05 March, 2010

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go!

I'm wheels up for Cairo, and subsequently Istanbul, in 24 hours. I'm hoping my welcome in Cairo will rival ElBaradei's. O.k., I jest. It's been a bit of an arduous week with exams, presentations and meetings galore, helped little by the fact that I have hit some sort of personal line in the sand energy-wise by cramming over two-thirds of the work for this semester into the previous weeks. Luckily, a friend in my Development Policy course offered to roll me into the corner should I fell out of my chair. Joey Ramone is bouncing around my brain, though sedatives would be highly counterproductive at this point:
"Put me in a wheelchair, get me on the plane! Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane. I can't control my fingers, I can't control my brain. Oh, no, no, no oh-oh."

I've set up several meetings with development-related organizations and professionals in both cities. In addition to the Helwan Social Work conference, I've been invited to some meaty-sounding workshops on human rights, women's empowerment and policy development. If anybody has anything else for me, please leave a comment.

Add to all that, I'm lucky enough to get to revisit dearly missed friends.
For now though, I just have to get through today...Hit it, Joey.

02 March, 2010

Stand up and fight for your education!

From student organizers:
Rally at UTAustin, Thursday, March 4, 11:30 AM
Gather at UT West Mall steps
(west side of Tower)

"In response to a massive budget shortfall, slashing of funding for public education at all levels, and skyrocketing college tuition costs, students and educators up and down the state of California have been mobilizing, culminating in a call for a day of action on March 4. At the University of Texas at Austin, various colleges and departments have been laying off staff and instructors, throwing UT employees to the wolves and reducing the quality of education despite a relatively shallow budget deficit. Next came news of a 8% tuition increase over the next two years — after tuition at UT has doubled over the last decade — and the closing of the beloved Cactus Café. Now Gov. Perry is demanding another $29 million cut from UT’s budget. Enough is enough. Students and educators shouldn’t have to pay for the crisis others created.

On March 4, join a demonstration at UT to defend public education. Come out and demand: Stop the cuts and layoffs! Protect our education! Stop raising tuition! Save the Cactus! Equal benefits for all UT employees!

Endorse the March 4 Day of Action at UT to Defend Public Education. Email your name and title, or that of your organization, to enmarterre@gmail.com"

You can RSVP via Facebook here.


28 February, 2010

Vote Corporate Interests!

This post is brought to you by the letter P for Procrastination.

Seems as though the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision unfettering corporate influence on government escaped some people's attention. Here's the inevitable result...

Oh, and, my sincerest apologies to the good people in Blighty regarding the latest U.S. export.

This time next week I'll be in Egypt. Wallah!
(cue ululating)