She’s My Mother, Not a Criminal!

By Anonymous

Do you ever wonder what it will be like to be far away from your mother? While you either love or hate her, we all have some type of emotion towards mothers. I had this time in my life where everything was going downhill, I didn’t know who I was anymore, my relationship with most of my family members was turning toxic. However, the thing that really turned my switch off was when my mom decided to go back to her home country. My sisters and I were basically the last ones to know and that made us feel some type of way. Let me remind you that this happened during my freshman year, so this was bad timing since I needed her a lot. Two years passed and my mom was still in her country, and now I’m a senior. Ever since she left, I had been so worried about her that it made me lose focus and I would always overthink negative things, since where my mom lived was not a safe place and she was very sick.

We would talk a couple of times but it just wasn’t the same. For the past two years, I’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day with my aunts and I felt bad because throughout the day I would feel so jealous of my cousins because they had their mothers by their side. I’ve been moving from house to house because I was an unwanted kid without his mother. I always prayed to God that my mom would come back and be with us, and one day she finally did. My sister’s father, who is my stepfather, told us that my mom was back in the states and that she’d be meeting us the next day. My sisters were crying and for some reason I didn’t cry. I was happy and relieved to know that she was back but I felt scared. I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment to happen that it felt so surreal.

I was heading out to go to school and suddenly my mom appeared and hugged me. We had a long talk about how she came and I felt miserable. My sister’s father was trying to bring her back with a visa but my mom wanted to come back quicker and the only way she could’ve done that was by crossing the border. It’s great that she’s back but now I have to worry about her being deported. Now that the American president is not a fan of Mexicans, my mom has to be aware of: where she lives, works, and who she hangs out with. This was supposed to be a happy moment for us but happy seems to be a thing that’s never for sure. She’s illegal but she’s not a criminal. She’s not here to take your job. She’s taking the jobs that YOU never wanted. She came here to be a strong hardworking mother, not someone who depends on food stamps because she’s too lazy to work.

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The Genocide of the Rohingya Muslims

By Marieme Jiddou, Class of 2019

Mohiuddin Mohamad-Yusof.

Mohiuddin Mohamad-Yusof sat in a midtown Manhattan cafe in February, wearing a black suit, red tie and baseball cap, casually drinking a cup of coffee. Mr. Mohamad-Yusof’s cap, however, didn’t have the symbols for the New York Mets or Yankees. Instead, it had the letters, WRO.

Mr. Mohamad-Yusof is the president of World Rohingya Organization, or WRO, and talked about the crisis currently happening in his own country, Myanmar that is located in Southeast Asia. Mr. Mohamad-Yusof claims that he was the first ever Rohingya Muslim refugee who came to the United States in 1999. He has since created the WRO, which he said gathers donations to help Rohingya Muslims back in his homeland and Bangladesh refugee camps.

The Rohingya Muslims are natives to Myanmar, and have lived in the predominantly Buddhist country, formerly known as Burma, for centuries, according to CNN. Since 1948 the religious and ethnic group has been persecuted against in their own country, because the Myanmar government refuses to see them as citizens.

“It’s not just a simple conflict, it took centuries for it boil up to where it is now,” Mr. Mohamad-Yusof said.

After Myanmar gained its independence from Britain in 1948 an act called Union Citizenship was passed defining which ethnic groups had the right to citizenship. From Myanmar’s 135 ethnic groups, only the Rohingya Muslims were denied citizenship, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, or CFR. But, the Rohingya Muslims, who had lived in Myanmar for at least two generations, were allowed to apply for identity cards. But these identity cards didn’t provide them with education, medical access, or jobs, unlike the citizens of Myanmar.

Laws in Myanmar continued to change, affecting the Rohingya Muslims.

In 1982 another citizenship law was passed. This law had three levels of citizenship. The most basic was giving evidence that a person’s family had lived in the country prior to 1948. Many Rohingya Muslims did not have access to such paperwork, or if they did, the government denied them.

Under those citizenship laws Rohingya Muslims were once again not recognized as an ethnic group. Although it allowed Rohingya Muslims to apply for citizenship, the ethnic group never received the proper paperwork and were officially made stateless, according to CNN.  

Many viewed this as a persecution method, said Mr. Mohamad-Yusof. This led many Rohingya Muslims to migrate to neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand and Indonesia, according to CFR.

Rohingya Muslims continue to flee their home. Recently, also due to the violent breakouts in Myanmar, many Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh. As of April 26, 693,000 crossed the border into a part of Bangladesh called Cox’s Bazar, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA.  

“Even in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh army are raping the females, and they cannot say anything about it,” Mr. Mohamad-Yusof said. He spoke in detail about the struggles of young Rohingya women and how they have been traumatized by seeing their own family members being shot and killed when trying to flee Myanmar. However, their troubles don’t end there as they are often trafficked to bordering countries like India.

“Renewed violence, including reported rape, murder, and arson in 2017, triggered a massive exodus of Rohingya amid charges of ethnic cleansing against Myanmar’s security forces,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations. “Those forces claimed they carried out a campaign to reinstate stability in the western region of Myanmar.”

The Myanmar government along with Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, which is the equivalent to a prime minister, plays an important role in the conflict. When asked about the issue of their country, Ms. Suu Kyi has called the Rohingya Muslims “terrorists,” according to CNN.

Ms. Suu Kyi has also denied accusations of human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslims, or that an ethnic cleansing is happening, CNN has reported.

Besides the Myanmar government being blamed, many politicians and activists believe the United Nations has failed this ethnic group, said Mr.Mohamed-Yusof. The United Nations has interviewed many Rohingya Muslims, who described their current living conditions and trauma, including torture, rape, and killings by the Myanmar military, as well as in Bangladesh, he said. Yet, the United Nations did not intervene with this ethnic cleansing, he added.

The United Nations and our partners continue to work closely with the Government of Bangladesh to coordinate the humanitarian response and to ensure that refugees are protected in line with international standards, and to provide desperately needed support including food, shelter, health care and water,” according OCHA’s website.

Mr. Mohamad-Yusof has considered why this conflict began in the first place.

“What caused this issue is greed. They (Myanmar government) wanted our lands and in order to do that they need to dispose of us,” he said in the midtown cafe.

As the crisis has continued for years, Mr. Mohamad-Yusof fears they may never be a resolution.

“I believe we are already too late. A lot of our population has been wiped out already. But I do believe if we unite the Buriaminese and the Rohingyas we could protect our people,” he said.  

Mr.Mohamaed-Yusof, who is currently living in the U.S., still tries to gather donations to send to refugee camps in Bangladesh. Mr. Mohamad-Yusof said that any amount of donations helps the ethnic group. Every year, he visits Rohingya Muslims and their families living in the U.S., and continues to help them.

History Of Horror Movies

Horror movies have been a part of history since before movies had sound. It all started in the late 1800’s when director George Mélìés had the thought of creating a film that would send chills down the spine of anybody who dared to watch it. The french film, “Le Manoir Du Diable” which is translated to “The Haunted Castle” in English was released in the winter of 1896; this was the first horror movie in history. From there horror became a staple genre in the world of movies. However in the early 1900’s, horror movies changed for the better; pushing them into a new era, one of monsters and strange creatures. In 1910, the first filmed version of “Frankenstein” debuted in America. The film was silent and ran for 14 minutes.

One of the most famous monsters in the world would get its big screen debut in the year 1922. This monster has spawned to countless of other films and television shows that are still being made today. Based on Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula,” published on May 26, 1897, the silent movie “Nosferatu” was created, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Olaf, and Greta Schroder as his victim Ellen Hutter. Other silent films that followed the monster formula were, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of The Opera” (1925). In 1928 the first horror movie with sound was created by director Roy Del Ruth, and it was named “The Terror.” From then on, movies were beginning to shift into the golden age of film (1930’s-1960’s).  Throughout this period, movies like “The Wolf-Man,” “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and “The Mummy” were taking over horror, and movies that were once made as silent films such as “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” were being re-made with sound.

However, the gothic genre of horror was not going to last. During the early 1960’s, a movie director named Alfred Hitchcock began making films that would shift horror from gothic myths to modern day suspense. With films like “The Birds” and “Vertigo,” Alfred Hitchcock was cementing his name into the world of horror. But it was the film Psycho (1960) that gave Hitchcock the title of “The Grandfather of Horror.” This film literally left the gothic genre behind with its transformation of the spooky castle into a modern day motel; The Bates motel. Another thing the film also did was introduce the title of the Scream Queen, awarded to “Psycho” actress Janet Leigh at the time.

Eventually, films transitioned from black and white to technicolor, bringing another drastic change to the cinematic world of horror. In the year of 1973, a movie that would be known as one of the scariest films in history was made by director William Friedkin. “The Exorcist,” a screen adaptation of the book written by William Peter Blatty, showed up and coming directors what was now considered appropriate for audiences.

Films like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Black Christmas” followed, leading director John Carpenter to make the horror masterpiece “Halloween.” Made in 1978, Halloween reeled in the age of slasher films which still exists to this day. The movie spawned dozens of copycat movies such as “My Bloody Valentine,” “Prom Night,” and most famously, “Friday the 13th.”

Modern day horror movies based themselves off the template that was set by movies like “Psycho,” “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Halloween.” But even in this day and age, directors are still finding new ways to scare their audience with psychological horror like “Get Out” and  “The Babadook,” and countless other films.

If He Can Do It, So Can You!

By Marieme Jiddou, Class of 2019

Juan Rosa, known for his epic trips to colleges, love for students, amazing snacks and Media pride, is an alumni of the George Washington Educational Campus! He first started going to GWEC in 1999 when it was one school. When the schools broke into four, he attended the School for International Business and Finance, now called College Academy. Juan described himself as being very excited and happy to start his education on the campus. Juan was in the second graduating class of the four schools, and graduated in 2003.

Even though Juan was excited to start at the GWEC his parents had their doubts. GWEC gang violence was no secret to most who’ve lived in the Washington Heights neighborhood and Juan’s parents were no different. But they realized they’d rather have their child closer in case of an emergency.  

Juan came to the United States at the age of 10. He struggled with English but still wanted to be a teacher. That dream soon died out due to the influence of his environment.

Attending the High School for International Business and Finance, Juan was exposed to many business related courses and clubs. He participated in an organization called Virtual Enterprises, where students would be in an office-like setting and were able to travel within the country to Los Angeles and Washington D.C. to meet officials, and to countries such as Austria and France to present their businesses.

Juan was also affiliated with Catholic Charities and NJROTC at the time. Even though he admitted to only joining NJROTC to get out of gym, he later fell in love with the marching and the history that was taught through the course.

After graduation, Juan pursued political science as his major. He later decided on business, and completely forgot about teaching because he felt that business had more “structure” and “order.” Juan did a lot of charity work, working in business related jobs, daycare, summer camp and City Hall.

Later in life, Juan bumped into one of his older bosses who convinced him to take a job as part of Catholic Charities at Media and Communications. He started working for Media in March 2015, and has accomplished many goals for the school. As person who is experienced in many work fields, Juan’s advice is always to give the best of you in everything you do.

When asked about future dreams, Juan said he wanted to complete the television studio, where, “students of all ages and academic performance would be able to come in and use the studio and move forward in life.”

Another big dream for Juan is to change the educational system. He described his time at Media as eye opening. “As much of a joy as you guys are, you are also a lesson,” Juan said. He is convinced that the educational system looks only at a school, and not what’s within it. Media students have caused this enlightenment.

As a student who started Media around the same time as Juan, I can say I appreciate everything Juan has done in my three years of school. He took us on memorable trips that I will never forget, taught lessons we would never have learned in a classroom, and prepared us for the college process.

 

Pray for The Wicked Album

By Gabriel Cruz, Class of 2019

Pray for the Wicked is the sixth album by alternative rock band, Panic! At The Disco. The album was released June 22nd, 2018, and contains 11 tracks. It contains similar themes to their last album: Death of a Bachelor (2016). As the last sole member, Brendon Urie’s vocals are as amazing as ever. All the tracks on this album convey an energetic feeling with the outstanding combination of Urie’s voice and the catchy instrumentals. The  first track: “F*** A Silver Lining,” contains the message don’t ever let a silver lining or a cherry on top of any situation be good enough for you, and to always aim to be the best.

The message of doing the best you can and working hard enough to reach your goal is a recurring theme throughout this album. The leading track of this album, “(Saturday Night) Say Amen,” is a great track that conveys mixed messages about partying and changes as a person. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is about Urie’s success as an artist, reflecting on his journey and how some people only want to be associated with him because of his fame. “High Hopes” is about seeking your dreams without hesitancy and seeing those dreams come to fruition beyond your wildest imaginings. The next three tracks (“Dancing’s Not A Crime,” “One of the Drunks,” “The Overpass”) are still very good but don’t stand out as much as the leading tracks. They convey more of a generic feeling about the endless cycle of partying.

“Dying in LA” is the final track on the album and follows the theme of being a powerful slow ballad, just like the previous album’s last track. The song shows the less known struggle of people who come to Los Angeles looking for a chance to pursue their dreams. However, they end up unsuccessful in their journey. Even the song title helps to paint a picture of the death of his dreams and his hopes of becoming famous. Overall, this album was outstanding, but it felt a bit too similar to the last album. But that shouldn’t stop you from listening to this album as it still has many good tracks that make it worthwhile.

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What about #Me too?

The #MeToo movement was first started with a tweet by actress, producer and singer Alyssa Milano to help women who had been abused, sexually harassed, or raped to share their stories. Milano’s tweet said, “if you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write #metoo as a reply to this tweet.” The tweet went viral and encouraged women all over the world to speak about their abuse and victim stories. Hollywood actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, shared Milano’s tweet, leading to accusations of rape and sexual assault by more than 20 women against American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Milano said she used Twitter to shine a light on the issue. Her tweet was so powerful that even men joined the movement, including global celebrities like Brendan Fraser, David Arquette and Matt McGorry, who wanted to empathize with the women to be able to understand and support them.

According to the New York Post, men admired women who shared their stories and felt empathy for them, however they felt that the movement was not taking them into consideration since men are always portrayed as the “bad guy.” Also, men felt the movement was segregating the interaction with women in their workplace. They empathize with the #MeToo stories but want their stories to be heard also, since they felt that men can be sexually harassed and abused too.

#MeToo held a parade on Highland Avenue, California, that men weren’t allowed to participate in. “We’re never necessarily welcome to the parade,” said Andrew Schmutzer, who is a professor of biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and has written about being abused as a teen. Experts say men feel ashamed of being raped or abused and refuse to talk about their stories. That’s the reason women should include male victims in their movement. Men want a voice so that their trauma does not go unheard. They want young men to know that they can stand up to their accuser and not get emasculated.

Men want a voice to speak freely about how it feels to be sexually assaulted without being judged. They want to mold the future for teens who might be suicidal due to rape. They want men who are being sexually abused right now to show courage and to speak up. But it’s hard to speak up when women are dimming your voice. “It’s not a competition,” said rap artist Mr. Cook. “Men don’t want to wait, they want to be heard now before the issue is forgotten.”

Why I Disagree with Colin Kaepernick!

By Tatyanna West, Class of 2020

Colin Kaepernick, a former professional NFL quarterback from San Francisco, 49ers has been in the spotlight for his actions that occurred during a preseason game two years ago. Before the start of the game, during the National Anthem, Kaepernick was seen kneeling down near his standing teammates. In an interview, he responded to the question of why he had kneeled for the anthem stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride for a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

From there controversy arose. There were those who agreed with the silent protest and showed their support by tweeting the hashtag, “#TakeAKnee.” Despite the outpouring of support from some of the country, Kaepernick’s actions were not accepted by some as well. Donald Trump deemed the footballer as “unpatriotic” and “an embarrassment to the country.”

His protest sparked the negative attention of Trump who took to Twitter to display his displeasure “It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem — RESPECT OUR COUNTRY.”

In an interview with Fox News, Trump continued to criticize Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem “I watched Colin Kaepernick, and I thought it was terrible, and then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming, and frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again.”

Kaepernick is now a free agent and continues to promote his cause against social injustice. He recently worked with Nike to put together a commercial to rebrand the “Just Do It” cause and connect it to his protest.

Frankly, I disagree with this style of protest for multiple reasons. Kaepernick has said that he refuses to stand up to show pride for a flag or a country that oppresses black people and people of color. This reasoning to me is slightly flawed because by not standing for a flag and assuming that the flag only represents or oppresses one race of people is not completely accurate. For countless years, men and women of many different ethnicities have laid down their lives for our country and flag. Kaepernick’s protest, though understandable, completely disregards the very people it’s based on. I personally do not believe that it is the flag that oppresses people; it is people that oppress people. To take a knee to a flag and an anthem that stands as a representation to the men and women of all colors who have served our country can be seen as a great act of disrespect and disregard to their sacrifice.  

Overall, Kaepernick is a great example of someone willing to put his career and livelihood on the line for something he passionately believes in; Black lives. However, veterans of all races also are huge examples of people who put their lives on the line for something they believe in; the flag and this country. Kaepernick and veterans have this in common so both sides of this argument can be understood.

#PeopleOppressPeopleNotFlags