Monday, August 28, 2006

Our Very Own Fulbright Scholar

My daughter and I spent the past weekend with my parents in law visiting Umar in Pennsylvania. Umar is my husband's first cousin, and he arrived about a week ago from Baghdad on a Fulbright scholarship to study here in the United States. The Fulbright Scholarship was resumed in Iraq in 2003 after 14 years of an embargo that included the economic as well as the academic spheres of life.
Over dinner, Umar was telling us his 'name story'. Interestingly, he has a very Sunni name, while his brother, Haidar, has a very Shiite name (bisectarian grandparents). Umar was telling us about how certain parts of Baghdad are prohibited for him to visit, and other are prohibited for his brother. While he is welcomed with open arms in Adhamiya, Haidar is forbidden from going there. And while Haidar is welcomed with open arms in Kadhimiya, Umar stays away for his own safety.
Thankfully you were able to escape this craziness for a bit, ya Umar, hopefully it'll be better when you go back, and either way, we're very proud of you!


EdoRiver said...

the fulbright network is a rich international vein to be mined for one's choice of benefits for the rest of one's life.
Science and religion are like the wings of one bird, think of human civilization as that crazy mixed up bird. If one wing is muscle bound, and the other wing is as weak as a baby7s finger, the bird will not get very high or very far...maybe crash into the ocean ;-)
The wing of science can produce great technological achievements that can benefit AIDS sufferers, and it can produce new weapons activated by the Internet.
The wing of religion can produce the conditions for your husband's brother/sister's kids. And it can produce worse justifying any act of violence towards another.

PS I think Pennsyvania is one of the better places to be..IS he in Philly? Our daughter was there for summer school last summer. Nice place.

Fatima said...

Not Philly, edoriver. About an hour away from Pittsburgh. Thanks for your always interesting comments.