I've seen it first hand while studying abroad, how often it feels like people all over the world know more about my country's government and political status than I do. I've had multiple experiences where European, Brazilian, Cypriot students my age often times want to sit down and discuss my thoughts on President Obama's election, the War in Iraq, and other pivital moments in our countries history... and I find myself learning from them. I can't remember the last time I sat down with my group of friends at home and discussed issues such as the Middle East unrest. But why is that?
Just the other night I found myself grabbing my laptop to catch up on online TV - and hesitating on whether to watch CNN videos on the protests in Cario, or watch the latest episode of Glee.
Let's review the thought process...
Should I watch one the most historical occurance in the World that could potentially change the entire dictatorship of corrupt leaders and the possiblity of self obtained democracy for Middle Eastern countries? .... ooooor teenage kids dancing and singing about their horomones?
... I chose Glee.
But why is it that our nation's youth doesn't have regular conversations on world politics and issues? Why is it that I cannot tell you which countries in Middle East are currently protesting? Why is it that something historically monumental is going on, and I can't focus long enough to get even the most basic details?
It's difficult. It's difficult to sit down and watch the news - It's difficult to hear facts from a 60-year-old Middle Eastern expert and try to comprehend the situation in the Middle East. It's hard to relate to that man and to be interested in what he has to say no matter how important the issue is. It's the same scenerio as if you had a professor with a monotone voice, slowly stating facts and dragging out sentences that at times you wonder if the glazed eyes and droll coming slowly creeping out of your mouth are noticable. He could be lecturing out the winning lottery numbers to next weeks Powerball and you JUST. WOULDN'T. CARE.
I wish you could just google "Middle East Unrest" and be linked to things other than news stories. I want to be linked to videos, personal stories, and opinions from people around the world. People that have an interesting tale to tell. People you could relate to. How interesting would it be if there was a talk show on real world issues... done by a panel of college students. What would American students views be compared to students in Egypt? Or Yemen? ... what is it like going to classes and hearing bombs and gun shots go off in the background? What is it like to have the upmost pride in your country to stand in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people and demand freedoms? That is what I would like to know.
So I search and searched on various websites for these types of stories and information on the web - and I did find some interesting things that might make it a little easier for those of us that want to know what's going on in the world... but might get a bit distracted at times.
1. A basic summary on CNN
Summary of which countries are in protest, new developments, dictators and why the country protested. A great place to start.
2. Video footage of the most recent protest in Cairo, where it all started.
Anthony Bourdain's blog on this website discusses how he felt when he was in Egypt for a shoot - and his thoughts on the situation today.
Honestly I would be terrified to be there as well. But it's interesting to compare that to those people who live in Egypt and either can't leave do to financial limitations - or don't want to because of their pride in their country and efforts towards fighting for freedom.
5. Egypt unrest affects USA student's family
A student from Alabama discusses how he feels about his parents (diplomats for Egypt) who are currently living in Egypt. I REALLY found this one interesting.
6. Local student flown out of Egypt
A study abroad student who was in Egypt during the protests discusses her experience.