After a somewhat sufficiently stressful day, I found myself busy scurrying through lectures and meetings. After a 20 minute wait on the phone and £15 wasted constantly topping up, student finance has become the bane of my life. What followed on was quite the contrast. The Black Students Campaign at Manchester University. Some of you may think what sort of affiliation I have with this organisation, but it represents so much more. It is an empowering term, one with a political and civil movement behind it, with roots from anti-racist and civil rights movements from the Black Panthers to Guerrilla forces across the land.
Whilst originally referring to people of African and Caribbean descent, the word has come to encompass both Asian and Arab people, seeing commonalities in their shared suffering. It is a voice for ethnic minorities in this downtrodden world.
Being an independent organisation is a wonderful thing, one run by politically motivated students is even better. The Campaign seeks to empower, enthuse and educate those who have felt under-represented in the social spectrum, and use our togetherness and inspiring united front to make a positive impact within the community.
Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of the great Malcolm X, will be giving talks across the U.K on his upcoming tour, which beautifully ties in with Black history Month, and the Black Students Campaign are planning to host a symbolic event which ties to all things: Black and Beautiful. The resurgency of such group is refreshing in this pessimistic world, and their attitude and vision can hopefully inspire many afar. Keep watching their space to find out more!
On the 23rd of September 2011, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, announced that he had just made a formal application to the Security Council for Palestine to be admitted to the UN as a full member. “With our souls, with our blood, we will defend Palestine,” cry those who hae been shown a shining beacon of hope by Western rhetoric, not least from President Obama and his fake love for the Arab world, proven by his impudent tone in Istanbul and Cairo- so soon after taking on the Presidential role. Old habits die-hard; especially for US presidents.
While hope, pragmatic processes and co-ordination have been extolled by both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his insane government, the Palestinian Diaspora have suffered unjustly- not only through the expansion of Israeli settlements across clear Palestinian territory and built a segregated system in the West Bank and Jerusalem that in essence foreclosed the two-state option, but Western leaders who are so eager to advocate Wilsonian principles of self-determination and justice in their own little worlds, have neglected the Palestinian people’s basic constitution of rights and statehood.
Obama is seen as a puppet in the negotiation process, along with Congress- one instance being a Republican congress member saying that, “Netanyahu has more credibility in the Congress than Obama.” Spitting no credible reason for the much-anticipated veto at the UN Security council apart from the fact that the issue should be settled with Israel at the negotiating table rather than at the credible authority for international law, reeks with utter hypocrisy and disillusionment.
But throughout the past two decades, ceaseless negotiations took place between Israel and the PA: Madrid (1991), Oslo (1993), Wye River (1997), Camp David (2000), Taba (2001), Quartet’s road map (2002), Annapolis (2007), bilateral negotiations (2008), Obama’s promises for settlements freeze in Cairo (2009) and declaration of statehood within one year at the UN (2010). The Oslo agreement has set out to restore equal rights and an independent state to the Palestinian people. Negotiations have proven to be ineffectual and frustrating, while everyday Palestinian people are confronted with the hard reality of brutal military occupation on the ground and Israeli intransigence at the negotiating table. The time for false mediation is over.
This courageous call for statehood will not only be a significant point in history for the Middle East, but potentially tear apart Western alliances. France and Germany seemingly possess a difference of views; the latter siding with Israel for historical reasons and the France sickened by the treatment of Palestinians. But Britian ofcourse, unlikely to be swayed by past duties as the Mandate Power for 25 years and leaving a country vulnerable to colonisation with no self-governable institutions, is unlikely to follow suit, no matter how much Cameron enthused about the UN showing a united front. Eastern and Western hemisphere itself is split; with most African nations showing overwhelming support for the Palestinian cause.
Veto or abstain, and the Middle East will be lost forever. How can you be an ardent supporter of the Arab Spring and let the Palestinian’s nightmare continue for much longer? For someone with such high ideals, Obama has categorically shown he cares more about the upcoming elections than the future of the Middle East. Siding with the Palestinian cause would ignite a huge uproar within the omnipotent Israeli lobby and thus a myriad of voters; it simply cannot be done for the un der-fire President. With the polls indicating a second presidential term is not on the cards, Obama needs every vote he can get.
This leaves our European leaders to fight for the ideals which have endlessly been flung around- none more so than our leaders-since President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted on the 14th of January 2011. The Negotiation table has proven it can’t solve this issue, radical action is needed and Cameron is right to advocate a united front in the face of adversity; can they afford to abstain from this historic opportunity to revolutionize the Middle East forever?
Why is time defined the way it is? 24 hours, 60 minutes; 60 seconds. Our days are structured around a rigid timetable of morning, afternoon and evening. Why do we conform to this schedule and tacitly consent to the chronological norm (of course this question can be asked to a plethora of questions).
While being at university, time-management has been the buzzword ever since you’ve entered your university dormitory (Ok I lie, maybe after the first week). What is time-management? According to some it is managing your time in a way to make yourself the most efficient at the most productive parts of your day, whereas others believe it is simply completing tasks faster.
Being a fanatical workaholic has its ups and downs; more so the opportunity to participate in a diverse amount of events and challenging projects which are of great interest to me than using the time I have in a more leisurely way (well the right amount of leisure has proven to be more productive than carrying out a mundane task (maybe that’s why I’m writing this instead of doing some actual work!).
My theory; screw time. However you want to spend each day and minute, is time well spent. Devise your time around your life. How you eat, sleep and work should all follow a sequence or pattern which works around a suitable structure to your attitude towards your life and therefore to YOUR time.
Reading, walking, watching TV, being late, standing around at the bus stop- Love time, hate crime (It rhymed ok!).
Useful website on how sleep works: http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping