Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Letter to my Blog Readers

My blog for my ITW class was the first blog that I had ever kept. Before taking the class I was not even really sure what a blog was. Not only have a learned a lot about politics, literature, and Iraq during the course but I have learned a new form of writing. Blogging is very personal and somewhat casual. I hope people that have read my blog could have perhaps learned about some of the things I have read about, for example some of the articles in Blog! By David Kline and Dan Burstein. Also I hope they could learn about how blogs work and how it is a type of informal writing and you are free to write about whatever you want and share your opinion with literally anybody who has the internet. The works that I feel most proud of on my blog are probably most of my responses to articles in Blog! I feel like I really began to understand a lot more about blogging but reading the book and how much it affects today’s society. Before reading this book I never understood how big blogging actually was. I found it really interesting to read the essays and the interviews about famous bloggers. I think I am most proud of this work is because it is when I really began to understand blogging and what it is all about. After the semester is over I don’t think I am going to continue to blog, however I will probably make the blog private so others can not view my work but keep it for records for what I have done throughout the year. This was definitely an interesting class and it introduced me to a new way of writing, it was fun to experience something different rather then writing numerous different papers or just normal responses.

HW 34: Date Palms and Tea

“Dhuluaya is an area near Sammara, which is north of Baghdad. It’s an area popular for its wonderful date palms, citrus trees, and grape vines. The majority of the people who live in the area are simple landowners who have been making a living off of the orchards they’ve been cultivating for decades.” (Riverbend, 103) There are over 500 different types of palm trees in Iraq, some are short and some are stocky. A date tree never fails to bring a sense of satisfaction, they are the pride and joy of Iraq farmers and landowners says Riverbend. They are a huge part of their culture; no garden is a garden if it doesn’t have a palm tree. Not only are the decorative but they act as homes for birds during the winter that fly to Iraq. In Iraq there are over 300 different types of dates, each one has its own specific name, texture, and flavor. Some may be dark brown and soft while others are bright yellow and crunchy. (Riverbend, 104) These trees are just another example of something that has been taken away from the Iraqi people, soon after occupation many of the palms on the streets were cut down by the troops for “security reasons.”
In Iraq most families gather together in the evening for their “evening tea.” It seems to be away for the people to relax in a casual way, no matter how busy or stressful the day everybody is always gathered around waiting for their tea. “If you serve a teabag tea to an Iraqi, you risk scorn and disdain a teabag is an insult to tea connoisseurs. It speaks of a complete lack of appreciation for the valuable beverage” (Riverbend, 108) Families sit gathered around a small coffee table wit ha tray of tea and something to eat such as biscuits or bread and cheese. One person is known to pour the tea and they are the ones to add sugar. In Riverbend family dad gets two spoons of sugar along with Riverbend. E gets three and mom gets one. They discuss the events of the day and what is going on with the troops, things that they should be aware of. I think that many Americans also have traditions such as the Iraqi “evening tea” for us it may be our family dinner where the family gathers together and talks about everybody’s day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HW 32: Schopping for school supplies

The topic that I decided to summarize in Baghdad Burning is shopping for school supplies. The blog first starts out with Riverbend saying how every year her cousin S. brings her two daughters to shop for school supplies but ever since the war, she hasn’t let them step outside the house. They don’t have malls in Baghdad so they went to a shopping area and school supplies are sold at “makatib” or a stationary shop that sells everything from toys to desk sets. (Riverbend, 95) Riverbend goes into great detail about the process of shopping for school supplies and the different things that are available to them. I was surprised by this particular blog, which is on pages 94-97 mainly because it reminded me when I used to go shopping for school supplies when I was younger. Riverbend discusses how important it is to buy colorful notebooks and erasers that smell like strawberries and stuff. This definitely reminds me of when I was in elementary school, the colorful notebooks and pens and pencils always seemed much more interesting to me then the plain ones. Riverbend states “The shop assistant looked exasperated when I started smelling the erasers and S. hissed that they all smelled the same anyway. No, they DON”T all smell the same they all taste the same…we went with some strawberry-shaped erasers that oddly enough, smelled like peaches.” (Riverbend, 95) Riverbend seemed to know what exactly what her cousins daughters were going to like for school and had a strong opinion that the more the kids like their school supplies the more they will appreciate them and take good care of them. It was interesting to read about how cautious S. is with her children, they had not left their home all summer long and she was frightened about the upcoming school year and would not be able to feel safe until her daughters got home everyday. Kids going to school in Iraq is something that scares parents, Riverbend also mentioned how parents monitor and look after the school to make sure that their children and neighbors children are safe.

Monday, November 12, 2007

HW 31: Depleted Uranium

I had never heard of depleted uranium before Baghdad Burning. Riverbend caught my attention when she spoke of depleted uranium, she made it sound so horrible and it was surprising me to that I had never heard of it. She stated “I remember depleted uranium…Those are household words to Iraqi people. I remember seeing babies born with a single eye, three legs or no face-a result of DU poisoning.” After reading this it made me want to learn more. Riverbend said that depleted uranium are household words to Iraqi people, meaning that they are familiar with it and most of the have probably been effected by it in some way or another. The depleted uranium weapons used in 1991 have resulted in a damaged environment and an astronomical rise in the cancer rate in Iraq. (Riverbend, 47) Depleted Uranium (DU) is uranium remaining after removal of the isotope uranium-235. It is a waste product of the uranium enrichment process. It is primarily composed of the isotope uranium-238. In the past it was called by the names Q-metal, depletalloy, and D-38, Depleted Uranium is a radioactive material and a chemical material. The principal health consideration of Depleted Uranium is due to chemical toxicity. The organ at greatest risk from chemical toxicity is the kidneys. Of less concern are Depleted Uranium’s radiological hazards. (wikipedia.com) this one paragraph of Baghdad Burning just goes to show another horrible aspect of Riverbend’s life and how many things she actually has to deal with on a day to day basis, something which most of us are not at all familiar with.

Works Cited:

Riverbend. Baghdad Burning. New York: The Feminist Press, 2005.

Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. 2007. Wikimedia Foundation. 7 Nov. 2007.