Month: February 2014

“Journalism is not a crime.”

My entire life I’ve been very indecisive.

I have a hard time picking an entree at restaurants or deciding what outfit to wear to work, its very inconvenient but I work through it. While the rest of my life is one big question mark 24/7, I’ve always known I love to write. That was a lot easier to decide than most. And from that, I decided to major in journalism in college. I didn’t realize until the day after I graduated college that I was going to have a very difficult time finding a job doing what I love. So instead of staying funemployed, as my group of friends began to call it, while searching for the “perfect” journalist job, I applied for and was given a really amazing job on the other side of the newspaper magic, ad space sales.

Even though I now work in marketing, I’ll always want to be a journalist.

I remember the first time I told my mother I wanted to be a war correspondent… she yelled. It was not pretty. She screamed about how dangerous it was and how terrible it was “over there” and didn’t stop yelling until her throat hurt. She didn’t understand why I would ever want to be in the midst of battle. Of course I knew how dangerous how dangerous it would be, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to do it. It was the only career path I saw myself in that could make a difference in the world while letting me see parts of it that I would never see otherwise.

But sometimes, things go wrong, and the fears my mother yelled about a few years ago have become the fears of other mothers. On December 29, 2013, an Australian reporter, a Canadian/Egyptian bureau chief, and an Egyptian producer were arrested at a hotel in Cairo, Egypt after being accused of holding an illegal broadcast. Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed stood trial on February 21, but that trial was adjourned in order to be reconvened on March 5. Al Jazeera has been doing everything in their power to have them released.

However, they aren’t the only ones that Al Jazeera is trying to get back. Arabic broadcaster Abdullah Al Shamy is also in Egyptian custody. He was detained on August 14, 2013 with no charges and has been on a hunger strike since Janurary 23, according to Al Jazeera’s website.

Al Jazeera has called for today to be a Global Day of Action. They have asked for worldwide support in order to have their journalists released. They also ask that Egypt release all of the journalists that are detained at the moment. Their hashtag #FreeAJStaff has had a quarter of a billion hits on just on twitter just since February 1st!

Hopefully, with the rest of the world’s support, AL Jazeera can make a difference in the country that the Committee to Protect Journalists has named the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists.

Free Egyptian Journalistscropped

source

I was on CPJ’s website and was astounded by the deaths they listed, but became increasingly worried when I read about Egypt.

In 2013, 6 journalists were killed for their work in Egypt. Three were killed on August 14th, while covering Egyptian forces raid demonstrators supporting President Mohamed Morsi. Since 1992, there have been 10 journalist deaths documented in Egypt while working… nine of them dying once the anti-government protests in 2011 began.

I can’t help but write nervously but I’m excited to see the kind of response this will receive around the world.

Journalism is not a crime, and for that we need to free our brothers and sisters in writing.

Advertisements

Bikini Bridges and Crazy Wishes

20140225-225512.jpg

Maybe it’s just my lack of interest, or my inability to focus on two things at once, but I’ve never really focused on my imperfections. I know I have them, of course, but unlike most women, I don’t harp on them. They’re there. I get over it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not superwoman.

Sometimes my belly bothers me, or I notice how big my thighs are but it doesn’t take long for me to refocus my attention onto something more important, like pizza or my family.

That’s why articles like this bother me.
Article – Why We Need To End The Bikini Bridge Madness Right Now

The writer of this article sounds like a bitter woman who is unhappy with herself and feels the need to take it out on everyone else.

Background info: the bikini bridge that she discusses in the article was a hoax started by 4chan users to be annoying. They didn’t take it seriously (although, it was a dick move. come on, women don’t have enough body issues?) But it’s exploded into this ridiculous fight between women with it and women without it. Idiots all over the Internet are saying its the new “thigh gap” and are claiming how silly the trend is. It has taken the Internet by storm. It’s actually considered news. I used to want to be a journalist. Now I just cringe when I see the insanity that some consider “news.”

But I’m not here to talk about the stupidity that is the people of the Internet. I needed to vent about how this article made me feel.

Ever since I hit puberty I’ve been a “bigger” girl. I don’t have a thigh gap, or a bikini bridge, and my ass jiggles when I walk. But, as I mentioned before, I don’t give a shit. I’m happy; I’m happy with my life, with my body, and with Oreos, and don’t have time to worry about my pouch, as my boyfriend and I lovingly refer to the part of my belly that pops out a little more than the rest. And because of my “I don’t give a shit” attitude, I support everyone who is as happy with their bodies as I am.

It upsets me knowing that this elation over a person’s own body is not something a lot of women experience, and I wish I could help them with that. Don’t let anyone fool you, being happy with yourself is the greatest feeling in the world, whether you’re toned, chubby, naturally thin, etc. It’s your body, you only get one. Respect it, love it, cherish it, understand it. And let others do the same.

That’s the thing most people cannot comprehend. It’s also the one thing that drives me insane. If you’re on the heavier side, that’s awesome! However, you do not have to bash people who are thin to validate yourself or your weight. Be happy with yourself and stop worrying about everyone else.

And if you’re on the thinner side, good for you! As long as your happy with it, don’t think bashing “fat” people is going to make you look better, because it won’t. It will make you look like a troll.

The article on elitedaily.com is a complete joke. When my friend Sam first sent it to me, I stopped reading it half way through because I was disgusted. The writer continuously bashes people who are naturally skinny in order to prove her point. She started out with a decent argument, that the craziness over the bikini bridge was, just that, craziness. But somewhere within her research and writing, her words acquired a harshness that she should have left at the door. As a journalist you learn to be objective. I understand that it was an opinion piece, but her skinny-shaming is not an opinion that should have been shared. She can seriously hurt with her words and I think she might have forgotten that.

As a bigger girl, I have issues with fat shaming, obviously, but I also do not appreciate thin-shaming, because it is essentially shaming someone for who they naturally are.

Contrary to what this writer thinks, a lot of people are naturally thin so they have thigh gaps and bikini bridges. It’s how they were built. That doesn’t mean she should hate them for it.

I suppose it all comes down to this:

If you don’t like the way you look, change what you dislike for yourself.

Never change for someone else.

But on the other hand, don’t think that if someone looks differently than you do, they are in the wrong. Because it only makes you sound like you need a hug and a slap, and I’m not sure which one I’d rather dish out first.

Too excited. Can’t handle it!

I still can’t get over the fact that I get to leave the country again.

I love traveling. I love packing. I love seeing things I’ve never seen before and hearing languages I’ve never heard before. I love hotels and airports and trains. I love the idea of leaving everything behind and traveling to somewhere new, even if it’s only for a little while. Yesterday I booked our flights and on my way home researched the hotels we will be staying in.

The hotels were included in the final price, so I wasn’t able to choose which hotel we stayed in. Neither one seems like we would have a problem with it though.

The hotel in Paris is Moroccan themed, which sounds wonderful. I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco because I admire the architecture so much. It is located in the 14th district of Paris and seems like a bit of a hike to any “tourist attractions,” but I like the idea of being out of the way and being able to experience Paris as a town instead of one giant tourist trap. I like that we’ll be able to walk around and experience the district during it’s daily routines. Judging by Googlemaps, it seems like the hotel is in a primarily residential area which looks like fun.

The hotel in Rome seems a bit dodgy but I’m hoping that’s just me being silly. This hotel is on the outskirts of the city (the website says near the Vatican but whatevs) and seems to be across the road from an abandoned field. I’m used to the sketchy openness of Italy because that is what the outskirts of my hometown look like, but we will most likely have to take a cab anywhere we choose to go. As annoying as that is, I plan on hitting every tourist trap in Rome so I’ll be saving up for my cab fund 🙂 Rome is absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite city in the world. I loved living there and would do it again in a heart beat. I hated having to wash my clothes in the bathtub but it was worth it. Hopefully I’m overreacting to the hotel.

I’ve been researching places to visit and things to see since we bought the vouchers a few weeks ago. I feel no where near prepared but I have a lot of time. I definitely feel like I should be more organized by November. I’m so nervous about not being able to speak French because that’s a huge barrier when it comes to getting around Paris. The few people I’ve spoken to about my trip have said that many people who work in Paris speak English, which would make my trip easier. But I don’t want to go to Paris or Rome as a tourist. I want to really experience each city.

Three days is not nearly enough time for me to truly appreciate either city, but unfortunately, that’s all I have.

I’ve made lists of things that are a MUST SEE and things that I wouldn’t mind ditching.

So far, the Must See list is giant.

I’m so overjoyed I can barely contain it.

266 days!!

Au Revoir

798px-Eiffel_Tower_at_night_from_bellow_-_20051021

(via)

I start a lot of new posts on here and then forget them, so that the next time I look at that particular post, the timing is way off and it’s obsolete.

But this is one post I won’t stop writing.

I’m going to Paris and Rome in November.

I AM LEAVING THE COUNTRY FOR 7 WHOLE DAYS.

I’m so excited I could cry.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Groupon mentioning a trip to Dubai. Airfare and hotel were included and the price was pretty decent. I’ve wanted to go Dubai for years and I thought I had finally figured out a guilt-free way of getting there. But as with most things I get excited about, it ended up not working out.

I asked my parents to come with me, we were going to make a family vacation out of it because my mother shares the same desire to visit the world. But my siblings have school and the cheaper ones began selling out quickly and all of a sudden, my guilt-free adventure slipped right through my fingers and was gone. I was upset but in the back of my mind I knew something would go wrong and I wouldn’t be going to the Middle East so it was easier to move on.

The next day, while still on Groupon, I found a trip to Paris and Rome. Like the Dubai trip, airfare and hotel was included, and again, the price was relatively decent. So I tried again.

The only person who could come with me was my boyfriend, Nick. I asked him if he would want to come and he decided that it would be a fun time. So I asked my mom. She was not pleased with the idea, my boyfriend and I in another country together, alone. After a little love/harassment, she told me that it was ultimately up to my father. I slept on it and asked him the next morning. Over the phone he responded with the dreaded “we’ll talk about it when I get home.”

I wasn’t as upset as I thought I would be. Again, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go because that tends to be how things work out for me. So I got over it and went to work.

At about 10am I got a call from my dad. “Go!” he said, he was ready to let me go because he knew how much my brain needed this, and he didn’t want the trips to sell out again, like they did with the first trip.

And that was it. That night, Nick came over and we bought our vouchers. I almost cried I was so happy. The next day, I called the company to redeem the voucher and book our tickets. I was bubbling over with excitement. Once on the phone, everything was flowing smoothly. The planner I spoke with was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions. Finally, I was ready to book our tickets and my happiness came screeching to a halt.

I needed our passport names/numbers.

Ok, that’s not terrible. I’ll call Nick and find mine, then call you back. Thank you.

HAHA nope. Nick doesn’t have a passport.

So now, I’m stuck with two vouchers and no passport. Cool.

Finally, after about 2 and a half weeks, my mom and I convinced him to go to the post office to see my mother’s friend who would help him get a passport quickly.

Once he did, I called the company back and gave them the name that would eventually be on Nick’s passport… once it came in. Shhhhh.

So that’s it.

In exactly 267 days, 2 hours and 6 minutes I will be on a plane on my way to poke the Eiffel Tower and throw a rock into the dungeons of the Colosseum, and I couldn’t be happier.

#America Is Beautiful

During the Super Bowl yesterday, Coca Cola showed a commercial in which people from all across America sang “America the Beautiful” in their native languages.

America was in an uproar.

And at first I was furious with these people who so ignorantly berated Coca Cola for their commercial.

I am still unhappy with the response.

But in my anger I wondered, do you not remember where you come from?

Each one of us was an immigrant at one point. Unless you can trace your ancestry solely back to the Cherokees then you are an immigrant and you should be proud to hear that beautiful song sung by so many different people who call this country home.

America is known as the melting pot, not because we love soup, but because we are all different and came from different places that spoke different languages.

I couldn’t understand how people would not be swelling with pride after  hearing that song.

But then I spoke to my mother.

My mom and I just had a discussion about the commercial and about her parents journey to America.

In her opinion, she thought that the people in the commercial should be speaking English. She believed that because America’s native tongue is English, that is what those people in the commercial should have been speaking. When her parents came to America they learned to speak English and they became citizens.

While I agree that to become a citizen one should learn to speak the native tongue of the country, I disagree about the particular commercial.

I enjoyed hearing America the Beautiful in other languages.

I enjoyed it because, while they are singing in their own native tongues, they are still singing it. They feel the pride that everyone should feel for their home, whether you were born here or not.

I am a proud American. I fly an American flag. But I was born into this country and did not need to work for my citizenship.

My grandparents on the other hand, worked very hard to become American.

My grandparents came to America not knowing any English. They came to raise their children in a better place, in a country that would give their children the opportunities that they, themselves, were not given in their home country.

They came to America, they learned English, they took their citizenship test, and they gained citizenship after working their asses off.

So I’ve decided to explain my stand.

I believe that America is the greatest country in the world because it is a melting pot of cultures from all around the world.

I believe that the mixing of these different cultures is what has made us so powerful, and allowed us to create things like football or Chinese food (the Chinese food sold in America is American by the way. People from China do not eat the same food we enjoy here.)

I believe that if you have worked hard to gain citizenship in this country you should be damn proud of yourself because it is not an easy feat.

I believe that if you were born here and granted citizenship you should never forget how important that is and how lucky you are.

I believe that speaking the native tongue of your country should be a priority, whether you are a citizen of Mexico, America, Canada or China.

I believe that adding your own culture to this giant mess of cultures is a beautiful part of being an American and that it is your duty, as an American, to share what you know, but to also be receptive to what is already established.

And I believe that this country has gone down the shitter because people forget that we are a brotherhood of individuals who have all come here for the freedom that was promised us, and for some strange reason, those freedoms are being taken away because people refuse to accept one another.

God Bless America because we damn well need it.