Friday, February 18, 2011

The Egyptian Way :: The Egyptian Revolution - Fear and More Fear

The Egyptian Way :: The Egyptian Revolution - Fear and More Fear

During the Egyptian Revolution, I chose not to leave Cairo, Egypt where I live and work.

I've been reluctant to express my opinion about my experience with the Egyptian Revolution. This is not the appropriate platform for me to go into detail about why I haven't been saying much.

However, in this short podcast (really a test of using SoundCloud's Web interface for recording), I talk about how fear seemed prevalent in the early days of the protest.

My apology in advance for the sound quality; I failed to turn off the heater in the room while I was recording.

Re: Jan 25th Protests in Egypt: Fear and more fear by ohradiogirl

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Music Monday 82 :: VIDEO Cee-lo Green performs at the Grammy's 2011

Music Monday 82 :: VIDEO: Cee-lo Green performs at the Grammy's 2011

I've been a fan of the Grammy's for years. In that regard, it's obvious that I've also been disappointed many, many times for various reasons. Sometimes, the nominations are a crock of ...; sometimes, the performances are a let down. But sometimes, they get it right or they go out on a limb. I mean, who woulda thought that Esperanza Spalding would win best new artist? Deserving - hell yeah, but that's usually where the Grammy formula for winning goes wrong. When there's a heap of talent, the Grammy's sometimes go in another direction and leave me w/a heavy heart.

Enough blabber ... because Cee-lo's performance at the Grammy's last night was just what you'd expect from him. He did not disappoint in terms of creativity or enthusiasm. The dude does a nationally televised performance w/puppets. Love that. And Gwyneth Paltrow did her thing as well.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Teaching Journalism During a Revolution

The past few weeks in Cairo, Egypt have been filled with lots of uncertainly because of the #Jan25 Protests. Unfortunately, there's a Robert Gibbs (White House press secretary) quote that is fitting: "It's a fluid situation".

I teach journalism at The American University in Cairo (AUC) and we're scheduled to begin the Spring semester on Sunday. Under normal circumstances, I'd be ready: syllabus, course outline, website, guest speakers, Blackboard, etc. I'd have all of my ducks in a row. As it stands, I've talked to many students who've said "I'm taking your class this semester". For some reason I'm startled when they say that. Normally my response would be "What's your name?" because I would have reviewed my roster and I'd be familiar with who's enrolled in my courses. Not now.

I've spent most of the past few days traveling to Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to support the protesters. I've spent little time adjusting my syllabus for the two weeks of classes that we've missed. I've spent even less time trying to figure out how to incorporate Egypt's revolution into my courses. There's no way that I can teach them as they are or how I've taught them in the past. To do that would be a disservice and it kind hard to ignore that fact that we're in a city that's the center of an uprising.

An Egyptian protester leads a chant at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. (Feb., 2011)

This should be interesting though, teaching during a revolution that is.

I don't have a TV, so I haven't watched television regularly over the past few weeks; just a few minutes here and there during the critical times of the protests. However, that won't prevent me from incorporating a bit of media literacy into my courses especially my Multimedia Writing courses which are more based on the fundamentals of good writing and reporting. I know that what the TV presents can be strong, but has it been accurate? And how would you know?

I wish I'd been able to reach the students before now because Tahrir is a classroom whether you're there physically or watching from home. This is the best teachable moment for journalism students. Problem is I know some of our students have been there almost daily, but I'm afraid that just as many have not been - for whatever reason. What do I say to those students who've been in Cairo, but have yet to go to Tahrir to see for themselves? I'll tell them to go to Tahrir as soon as they can; it's a revolution that you need to see for yourself. The mood changes daily and the story ideas are plentiful.

So although I'm not going to be ready for the start of the Spring 2011 semester, I think there's a field trip in the future.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Music Monday 81 :: Egypt Protest Songs on YouTube

Music Monday 81 :: Egypt Protest Songs on YouTube

Many of you know that I live and work in Cairo, Egypt. I've lived here for a year and a half or for three semesters to put it in academic terms. I teach at a university so that's more accurate.

There's been a lot of talk about what's been going on here. It's unfortunate that what you see on CNN and the BBC is not a full picture of what is going on here. What is going on here is the reason why I'm still here and did not hop on any of the charted U.S. embassy flights out of Egypt. There's no reason for me to leave; I live here and the fear that is being instilled in many people is inflated.

That said ... I'm here and enjoying all the fruits of the revolution: optimism and camaraderie.

But for this Music Monday post, it's about:

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