Last Post: T.J. Hinch

Man, its been an interesting semester. Thanks to my German 3510:Thinking Global class, I have learned more about our increasing global world and the different components that add up to the current day issues such as racism or eurocentrism. Most Tuesdays this semester, we had a guest professor give us a lecture on a specific factor or a different perspective. While I found each to be interesting, informative, and definitely challenging, I found the drone lecture given by Professor Allen to be the most interesting and full of personal potential. I am currently a dual major in International Studies and Geography with a GIS emphasis. With that being the case, I can see that knowing the rules and regulations of drones will be of benefit for me personally in my future career. I have actually signed up for the class next semester where I will learn these rules and will learn how to actually fly a drone. When Professor Allen gave his lecture in class, he talked about how, using drones, him and his class used the data to help further their efforts to help a Costa Rican town during a study abroad experience. That coupled with my digital geography major really inspired me because drones are a cutting edge technology within my future field. It was really neat to see how drones can help a community rather than the stereotypical perspective of their use in wartime. They can be used to gather information which I can then input into a digital map using various software. It is inspiring to think that I’m effectively preparing for my future and becoming a more skilled individual. It also will help me accomplish my life goal of traveling and working in the field and consequently see the world and open myself up to new experiences.

In fact, drones can help countries such as Tunisia, which I have studied this semester. I’ve learned a lot about the country throughout the semester. I’ve learned a lot by blogging this semester. For example, I learned how to blog as this is my first blogging experience in my life. Tunisia has a lot occuring in the country itself that a lot of people may not know. I’ve  learned that Tunisia had a revolution pretty recently in 2011 and is actually one of the better gender equality nations in all of the Arabic world. I knew where the country is and its ancient history, however, I learned its medium to short past history, efforts and goals for the country in the 21st century, and some of the accomplishments for Tunisia. One thing that I personally learned was that despite a perilous situation, the Tunisian people are still optimistic and determined to make Tunisia a great and powerful country. This was a cool feeling because all of my research, except for gender equality, would give the reverse impression. I also learned about the UN goals that will come into effect next year and how they would specifically apply to Tunisia. It is good to hear that NGOs such as Mercy Corps and these goals are exactly what Tunisia needs to help establish the strong county that the people desire. It gave a real world example of the concepts that we learned in class and gave me the chance to address these issues using knowledge and perspectives that I was learning in other classes as well. So it gave me a chance to start connecting what I’m learning at college and applying it to, in this case Tunisia, and also the world.

I’m excited to see what happens next semester as I’m learning to fly drones. I can gather data about a region or community and try to help whatever project I’m working for. I wouldn’t have been aware of such an opportunity if I hadn’t taken this class. I also learned about the world as it is currently globalizing and learned about Tunisia especially. Once I’m out of college with my doctoral degree, I am excited for every opportunity to apply my drone skills to help people. Who knows, perhaps I can use my drone skills to help Tunisia one day! This semester has been really fun learning about the world while undergoing globalization and learning about opportunities to become involved with and impact the world. Thanks for all of the readers of this thread. Its been a blast and hopefully informative for you all.

 

Picture Urls in order of appearance:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A2KLqIOExldWAwwAz6H7w8QF?p=globalization&fr=yff50c&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Apivot#id=4&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.intelligent-aerospace.com%2Fcontent%2Fdam%2Favi%2Fonline-articles%2F2012%2F11%2Fshutterstock_globalization.jpg&action=click

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A2KLqIOExldWAwwAz6H7w8QF?p=globalization&fr=yff50c&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Apivot#id=22&iurl=https%3A%2F%2Fcoursera-course-photos.s3.amazonaws.com%2F50%2F945bed87d1f8745ec38aeb2090f644%2FGlobalizationWordleBanner2.jpg&action=click

Video URL:

The Conclusion of The Politics of the Veil

This week’s blog post will be on the book “The Politics of the Veil” by Joan Wallach Scott and specifically how she arrived at her conclusion in the book. Specifically speaking, “rather than resolving the problem of integrating Muslims into French society, the law banning headscarves has exacerbated it”. Within the book, Scott separates interwoven strands so that the reader can better understand how the situation has developed over time. According to Scott, the veil is a manifestation of racial tension between republican France and the Muslim “Other”. In the preceding paragraphs before the quote, she gives more examples and personal accounts to support the claim. Although the veil ban technically only applies to elementary through high school girls, one can see some side effects taking place for adults as well. A woman tells Scott about how, when the woman was seeking naturalization, that if she wore the veil that “her case would be compromised if I kept it on.” The page also states that marriage proposals can be denied because of the veil, some courts will not see a defendant wearing a veil, and that people who wear the veil have been turned away by employers as a result. “In the end it’s not because of Islam that we stay home, but because of French Society.”

All throughout the book, Scott breaks down enacted legislation  and events that have helped set up a french attempt to dominate and control difference thus alienating Muslims rather than integrating them.” As a result, a self-fulfilling prophecy is formed and exacerbated causing a rift between republican France and the Muslims. However this hasn’t been solely a french problem. Many different ethnic minorities have or are feeling this alienation all over the world. In fact, at the University of Missouri-Columbia, there have been controversial protests that have been supposedly caused by the same issue. One of the goals that was stated was to be a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment for everyone attending. Another major claim was that the University was stricken with widespread institutional racism and that it was affecting the quality of life for black students. The claims being made by the activists and the institutional response mirrors what Scott is arguing in terms of the veil in France. I will not get political or offer my stance on the situation at my school, however, the situation has similarities to the one highlighted in the book and especially by institutional or governmental policies that were enacted.

The feeling of unforgivable differences shape these kind of controversies which is what Scott means by exacerbating rather than integrating. With every attempt to control and regulate a religious, philosophical, or physical difference, it will alienate the people involved and actually cause more hardship and controversies if people lash out at each other rather than talking it out and coming together. Ultimately, the author arrived at her conclusion by recognizing the alienation of a group of people by another group of people and gave examples, cases, or events that supported her claim. Alienation only breeds contempt for the oppressor and the suppressed group lashes out. Then by these lashing out events and the differences displayed, a vicious cycle and self-fulfilling prophecy is formed.

Picture URLs, in order of appearance:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEV0cxQ1JW9NEAnbJXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0djQ3dThjBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjExNzhfMQRzZWMDcGl2cw–?p=the+politics+of+the+viel&fr=yff50c&fr2=piv-web#id=11&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fharvardpolitics.com%2Fblog%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F10%2Ffig-6-persepolis.jpg&action=click

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https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT.FXRFJW5VkAeZhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0djQ3dThjBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjExNzhfMQRzZWMDcGl2cw–?p=racism+self+fulfilling+prophecy&fr=yff50c&fr2=piv-web#id=0&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fbreakthesealdc.files.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F05%2Fself-fulfilling.jpg&action=click

Human Trafficking in the Middle East and Tunisia

Human Trafficking is a problem that is less obvious but definitely a major concern as the world progresses into the 21st century. American movies sometimes display the circuit of human trafficking such as the memorable series of Taken. In the movie, it briefly shows some of the living conditions such as drugged girls living in a dorm as Liam Neeson battles his way through the complex. The punchline is he enters the room he was looking for and sees his daughter’s best friend dead on her bed. This really hammers home the point that the movie was trying to make on Human trafficking. They leave for a vacation to a foreign land and end up being sold as slaves or sex slaves a few weeks later. However, this isn’t fantasy or a movie for some people, its a reality for many people world wide.

As shown by the graph above, this is a problem that affects all of the world. Most countries in the world have active laws against human trafficking and illegal immigration, but often times, people are effectively smuggled across the globe. The two main contributions that allow for human trafficking are poverty and gender discrimination. As displayed on the graph, a lot of emphasis are poorer countries located in south east Asia or the soviet bloc located in Eastern Europe.  Many of the designated readings for the course I’m taking tells stories, about a girl’s experience mostly, that show the sense of lacking a future, powerlessness, and fear.

In an ever globalizing world, this issue is stressed and emphasized more. On University campuses, at least nation-wide, classes and majors are dedicated to either woman and her plight or on globalization and global issues. People are becoming more aware of  peripheral issues, at least up until now, such as these.  Currently, nations are recognizing the issue of trafficking and are taking steps to address them. These attempts are working as the preceding bar graph shows that only South and Central Asia has increased in trafficking statistics.

This post has been focused on the Middle East and specifically Tunisia and so I will now focus on these. Simply put, Tunisia and the Middle East still is an issue in terms of human trafficking although not as severe as other regions around the world. Unfortunately though unsurprisingly, Tunisia is on  the Tier 2 Watch List. The definition of countries on this list are that the countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:
1. they display a high or significantly increasing number of victims,
2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, or,
3. they have committed to take action over the next year. (http://www.indexmundi.com/tunisia/trafficking_in_persons.html)

Tunisia has also been called  “a source, destination, and possible transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.”(http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226837.htm) According to http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30c893c.html, the government of Tunisia made greater efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year, yet the government continued to lack formal procedures to identify proactively trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as undocumented migrants and those persons detained for prostitution offenses. Until the above procedures are established, Tunisia will remain a tier two country.  However, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that will commence next year will address human trafficking specifically. Goal 10 will indirectly affect trafficking which states “Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.” Then Goal 5 addresses it more specifically by stating “Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.” Both of the quotes’ URLs are http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality/ and http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/ respectively.

Human trafficking affects men, women, and children and is a major impediment to human rights on a global scale. Efforts are being taken to eliminate trafficking across the globe and in 2016 the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will take affect and will stem the tide against trafficking. Human beings are being emphasized more than ever as campuses and nations are striving to introduce people to the problems of a global world and emphasizing human rights more than ever. In order to effectively address trafficking or minimize it as much as possible, in my opinion, people need to practice caution when traveling, a list of warning signs of potential traffickers needs to be published and promoted as to increase awareness, and helping reduce poverty will help the situation. As for addressing gender discrimination the puzzle becomes more complex. One can propose education but if a country is cripplingly conservative, girls may not be allowed to attend school. However, with the UN’s goals taking effect, gender discrimination will be more adequately addressed thus affecting trafficking as well. There is hope of a more peaceful addressing of trafficking than Liam Neeson shooting his way through a eastern European Trafficking Dorm.  A new dawn is approaching in human rights and a brighter future for humankind is slowly becoming a reality.

Websites used in order of appearance:

http://www.indexmundi.com/tunisia/trafficking_in_persons.html

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226837.htm

http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30c893c.html

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/

Pictures’ Urls in order of appearance:

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Tunisia’s Problems within the 21st century and How to Move Forward

Tunisia is a country racked with numerous and very serious problems. Some of the major ones have already been covered within my previous posts such as environmental degradation, national security, terrorism, global warming , economic expansion, human rights, and global warming. Each one builds off of multiple of the other issues leading to an undesirable complexity as to how to address them for a weak Tunisian democracy. It is very difficult to choose Tunisia’s biggest problem as a result of this. Despite all of the hardships endured by Tunisians, according to my research, the people are very hopeful for their country.

According to the World Bank, there are three messages from a recent analysis by the World Bank as to how Tunisia can make progress into the 21st century. These are :

  1. The pace of structural reform needs to move forward decisively, particularly in the areas of trade and investment liberalization.
  2. The state needs to decrease further its size and and role in the economy, strengthen its actions in the provision of public goods, and encourage a higher level of private investment-both domestic and foreign.
  3.  Environmental constraints mean that further adjustments in growth plans must take place, particularly in agriculture and tourism.

However, there some good aspects as well. Tunisia has a literacy rate of 74.3% and female literacy is 65.3%. (http://www.africaw.com/tunisia-today-major-issues-and-challenges)The latter percentage is a very good one within the Arab world but is lacking when compared to other regions in the world. Despite the environmental degradation, Tunisia has an abundance of natural resources such as: petroleum, zinc, salt, phosphates, iron ore, etc. (http://www.africaw.com/tunisia-today-major-issues-and-challenges) Within my prior posts, I have illustrated that Tunisia wants to become a major economic power within the emerging global market place. However, as it continues to strive for this goal, it needs to first address its business sector. While recording the lowest fiscal deficit and public debt ratio of all Arab countries in transition within the year 2011, it also posted the highest unemployment rate. Currently, the unemployment rate is 18.9%. In addition, in 2011, 82 enterprises left Tunisia. Thus, 2010 had an account deficit worth 4.8 % of the GDP but in 2011, it is worth 7.8% of the GDP. ( http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2012/CAR090512A.htm)

One could say, in essence, that Tunisia’s current economic problems seem to be related to the lack of the political will necessary to overcome them. (http://gpf-europe.com/context/publications/?id=17028) These problems have been worsened as an effect of the revolution in 2011. However, the government needs to get stronger and start bettering the business sector if the country will build itself up and to eventually achieve its goals. The people have hope that once their fledgling democracy grows and becomes more stable, that true progress will be made from the previous regime’s rule. Already Tunisia can boast a high literacy rate, focusing on female involvement more so than other countries, and progress has been made to strengthen the constitution in order to address such things as global warming and human rights. But with the rise of terrorism, many outside countries fear that if the Tunisian government doesn’t strengthen its government, than the country will not be able to survive. As such, I would have to say that the biggest problem facing Tunisia would have to be strengthening the constitution and therefore the government as a result. With more stable and strong leadership, the country will be able to exist and pursue its economic, social, and political goals. With the globalization taking place, this isn’t just an issue for Tunisia, but also the rest of the world.

Websites, in order of appearance:

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/1995/10/697023/tunisia-towards-21st-century-vol-1-2-main-report

http://www.africaw.com/tunisia-today-major-issues-and-challenges

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2012/CAR090512A.htm

http://gpf-europe.com/context/publications/?id=17028

Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7S50HXk6Wc

Pictures, In order of appearance:

http://gpf-europe.com/context/publications/?id=17028

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2012/CAR090512A.htm

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2012/CAR090512A.htm

 

The down fall of the helping hand

Humanitarian aid has always been widely publicized as a global force for helping those less fortunate. However, this industry has become just another industry. For a course that I am currently taking , I have been asked to read Linda Polman’s book The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid? The book poses several different issues about humanitarian aid in today’s world.  A quote from the book, from page 177 specifically, states “Aid organizations are businesses dressed  up like Mother Teresa…” Unfortunately, much evidence supports that claim.According to the preceding   sentence that the quote follows, Polman states “But when it comes to aid agencies, journalists automatically approve. (page 177) However, Polman offers a more realistic view of practices and experiences with humanitarian aid.

I have read chapters one, two, three, and five. Each of these chapters gives a new perspective as to how aid has become a business. Chapter one is a hard-hitting chapter that describes life in Goma which is a Hutu refugee camp in Zaire or present day Democratic Republic of Congo.  It described how the camp was surrounded with mines so as to slow down advancing opponents and how the government was located in a nice hotel on the outskirts of the city of Goma. However, the state of the refugee camp has significantly improved since the camp’s founding. The Hutus had brought a lot of books and other materials from Rwanda that allow multiple facets of civilized life. At the start, journalists and aid agencies were swarming the camp. However, as the camp started to become a city, aid to Goma was terminated in November of 1996. An inventory count listed in the book says that there are 2,324 bars, 450 restaurants, 590 shops, more than 60 air salons, 50 pharmacies, 30 tailors, 25 butcher’s shops, 5 blacksmiths, 4 studios, 3 cinemas, 2 hotels, and a slaughterhouse. (Pg. 33)

Chapter two started to explain the complexity of the situation at Goma. The opening quote says it all as: “For the aid organizations in Goma it was a matter of feed the killers or go under as an organization.” (Pg. 36)This chapter hit home that the conflict between moderate Hutus and Tutsi vs. extremist Hutus didn’t stop when they left Rwanda. The chapter’s sub theme was the Tutsis and Tutsi sympathizers disappeared although they were in an organization’s medical unit. However, organizations also would hire Hutus as staff or faculty leading to many disappearances. Some of them were found murdered a few days later. “Some journalists called it a “Second Genocide”. (Pg. 18)  Hutus would also steal supplies by a number of methods and some were just taken under arms. This violence and crime  were consequences of  “The battle for contracts that went between organizations was paramount, and among other things it prevented them from joining forces to combat Hutu violence and the theft of aid supplies.”(Pg.37 )Within chapter 3 MONGOs, Polman explains how ineffective and how drastically many of them aren’t qualified for the work they do. She criticizes them for people who just start a MONGO or (My own Non-Governmental Organization) on a whim without becoming totally invested within the NGO. She tells a story about a surgeon MONGO who only spent a short time in the countries he served. He would perform operations that he wasn’t qualified for and would leave before any ramifications could be  felt. Simply put, MONGOs tend to be incompetent, unreliable, and not well established financially.

http://nl.toonpool.com/cartoons/humanitarian%20aid_106966

Chapter five is about how governments, especially repressive ones, take most of the aid which only causes more pain and suffering within the country. “Irrespective of the consequences for the length and ferocity of the of wars, INGOs and MONGOs -and indeed journalists-are free to make agreements,pacts,contracts, and deals at their own discretion with wannabe presidents, tribal chiefs, warlords, troublemakers, rebel leaders, headmen, insurgents, terrorist cells, child generals, splinter-group king pins, militia leaders, bosses of factions, transnational terrorist commanders, regime bigwigs, mercenaries, freedom fighters, and underworld figures reincarnated as paramilitaries, at village, regional, or national levels.”(Pg.97) Another quote to drive home the modern reality reads thus: “Nowadays, if the world bank says no to a proposed project, then an Islamic financier will say yes, and if Europe doesn’t respond quickly enough, China will already have offered its services. ” (page 103) Thus this is the reality of modern day humanitarian aid. It has become a business industry and has created rivalries amongst various organizations. Ultimately, its become petty and corrupt, and has lost sight of helping people its become a game almost. ” The recipients of aid have become adept at exploiting rivalry within the aid industry.”

Polman’s main thoughts about Humanitarian Aid are that it has become corrupt, inept, incompetent, and has become superficial rather than actually helping anyone or changing anything. In fact, it may allow for more of the same as much of the material is either stolen, siphoned off, or goes to the oppressive governments within the country  fueling more of the same. The situation has become so complex that it is hard for significant progress to be made in actually helping the region that an organization goes to.Not all is horrendously wrong but it isn’t what it seems to be on the TV or reports. This is very significant to general globalization and needs to be considered when making decisions on a national and international level. Its a very complex issue without a clear answer to the “what should be done to better human aid?” question.

In my opinion, rather than blindly giving resources to refugees, I would want to strengthen governments and help create more just systems within the countries. This will eliminate most of  the taxes and corruption taking away from the bounties that were brought. This will also indirectly help to address bandits or the Polman’s theme of “second genocide” as the governments will be stronger and will be able to help the organizations to effectively administer their various services, resources, and aid. This would make me sound like I side with Nightingale’s stance of governments should be held responsible for certain things in terms of humanitarian aid. If its a more instable government, however, perhaps some military guards from the UN are needed to help protect the organizations supplies from bandits or other violent or potentially violent groups that are interested in them. As for MONGOs, I would support the addition of new NGOs but I think that qualifications must be clearly established before administering treatment and an establishment or a stronger government would help catch unqualified MONGOS and NGOs from their domain. Lastly, I would propose that MONGOs and NGOs treat it more as a unified effort and forget appearances and profits. This should help to create a more unified front to the recipients of the aid which will make it tougher to pit one organization against another. Its a really tough situation with many variables but I do believe that this would help the efficiency of humanitarian aid and helping people rather than temporarily addressing their needs. It is comparable to the quote “give a fisherman a fish, you feed him for a day, however, if you teach a fisherman to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”But I would need to gain experience in the field to gain a true sense of the situation in order to better the aid in quality and amount.

All pictures, in order of appearance:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8py9PSxWYBoAFV4unIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTI0ODY1YWtzBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZANiNzE5MTM3MTg5NTRmNmYxMGRjY2IwYmQ0YTQ4MGE3ZQRncG9zAzE0NARpdANiaW5n?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dhumanitarian%2Baid%2Badding%2Bto%2Bproblem%26n%3D60%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr2%3Dsb-top-images.search.yahoo.com%26ri%3D229%26hsimp%3Dyhs-002%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26nost%3D1%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D144&w=1024&h=764&imgurl=www.smeadvisor.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2011%2F08%2FChapman-Freeborn-B747-loading-aid-LUX-to-ADD-1024×764.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smeadvisor.com%2F2011%2F08%2Fhumanitarian-aid-flown-to-horn-of-africa%2F&size=233.9KB&name=%3Cb%3EHumanitarian%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3Eaid%3C%2Fb%3E+flown+to+Horn+of+Africa+|+Middle+East+Small+Business+…&p=humanitarian+aid+adding+to+problem&oid=b71913718954f6f10dccb0bd4a480a7e&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&fr=&tt=%3Cb%3EHumanitarian%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3Eaid%3C%2Fb%3E+flown+to+Horn+of+Africa+|+Middle+East+Small+Business+…&b=121&ni=288&no=144&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=12bjstjj6&sigb=15uh83m7a&sigi=137o5ekr9&sigt=12nc4gene&sign=12nc4gene&.crumb=x07pnLW21Xa&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla

http://nl.toonpool.com/cartoons/humanitarian%20aid_106966

https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8pnAPCxWhgQAcpwunIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTI0NjZ1cHRwBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZANlOGZmYTdkYTBkZGU5MzgzNmIzYmZjMzRhYjFjMmIwYgRncG9zAzIyOQRpdANiaW5n?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dhumanitarian%2Baid%2Badding%2Bto%2Bproblem%26n%3D60%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr2%3Dsb-top-images.search.yahoo.com%26ri%3D153%26hsimp%3Dyhs-002%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26nost%3D1%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D229&w=850&h=400&imgurl=izquotes.com%2Fquotes-pictures%2Fquote-the-world-presents-enough-problems-if-you-believe-it-to-be-a-world-of-law-and-order-do-not-add-to-louis-d-brandeis-22917.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fizquotes.com%2Fquote%2F22917&size=60.2KB&name=%3Cb%3Eproblems%3C%2Fb%3E+if+you+believe+it+to+be+a+world+of+law+and+order%3B+do+not+%3Cb%3Eadd%3C%2Fb%3E+…&p=humanitarian+aid+adding+to+problem&oid=e8ffa7da0dde93836b3bfc34ab1c2b0b&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&fr=&tt=%3Cb%3Eproblems%3C%2Fb%3E+if+you+believe+it+to+be+a+world+of+law+and+order%3B+do+not+%3Cb%3Eadd%3C%2Fb%3E+…&b=181&ni=288&no=229&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=10v706j2o&sigb=15up7m82v&sigi=14vp7mc1d&sigt=12nsm66s5&sign=12nsm66s5&.crumb=x07pnLW21Xa&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla

 

Ecological Morality and Tunisia

A couple of the major issues facing the world within the twenty-first century are ones of environmental and human rights. However, are these connected? How so if yes? Indeed, they are and both are significant problems for Tunisia! Simply put, with the continuation of western influence on globalization in terms of practices and techniques, countries that are deemed “Third World” are instituting much of the same practices and thus are arriving at the same issues that the western world are. Within Tunisia specifically, steps are being taken to remedy slights against human rights and are trying to curb global warming emissions. However, if you recall from my previous post, Tunisia has a score of pollution issues as well as a major concern over rising water levels being on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. One major step was to incorporate global warming into the national  constitution. “The new climate clause under Article 45 obliges the state to guarantee ‘a sound climate and the right to a sound and balanced environment’, and to ‘provide the necessary means to eliminate environmental pollution.'” http://science.time.com/2014/01/29/tunisia-recognizes-climate-change-in-its-constitution/

However, concerns are not about recognizing the issue but trying to address and implement it. With the country trying to establish itself as an economic power, much like Carthage of old, industrialization and mimicry of the western style will almost assuredly lead to negatives. There is a factory that reportedly exudes 13,000 tons of pollutants into the Mediterranean sea every year! This affects fishing and coastline quality in addition to safety for each. Another issue is not far from the first and takes the form of several meters high piles of phosphate that is hazardous for the environment and humans alike. According to http://www.dw.com/en/the-quiet-environmental-disaster-in-tunisia/a-16796561, “If the byproducts are not cleaned up before they are stored away, the village residents could also suffer from the toxins and radioactivity.” However, the article also states “The Chemical Group has estimated that the new plan would cost some 400 million dinars (around 200 million euros, or $262 million), but the company does not have access to those kinds of funds.” The country also is struggling economically so the prospect of removal of these piles is very slim indeed. However, this also allows for water pollution that is killing many people. These issues are rapidly approaching the bridge between climate change and environmental integrity and Human Rights.

Unfortunately, human rights is also not a positive for Tunisia. The newly ratified constitution addresses several issues and Tunisia is improving on this issue however. “Important reforms include the adoption of new laws to combat torture and the establishment of a truth commission into past rights abuses, but a new security law raises human rights concerns.”https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/tunisia However, much work needs to be done to continue to progress from an overbearing previous government. A new security law is the target of a rise in human rights concerns as well as previous slights against human rights such as killing protestors during the uprising that brought about the government change. All in all, Tunisia is recovering from a government that hasn’t done favors for the new government.

Applying what Farish Noor wrote on in his article “Beyond Eurocentrism”, America and the west should not seek to impose its will on the rest of the world, yet neither should the idea of essentialism which divides the world into small domains unintentionally. The difference between Eurocentrism and Essentialism is that Eurocentrism is blatant domination of every aspect of culture. Essentialism, in terms of achieving equality, is well intentioned but fails to perceive that different cultures have different methods. Thus, in my opinion, it should be re-termed as “Subtle Eurocentrism”. Every culture strives to uphold certain virtues that are universally accepted, however, they arrive at it differently. Corresponding to what my Native American Geographies course, rather than dominating one another, cultures should work together to achieve a common goal by embracing the more indigenous group due to the fact that different geographies affects not only physical differences but culturally accepted practices and  perspectives. In terms of Tunisia, the west should lend a helping hand, however, it is Tunisia’s plight and they need to arrive at a conclusion on their own in order to properly address the issues. Tunisia should strike a balance between adopting euro-centric aspects and aid in addition to  developing their own new techniques. There is a lot of work in this country in regards to these issues but there is also progress and hope for a brighter future!

Websites used in order of appearance:

Tunisia Recognizes Climate Change In Its Constitution

http://www.dw.com/en/the-quiet-environmental-disaster-in-tunisia/a-16796561

https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/tunisia

https://bblearn.missouri.edu/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_41600_1&content_id=_2374448_1

Pictures used in order of appearance:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8pdhFhtWBh4AwfEunIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTIyODlrdGdqBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM2ZGI2NWM2N2NjMTdiNzM2Yjg3ZTAwMjZhMzU1ZjFmMARncG9zAzIEaXQDYmluZw–?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3DPhosphate%2BPollution%2BTunisia%26fr%3Dyhs-mozilla-002%26hsimp%3Dyhs-002%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D2&w=600&h=397&imgurl=cdn.ipsnews.net%2FLibrary%2F2013%2F06%2FHyatt-Gabes-Factory.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ipsnews.net%2F2013%2F06%2Fin-southern-tunisia-pollution-no-longer-swept-under-the-rug%2F&size=66.0KB&name=The+%3Cb%3Ephosphate%3C%2Fb%3E+processing+plant+of+Gabes%2C+seen+here+with+phosphogypsum+…&p=Phosphate+Pollution+Tunisia&oid=6db65c67cc17b736b87e0026a355f1f0&fr2=&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&tt=The+%3Cb%3Ephosphate%3C%2Fb%3E+processing+plant+of+Gabes%2C+seen+here+with+phosphogypsum+…&b=0&ni=21&no=2&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=12rlndkh4&sigb=149af13hj&sigi=11nskgdkd&sigt=12gujdlfg&sign=12gujdlfg&.crumb=mX4WkRPxOXR&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla

https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8qHCFhtWtiwApm0unIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTIzcnA0dGdyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM3M2QyMmI1YjdmM2Q2ZDIyOGYyYzRmZWMwYjQ2MzM1NgRncG9zAzgxBGl0A2Jpbmc-?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3DHuman%2BRights%2BTunisia%26fr%3Dyhs-mozilla-002%26hsimp%3Dyhs-002%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26nost%3D1%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D81&w=460&h=276&imgurl=lawanddisorder.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FTunisian-protest1.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Flawanddisorder.org%2F2011%2F06%2Flaw-and-disorder-june-27-2011%2F&size=36.4KB&name=National+Lawyers+Guild+Report%3A+%3Cb%3EHuman%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3ERights%3C%2Fb%3E+In+%3Cb%3ETunisia%3C%2Fb%3E&p=Human+Rights+Tunisia&oid=73d22b5b7f3d6d228f2c4fec0b463356&fr2=&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&tt=National+Lawyers+Guild+Report%3A+%3Cb%3EHuman%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3ERights%3C%2Fb%3E+In+%3Cb%3ETunisia%3C%2Fb%3E&b=61&ni=160&no=81&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=1200l964g&sigb=14ajehcr6&sigi=11rc2oudl&sigt=12b5k5jcs&sign=12b5k5jcs&.crumb=mX4WkRPxOXR&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla

https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8p7wFhtW5AMA21AunIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTIyYzFuODZiBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM0YWIzODQ2YjJlZDgzMjU1ZjM0ZDBiZDE2ZmUzZDYzYQRncG9zAzUEaXQDYmluZw–?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dsunrise%2Btunisia%26n%3D60%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3Dyhs-mozilla-002%26fr2%3Dsb-top-images.search.yahoo.com%26hsimp%3Dyhs-002%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D5&w=500&h=333&imgurl=farm2.staticflickr.com%2F1352%2F1294173267_49d016e5f4_z.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fflickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fcyberslayer%2F1294173267&size=87.8KB&name=%3Cb%3ETunisian%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3ESunrise%3C%2Fb%3E+|+Flickr+-+Photo+Sharing!&p=sunrise+tunisia&oid=4ab3846b2ed83255f34d0bd16fe3d63a&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&tt=%3Cb%3ETunisian%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3ESunrise%3C%2Fb%3E+|+Flickr+-+Photo+Sharing!&b=0&ni=160&no=5&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11f98n145&sigb=15ei1ene7&sigi=11no4q16p&sigt=11ogd9muf&sign=11ogd9muf&.crumb=mX4WkRPxOXR&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla

 

 

Tunisian ecological efforts and globalization

Let us begin with the Tunisian landscape. It is actually diverse ecologically as different sections of the country are  home to different conditions. Among the southern fringes of the country, the Sahara desert reigns supreme. According to http://en.tunisientunisie.com/tunisia%E2%80%99s-landscape-and-wildlife/ , this region never gets more than 50 mm (1.96 Inches) annually. The north is the easternmost section of the Atlas mountains and behind them to the coast are foothills. There are two types of coast that can be found within Tunisia. To the north, the beaches are made of rock and stone while the eastern shores are sandy and descend towards the Mediterranean. The central interior of the country is prime and fertile soil for agriculture. There are also salt lakes throughout the country and two primary ones in the south. These are named Chott el-Jerid and Chott el-Ghars. Another geographic feature locally called a Oued or a water bed. A Oued, which is pronounced as “wed” relies on rain for the water that runs through it. After a rain and subsequent flooding, the banks of this feature are fertile and “green”. This country has different and iconic terrain in all parts of the country. However, all is not well within the country ecologically. Tunisia has a lot of problems with pollution. Some of the problems are  major concerns for the future:

  • toxic and hazardous waste disposal which is ineffective and poses health risks
  • water pollution from raw sewage
  • limited natural fresh water resources
  • deforestation
  • overgrazing
  • soil erosion
  • desertification

This list can be found at http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156738/. Tunisia needs to focus on several of these given there location on earth’s surface. Desertification is a real threat considering they are bordering the Sahara and many countries in  the region are stressing about water availability in addition.  While researching Tunisia and their ecological condition, I found out that  the only major ecological organization, Greenpeace, was active in Tunisia from the organizations mentioned in the class this week.  Water.Org has only two places within the region where they are currently active and they are located in Egypt and Turkey. Tunisia also needs to worry about climate change events due to their northern and eastern coasts and rising sea levels.  Don’t forget about the list of pollution issues in addition to rising sea levels. A couple NGO’s are working within the region which are included on a list at this website: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/tunisia/national-HRI.html. There also is one called Mercy Corps that works on creating communities with strong equality and then expanding out to address most feasible issues such as environmental degradation or political instability.  So efforts are being taken within Tunisia.

However, this is an issue that affects us all. While reading the article The Inuit Right to Culture Based on Ice and Snow by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, I made a connection to my Native American Geographies course that I’m currently taking. In both classes, the reading suggests that capitalistic societies, the ones that are spreading due to globalization, are ones that will never stop consuming. These societies are always worried about money and profiting from things that the connection to the environment and other people has faded. In order to accurately address climate change, people must look at many different perspectives and understand that the world takes care of humans and all of our “relatives”. Personally, I would agree! I believe that there is a moral obligation to protect the earth, not just for ourselves and other countries, but for the future generations yet to be. I agree with what James Gustave Speth argues as thinking outside the box in his article The Bridge at the Edge of The World. What needs to happen, thinking out-side of the box, is that we need to stop compromising within the political system and try to change education and instill a deeper connection to the environment rather than useless compromises made with the government. Rather than compromising, Tunisia needs strong education of potential indigenous knowledge systems within the country and try a bottom up approach rather than a top to bottom approach. This is how we save Iconic scenery like Tunisia’s coastlines and create a more sustainable way of life that also promotes equality amongst all denominations of people.

... think outside the box but they forgot to tell you how to have the box

Websites and Articles Used (In order of appearance):

http://en.tunisientunisie.com/tunisia%E2%80%99s-landscape-and-wildlife/

http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156738/

https://bblearn.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-2374581-dt-content-rid-25789839_1/courses/FS2015.GERMAN.3510.01/Moral%20Ground%20-%2021-31%281%29.pdf

https://bblearn.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-2374615-dt-content-rid-25789919_1/courses/FS2015.GERMAN.3510.01/Speth%20Ch3%20Limits%20of%20Todays%20environmentalism.pdf

http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/tunisia/national-HRI.html

Photos Used (In order of appearance):

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