20 January, 2009

The Future of Guantanamo?

Attributed reports in Reuters and AP are saying the Guantanamo are being suspended pending directive from the new Obama administration. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Resolving this shame is something I will hold our new president to, but if true it's a good note to start on.


Observations on a day...

Making my way across campus towards the School of Social Work as fast as I could, just in time to see Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduce Aretha Franklin, who still has it...in spades.

As Sen. Feinstein introduced Chief Justice John Roberts, who administered the oath of office, and asked that everyone stand, all of us in the darkened auditorium stood, one by one, and silently watched Barack Hussein Obama be sworn in. I am not too proud to say I cried.

The remarkable, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, truly a living-legend, making us all smile:
"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around ... when yellow will be mellow ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen."

All of us applauding wildly as the wheels of former-President Bush's helicopter left the ground. Of course, he flew off to the state I currently reside in, so I'm STILL not rid of him! Gah!

Cameras panning over the crowd in front of the Capitol pausing above two people with huge signs with the now-famous O logo that read, "Obama to speak in Morocco". I have no idea what they referred to, but as a gal who once lived there, I sure hope he'll go.

Reading an email from a friend whose mother was deeply involved in the civil rights movement in this country: "Mom pretty has pretty much cried at the drop of a hat all day, but it's fun because it's a happy thing."

A house built by slaves now houses the first African-American president.

Sitting back from the table in the campus cafe and realizing a weight had been lifted - from me, from all of us - and that I could literally feel it lifted. And then getting back to my Arabic.

Missing Istanbul! I saw a photo of what looked to be a raucous inauguration viewing at a club off Istiklal Caddesi.

Realizing I am going to be very, very busy from here on out, but very, very happy about what I'm doing.


A New Day

I begin graduate school today - I have Arabic in an hour and my social policy class later - and have a wee case of the jitters after being out of school for 11 years. I woke up several times last night, paranoid my alarm wouldn't go off. And, of course, Barack Hussein Obama is being sworn in this afternoon as our new president. Those of us in the School of Social Work are gathering together in our building's little auditorium to watch the inauguration together and I can't think of a better group to be with.

Will Obama have all the answers? Doubt it. Will there be times he and his administration make me want to scream and pound my head against the wall? I suspect so. However, at this moment, the last hours of the some of the worst eight years in this country's history, I can only sigh with relief and hope the next administration will immediately get to work cleaning up the global mess left by the previous administration. I wish him well...and will be paying close attention.