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alma.toukhy
Nov 20, 2018
In our community's box
The thing I love the most about the world is colors. I can’t imagine the world without them. I had stopped considering the “worst” experience of my life to be the worst, as it had a beautiful ending, infused with colors. “Ow!” cried the drops of water as we boiled violently inside a pot that had been set on the stove. This was the second time I moved from one place to another; from the water tank on the house’s roof, through the pipes and into this boiling pot of water. It was so hot in the pot and we were all screaming for help, but human beings can’t hear us. From that pot, the journey of my life began. As we boiled, I felt my body disintegrating slowly, turning to bits. I didn’t know what that feeling was, but as every particle disconnected from my body, it didn’t sink to the bottom. Instead, each one floated upwards, causing a smoke-like mist to fly; steam. A few moments later, the final bit of me was a part of the mist, and a lady opened the window. That caused all of the steam to fly out of the window, and soon we were flying in the sky. Afterwards, my body started coming together again, but not as a drop of water. Instead, I and all the other pulverized drops of water formed a cloud up in the sky. That was the beginning of the period of my life as a cloud. I felt weird at first, unusually light and fluffy, and the height added even more to the experience, as the point of view from the sky was exotic and definitely different from that you get from being on the ground. I saw every single thing from up there, and the people I feared would step on me as a simple drop were now each the size of an ant. This whole thing made me feel a lot more confident and strong. I loved everything about sky, for the cloud I was part of, allowed a lot of space that I could freely move in. The only problem was that I didn’t get to stay in the sky for a long time. Around one week later, the cloud started to slowly get heavier and heavier. It started to slightly pin down. Then, the sky became a light shade of grey, and so did the cloud. My particles began coming together. In a bit, I regained my water drop form. It didn’t take me much time to fall out of the cloud. I was frightened to fall onto the ground and explode into a million droplets. As I began to fall, the sun came up. I don’t know any chemical or physical explanation to what happened afterwards, but as the sunshine glistened through me, a ray of multiple colors came shining: a rainbow.
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alma.toukhy
Oct 23, 2018
In our community's box
It all started that year. 1948, the year Israelis set foot in Palestine. Since then, no Palestinian’s eye flickered into sleep in peace. Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian-Canadian activist and poet who wishes children in Palestine could live like any other child around the globe. One of the very successful and remarkable poems that she wrote is "We Teach Life, Sir." It is actually more of a free-verse.This poem contains a lot of poetic devices and figurative language. All of these examples present the reader with a broad perception of the piece of poetry. Repetition is one of the ways to convince or tell listeners that you are making an important statement. In "We Teach Life, Sir," Ziadah uses repetition as seen here: "No sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite." She wants the reader to understand how limited her words are because journalists and reporters from around the world want specific quotes to add into their blogs and reports. They only use the refugee as a "fake proof" to prove their point and thesis. Comparison between human and non-human actions is a handy way to express the meaning behind the statement. Ziadah used personification in the following line. "Patience has just escaped me." By saying that, she is informing the reader that she is no longer patient. Another idea she is stating indirectly by using personification in that line is that the journalist took it too far. He or she is trying to make her say that the refugees are wrong and Israel has the right to occupy Palestine. In the poem, you can find a lot of examples that cover metaphors. A notable example is "Today my body was a Tv’d massacre." Within this line, the speaker is comparing himself and his body to a Tv’d massacre because he is being recorded as he supposedly "dies." But instead of literally dying, he is being killed by their questions. A second poetic device is irony. "I perfected my english and learned my UN resolutions but still he asked me, ‘Ms. Ziadah, don’t you think it would all be resolved if you would just stop teaching so much hatred to your children?’" The irony in this quote is the part where she says that even though I did all I can, he still asked me the question I could never stand. Sarcasm is mostly used when answering a question in a logical but slightly rude way. Ziadah was being sarcastic about what the journalist said when she said,"They felt sorry for the cattle over Ghaza." Here, what is being said could be more than one thing. One of the meanings is that people never care about the refugees being hurt, but instead, the care more about the cattle. Another meaning could be that she is comparing herself and other displaced Palestinians to the massacre of cattle. When humans massacre cattle, it is usually done for food, so, it is very usual to people. Notice, this line supports another one, "Move those who are desensitized to terrorist blood." Ziadah is explaining that the slaughter of all these children, women and elderly is ignored more than the slaughter of cattle. How are pictures transformed into words? Well, this is where imagery comes in to do the trick! "Do you have enough bone broken limbs to cover the sun?" Imagine all those dead bodies piled up on top of each other and the number is so huge they even block the sun in the sky! And what’s worse, all of these bodies are victims of only one occupation. This line supports the following, "A hundred dead, two hundred dead, and a thousand dead." Here, Ziadah is explaining how unbelievably huge the number of victims is. This imagery may be very dark and sad, but it is still very strong and powerful. I personally never heard a bombing in my life before. This poem is actually enough. It is like a bomb right in my face because of all the meaning it holds. I think if I do hear a bomb exploding, I will recall the poem "We Teach Life, Sir" and remind myself that this is not just a moment of terror, but an opportunity to become stronger. It is also an opportunity to teach the rest of the world life, sir.
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alma.toukhy
Oct 16, 2018
In our community's box
What would France be like if it had a king and queen who wasted money excessively and cared more about their fancy footwear than the people of the country? Well, it wouldn’t be one of the world-famous countries that we all know. Instead, it would be world-famous for its unbelievably poor state. This is what France, the country now know as home of art, technology and history, was like long ago. The main event that helped shape the nation into the one we know right now is the French Revolution. Background information & Causes: The French Revolution came about in the 1789, when the Monarchy of King Louis XVI was in a crisis, and was ended in 1799 by the French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. The uprising eventuated due to many reasons. One of the main reasons was unfair overtaxation that peasants and people belonging to lower social statuses were forced to pay to the government, all of which were given to the monarch. This made the people exceptionally poor and many were dying of hunger. The beginning of the French Revolution was when commoners stormed the Bastille fortress and prison on the 14th of July. They did so in order to free the prisoners in the prison—about ten people at that time—but also to get weapons and gunpowder. Events in the Beginning of the French Revolution: The rebellion went through quite a few stages. The first, most important stage was the formation of the National Assembly. There is a long story behind it. In the beginning, when King Louis XVI began to worry about the extreme case of economic depression that took over the state very recently, he decided to assemble an Estates General meeting. The last time an Estates-General meeting was held had taken place in the mid 1600s; over 150 years before that time. That kind of meeting is slightly similar to the diplomatic political view. How the congregation works is that basically, each group consisting of individuals from the same social ranking would choose as many representatives as they wish to take part in the meeting. The clergy belonged to the First Estate, the nobility and the rich to the Second, and the commoners (everyone else) to the Third. Of course, members of the Third Estate outnumbered those of the other two, but their votes weren’t taken into consideration. Due to the ignorance of the assembly towards their party, the Third Estate decided to quit the Estates-General meeting and form their own congregation, which they later gave the title of “The National Assembly.” Members of that faction later signed what is now know as the Tennis Court Oath, promising not to give up on the National Assembly until a new constitution is made. Middle of the French Revolution: A very remarkable, but terrifying event that took place during the French Revolution is definitely the Reign of Terror. This occurrence took place in the beginning and middle of the revolution, after the monarchy was overthrown by the people and a new revolutionary government was formed. It was led by Maximillian Robespierre, who was born in 1758, and led the Jacobins. The central rule of the Reign of Terror was as follows: if you contradict with the government, you will be guillotined. This is when the guillotine was introduced to the public and became the standard way of executing people: beheading them. Eventually, the number of people executed at the guillotine grew larger and larger, until, finally, it reached 15,000 people. Among these people were King Louis XVI and queen Marie Antoinette. Their execution was a direct path to the very climax of the revolution; the formation of the Directory. The Directory and the End: The French Revolution was all about revolting for social justice and a new, fair government. So, naturally, the protest should include a recently developed and new government that is parallel to the needs and wants of the riots. This is exactly why the Directory came to life in 1795. The Directory was the second revolutionary government during the French Revolution. It incorporated two councils and five executive members, and was in control for five years, claiming a strict system as their standard the whole ruling period. During this timespan, the Directory looked consistent on the outside, but, on the inside, it was collapsing. This put the society in a very bad condition, until, in 1799, the Directory was finally taken down by Napoleon Bonaparte, which also marked the end of the French Revolution. Effects on the Modern World and Conclusion: The French Revolution unquestionably influenced France in that specific period of time, 1789-1799. The real question is, how did the French Revolution affect our modern world? These events have an effect on our present-day France and the 18th century’s France beyond question. But, how it impacted the rest of the world is a whole new story. First of all, this uprising proved that women are strong and resilient, which is obvious when the maidens of France stormed King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s palace in Versailles. Another important value that the French Revolution established is how gender, racial and status-based classification is false and unfair. This was present when the Third Estate formed the National Assembly, and proved themselves strong and worthy of power and attention. That shows us that one of the French Revolution’s main goals was avoiding classification based on color, cast or creed. Overall, the French Revolution, I will argue, is, was, and always will be one of the most important events that changed not only France, but the rest of the world.
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