Feb 27 2017
February 27, 2017
After three months of negotiations, Vatican-mediated peace talks between the two factions battling for political control of Venezuela have ceased. From October to December, the Vatican-brokered peace talks between the opposing parties, but at the end of January, the opposition coalition rejected further mediation and instead planned to begin direct negotiations. This intervention was one in a long history of Vatican involvement in world affairs, especially in Latin America. Most recently, Pope Francis assisted in the reopening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.
Feb 27 2017
February 27, 2017
On January 27, President Donald Trump issued an executive order barring immigration of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and refugees from Syria permanently. National and international protests have erupted in objection to what critics are calling a “Muslim ban,” and foreign governments, including affected nations Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Yemen as well as U.S. allies Great Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, Australia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia have spoken out against the order. Despite a number of legal challenges to the order, the White House has defended its actions as a matter of national security and has received support from European political leaders such as Nigel Farage and Geert Wilders.
Feb 27 2017
Fabienne El-Cid February 27, 2017
From the moment I stepped foot in Florence (Firenze), I felt as if locals handed me a plate of food (cibo) filled to the edge that somehow seemed to never empty. I encountered pasta—I alone have tried nearly 20 unique kinds, pizza—the toppings of which I lost count, chicken, beef, veal, ham (prosciutto), cheese (formaggio), bruschetta (properly pronounced with a “k” sound), bread (pane), bread and olive oil (olio), bread and balsamic vinegar, and some more bread.
Feb 26 2017
Katherine Marshall February 26, 2017
What more can those who live by their religious beliefs do to turn dreams of peace and justice into realities? A remarkable array of interfaith organizations and initiatives share the conviction that one answer lies in forging peace and cooperation among religious communities. Their goal may be to address tensions that have specific roots in religious beliefs or practices or to show common purpose in the face of a crisis that jolts the community overall. Interfaith initiatives often seek to build on shared values to address the daily challenges of living together fairly, with the benefits and without the frictions that come with today’s plural societies.
Feb 22 2017
Harshita Nadimpalli February 22, 2017
The first two things that made me fall in love with Lisbon were the street art and the tiles, or azulejos. I’m not sure which I noticed first, but each day that I’ve spent here since then, I’ve noticed a growing duality reflected in the presence of both the street art and the tiles, sometimes adjacent, sometimes overlapping, sometimes staring at each other from across the street, simultaneously both cautious and curious.
Feb 21 2017
Megan Patel February 21, 2017
If someone were to steal my phone, they would undoubtedly feel guilty for stealing the phone of a pious, devout Catholic. A short peruse through my iPhone photo album would unveil a plethora of pictures ranging from soaring cathedral ceilings to magnificent stained glass windows. The thing is, I’m not Catholic—I’m Hindu.
Feb 19 2017
Luiggy Vidal February 19, 2017
“Melbourne is really nice. It’s just REALLY white,” the man next to me told me as our plane was just landing in Melbourne, Australia. I hesitantly laughed with discomfort in realizing that all race-related experiences were about to change due to the lack of people of color present in Australia. I realized that I was no longer in Harlem, where people of color roamed freely and made up a large part of the population. Oddly enough, I wondered what the rhetoric around the black identity was; I wondered where they got their information about black people from, whether they would consider me black, and the ways that they felt about black culture.
Feb 16 2017
Alicia Kiley February 16, 2017
Today my host babbo, an Italian word for father, and I went to San Miniato al Monte, just on the other side of the Arno from where we live. The church is famous for its sweeping views over the city and because, under Michelangelo’s suggestion, it was used as a fortress during the siege of Florence in 1530. From the church, which sits high on one of Florence's surrounding hills, you can see the city fan out, radiating from the Duomo at the center. Since I had only known my host father for two days, I was too embarrassed to embrace my inner American tourist and take as many pictures as possible, and I left with no pictures from the experience; however, you can see the view here.
Feb 15 2017
Tevin Simard February 15, 2017
Shortly after arriving in Brazil, one of the first questions Brazilians asked me was “What is your sign?” I made a crumpled face, because although I recognized the words they said, I did not know what they meant. I eliminated the possibility of it relating to my zodiac sign; why would someone that I just met ask me that? Yet, that is exactly what the question was referring to. Initially I thought that it was a joke. However, as it continued to happen repeatedly, I realized that Brazilians love talking about this topic.
Feb 14 2017
Briseida Valencia Soto February 14, 2017
Love, or more specifically, relationships are embedded within Mexican culture. Being of Mexican descent and traveling to Mexico often I was aware of this before I arrived in Mexico City. I knew that not being in a relationship in Mexico labels you as “strange” and “incapable of being loved,” while in America “being single” represents liberty and independence. Moreover I knew that to understand Mexican culture it is necessary to understand the weight we put on love. This concept springs from the old-fashioned and slightly conservative idea of romance that still prevails in Mexico—comparatively the U.S. believes in a more progressive idea of love, self-love, and sexual independence. This is not to say that relationships aren’t important in American culture, but, from my experience, one’s education and career seem to weigh more than love in American culture, as contrasted to Mexican culture.