My Son the Fanatic and Free for All: Father-son relationship

In the short stories “My Son the Fanatic” and “Free for All” we met two very different fathers, with two very different sons. Both of the fathers are immigrants from Pakistan, that now lives in a very different culture then they are used to, and both struggles to understand their sons when they starts to go into their teen years.

In “Free for All” the father is very successful, and has very strong opinions on how his teen son should be. When his son starts to speak up, and wants to do his own thing and follow his dreams, the father takes it as a sign of disrespect. The father strongly tries to shape his son to become the men he wants him to be, a son he can brag to his friends about. The son in this story is very well integrated into the society and wants to do his thing. The father on the other hand is more intertwined with people from his own culture still, so he feel strongly about the values from his own culture. He expects for his son to do what he is told.

In “My Son the Fanatic,” on the other hand, the father is more willing to try to understand his son when he starts to act different. The big difference in this story though is that the son here is starting to turn more muslim, and developed a hate for the western society. He faces an identity crisis, and probably, like the father in “Free for All,” feels like he does not belong where he is. The father in this story is well integrated and has friends from outside his own culture.

Both stories ends up with the fathers beating their sons because of the lack of respect from their sons, so maybe deep down the fathers are not that different? The story maybe shows that culture is well rooted into all of us, and some thing we are costume too are difficult to end. In “My Son the Fanatic” though, it seems almost like the son, even though he was beaten, won or it was an victory, and the opposite in “Free for All. ”

 

 

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Two immigrant voices

In the stand up-shows “Homecoming king,” by Hasan Minhaj and “Son of Patricia,” by Trevor Noah, we are introduced to two different background of immigration.

In the “Homecoming King,” Hasan Minhaj talks about his life , and tell us how it was like to grow up and live in an immigrant family in a ironic way, almost like a fairytale at times. A humorouse and ironic fairytale. He uses a lot of exaggerations, especially that builds on stereotype, that are not so kind, on his behalf.

He also talk a lot about having immigrant parents, and being an immigrant himself. He talks about experiences he had in school, trying to fit in, but always being “the brown kid,” but how being discriminated against led to him discriminating his sister when she first arrived. He said that he “turned in to a republican,” and said thing like “send them back to where they came from.” He talked about the fact that he took out his anger on his sister, and became like the ones that treated him bad.

Letters between a black father and his son

In the article we read we are presented to letters exchanged between a father and a son, them being Eddie and Langston Glaude. In the letters Eddie and Langston are referring to the events of the killing of Alton Sterling and Tamir Rice, who both were killed by white police officers.

The message in each of these letters is to keep fighting for justice, and not give up even though there are a lot of injustice. You can not bow down, even though you are afraid, and you will always have people that got your back.

The impression i get of the American socity after reading these letters, is that there are not a lot of unity between the diverts group, and a lot of distrust. The unity in the groups themselves on the other hand seems strong because of the fact that they seem to have a common enemy and a common goal; justice.

Demonstrators lock arms as they march from The White House on July 7, 2016, to protest the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

 

The Kite Runner

Answer to the questions:

Baba and Amir have to go through resettlement processes like being smuggle to Pakistan so they could be transferred over to the US. This was a hard travel where they met obstacles like a Russian soldier that went over line, “the solder wanted a half hour with the lady [another fellow refugee] in the back of the truck,” (p.106) and treated to kill Baba, “the bulldog-faced Russian [soldier] raised his gun,” (p.107) towards Baba. They also had to be smuggled in a dark tank in a car, where one died because of the heat and because it was hard to breath properly. Ali struggled to breath, “NOW, you need air, need it NOW.” (p.112).

Also, when they finally got to America they had to adapt to their new life, which was hard because “Baba loved the idea of America” (p.116) but the reality was a little different. They got an apartment, they had to learn a new language, which Baba thought was hard, and get a job. Baba had become “the day manager of the gas station.” (p.120) Rahim Khan also had to go through a similar resettlement process when he was forced to flee from Kabul, and where he lived, to where Baba and Amir´s old house were, […] I went to Hazarajat [because], […] most of my friend and relatives had either been killed or fled.” (p.188)

What Rahim Khan meant by “there is a way to be good again”  is that you can always find a way to be forgiven for whatever bad you have done. You can always find a way to be better person. It is important for Amir “to be good” because he carries a lot of guilt, and can’t let go of what he did, or didn’t do, for Hassan, “a pair of steel hands closed around my windpipe at the sound of Hassan´s name.” (p.124)  He carries it very heavily, so it is important for him, emotionally to get forgiveness, and be good again. We can always try to reconcile with past mistakes, but it does not chance the fact that what happened, happened, but we can try to reconcile if the the victim or the person that has gone through it, whats to as well. It does matter to reconcile for ourself, and for the other person.

I agree with Baba when he says “there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to her husband, his children’s right to their father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth… There is no act more wretched than stealing.” I agree because it is true. Stealing a life, affects many other lives, and the same goes with stealing in general. Other rights that can be violated are human rights. When Assef attacked Hassan, and raped him, he violates Hassan´s human rights.

Assef´s views and attitude towards Pashtuns is similar to the attitude of people like Donald Trump, and even Hitler. Those attitudes can lead to human rights issues because it encourages people and gives in to their egos, when they are being told that they are better than others. It praises them and gives them a bad kind of confidence that could lead to them doing hate crime towards groups of people that are affected.

The reason why Baba treat and feel like Ali is his brother, jet treat him the way he does, has probable something to do with culture, and what they are used and costume(?) to. For that to change they have to start looking at each other like equals after for so long not doing so. How can we break the norms? Well, we have to try to teach children from a young age to not look at themselves as more superior or better then someone else because of their culture, race or ethnicity.

Bilderesultat for the kite runner

Book: The Kite Runner – Baba

Baba is one of the characters that we meet in the beginning of the book “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. He is first introduced as quite a strict character that liked to smoke and spend time with friends, and discuss things like politics. “Sometimes I asked Baba if I could sit with them, Baba would stand in the doorway. “Go on, now,” he´d say. “This is grown ups time” (p.5). We get the impression that he is quite hard on Amir, his son, and does not give him seriously or give him much attention.

He also seems like a man that is hard to please, with quite conservative view on how boy should be. (Amir tries to impress him with a story, tries to make him play soccer)

We also get to know that the character has been through a lot. He had a tough childhood, this is at least what Amir tells on p.17. “When Baba was six, a thief walked into my grandparent´s house in the middle of the night. […] the thief stabbed [his grandfather] in the throat, killing him instantly.” We get to know that Baba lost his own father at a very young age, in a very brutal manner. This as surely affected him. We are also told that Baba´s wife, Amir´s mother, died a childbirth when she gave birth to Amir.

Despite all of the negative impressions we get from Baba, he also seems like a genuinely nice and caring guy. Even though he have never called Ali a friend, he treat him like one. He also seems to genuinely care about Hassan, which many other people do not, because of the fact that Hassan and Ali are Hassan are Hazarez.

Bilderesultat for baba the kite runner

Baba is one of those character that at first seems to be the “bad guy,” because of the way that he is described by Amir. But, really he one of the heroes in this story. He is a successfull, kind man, with a sometimes hard and strict surface. He has grown up in a different way, and as a result has different views that he can not help.

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Earlier on I have talked about various other of the UN suitable goals. Now we are going to talk about goal number 3, good health and well-being. This goal is made to ensure and promote well-being and healthy lives for people of all ages, and reduce some common killer and diseases associated with child mortality and maternal mortality. Among the thing they want achieve by 2030, are ending epidemics like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and various other tropical diseases, and end preventable deaths of children and newborns. The UN also wants to help support research and development of vaccines and medicines for various diseases.

Some of the biggest challenges that are in the way of stopping us from achieving this goal are for instance poverty. People can’t afford proper expensive medicine and simple things like prevention. Wars and on-going conflict around the world do not help the situation with poverty. In places where there is conflict, wars and/or poverty there are little access to proper education. The lack of education means that people are not aware of or do not know how to prevent these diseases. Also, in some countries there are very little education on sex and prevention. That is usually in some very religious places. In these places sexual education is non-existing, so sexual transmitted diseases like AIDS are easily transmitted. Also, In poorer places where there is bad sanitation there are easy spreading of various other diseases that are easily transmitted.

Bilderesultat for UN goal 3

Recently the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported that there is ebola outbreak in the North Kivu Province, that has also spread to the nano province Ituri. This was confirmed 1 of August. It is confirmed that there are around 274 cases and around 174 deaths. Ebola is a very contagious virus with a high death rate. Over 11, 300 people died from the virus in West Africa from 2011 to 2016. The disease is transmitted through bodily fluid. The North Kivu Province is a very unstable province. This makes it harder to work in or help. Doctors Without Borders are working with the ministry of health in the region about a emergency plan, and there are now, luckily, around four ongoing Ebola-prosjects that are working on preventing infection and getting control over the situation at the hospitals and clinics in the area.

Solutions to help achieving the goal are to help donate to various organisations, like Doctors Without Borders, that help people all around the world with dieseas and treatments. Also, we have to force big companies that make the various treatments for these diseases to sell the medicines for a cheaper price so people that can not afford, but need it the most, can get the help that they need.

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Yemen, “the forgotten war” and hunger crisis

Yemen is one of the Arabs poorest countries, reason is that there has been a three-year long conflict and civil war, that´s not looking to end anytime soon. This conflict is causing severe problems for its citizens, including severe hunger problems among the people.

The conflict started in 2015, and it is a military conflict. The reason behind the conflict has roots in failure of political transition when the president at the time, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was forced to hand over power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, his deputy, in 2011. The new president, Mr Hadi, struggled to deal with various problems the country was facing, and under his leadership there was a lot of corruptions, unemployment and food insecurity. Many military officers were still loyal to the former president Mr Salah. During this time, and the Houthi movement, a Shia Muslim minority, took advantage of the weakness of the new president. They took control over the north of Saada and various other areas, and together with the other security forces that still were loyal to Mr Saleh, attempted to take control over the entire country. That forced the president to flee, and the country to be divided.

Around 3 million people have fled their homes and the country has suffered a lot from bombing. Many are still suffering because of lack of food. New reports from The Independent states that over 5 million children are now at risk of starving to death, and UNISEF reports that million more are at risk for starvation. The most vulnerable, the children, are at highest risk. The famine has been going on since 2016, and last year more than 50, 000 children died, and the UN now warns that around 13 million people are facing starvation. 60% is now food insecure, and the country is in desperate need for help. The UN also says that the country is at the brink of becoming “the worst famine in the world in a 100 year.”

Bilderesultat for yemen hunger crisis

So, what is being done to help? Well the UN just launched a 1.2 billion appeal to try to prevent and end the famine. Other than that, there is a lot being written or reported  about what is being done to help Yemen, which suggest that there might not being done to help them. We might have forgotten them in all of the crisis we have in the world at the moment, but we must not forget them!

What we can do is start to bring attention back to the crisis and bring more awareness to it ourselves. You can also donate here at UNICEFS webpage. Do what you can do, talk about it, and make sure no one forgets about them! They don’t deserve to be forgotten. They do need our help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/key-facts-war-yemen-160607112342462.html

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/feb/08/yemen-food-crisis-we-are-broken-bombing-hunger