Friday, September 14, 2012

My Message to Yes-Abroad participants about the Anti-American crisis

My Message to all people on the YES-Abroad program in reaction to the Anti-American riots in islamic countries due to the film "The Innocence of Muslims."

Hi guys I truly hope you are all enjoying your year, but if you haven’t seen the recent crisis on the news I think you may want to check it out. Since this so closely relates to why we are all on this program I though I would just send a bit of my input on the situation.

It’s sad to see this international crisis in so many countries. I have been watching the news about the Anti-American riots happening in Libya, Egypt and Yemen all day and thinking, how tragic it is that not only someone could produce such a hateful movie about a holy prophet, but also how tragic it is that some individuals around the world could blame our WHOLE country for it.
I knew tensions were high, but just a few minutes ago I saw that in the city I am sitting in right now a riot has occurred and an American was attacked all because of one insulting movie by a small group of people.  I know I should be angry but I also know anger will not do anything. If I show anger and hate to the people who hate me I am just giving them more of a reason to riot and protest. Even though things are really tense right now I am going to push my self to stay strong and diplomatic and not fall into this cycle of violence.              
On 9/11 I had a kid come up to me and tell me he was happy that the towers fell on September 11th ,he was happy America was attacked. He persistently took his anger for the death of Bin laden out on me. Asking me “how I killed him, where I killed him why I killed him?.” Instead of reacting with anger I reacted with peace and words. I told him “he has the right to his own views, but I am not a representation of my whole country, I do not tell the government what to do.”  When my friends tried to stand up for me to him with anger I told them to stop. I told them this anger would just add to this cycle of hate and we need to all just keep our views to our selves because “nothings wrong nothings right everything’s different.” I made those people understand why its important not to retaliate with hate and now those individuals can pass it on and eventually word will get around and our future will be a better place.
It  is situations like these that make me want to strive to achieve the mission of this program. I am just a brick but with us many bricks we can soon build a bridge to unite countries with significant Muslim populations and the United States. I will work hard and I know you all will too. Together we can all make an impact.

We are here for a reason and this above picture is not what the future will be like. Lets bring peace love and understanding to this world, So this will not happen again. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Happy Village" Volunteer Work-

what defines poverty?

This past weekend my host mom and I took a trip to do volunteer work for a program called “Happy Village.“ This programs mission is to bring health sanitation and education to a village that does not have access to these necessities. The village consisted of 65 homes, or thatched roof huts, filled with families of elders, parents, children and infants.  These people had been living a simple life for years deprived of medical attention, sanitation and proper education. Yet, the people I saw did not look sad like  I expected they would. They were actually very joyful! They welcomed me into there homes, taught me how to ride there bikes, took pictures with me and even took me to the fields where they grow there crops to have a round of volleyball. They taught me so much. I learned that to be happy we don’t need all the latest technology, biggest houses, and best clothes, we just need to be happy with what we have and the people we to share it with. 
            I think the reason behind my surprise at the village was that before coming to India I was sheltered from the realities of poverty. My view on poverty was that people who do not live to the same standards as I do must be sad or depressed. After seeing the joy of the people, their happiness for the life they live, and their love for the family and community they were surrounded by, I realized that having little money, or living a simple life  doesn’t always make one poor. As long as ones attitude for what they have is positive there lives can be rich.  I also learned that it is not fair of me to judge another ones culture until I understand the true realities behind it, because as YES orientations and this program have taught me is that: “Nothings wrong, nothings right, it’s just different”