Access to clean water is a human right, and UN Sustainable Goal number 6.
Some scientists claim that in the future, we will not fight wars over oil and riches, but over access to water. In some places of the world, this fight has already started.
Read this article from The Guardian about how rebel groups try to deny access to water as a way to win.
Write a blog post where you comment on water conflicts. Try to find out about similar water conflicts at other places as well.
The English-speaking world is huge…we often limit ourselves to studying the USA, Great Britain, and maybe Canada and Australia… During the next couple of weeks we are going to take a look at English-speaking countries outside of these main areas. Pick a country where English is an official language.
- Find out about the variety of English spoken here, and how it differs from standard English in pronunciation and vocabulary. Why is English an official language in this country (look at history)?
- Present an author and a literary text from this country. This could be a novel, a short story or a poem, written in the English language. What is it about, and is there a message the author is trying to get across? How is this message carried across/the story told (literary techniques)? Main themes?
- Present a contemporary issue from this country. This could be something you find in the news (remember that all English-speaking countries have their own English-speaking news media, so CNN and BBC should not be your only sources here…) or something you have heard about being a challenge/problem in this country.
You can work individually or in pairs. Present your findings on your blog and be ready to share them with the rest of the class. Use pictures and statistics, or add a video or sound file, but make sure you only use material that you are allowed to share and refer to where you have taken it from.
Take this quiz from the New York Times to see if you are able to spot fake Facebook posts 😉 I did not do too well…
Fighting for human rights can be very dangerous. If you are a woman fighting for human rights in a country with no respect for them, it is even more dangerous… Read these stories and reflect on the courage needed to be an activist in any form and to stand up for your right to protest…
Burundi girls jailed
Iranian human rights laywer sentenced to 38 years in prison
Female activists released in Saudi Arabia
Great article from The Guardian on the role the prime minister of New Zealand has taken on after the attacks:
Real leaders do exist
Read these articles to find out more about and debate the role of the media in terror attacks:
Terror attacks by Muslims receive 357% more press attention, study finds (The Guardian)
Christchurch shootings: Social media races to stop attack footage (BBC)
“My Son the Fanatic” is a short story written in 1997 by Hanif Kureishi about a father and a son living in London, and struggling to adapt. The father left Pakistan and loves England, he wants to become as English as possible, because “you can do almost anything here.” The son has never been outside England, but still struggles to find his place in the English society, and is looking for something else, going back to the culture and faith of his ancestors, and becoming more and more angry with the society he sees around himself – the society his father is so in love with.
“Free for All” is a short story written by Moin Ashraf in 1999. This story too depicts a father and a son, this time in the US, the father doing everything “right” to become an upright and successful man in his new country, and being frustrated at seeing his son leaving the ideals of his own country and tradition. It is a culture clash, between a son who has grown up American, and a father who still looks back to and values of his Pakistani homeland.
Write a blog post where you EITHER compare these two stories in terms of father-son relationships and the question of identity and belonging, OR discuss what these two stories say about being an immigrant, and raising a family in a different culture. What are these two stories saying about multiculturalism?
Write a blog post of your impressions so far of the main character(s) in the novel you are reading. What do you know about this person and how do you know this – through dialogue, descriptions or in other ways? What about their relationship to other characters you have been introduced to? Write 2-3 paragraphs by Monday, January 28.