journalism.  Unfortunately, it's popular.  So popular that it sparked a movie.  I'm sure it has lovers and haters alike that many have an opinion of the way it reports news, bringing just as much peace and logical information to many as it does frustration to others.  But I do agree with one of my wise classmates that said, why are we watching? 

I think that's the real problem.  What is it about the American culture as a whole that finds this type of reporting useful?  How does it symbolize how we retain information?  How we seek information?  Or even our education level?  Although I plan to elaborate more in my presentation, I do think that it's the viewers that need to change, not the networks.  Don't hate the player, hate the game.   As my fabulous group discussed last Wednesday, we as American's are not taught to think critically, and rarely challenge information.   I believe the school system should revamp or at least build on their current curriculum, something that highlights creative and critical thinking....hhmm....think they'll add that to the MCAS??

Current Mood: optimistic
11:16 am
[sarah_spaeth]
deliberation

According to Aristotle deliberative reasoning is considering the many actions a person can take in their life and looking at each option in order to see how it would contribute to reaching a particular goal or end point. It is up to the person to make a deliberate choice that best meets their desired goal by engaging in the action that will lead them there. This process is said to lead to well thought out decisions.

I read a book a few years ago called Blink in which the author, Malcolm Gladwell, argued that people can make spontaneous decisions as good as or even better than thought out ones using their natural instinct. Throughout my life I have found this theory to be true. I think when I have too much time to contemplate a desicion, no matter how big or small, I will over think the outcome of my actions and wind up misreading the outcome. I think this is because when you look at a situation for a long period of time you simply become overwhelmed by all the possible outcomes. Also, it is difficult to imagine all the possible outcomes that can happen from one choice. The last big decision I made was deciding whether or not to go to graduate school or accept a new job offer. I thought about my decision for a long time, but no matter how much I thought about the possibilities that could come from either choice I never came close to the reality that came from my decision. I do not think using your gut instinct in every situation works (the book even points this out) but I think trusting your instinct can help steer you in a certain direction and should be used as a deciding factor.

Thursday, September 20th, 2007
11:33 am
[emilykrice]
Definition of Deliberation
From www.dictionary.com -

deliberation:

1. careful consideration before decision.
2. formal consultation or discussion.
3. deliberate quality; leisureliness of movement or action; slowness.

Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, September 16th, 2007
4:26 pm
[emilykrice]
Welcome to the Global Communication Community!
Hi everyone!

I've set up this community for Dr. Payne's Global Communication course. In order to join this community, you must create a LiveJournal account. It's free and easy, but please let me know if you have any difficulties getting your account set up.

-Emily
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