Monday, April 07, 2003

Here is an article from al-Jazeera about the civilians caught in the urban combat currently happening in Iraq. I found it to be definitely worth reading - it's not gruesome like many al-Jazeera war reports, and quotes mostly American soldiers. My take on media is that every news source is fairly strong at covering people culturally closest to it. Hence, for the doings of Congress, I would look nowhere but American networks. Al-Jazeera in this article is simply cutting to what in the Arab world is the most important story, danger to civilians from both American and "Ba'athist" (as they specify) soldiers. They also had an interesting story about the lack of uprisings that I thought cut to the chase of the problems the U.S. has in the region. Basically, many of the people al-Jazeera talked to don't think the U.S. will really remove Saddam, much as in the on-line poll I sent to my e-mail list earlier. Interestingly, the al-Jazeera political analyst thought that people attitudes would probably shift once the reality of American and British victories became apparent.

Now back to Persian. I have seldom been less motivated in a class than I have been there this semester, for reasons I can't fully fathom. Persian is an interesting language - its sounds are more beautiful to my ear than those of Arabic, yet Arabic has a certain grammatical elegance Persian lacks with all its random Indo-European word morphologies and tons of helping verbs. But Persian is also the easier of the two languages to learn in pretty much every way you can think of. Perhaps I am simply complacent.

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