Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jumping back into the New Orleans life has been really weird. I keep telling people I haven't mentally unpacked from my trip, and I don't think I ever really will. I'm carrying it to school, to choir practice, to Saints games, and it only feels less heavy when I plop down on my bed and turn my computer on. For the last week I've been glued to news sites and blogs that talk about Bil'in, Jawaher, demonstrations, demolitions, settlements, Salam Fayyad, and the Knesset.

Three things I've been stewing over:

1) 7th grade history teacher: "Turn to the map on page 194." Today we're going to talk about the Cherokee Trail of Tears. I opened up to see the route that Native Americans were forced to walk after being removed from their homes and rounded up like cattle.

"Emerson writes in his third letter addressing President Van Buren stating that the removal of the Cherokee Nation would be an unjust and tragic act. Emerson believed that the President has a commitment to protect every inhabitant of the US. Emerson states that Van Buren will bring shame on the office of the Presidency and the entire country. Emerson affirmed that the Indian removal is “fraud and robbery”."
Northern Humanitarian Protest Over Cherokee Removal

2) I just joined the Symphonic Chorus of New Orleans. We're seeing a 121-page piece on war and peace. It's beautiful. And there's going to be a Muslim muezzin doing a call to prayer in the middle.

3) I'm giving a lecture at Loyola on my trip, with the help of Loyola's Middle East Peace Studies Department. Right now I'm brainstorming titles, pictures, and what the boundaries of my presentation are going to be. I don't want to preach to the choir, like George Galloway did to the Muslim Legal Fund benefit. I want to draw a diverse crowd. If we start advertising next week I think everything will be alright.