Panic in Parliament

Earlier this year (March 22nd, 2017), an armed assailant drove a vehicle and plowed through a crowd on Westminster Bridge outside of Parliament; wounding at least 40+ people, and killing at least 4 (the assailant being amongst the dead). After the assailant had driven through a crowd of pedestrians, he ditched the vehicle and proceeded to stab and kill officer Keith Palmer, before being shot himself by the police.



En Marche!

On May 7th, 2017, Emmanuel Macron was deemed the new President-elect of France. It was groundbreaking in that, not only did a good chunk of the country see Macron as a progressive leader, but that Macron becoming president at his age (39) makes him the youngest president France has ever had since Napoleon (aged 35 when he was president). With hopeful views for the nation (that were strikingly different from his opponent, La Pen), many are excited to see just where Macron will take France.



Unity in Arts

On April 18th, 2017, I attended the event Unity in Arts. This event’s theme was centered around showcasing the vast amount of diversity that can be found within the multicultural groups found here on campus. From Persian calligraphy, to readings from the Quran, and even a traditional lion dance (performed by the Asian American Student Association), I got to experience a night in which I was enveloped in cultures from around the world, which deepened my appreciation for the efforts made at OU to expand on diversity.

Study Abroad 101

This was the first GEF meeting I attended where I saw faces of others who were freshman GEF. I was surprised because a lot of people I had seen in the room were friends of mine, or colleagues in the classroom! As the meeting progressed and we all learned a little bit about each other and the program, I was already beginning to mentally formulate all of the places I was going to go and different architects I was going to see. The meeting really eased my mind on some questions I had coming into the program (such as how exactly will we go about fulfilling each requirement? Are there any concerns we should take into account when studying abroad? Where can/can’t I go?). I look forward to the rest of this year, and the years to come as a fellow and with my peers. 🙂

OU Study Abroad Fair

Earlier this past semester, I had the chance to attend the OU Study Abroad fair and learn from different study abroad companies all the options I had in terms of study abroad. I went to more well-known, big companies that had flagships all over the world (such as CIEE), and then I visited smaller companies that specialized in some areas I was looking at studying abroad in (ex: South Korea, Japan, etc.). Overall, it really helped to expand my horizons on studying abroad and even look at a few countries I was not considering before!

OU Cousins

A while back, I had the opportunity to participate and become a part of, OU Cousins. Due to the unequal ratio of international student to OU student, not all of us (myself being one of them) were paired with an international student, but nonetheless, it was an amazing experience. I met people from places that I had yet to even meet someone (ex: Iceland), and I met people who had multiple nationalities (such as one who was both British AND Swedish). The best part was hearing about all the stories that each person entailed. The most notable story I heard when I was at the matching party, was one by this girl from Belgium. I was asking her how close France was in relation to Belgium, and she told me that it was so close that one time, she went on a random hike in Belgium, and ended up in France!

Even though I was not paired up with a cousin this year, I’ll definitely be participating again in the years to come. 🙂

Modern Genocide?

Recently, ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebels against the government collapsed, and warfare picked up again — with Aleppo (main government city) taking the blunt of the attacks. The Syrian war has been waging for approximately five years now, but in the wake of this year, the war has taken on a whole new level of brutality. With civilians (many being women and children), killed either by airstrikes or by merciless executions. As the Syrian government starts to close in on the eastern side of Aleppo (the part controlled by the rebel forces), the situation starts to become more dire/intense as rebels either withdraw from eastern Aleppo, fight amongst one another, or attempt to fight back even as their supplies quickly dwindle. As each day passes we see inklings and trickles of tweets and videos coming from inside Aleppo as civilians, filmmakers,  journalists, etc. all give the outside world a glimpse at just what exactly is taking place within Aleppo.

Tultepec, Mexico

Early this morning on Wednesday, Dec 21st, 2016, a massive fireworks stand located in Tultepec, Mexico exploded without any warning. The location of the fireworks stand was in a vast fireworks stand market, thus setting off a chain reaction of explosion after explosion. Officials are still at work trying to decipher the cause of the detonation as the death toll/injured toll steadily rises (current death toll is at 31).