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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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

The Terminal

The movie “The Terminal” (2004) starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg covers our final competence aim; “varieties of English outside the Aglo-American region”. Answer these questions and be ready to discuss them in class on Tuesday:
1. What are your first impressions of Viktor as he begins his long stay in the international transit lounge at JFK? How well do you think Dixon explains what has happened and what the rules force him to do with Viktor?

2. Although Viktor lacks a full command of the English language, he manages to demonstrate a remarkable resiliency during his nine-month stay in the international transit lounge. Look up the word resiliency and explain why this word applies to Viktor.

3. Describe Viktor. What kind of person is he? What is it about his personality which makes him endure the stay at the airport?

The Terminal

Adapted from http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/films/visions-features/view/14964/the-terminal

Outsourced

Outsourcing of companies is a common phenomenon in our globalized world. Todd, the main character of “Oursourced”, faces numerous challenges as he experiences a new culture with different traditions and ways of communicating.

After having watched the film, write a text in which you discuss what cultural differences Todd has learned about and must overcome in his encounter with the Indian culture. Discuss some of the scenes where this is visible and discuss the change Todd goes through.

outsourced

Chapters 7 and 8

As homework for Wednesday, January 31st, read chapters 7 and 8 (pages 77-98), and answer the questions below on your blog or on Fronter.

The questions concern chapters 6 and 7, we will work with ch. 8. together in class on Wednesday.

  • Imagine that you are Changez and write a personal diary entry about the atmosphere in New York after 9/11.
  • Work with the text, write answers in your own words and use quotes to enhance your statements:  What does Erica say about Chris? How are Muslims treated in New York City? According to Jim – how does one gain power? What does Changez mean when he says “I was Chris and she was with Chris?”
  • Find passages om chapters 7 and 8 that support the claim that Changez is changing in his loyalty, and becoming more patriotic to Pakistan.

Publish blog or hand in on Fronter before  class on Wednesday.

 

 

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Write a blog post where you comment on:

  • your impression of the story so far. Remember that you are allowed to be negative, but no matter what your thoughts are so far – try to explain and give examples of what you like or dislike.
  • on the vacation in Greexe – Changez describes the group he travels with (excepting Erica) in different ways – how? And what does it say about his opinion of them? See if you can find at least one quote to underline your statements.
  • What does Changez tell Erica about Pakistan?
  • Why do you think he says that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability?” (p. 31). How does his audience react to this?

After publishing your post, move on to read chapter 3.

Comparison book and film The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Write a blog post where you compare the book and the film. Watch the trailer to the film and an interview with the author, Mohsin Hamid  and the director, Mira Nair linked to in this blog post  

In your blog post, comment on differences in plot, character descriptions and relationships, as well as focus and message in the film vs the book. To what extent do you think that these changes are justified or even improve the story? Or do you think they contribute to the film losing all the subtlety and complex ambiguity of the novel, as argued in this review ?

 

 

Speeches on Multiculturalism

Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, held a famous speech on multiculturalism in 2012 at the Munich Security Conference. Current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, held a famous speech in 2015 at the Assembly of First Nations, where he announced that Canada was going to renew its relationship with its native groups.

After having seen Cameron’s speech, write a blog post of about 400 words where you present the basic ideas of the speech, comment on the speaker’s attitude and way of presenting his ideas to the audience. Also, choose one of the following statements and discuss them in writing on your blog.

  • Non-violent extremists are just as dangerous as violent ones.
  • Universities are bastions of freedom of speech and democracy; therefore, all ideologies no matter how extreme should be allowed to be taught.
  • Multiculturalism separates groups of people from each other, assimilation should be encouraged.

On Wednesday, January 10th, we are going to watch Trudeau’s speech and blog the assignment handed out to you in class about how the Prime Minister and Canadian politicians have followed through on the promises made in this 2015 speech.