Celebrities Snap Selfies In Bed For Latest Campaign To Help Syrian Children

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/14/wake-up-call-selfies-unicef_n_5977586.html?utm_hp_ref=middle-east

Okay, let me start off by saying this is the most dumbest thing I have ever heard, ever. The #WakeUpCall campaign, launched by UNICEF UK ambassador Jemima Khan, is spreading through social media and is supposed to remind the world of Syrian children impacted by war. To promote the awareness campaign, celebrities that include Paris Hilton, Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry and Naomi Campbell; have posted images of themselves in bed right after waking up. Through their tweets and Instagram posts, many of them have challenged other big name entertainers and influencers to do the same.

According to the global humanitarian organization, Syria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child. About 6.5 million Syrian children have suffered because of the civil conflict, with roughly 2.8 million no longer able to attend school and 1 million displaced into nearby nations due to war. So what I’m trying to figure out, is how is a bunch of selfies going to help these kids? Yes, they caption their pictures with the texting number to donate money to help support these kids, but are any of these celebrities actually donating money themselves? They have more money than us! & yet they are taking pictures in bed thinking that a simple photo will help save the world. Wrong. Actions do. People just want to follow them on social media and look at their pictures, I don’t feel like people will actually take the initiative to text and donate money, I just don’t. I want to know what else those celebrities are doing to try and help the efforts in Syria. I don”t think its okay to attach your name to a cause (being a celebrity) if you aren’t actively doing something to spark a real beneficial change. What in the world does waking up in the morning even have to do with these children in Syria!?!? I get the Idea “Wake up” as a play on words to a “wake up call” on what’s happening in Syria but honestly, come on!

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Half Of Yemen’s Population Is Going Hungry As Violence Worsens

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/16/yemen-violence-hunger_n_7077820.html?utm_hp_ref=middle-east

How many times have we seen such similar stories? Countries stand by as a nation goes hungry during a time of war and conflict. Worsening violence in Yemen has made almost half the country’s population “food insecure,” with flour shortages, closed shops and disrupted supply routes driving up food prices. The United Nations says the conflict in Yemen has killed 600 people, wounded 2,200 and displaced 100,000 since Houthi rebels allied with Iran seized the capital Sanaa in September. People face a shortage of wheat flour, especially in southern regions, as the price has increased by nearly 40 percent since the wider conflict began. Shops have also closed down and food markets as well. Yemen imports almost 90 percent of its basic food so traders are unable to move freely when fighting is going on, and who would want to? This reminds me of the Famine in Ethiopia and how heavily criticized they were, for aiding a war but allowing it’s people to starve. Some feel as if its not others job to fix it but I think food aid should increase especially in times like this when people really need it.  More than 1,200 people fleeing the conflict have reached the Horn of Africa by boat to try and get away from this problem but that in itself is a bigger issue as well. Not everyone can flee and expect to be able to get food elsewhere, if this isn’t controlled or taken care of soon there will be an even bigger issue that the world is going to have to deal with, other than ISIS.

Saudi Arabia’s First ‘Halal’ Sex Shop In Mecca Hopes To Challenge Stereotypes About Muslim Women

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/22/saudi-arabia-halal-sex-shop_n_7116552.html?utm_hp_ref=middle-east

I cannot believe I have even found an article that states something like this. First, Mecca is a holy city and the thought of a sex shop being opened there blows my mind. The Middle East is known to be conservative, the women barely allowed to show skin, and yet a sex shop is in the works? How! The owner states “It is not true that Muslim women are seen only in the kitchen and seen only wearing the veil. We should also highlight love.” Not sure where he gets that from but he claims that the shop will be fully Sharia compliant and that his plans have been approved by a Saudi Arabian cleric. The shop includes products such as scented candles, creams and oils. The Gulf Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is governed by Sharia Law and is deeply conservative in its treatment of women. Which is shocking to me that this has been approved. Despite these restrictions, the country is home to thousands of lingerie shops, which until 2012 were staffed exclusively by men. This is news to me! I didn’t even know that this was true, I had to look up and see if there was actual sex shops and there is, so maybe they aren’t so behind like the Western world likes to think?

What ISIS Really Wants

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

This article does a good job at explaining where ISIS came from, and what its intentions actually are. The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. The religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in complete detail. Control of territory is an essential precondition for the Islamic State’s authority in the eyes of its supporters as well. Where it holds power, the state collects taxes, regulates prices, operates courts, and administers services ranging from health care and education to telecommunications. The U.S pretending that it isn’t actually a religious group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it. Everything they believe and follow are models for all behavior, including warfare, couture and family life. They want to control and have power and form an Islamic state and I believe they will do whatever they can to ensure this.

Don’t Take the Bait: The U.S. Should Not Send Troops to Fight ISIS

http://time.com/3723617/dont-take-the-bait-the-u-s-should-not-send-troops-to-fight-isis/

This article gives an interesting perspective as to why the U.S should not send troops to fight ISIS. One main reason, ISIS has demonstrated no particular ambition to attack the West at home. The article basically argues that sending Americans back into Anbar and Saladin provinces would provide ISIS with pure oxygen and fresh waves of volunteers, while feeding the narrative that the U.S. is in a war against Islam. But because the U.S has not been targeted, does that mean we should stand by and not help those in need? It that not a human rights violation? I know that we have gotten ourselves involved more than we should have in many different nations but ISIS has begun to involve other neighboring countries and killing others from those countries as well.

Middle East Sees Religious, Ethnic Hatred as Greatest Global Threat

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/17/even-before-recent-spread-of-isis-middle-east-feared-religious-and-ethnic-hatred

As the world mobilizes to fight the Islamic State group, people see religious and ethnic hatred as the top threat facing the world today. Americans and Europeans also said inequality was the biggest threat. Barack Obama insists there will be no U.S. boots on the ground to defeat the group, instead hoping regional countries and fighters that also have felt the impact of the conflict will carry out those operations but I disagree. I think that if things worsen that the United States should definitely intervene and do something to stop the terrorist groups. U.S.-led air strikes have killed more than 6,000 ISIS fighters. But those losses have been more than made good by the stream of 1,000 foreign fighters who are estimated to join ISIS every month. I think more needs to be done! ISIS is not going to run out of cannon fodder anytime soon, and the U.S. approach, limited to air strikes, has shown scant ability to dislodge ISIS from its strongholds, especially in Syria, where ISIS has expanded its zone of control over the past six months. For air strikes to work, they need to be launched in coordination with an effective ground force, but that has been mostly lacking.

Iraq’s first national park approved

http://positivenews.org.uk/2013/environment/13504/iraqs-national-park-approved-2/

Although Iraq is going through a dark time, their first national park has been approved which will help efforts towards protecting the historic Mesopotamian marshes in the south of the country for future generations. Azzam Alwash, an Iraqi engineer and environmentalist states, “We’ve worked for more than ten years to make this happen – and we still have a lot of work ahead – but we now celebrate an important milestone in the history of Iraq,” I was unaware honestly that people were even making efforts for things like a national park in Iraq with all the ongoing violence and instability in the country. “By setting the national park, Iraq commits to dedicate a portion of its increasingly limited water resources to keeping the marshes alive and thriving. Furthermore, it is a good argument in negotiations with Turkey to dedicate special spring releases for environmental preservation,” said Alwash. I think it is a wonderful idea to try and restore and maintain a place with such great history. The article explains that this area is the cradle of civilization, where agriculture started, where writing was invented and the birthplace of Abraham. To not preserve it would be wrong.