This past semester, I have drastically increased my knowledge of the Arab world. This class has helped me understand many of the societal differences between the American culture and the Arab cultures.
Blogging was really difficult for me at first but after a while I got into the swing of things and began to dissect the views of our societies media towards the Arab world. It has allowed me to better understand my position in the world and has helped me better refute misinformation when I see it. By comparing my classmates posts and my own I have come to the conclusion that the surge in technology that we have been seeing is causing a conflict between the old world and the new.
As we discuss the growing feminist movement in the Middle East it’s easy to see the many instances where the new ideals are starting to take shape and strides in equality are being made. During the duration of our class we saw the emergence of Saudi Arabian women being able to ride bikes and being allowed into the Shara. We have seen the beginning of a movement that is starting to break the barriers of the old generation.
We were shown the many pieces relating to the emergence of Hip-Hop in the Arab world. How it has become the voice of the oppressed middle class and intellectuals, and how it’s gaining a reputation throughout the world. The lyrics are politically charged and shed light on the problems of the political chaos. We are also shown the heavy Metal aspect of that and how it’s being drowned in the heel of the oppressive religious regimes.
We have seen Syria slip deeper into the revolution and the various points of misinformation that surrounds the conflict. We have also seen the politics behind what was considered justifiable and the mysterious line that was crossed with the use of chemical weapons. How Israel has time and time again bombed Syria and oppressed the Palestinians. We have also seen the world’s opinion of the rebels shift from the voice of the people to another form of oppression.
We saw how Egypt reacted to the new form of government and its crackdown on the soccer riots and anti-governmental pundits. Throughout the Egyptian conflicts we were given various points of views from my classmates that introduced a more vivid picture on the societal repercussions.
We were shown the cultural biases highlighted by Edward Said, and instances where orientalism took over the medias opinions. The many opinions of our class highlight the various points of views behind the stories, and introduce a new avenue of thought. I could not ask for a better class, as every conversation we have had has been extremely positive and intellectually challenging.
I believe that blogging has allowed our class to form our own opinions of the Middle East and exhibit our findings to a wider audience. It has created a venue for open discussion and continued knowledge that could not have been obtained otherwise. Blogging has given us the tools to effectively find information, decipher whether it has bias, and form an opinion based on the facts rather than the conclusions that have been drawn by others.