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Small charity market for Japan

20 May

Shop and help!

Lund’s Japanese exchange students are continuing their efforts to raise money and awareness for the tragic events which occured in Japan this spring. This Saturday, they will be present at the Södra Esplanaden flea market (near Parentesen) to sell unique sweets and goods.

Photo: Natto Kun

The students will be selling hoso-maki, a sort of Japanese Sushi, some Japanese/Swedish sweets and second-hand items as well. You can also find A4 size (or bigger) pieces of beautiful Kimono textures, lovely Japanese cultural goods. Directly and authentically from Japan!
All the money from the charity market will go to the Japanese Red Cross to help victims of the earthquake and tunami.

You can find more information on Facebook here.

(Thanks to Mark Wong for sharing the info!)
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Views on the Middle East – 3

17 May

Avoiding further clashes of civilizations: a pre-requisite for combating radicalism

Here is the third in a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!

by Mohamad Zakaria

No matter what the real story about the fate of Osama Bin Laden, there is one reality that is already clear by now, which is that he is not anymore a living leader of Al Qaida and its network. His role as a spiritual and military leader that is followed and hunted is over since the Al Qaida leadership has announced he has been killed. However, an organization like Al Qaida that is mature, has strong culture, and has branches in many countries around the world cannot be dismantled by only the death of its founder. Therefore Al Qaida is not destroyed by the death Bin Laden, but obviously it has been badly shaken. The one(s) who will lead the organization may be more radical and less rational than Osama. If any country wants to deal with the Al Qaida ideology, they need to understand the real causes that have led to the very existence of the radical ideology of Al Qaida.  

It is known that many of the first generations of Al Qaida leaders and also many of their followers were initially members of moderate (or some may like to say “less radical”) Islamist movements in the Muslim world. One of the main organizations that the Al Qaida founders were member of is the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. The governing regimes (i.e. dictatorships) in the Muslim world have cracked down on the movements’ members because of the fear that such movements may succeed in gaining significant political power if they are allowed and formally recognised as national political parties and thus gain legal permission to freely be politically active within the boundary of national laws. Thousands of Islamic movements’ followers were put in jails, tortured to death; most of them did not have fair trial, and were sentenced with extremely long time of imprisonment for suspicion of memberships of Islamist organizations. Continue reading

Views on the Middle East – 2

16 May

The Libyan uprising and the International Community

Here is the second in a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!

by Mohamad Zakaria

Recently, the Security Council (SC) has decided to escalate its efforts and has imposed a “no-fly zone” over Libya ordering the Ghathafi regime to announce and comply with an immediate cease fire. Moreover, SC has warned Ghathfi forces not to re-enter the Libyan city of Benghazi. The reason is there have been strong reasons to believe that Gathafi forces were to commit atrocities in this city had they managed to get back the control of. On 19 March 2011, French, UK, and USA launched a military operation using air force and sea warship missiles to bomb Ghathafi military targets.

The Rwanda genocide experience has taught the humanity not to allow and accept another Rwanda to be committed again and make all efforts available to prevent such atrocities from happening. The grave mistake that happened in Rwanda by not protecting the civilians there from the atrocities that happened to them then must not be an excuse to let a Rwandan-like genocide happen again in other parts of the world, including in Libya and Yemen. Let’s agree that all human lives are precious, equally valuable, and that it is our human responsibility to protect human lives when we can. Continue reading

Views on the Middle East – 1

15 May

The Arab world and the necessity for positive change

In the coming days, The Dynamo will share with you a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!

by Mohamad Zakaria

A policewoman confiscated the unlicensed vegetable cart of 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, a university graduate who was the breadwinner for his family and the only financial supporter of his sister’s university education. He begged the officer to return the cart with its $200 of goods to him but he failed to convince her in doing so. The policewoman slapped him, spat in his face, insulted his dead father, and confiscated the goods. The man stood in front of a Tunisian municipality building, doused himself in fuel, and lit the match on 17 December 2010. That fire has ignited a revolution in Tunisia and spread the fire across the Arab region.

That sad story was just the direct reason. There are, however, many indirect reasons that are the real causes behind these revolts. I am just mentioning a few of them in this essay. Most countries in this region have been ruled by autocrats since their independence. Basic democratic and transparent political practices have not been allowed freely by any Arab state (Lebanon is an exception). Most of the Arab autocrats (call them Sheikhs, kings, Princes, etc…) have not given the well-deserved value for the lives and dignities of their citizens. They have created cultures of corruption and bad management.  In most countries across the region (with some exclusion of the oil-rich Gulf states), a skilful graduate usually faces difficulties in getting a well-deserved job if he/she does not have the “proper contacts” with people from within the governments and also without being a member in the governing political parties. Moreover, freedom of expression and the right of free, transparent election are among the basic human rights that most Arab countries do not guarantee to their citizens at all. Continue reading

Valborg 2011 impressions

1 May

Musings on a first Valborg

Arriving at the park. Photo ©The Dynamo.

(Thoughts and impressions of an international student living through his first Sista April)

by Obinna Onuoha

I woke up at 9am and after my prayers, I realized it’s Valborg Day. Yes sir, it’s the day everyone’s been waiting for! The build up to this day has been charged with so much talk and activity, most especially among students in Lund. So I decided my first port of call would be a place that would give me a sneak preview of what to expect today – Facebook. And I must say I was not disappointed. A male friend of mine wrote: ‘Woke up at 8.00 to drink! Hello Valborg.’ The drink: ‘popped a cider.’ Another status from a female friend ran, ‘Morning shot at 8. Don’t be late.’ The excitement was just getting started.

However, there were a lot of mixed feelings about this day, from anticipation to feelings of apathy or being terrified. Laughing out loud, terrified?! Well, there was only one way I would know the general attitude towards Valborg – I had to go there myself. The venue: Stadsparken in Lund. I live in Malmö so I got on the 171 at Södervärn. This was going to be my first experience of the event.

In the bus, I saw Swedes who were chatting away happily with their drinks in bags. I got off at Jupitergatan with a lot of the Swedes, and then I made my move. I asked a guy and girl, names Björn and Miriam respectively (both Swedish), the way to Stadsparken, and they told me they were headed there. Great, my unofficial chaperones! As we walked, we also talked about the event and what I was expected to see. Miriam told me that Valborg was celebrated in all of Sweden but was particularly enjoyed in the cities of Lund and Uppsala since they had the biggest student populations. She attended the event last year for the first time and also said that she had friends from Denmark who were coming in today as well. Björn too mentioned that last year’s event occurred on a rainy day. But from the look of the weather, it was a clear and sunny day; a beautiful day indeed this was shaping up to being.

Continue reading

Valborg 2011 wrap-up

1 May

Record number in Stadsparken

25,000 are estimated to have come to Stadsparken yesterday. Authorities report that the park is dirty, but that nothing too bad happened. You can read more and see more at Sydsvenskan (Google translated).

Today is the actual holiday, the May 1 Labour Day, and a few marches are planned by groups and political parties to mark the occasion. And the famous choir concert takes places at 6 PM on the main university building steps in Lundagård (more info and links here on Facebook – and if you’re too hungover to drag yourself to town, you can watch it on TV4, possibly also on their website).

English Theater Spring 2011

29 Mar

NY comes to LU

by Umut Hanioglu

The Prisoner of Second Avenue is a play written by American dramatist Neil Simon. Here in Lund, it will be directed by Pegah Zardoost during the 2011 spring term.

The play deals with the relationship between a couple living in New York, where the man is unemployed and kind of desperate. The actors’ auditions were completed in February and the selected crew is currently rehearsing feverishly.

The production has many departments; set design, cooking for parties, costumes, graphic design, photography and make-up. In fact, if anyone reading this is interested in joining you can become a part of the production by joining the play’s Facebook group here.

This is the first English production at Lund University that will have its premiere outside the university campus, at the Manteater in Lund.

The dates for the play are May 2,3,4 and 5, 2011. Tickets are expected to cost around 80 SEK for AF members and 110 for non-members.

For those interested, there is also a Swedish production going on that will premier around mid-May.

Let the show go on!

Stortorget Vigil for Japan

15 Mar

Prayers and wishes sent eastwards

Monday night there was a gathering at Stortorget, organized by Hållbart Universitet – Lund Students for Sustainability with the purpose of showing solidarity with the Japanese people and raise awareness regarding the nuclear risk they are facing. The Dynamo‘s Mark Wong was there.

“It was touching to see so many people attending the candlelight vigil at Stortorget last night even when it was drizzling. In addition to the many Swedish students there, there were also students from Japan, China, and also Europeans. It was a great show of solidarity by all who were there as we all took the time to talk to and pray together with the Japanese hoping that everything will be alright from now onwards. We pray and hope that the Japanese spirit will continue to live on and that they will have the strength to rebuild the country in the aftermath of the worst ever earthquake and tsunami to hit their country.

The Japanese students are also compiling pictures of students with messages which will be turned into a video. This video will then be sent to Japan to show that we are with them and supporting them. There will be another session at the SOL ( Språk och litteraturcentrum of Lund University) today at 11:00am – 3:00pm.You can find the Facebook event link here.

There were no details at the moment about how to donate to the Red Cross or directly to Japan. However, any news about this will be appreciated.”

(Good question, Mark! Sweden’s Röda Korset has info here (in Swedish only, un-Google-translateable!), but people can probably find information on their home countries’ aid agencies’ sites too.)

Mark recommends the following link, Japan Quake as seen from twitter, for insight into what people are saying about the catastrophe.

Once again, The Dynamo wishes to express its deepest sympathy and support for those affected by the events in Japan.

All photos ©Mark Wong.

Distance Education at LU

7 Mar

Off-campus, offshore!

Dynamo Volunteer Tessa Sambat is not your regular international student in Lund. In fact, she’s not in Lund at all! She is studying at LU from her home in the Philippines. Read about her experience here below!

Wait a minute, this isn't Sölvegatan?!

Keeping My Life While Distance-Learning

by Tessa Sambat

Educating oneself is an integral part of life. You have to be educated to improve your knowledge, talents, and skills. Different educational programs aim to facilitate the process of learning in several educational institutions.  There is also the option of learning from some of these institutions from the comfort of home.

Why choose distance education instead of the traditional classroom setup?

Several reasons can be listed why students are into distance learning. Students who have health problems, for example those with physical disabilities, could prefer to enroll themselves in distance education. Some students could want to have foreign diplomas even without residing in their chosen countries to study.

Not to mention the expensiveness of the tuition fee in studying abroad, I did choose to find an institution that would offer a distance education program through a scholarship grant. It’s the best way to study abroad inexpensively and balance my work with my studies reasonably, since I want to keep working from here.

Continue reading

1st Anniversary

28 Feb

The Dynamo celebrates its birthday with a new issue!

News, info, comics, reviews, travel, recipes, opinions, useful Swedish sentences…  It’s all in the current issue of The Dynamo!

Look for it around town or read it online here!

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