Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Obama should have said

Obama's message to the Egyptian people should be this:

We are with you; you are the change; Mubarak should step down immediately; a national unity government, made up of opposition leaders, should take charge now to establish democratic elections within 6 months - for Parliament (under proportional representation) and for a President with limited powers, powers to be shared with Parliament. Easy.

Egypt - the Revolution is televised, tweeted, blogged

isqaaT al-nizaam

the people
the end of the system

Egyptians want Mubarak's regime to end.

They have achieved what they want - the system is indeed over, ended. Mubarak simply doesn't get it. He hasn't left yet - but he is history, he is done, "game over" as so many signs in Tahrir Square are calling for. His game is indeed over.

Not only does he not get it, Obama & Co. seem not to get it either - or if they do get it, they continue to offend the Egyptian people (al-sha3b) by not pushing Mubarak out the door or calling on him to leave.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm from Mars? I'm a "boomer"??

Mary Churchill
, one of my dearest friends, interviewed me recently for her newly launched University of Venus blog/project (and now a global phenomenon!).

Here is the Introduction to her interview (and see the link that follows to read the first part of the interview; the 2nd part is below).

but first - me, a boomer?? I honestly never thought of myself that way - not in all my "40-something years" (okay, I'm just above 49, but still ... it's my older sisters, and maybe even my older brother that are the "boomers"! I'm just ... well, I'm just ... oh forget it. Here's the interview:


Below is a conversation between a GenX woman (Mary Churchill) and a man from the Baby Boomer generation, part of our “Voices from Mars” series.

MARY: I’d like to introduce Denis Sullivan, a leader at Northeastern University in Boston. Denis is a Full Professor in Political Science and Director of both the Middle East Center and the International Affairs Program. He is also a fantastic friend and colleague of over fifteen years. Denis continues to be a close confidant and a key voice in my feedback loops. So, Denis, did I cover the important pieces?

DENIS: Definitely! The main "piece" is our friendship. That is our primary connection, link, driving force. All the professional "goodies" on top of that are, in some ways, "means to our ends" - ways to keep working together, keep promoting great things for students and colleagues and friends around the world.

MARY: I agree. I wanted to include a conversation with Denis on The University of Venus because he has always been such a strong advocate for women, the next generation, international students and scholars, and international education.

DENIS As a bit of background -- Growing up with 4 sisters, a strong single mother - and at 84, still strong! - and a nurturing grandmother, and then becoming a father of 2 amazingly brilliant and talented daughters ... that helps explain a bit about the 'strong advocate for women' you mention - for which I thank you!!

see: http://uvenus.wordpress.com/ for the rest of part 1.

and here is "the rest of the story" (okay, I guess I *am* a boomer - 'cuz what is running through my mind now is "Paul Harvey ... GOOD DAY!"):

MARY: Ok, let’s move to international education What are the best things that have happened in the last 10-15 years with regards to the globalization of higher education?

DENIS: First, that Americans finally get it! When I started teaching at NU in 1987, I felt I was a lone wolf, a “solo act” in the push for Middle East Studies and international studies more broadly. Oh, I had some like-minded colleagues - but we were a rare breed. Sadly, after 9/11, Americans woke up to the world around us. Of course, we were "slumbering" after the fall of the Soviet Union/fall of the Berlin wall, but that also led to more complacency. "We won", so to heck with the rest of the world. 9/11 gave Americans a shocking wake up. So we get it. Now what? While we get it, many folks also want simply to make money out of globalization. Thankfully, many more want to promote peace and justice. And others simply want to really really get it: i.e., By going around the world, learning languages, connecting with people and then figuring out their lives after that.

MARY: I hope you are right Denis. I love your positive attitude! I agree that this is a time for transformation for many. We are used to seeing this with 18-22 year olds and now it seems that people of all ages are becoming aware of the need to be global.

DENIS: Women are in the lead on this one. I would say 70% of our students in International Affairs are women. And in study abroad, the number is - and has been - generally the same. More women go abroad than men, traditionally. That gives them a huge advantage - in government, business, and academia (at least these days). And it gives them the global perspectives, global experiences that are to their life-long advantage.

MARY: Women are often more open to seeing the world from multiple perspectives and less afraid of studying abroad, more likely to get outside their comfort zones.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gracie is ChCh-bound!

There she went, through security at Logan airport, and here she is: http://gracecsullivan.blogspot.com/ 

Gracie set up her blog; posted twice already about leaving (Twas the night before ChCh is a must-read!); and off she went yesterday to her new adventures in Christchurch NZ, aka "Kiwi land", or ChCh).

OMG, I miss her so ... 

and today, it's back to Logan to meet habibti, Nevenka.  Good-byes and hellos (hellos are much much much better - Gracie, Jojo, Nevenka - my loves, my life, my hearts)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve in Cairo

"Merry Christmas!"

We've heard this all day today, and expect to tomorrow as well. It's so refreshing to hear the words of the season I grew up with in Catholic Chicago; words I myself barely say in P.C. America these days - instead going for the bland "happy holidays". I hope America catches up with Muslim Egypt - a land, a country, a culture, a people proud of their Muslim-"ness", their Islamic-"ness", and still happy to please those of us who celebrate Christmas with a very hearty, smiling "Merry Christmas."

There is hope for us in America - many of my friends, and I, and many others* are taking back Merry Christmas as well as happily stating Happy Hanukkah to those for whom it is meaningful. So, let's get back to it ... and if you've had a Happy Hanukkah already, great! Happy to hear that. And if you're celebrating Christmas, have a Merry one!

Tomorrow, I'll hope to continue to hear the Merry Christmas from my Muslim brother, friends, and strangers alike.
* I distance myself from the right-wing nuts who want to "take back Christmas" with their own "right" to separate themselves from everyone who doesn't celebrate or observe it. They're too far gone for my taste.