Halfway through The Kite Runner :)

Write a blog post where you answer the questions below. Use quotations from the book to underline your statements.

  1. What kind of resettlement process did Baba and Amir go through when coming to the US? Did any other characters have to go through similar processes?
  2. What did Rahim Khan mean when he told Amir “there is a way to be good again”? Is it important for Amir to “be good again?” Are we always able to reconcile with past mistakes or past human rights abuses? Does it matter if we do? Why/why not?
  3. Baba says to Amir: “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.” Do you agree with Baba? Why/why not? Can you think of other rights that can be violated by stealing?
  4. In the sene where Assef attacks Hassan – what rights did he steal from Hassan?
  5. Assed says: “Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, no this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood. … Afghanistan for Pashtuns, I say.” Do you recognize Assef’s attitude from people in the media, people from history etc? Who? Can Assef’s attitude lead to human rights issues, such as hate crime? How?
  6. Baba says to Amir: “I grew up with Ali. My father took him in, loved him like his own son. Forty years Ali’s been with my family.” Yet Ali is not treated like Baba’s brother, but rather his servant. Neither Ali nor Hassed can read or write, and they eat Baba and Amir’s leftovers. Why do you think that is? How can it change? What responsibiliy do we have to try and break such norms, and how can we do that?

 

Hanna

Brick Lane

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Using your impressions after watching the film Brick Lane, write a blog post on how the film portrays the challenges you face when living in a multicultural society. Use Nasneen and another character from the film to illustrate your points.

To find out more about the neighborhood portrayed in the film, visit Brick Lane

To read more about community protests against this film, go to this article from the Guardian: community protests

 

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Global Warming

Climate change is a topic that the United Nations has taken seriously for decades, having founded the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) already in 1994, initiated during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has existed since 1988. They work “to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies” (https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/session48/pr_181008_P48_spm_en.pdf).

In December, the IPCC will present to the Katowice Climate Change Conference a Special Report on the effects of a global warming of 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels. Read the press release from the IPCC in the link above and make a note of what it says about the difference between a 1- and 2-degree increase compared to pre-industrial levels. Draw upon studies from your other subjects as well and be prepared to discuss the topic in class.

Hilde

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In two weeks, 70 years will have passed since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. The Declaration affirms an individual’s rights across 30 articles, covering a range of issues from basic rights as an individual to rights as a member of society.

As a continuation of the visit from Amnesty last week, and a stepping stone to exploring global challenges further, study the historic document and answer the tasks on ndla’s website https://ndla.no/subjects/subject:27/topic:1:186489/resource:1:56009.

Hilde

World Toilet Day November 19

Top facts

The global sanitation crisis is reflected in the following facts, according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):

  • Around 60% of the global population – 4.5 billion people – either have no toilet at home or one that doesn’t safely manage excreta.
  • 862 million people worldwide still practise open defecation – this means human faeces, on a massive scale, is not being captured or treated.
  • 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
  • One third of schools worldwide do not provide any toilet facilities – a particular problem for girls during menstruation.
  • 900 million schoolchildren across the world have no handwashing facilities – a critical barrier in the spread of deadly diseases.
  • Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.

http://www.un.org/en/events/toiletday/

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Character sketches

Having read the first seven chapters of The Kite Runner (2003), you have probably started to get to know some of the important characters. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist? Who is your favorite character and so forth…

A character sketch is a short description of a character based on what the book has told you so far. Remember that you get to know a character not just from descriptions the book makes of him/her, but also through actions, thoughts and conversations this character is shown to have.

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Choose a character from The Kite Runner: Amir, Hassan, Baba, Ali, Rahim Khan, Assef, or someone else, and write a character sketch. Find quotations from the book to emphasize your points.

Example of the beginning of a character sketch. Amir is the narrator of the story. He lives in San Fransisco, but grew up in Kabul in the 1970s with his father, Baba, and servants Ali and Hassan. He has a complicated relationship with his father, “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups’ time with him” (p.4). Amir seems lonely, and it seems like his father wants very little to do with him, or takes little interest in him.” … and then it continues

This is 18 around the world

Recommended reading – although it is mostly pictures – a very interesting piece from the New York Times about 18 girls around the world turning 18. What are their lives like – differences, similarities, hopes, dreams etc.  Take a few minutes and look at the photos and read the few captions here.

Hanna