Over the past semester there has been a great deal of information being spilled onto this blog. The majority of it encompassed Syria. The comic cartoons try to bring a smile to the face when such terrible things are happening in the region. I had never blogged before and did not think of myself as much of a writer. I did not know much of the Arab World, or even the difference between it and the Middle East. The politics of the Arab World had no place in my brain prior to this class. I guess you could say that after this course, I am no longer a typical ignorant American that thinks the world revolves around us. Not to say that I was before, but now I can successfully remove myself from that clique.
As for the Media, culture, and politics of the region. I am extremely impressed with the knowledge I have amassed about the region. I was familiar with the Arab Spring and new that social media had a key part in its success, but I did not realize to what extent. The technological freeze and internet blockage that occurred after the social media movement in the region blew my mind. As an American it is hard to understand a world where people are oppressed to much to the point where they cannot log online and talk to people around the world (A place I hope that CISPA does not take us Americans).
The links which Professor Roberts first blogged for us to use have proved to be an invaluable resource. The class as a whole has done a great job at using a variety of sources in order to convey their points. Prior to taking this class, I was naive to how many media outlets there were in the Arab World. I find it important to note that, as well all have laid witness to, not every news source has the best intentions. In the 1970’s the United States battled its own Yellow journalism, something that the Middle East and Arab World are currently doing. There are places where information is distorted and compiled in such a way to spin the story.
I find my classmates use of cartoons strips especially useful to get their message across. The detail inked into the paper is often allows a deeper message to be understood far better than any words. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Syria’s story is sad. It is hard to put a silver lining around the grey cloud of Syria. There is just far to much destruction, chaos and overall terrible things happening in that land. The oppression that continues to this day creates a flow of emotion. That is something that I believe everyone should have. Be emotional about something. Take a stand and learn about what is happening around the world. Find something in you that sparks a fire.
Coming out of this class I can say that I am now a more knowledgeable person and can successfully contribute to a conversation about the happenings in the Arab World. To cap off my final blog, I would like to encourage all of the classmates and those people around the globe reading this blog to dive into other cultures. Become immersed into another world. Learn about something that scares you, something that makes the hair on your arm tingle, I have and I am a better person for it.