Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Extra Credit Mary Knab

"The Square"  Review By: Mary Knab

The documentary "The Square" directed by Jehane Noujaim was a very eye opening documentary. The way the I wasn't originally excited about the documentary but it actually ended up being very interesting. The moods in the documentary that you get are very overwhelming. Watching "The Square" was a emotional roller-coaster for me. It took place in an area in Egypt called Cairo. This area is not the best area to be in and that's why this documentary talks about the issues and political situations that are going on in Egypt. Weather it's between the police, and people in the area, a lot of the problems in the society there is the violence. The documentary shows the problems in the government but they also show how the people stay together. The military and political situation in Cairo brought in a lot of protesters and revolution go getter's. The protesters were not scared to die for their beliefs. I respect that a lot because clearly they were very passionate about what was going on.

The Tahrir Square was a major setting for this documentary. It was iconic because this is where the protesters and revolutionaries gathered. The way the event was captured was very ideal, images captured the military fighting back and trying to stop the protesters. People were being ran over by tanks and vehicles and that is one way the emotional factor is presented. By seeing these images it made you feel very sad and mad at the government. They did a really good job portraying how bad it really was. All the protesters were against the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarah.
The documentary did a really good job on showing both the conservative and liberal views. The people of the Tahrir Square were very poor and that was very hard for them. It made me think of when I researched child soldiers because the kids there were working at the ages 7-10. That's crazy for me to consider because of where I was raised. I haven't had to work full time or even pay for anything. Kids that age should be having fun not working full time. 

The situation in Egypt has made an uproar through the time the documentary came out to now. The people of Egypt made Mubarak step down. Obama was very upset with Mubaraks resigning, he said ""The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity"
Social Media had a big part in this, Facebook and Twitter was a full outrage of what was going on. It plays a huge part in the world because unlike the old days people have their own voice they can speak up now. Facebook made it easier to document because the footage couldn't have been removed. This reminds me of how recently in the news videos are being taken of cops abusing and taking their authority for granted. I think that its a blessing we have our hands on things like video recorders and phones so that we can too make a difference and stand up for what we believe in. I think that this was a good documentary to watch and I am glad that I did. It connects to different things that are going on in our world. 

Extra Credit Nathan Finneran

The Square
1.)The Square is a documentary that depicts the active revolt against political and military corruption of the Egyptian government. The film took the audience through the ups of progress in the movement as well as the catastrophic downs caused by the violence of the Egyptian military. The film did very well showing the dedication of the revolutionary activists providing many excerpts of people saying things such as "the more they (the military oppression) kill the more we believe in our cause.". Many protesters made it very clear they were not scared to die for their cause and many did. The film used many powerful images of the gruesome violence used by the military to break up the protests taking place in Tahrir square. From the lacerations on the back of a protestor to the image of groups of people being mercilessly run over by tanks and transport vehicles. The film was able to truly grab the hearts of the audience allowing them to connect to its cause. Another strength of the documentary was the way the storyline was so well organized. The film followed protesters as they fought against dictatorship of Hosni Mubarah but then returned to fight military rule and once more to rise against the presidency of Mohamed Morsi. This progression showed that the revolutionaries were not just interested in the fall of a leader but that they wanted change in the way they lived and freedom for their country. Something I didn't like about this film was the use of subtitles. Obviously with this film taking place in Egypt the characters in the heart of revolt do not speak English. I felt as if the subtitles were hard to follow because I was so captivated by the images being shown at the same time. The film could have been made better if the subtitles were replaced with verbal English translations over top of the native language in the background so the viewer can get the most out of the entire film.

Out of the many themes present in this documentary the two most important themes are that of hope and freedom. Hope comes from the optimistic views of the many protestors fighting for their freedom and to get their voices heard. At the end of the film Khalid Abdalla talks about how hes aware change of the magnitude the revolutionaries want will not happen in two years but they want to lay the foundation for change for the future. The message of freedom is very clear throughout the entire film. It is the motivation for the revolution and it is what the Egyptians believed they were being cheated of. 

2.) The revolution for political justice and the abolition of the police state status of Egypt started January 25th 2011. By February 11th dictator Hosni Mubarah stepped down from his position as leader after seeing no end for the revolt any other way. However, little change came from the resignation of the former dictator as military oppression stepped in blocking the citizens from their goal of freedom. Without the leadership of a dictator the race for presidency began causing ongoing problems. Mohamed Morsi, representative of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected president beating out the opposition of former dictator Mubarah. This change did not bring the freedom citizens had hoped for when the brotherhoods religion driven government suppressed many under its rule who didn't express the Muslim faith. To this day the revolution in Egypt has not quieted. In fact according to CNN the number of casualties at the hands of state forces in the 6 months leading up to the start of the year are the largest seen in modern Egyptian history. Now under the rule of former military general, Abdel Fattah the same protesters, made up of rights campaigners and civil society activists, that started the revolution years ago continue to fuel that same revolt.

 Social media often gets a bad reputation as a time wasting collection of pointless information however this is not always the case. For Egypt social media played a pivotal role in getting the word out about the reform and hardships Egyptian society was going through. As the Egyptian government and military tried to hide the violence taking place in the square protestors were ability to expose the unnecessarily violent ways of soldiers via social media. Another place where we can see social media playing a key role in exposing injustices is right here in our home country of America. A controversy that has become very prevalent recently police cruelty with two incidences in particular that have blown up with the help of social media. The most recent being a video of a man named named Eric Garner who was killed by police officer Justin Damico after being approached on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. In the film Garner can be observed saying the words "I cant breathe" 11 times as the officer held him in a choke hold banned by the NYPD. As the video spread through social media so did outrage as a grand jury decided not to indite Damico for the death of Garner.

Extra Credit - Mitch Huge

Mitch Huge

The Square

I thought that "The Square" gave an in depth perspective of the people in Egypt's view of the political protests going on in their country. This film did an awesome job of really getting you behind the lines of the protests. I really liked how they would actually bring cameras with them when they were in rock and gun fights to document what was really going on during the protests. I have never seen a documentary that showed the bare bones side of conflict, you never get to experience the true side of tragedy.The characters in the the film are Ahmed, Ramy, Aida, and Magdy. It does a great job of showing the progression of events through this protest. The protesters  took Tahrir Square in protest and demanded that they would not leave until Marduak resigned. Marduak showed his cruelness by how he handled the protests. He fired live bullets, beat protesters, ran people over with vehicles. Something that I did not like about the documentary was the fact that it was in subtitles for most of the movie.I felt like it was distracting because you had to read most of the time when you wanted to see what was going on on the screen.

The use of technology was something that is new to the protest world. People would publish statuses regarding the square and what was going on during that day. Videos would be posted of brutal police force on the protesters. This let the world really know what was actually going on in Egypt. They would communicate on where they were protesting and eventually the government shut down the internet to prevent these things.

Extra Credit-Emilia Martin

1) "The Square" was a really informative and interesting documentary about the issues that have been going on in Cairo, Egypt regarding the revolution and revolts against the government and leadership there. The film did a great job of showing what it was like to be on the inside of the revolution to get a bird's eye view of what everyone was fighting for. I thought this documentary had a lot of strengths to it, one being that it focused mostly on one individual, Ahmed, and his fight against the government and all the people that he made connections with and fought with. It helped the audience really get in touch and see what was going on on the inside of this revolution. Another strength of this film was the actual filming quality of it. Because it wasn't an actual movie with professional videographers, and was filmed probably by a journalist or a reporter with a hand help camera really gives you a sense of the instability and chaos that was occurring in Egypt for the last 2 and a half years this uprising. The filming brings the audience into the chaos along with the others there because it is so raw and so real. One weakness I thought this documentary had was the use of the subtitles. Of course because the revolution was in Egypt, the language was not going to be english and subtitles were definitely needed, however, because the viewer constantly had to read the words on the screen it took their eyes away from what was going on behind them. I often times was distracted by looking at the pictures or the videos of what was happening and missed some of the subtitles and got lost in what was going on.

There were many important themes and ideas that was occurring during this documentary. One major theme that was really prominent was the fight for freedom from the 30 years of rule from Leader Mubarak and his emergency laws. They people of Egypt rebelled together in the Tahirir Square for 2.5 years to get away from that type of government and live a life of democracy and freedom. They couldn't be silenced. Another theme that was very evident was the unity the people had to fight together as one against the President. Although they feel apart when the Muslin Brotherhood took control, those rebelling against that group stayed together as one unit fighting for the same thing. One last theme in this film was the use of social media and how it played a huge roll in aiding the rebellion and revolutionists. Its purpose was to serve as a way to expose the leaders faults and what they were doing to those who were fighting like abusing them and destroying their tents in the square with the cameras that people collectively used.

2) In Egypt in 2011, protests started to overthrow the President Mubarak and his emergency laws and unjust government. People of all religions and cultures came together in unity to oust him and when he finally stepped down Egypt held its first presidential elections. One side was the for the Muslim Brotherhood and the other was for Mubarak to be elected again. The Brotherhood won under the rule of President Morsi but just after a year he was forced to step down because the revolution and rebelling continued in The Square because people were still unhappy with the new ruler. The Brotherhood stood for a government run primarily by religion--The Muslim religion which suppressed all others and discriminated those who didn't follow that faith. The rebellions continued after he stepped down as did the chaos of trying to find  new leader that was just and fair and wanted freedom and equality of all people. Those who once fought together, the Muslims and other Egyptians, to over thrown Mubarak are now separate because they do not see eye to eye on political justices or ways of government. Now in Egypt the former military general, Abdel Fattah has been elected President.

Social Media played a huge role in the uprising in Egypt because a lot of the time, the things that were going on in the square or with the military were not publicized on the news, not on CNN or NBC but were broadcasted through videos on youtube and other websites which was evident in the documentary "The Square". Social Media was how a lot of people communicated with each other throughout the revolution to let others know what was happening and that help was needed. Another example of power abuse and unrest in the world is in Syria. Syria, which is mostly populated by Arabs, some Kurds, and some Iraqis refugees, are protesting against ruling regimes in The Middle East. Syrian protestors are demanding the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and his government. In response to this revolt, the president sent in his troops into the cities; many have been killed and/or injured during this combat. The media is getting involved with the issue little by little but sometimes seems to be very one-sided. Revolts and fighting is still occurring today.

Last Exploration, Jenn Peddicord

Part 1: I decided to take a paragraph from my Essay 2 narrative. I wrote about the summer I got to work a whole month at a YoungLife camp in Goshen, VA. I talked about how influential and meaningful to was to be there as well as spending time with those I had hardly knew at the beginning. The paragraph I chose was..." I made some of my best friends that summer because we could cut out the bull of trying to impress one another and just be real about where we were at in our faith, our struggles, and our life back home. What a privilege that is to be able to be fully known by someone and be fully loved, without feeling like you have to hide behind a fa├žade." It was important to me because that summer is something that is forever ingrained in my mind. I learned a lot about myself that summer and grew so much. The friends I made there left a mark on me and I am the person I am today because of them.

Part 2: One cause I really wanted to talk about is the Fringe App. I talked about it briefly in my extra credit assignment but didn't give it nearly enough credit. The Fringe App was started by my friends brother in law, Miles Miller. It is an app that joins together the people of Columbus and homeless people living on the streets. The app is created so those who pass or come across those who are homeless can be recorded on the app. Their location and their needs are put on the app and a team of drivers go around and provide them with the things they requested. This app is not only to help stop homelessness but build a community behind the cause. On December 20th, starting at 8pm "Fancy Party" is being held to raise awareness and contributions to The Fringe App. All proceeds go to benefits the homeless as well as building a team of more volunteers to serve these friends of ours.

Exploration 8

Essay two where we had to write about a time where we learned something. This one was the most fun to write and had a lot of meaning. I talked about a special needs boy I helped with my senior year of high school and how he taught me that its easy to look on the brighter side of things. One of my favorite parts was when I wrote about a time that he had had a bad day in gym class and I told him that it was okay and that I wasn't mad at him and when we got back to the room he asked me stay him for a few more minutes till he calmed down, and then after about 5 minutes I asked him if it was okay if I left and he told me to stay the whole day. It was just a sweet moment and it's one of my favorite moments. The other moment I wrote about was a time my grandfather taught me and my cousins to be grateful for how easy we had it in life by telling stories of his father and grandfathers lives on the reservation and how life was hard for him growing up in a time where Native's were treated poorly. The most powerful part about that story was some how he stated he wasn't ashamed of where he came from and that he will always honor his heritage and for us to be grateful towards him and our parents for all the hard work for us to live a wonderful life.

Recently there was a little boy from Childrens who made a video for Cardale Jones wishing him luck for the Wisconsin game by telling him to "be brave, if i can beat cancer, you can beat Wisconsin.Go bucks!" I just thought it was so sweet and I definitely cried! Kids are just so sweet, I sometimes feel like theyre smarter than adults. This little boy just seems to have such a big heart. I just found this video to be so cute and sweet.It definitely touched my heart. Pediatric cancer is a cause that means a lot to me. A little boy I coached had it but he is now fully recovered and a level 5 gymnast!


Extra Credit Jenn Peddicord

I found this film to be very moving and inspiring. It gives you a first hand view of what really was going on in the midst of the revolution and how people we really suffering verse what you saw on the news. The revolutionaries passion and willingness to stand together as one, regardless of the opposing religions, and fight for a democracy gave me a heart of respect for the Egyptian people.

 I think the personal effects that made the storyline was a huge strength for this film. It created an authenticity to the film and helped you really get to know the key players in the revolution. The use of technology and social media had such an important role in the impact this film made. It got the word out as best it could and actually used social media as a tool not just a waste of time. One weakness in the film was the constant use of subtitles. It definitely was powerful to use the native language, which is beautifully spoken, but sometimes the constant need to read the subtitles distracted me from what was happening in the background.

The huge them in this documentary was definitely, freedom. But one thing that played into that that definitely changed the progress of the revolution was the fact that as a nation, as the people, as Egyptians they stood together for the majority of the revolution. It wasn't until religion became mixed with politics, by electing a president apart of the brotherhood that people became less concerned about freedom and more about having someone with the same religious beliefs in power regardless of the consequences it would impose on others.

Egypt now under rule of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The people of Egypt are still being oppressed by dominant rule that is masked as a "democracy". On December 2nd, 2014 188 people were sentenced to death because they were supporters of the Brotherhood and for killing 11 police officers last year. The tables have turned. Although they have a president who is trying to in force a new constitution, blood is still being shed. And now its the muslims being targeted. 

Social media played a huge role in this uprising. It was able to get the word out and expose what truly was happening in the streets. It raised awareness and helped people join the cause. One thing I think of as a way people locally are usin social media and technology to raise awareness and help people is The Fringe app. The Fringe App was started by Miles Miller trying to raise awareness about homelessness in the city of Columbus. The app was created so when you pass by or walk past a homeless person you go on the app put down their location and what they are asking for. Then a team of drivers who work with The fringe, drive to that location and provide them with food and any other needs the have express. There are different symbols on the app that identify if the person has moved, been helped, etc. This is a really cool way for people to help stop homelessness and become more aware about the stories of those that are living on the streets. For me, growing up in a suburb I was never really taught how to go about dealing with a homeless person. That sounds bad but I was always told a negative perception that all they are going to spend their money on is food. While for some that may be true but for others its just a series of bad luck.