Month: October 2010

Comedy Central’s Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear

Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert from Comedy Central

If you’d like a taste of American political humor, please visit Comedy Central’s live stream of the “Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on Saturday, October 30th:

***** The rally has ended (3 pm EST in the US), but here is a link to some photos of brilliant US political humor:

COIL Conference: Collaborative Online International Learning

Technology and the GlobeThis is an excellent opportunity for those of you who would like to learn more about using technology in an international educational setting.  This is a SUNY conference – SUNY is the State University of New York, the largest state educational system in the United States:

The SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) 3rd Conference titled:

Collaboration and Technology in International Online Learning Environments –Constructing a New Paradigm

March 31-April 1, 2011
SUNY Global Center, 116 E. 55th St. New York, NY (USA)

This conference will provide a rich overview of the developing field of globally networked learning by bringing practitioners from SUNY and from around the world to share their experiences and innovative models with an audience of both SUNY and non-SUNY participants.

For many university campuses, broad internationalization of the curriculum is a goal that has been hard to achieve. However, since its inception in 2006, the SUNY COIL Center has been working directly with faculty to enhance their courses by embedding collaborations with international partners into their classrooms through online linkages.
The conference agenda includes sessions focused on the application of educational technology to internationalization and to globally networked learning – for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, international programs staff, instructional technology staff and upper level university administrators.

Please join us for an engaging, and lively series of presentations and discussions on international online learning environments.  Space is limited; register early.

Here is additional information about the conference.

Register for the conference here:

Register Now (only 90 spaces available) :
EARLY BIRD!  (Before February 1, 2011)
SUNY – $145
Non-SUNY – $235

After February 1, 2011, registration costs will go up to:
SUNY $175
Non-SUNY $275

The COIL Center has arranged the special rate of $115/night at the four-star Holiday Inn Manhattan View, just one subway stop away in Long Island City. A link to this hotel can be found on the conference registration web site.
Special Note: To further facilitate the development of international course collaborations across the United States and abroad, The COIL Center will be offering in fall, 2011, an Institute on Globally Networked Learning, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. We will hold a special session at the conference giving an overview of the Institute, where we will provide guidance to applicants, as participation in the institute will be competitive. Applications will be due April 27, 2011.

Questions? Email Melanie Wilson at: [email protected]

The Cats of Mirikitani: A Remarkable Documentary

Commentary on the documentary about Jimmy Mirikitani, the Japanese American artist who survived an internment camp, 9/11 and homelessness with the help of a local documentary film maker.

Read more

Muslim “Garb” and the Firing of Juan Williams

Flying While MuslimThere has been a slew of debate about the recent firing of Juan Williams (from NPR) for his comments about Muslims made on the Bill O’Reilly show.  Here is the quote that prompted NPR to “can” him:

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a plane, I’ve got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Hmmmm….where does one begin?

1)  Ignorance is still alive and well in America.  (And keep in mind, the definition of ignorance IS:  “lack of knowledge, information or education.”  I’m going to assume that Mr. Williams simply didn’t understand how completely offensive his statement is.

2)  I wonder if he gets nervous when other people express their spirituality.  For example, when a Christian wears a cross on a chain on his/her neck, does this worry him?  Or when a Jew wears a yarmulke, does he get freaked out?  What about a Jain wearing a mask?  Or better yet, since some people consider sports worthy of worship, I’m guessing he gets very nervous in airports around the time the New York Yankees make it to the baseball playoffs.  They do have some pretty rowdy fans after all.  (You get my point….)

3) And what exactly is “Muslim garb”?  Some brilliant person put together a wonderful sequence of photos on the web site “Muslims Wear Things” to illustrate how ridiculous the use of the term “Muslim garb” actually is.  (Kudos to those folks!)

4) Mr. Williams lives in the USA and works for a publicly funded American media outlet.  Yes, we have freedom of speech here. It is not up to me to determine if he should or shouldn’t have been fired – that will end up in the courts. But what is my role, as a US citizen, to take a few minutes out of my day to again encourage anyone who listens to the media to carefully consider the impact of his words.  He has stated that he fears Muslims on planes.  Is it a coincidence that a lot of news outlets have planted that seed, watered it and given it plenty of media sunlight to grow? I say SHAME ON THEM.

I have Muslim friends.  I have been to mosques.  I have broken fast with Muslims during their holy month.  I am NOT afraid of Muslims and I am certainly NOT afraid to get on a plane with them.

I do, however, have concerns about getting on planes with the following:

1) people who don’t bathe enough for my standards.

2) people who bathe themselves in cologne/perfume.  That is painful to sit next to. It makes my nose run, my ears hurt, gives me migraines, and at times, sends me to the hospital or bed for days.

3) planes with not very good pilots or grumpy air crew.

4) planes that look like they haven’t been cleaned or maintained in a reasonable standard.

5) planes that insist on taking off when there is a torrential rain storm.

6) and finally, planes full of ignorant people.


Ok, I’ll say it again.  Read up on the project by the guys.  If you really want to know what it is like to get on a plane with a Muslim, you can ask Aman and Bassam…heck, they travel a lot! And if you’re interested in bringing them to your campus for a presentation about their 30 mosques in 30 days in 30 states roadtrip, contact me and I’ll be happy to facilitate a booking at no additional fee to Melibee.


Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, 30 mosques (photo courtesy of "the guys")

Top Ten Ideas for International Education Week

Melibee Global's Top 10 ideas for International Education Week - a must read if you're tired of doing the "same old things" each year! We encourage you to spice it up by pinching some of our ideas!

Read more

“Crossing Borders” Film Screening Schedule in the US, Fall 2010

Here is a list of screenings of the award winning documentary "Crossing Borders" by Arnd Wachter for fall 2010.

Read more