Islam in Scandinavia & Spain – Post 12

Week 14 // Post 12

In the book Islam, Europe’s Second Religion Hunter discusses the four levels of integration into Scandinavian Countries they are as follows:

General Integration: To make Islam and Muslims accepted in every day life, as they have not be widely accepted and integrated. Contributing factors toward the negative integration due to “the persistence of communalism among Muslims plus the segregation in house and in the labor market” (Hunter, 2002) For this to change both Muslims and Swedish have to be more accepting and change.

Political Level: Muslims and Swedish integration at the political level is low, there are very few Muslims involved with the Swedish political scene at the national level. Hunter describes two different parties that are involved in the Scandinavia that are present in Flag_of_scandinaviathe public are basically secular. The two groups are secular and observant – Male is identified as secular and females are identified as observant.

Level of Religious Rituals: the different religious views toward different aspects of life. For example “in Sweden, Muslims have attacked the Freedom of Religion Act from 1951 because of restrictions on Islamic way of slaughtering animals.” (Hunter, 2002)

Ideological Level: One of the positive situations between Muslims and Sweden. Muslim individuals have expressed the idea to create the term “Euro-Islam”. These individuals were to express that they have distanced themselves from the different political problems in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to create more of a “true” Islam in Europe. (Hunter, 2002)

        The situation in Spain regarding Islam is different from other European countries. “The most important difference lies in the face that despite a past marked by many centuries of Islamic rule, at present Muslim are not numerically significant in Spain, and the Muslim community in Spain, both naturalized and immigration, totals just 350,000” (Hunter, 2002) The reason behind this is due to that in the past 15 years Spain has been receiving immigrants, Spain has also had no lasting colonies in Muslim countries. Muslim integration in Spanish Society is very high in the case of naturalized Muslims and Spanish converts, but the majority of these Muslims have settled into Spain due to economic reason and who have achieved a limited level of integration. Comparing the number of immigrant Muslims verse the number of “nationalized Muslims”, immigrant Muslims is much higher “Spanish legislation relation to region has been develop only in light of the needs of the Spanish Muslim community and dose not extend to Muslim immigrants.” (Hunter, 2002)

Al_Andalus_-_2

References:

Hunter, S. (2002). “Islam, Europe’s Second Religion.” Print.

 

Advertisements

Muslim Immigration in Europe Vs. the United States – Post 11

sWeek 12// Post 11

The population of Muslim immigrants in Italy differs from that in other countries in many ways. One of the various things that set Italy apart is the setting up of mosque in several university towns in 1970’s. “Regarding the emergence of Muslim organization, Italy is unique because, unlike in many other European countries the first mosques were created not by and for immigrant workers, but by and an intellectual elite of students from the middle east…”(Hunter, 2002)The evolution of immigrant communities in Italy differ from those in European countries not only in the recent arrival of immigrants but also the diversity of countries or origin, rapid pace of entry and settlement, higher number irregular immigrants, and higher level of geographic dispersion. (Hunter, 79) “The Islamic presence in Italy became visible with the entry of the first immigrants, whereas in other countries, Islam became visible only after the emergence of a second immigrant generation.” (Hunter, 2002)Muslims8_thumb

 

The “intesa” is essentially an agreement that has to be signed if religions they want to be included in the system of recognition that offers various judicial and economic advantages. Factors that have contributed to the lack of an “intesa” with the Islamic community in Italy are because (1) Muslims are not Italian citizens and are immigrants with the hope to return to their country of origin, (2) Muslims do not yet represent a powerful political group, which reduces the urgency of coming to an agreement, (3) Cultural differences, the use of Arabic as the principle medium of religious expression and intra-Muslim communication, leads to alienation of Muslims, (4) Financing for Muslim institutions coming from other Muslim countries leads to more alienation of Muslims, (5) the weak level of organization, minimal cohesion, and adequate public awareness in Italian Islam. (Hunter, 2002) These factors have been a contributing factor to the lack of an “intesa” between the Islamic and Italy.

After reading the article Why the U.S. doesn’t have a Muslim problem, and Europe does by Naveed Jamali I gained an insight to the United Stated and Europe’s Muslim population. When asking the question why dose the United States not have a “Muslim problem” compared to Europe was for a couple reasons according to the article. Jamali reasons the “Muslim problem” in Europe to the inability for Muslims to assimilate into European culture. While there is a greater Muslim population in Europe, the United States has allowed Muslims the ability to assimilate into American Society and feel like they belong rater then feeling like an outsider. Jamali uses outside statistics to back up him claim stating “ …80 percent of US Muslims were happy with life in America, and 63 percent said they felt no conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society” (Jamali, 2016) Muslims in the United states have shown their pride by displaying the US flag in various locations, which is another indication of how Muslims immigrants in America feel at home. The Muslim population in the United States differs from that in Europe by the number of immigrants in each country. There is a larger population of Muslims, which most likely contributes to the uneasy feeling of not feeling assimilated in Europe.

635834955406842583852313058_merican muslims

Jamali uses his real life examples of how Europe and the United States differ from each other when it comes to the welcoming Muslim Immigrants. Jamali’s uncle went to Europe to work as an engineer for the German Space Agency. In Germany he had two sons who avoided mandatory German military service and struggled to identify himself German. Jamali’s dad had a much different experience in the United States, he came to the US on a Fulbright scholarship and ran a successful business, and one of his sons joined the US Navy; also voting in each election, immersing themselves in American culture. These different experiences give Jamali a basis toward the United States.

Since the publication of this article last year a lot has change in the United States, this is due to the election of the newsiest President Donald Trump. President Trump has placed a ban on immigration to the United States. This has caused a lot of controversy within and out of the US for many. I feel as if this article was written today, I feel as the attitude toward the United States would be much different given the changes over the past couple months.

References:

Jamali, N. (2016, April 3). “Why the US doesn’t have a Muslim problem, and Europe does.” Retrieved from: https://bblearn.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-3161668-dt-content-rid-31263459_1/courses/SP2017.GERMAN.4810.01/fpri.org-Why%20the%20US%20does%20not%20have%20a%20Muslim%20problem%20and%20Europe%20does.pdf 

Hunter, S. (2002). “Islam, Europe’s Second Religion.” Print.

 

Sharia Law // Islamic Feminism

Post 10// Week 11

The jihadi movement is significant because it is when Muslims countries gained independence back in 1950. However conflict was created when westernized elites were in charge of that freedom by suppressing values and tradition. In 1979 the Islamic revolution was stared because of the rise against the Soviet Union. With the hopes of creating an Islamic state the Taliban was born. The conflict with the west has paved the way of the current jihad movement that still exist today.

images (1)

The jihadi movement is significant because it is when Muslims countries gained independence back in 1950. However conflict was created when westernized elites were in charge of that freedom by suppressing values and tradition. In 1979 the Islamic revolution was stared because of the rise against the Soviet Union. With the hopes of creating an Islamic state the Taliban was born. The conflict with the west has paved the way of the current jihad movement that still exist today.

Sharia law is the law of Islam, which is a set of religious principles, which make up Islamic tradition however it is not the word of the Qur’an. Puritan fundamentalists are deliberate with it comes to Islamic law. “fundamentalists are only concerned with hudud punishment as demonstrable proof that they state is enforcing the whole of Islam” (Sardar and Davies, 118) These fundamentalist practice punishment as a way to deal with crime and believe that this is a way to deal with crime at the most extreme form.

I do not believe that Islamic law has always been consumed with punishment, however things today are different. Sardar and Davies go on to mention how sharia has little owe to the Qur’an and can not be viewed a divine. They also talk about hubud laws, which are laws that entail punishment in extreme circumstances, the example they give in the book explains that if an individual is committed with theft that they should get their hands cut off by doing this it would further prevent that crime from happening again. In todays world Islamic fundamentalists have taken matters into their own hands by saying which crimes have prosecuted with hubud laws are responsible for the punishment we see.

images

Islamic Feminism

        After reading the article From Islamic Feminism to a Muslim Holistic Feminism by Margot Badran’ it is better understood what Islamic Feminism is and what they stand for as feminist. An Islamic Feminist is family driven in their views, made by two theoretical advances. “(1) breaking down the notion that the sphere of the family constitutes a separate domain positing instead a continuum of private/family and public/society; and (2) dismantling the notion that Islam ordains a patriarchal construction of the family.”(Badran, 78) Created by Sister in Islam (SIS) who took real life situations, for example wife beating, and showed how the Qur’an didn’t align. Islamic Feminism is different than “Western” and “Secular” as they believe in equality of sexes as well as women’s individual rights in political, economic, and social roles. Secular feminism emerged from a social movement rather then the emerge of discourse. In the late twentieth century a social movement emerged as woman begun to express the discourse of woman’s rights and equality of gender by exploiting their own ijtujad by going directly to the Qur’an and various religious text. I believe that Islamic Feminism has been useful for addressing gender inequalities within Islamic societies and communities’ abroad, as it has brought the attention the unequal difference between the genders.

References:

Badran, M. (2011).  From Islamic Feminism to a Holistic Muslim Feminism.  Retrieved from: https://blackboard.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-3161660-dt-content-rid-31263463_1/courses/SP2017.GERMAN.4810.01/From%20Islamic%20feminism%20to%20a%20Muslim%20Holistic%20feminism.pdf

Davies, M. & Sardar, Z. The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam. New Internationalist Publications, 2007. Print.

 

Islam and the West// Dispossessed

Week 9 // Post 10

      After reading Foreign Affairs The Dispossessed article by Alia Malek and Josh Neufeld I gained a different perspective on migration. External forces are pushing millions of people out of their home country, forcing them to migrate. With the influx of people migrating into a new country comes with a rush of problems. “ Few wealthier countries could survive such a seismic population shift without experiencing enormous political and economic challenges.” (Malek & Neufeld) Jordan is ranked second in the world for the number of refugees and has by far done is excellent job at maintaining economic and social status.

            The article also follows five Syrian refugees and their families who made the journey to a better life.  Capturing their trip through cell phone footage we gain in insight on how hard this journey truly is. From feeling alienated in their own country Muhanid and Mohammed  they knew they couldn’t allow their children to grow up in an environment like this. While on their journey the friends meet Ihsan who was abandoned by his chaperone, they take him under their wing.    Finding a smuggler to start their journey to Germany they still had a long way to go. Getting in a 25 person inflatable raft, which held 50 Syrians and Iraqis, they crossed the Aegean Sea. After floating to Kos, Greece the refuges searched for a place to stay. Across the next couple of days the refugees experienced fear as they continued their journey. Finally making it to Germany the refuges were free, creating a new life of possible for their families. The comic illustration does an excellent job of capturing there journey.

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 7.23.00 PM

          Among all of the different aspects that caught my eye throughout the article The New Reorder by Anna Badkhen portion stuck out more than the rest. Cell phones and the advancement of social media have giving an insight to what a trip may look like and how to execute a journey for a potential migrant. We gain insight to the good and the bad “We can friend migrants on Facebook. We can watch on Instagram feeds as dead children float facedown in the Mediterranean surf.” (Badkhen) These technological advancements also allow us to experience the journey. Traditional the media we are used to hearing is negative, aggressive, and is missing the element of humanity. It doesn’t show compassionthat migrants have a story that consists of layers, or the struggle of traveling with three kids and a wife. Social media today adds a level of compassion that has been missing. “Unless the world finds compassion for this new communality, learns to make sense of one another’s voices, its humanity will perish.” (Badkhen) Badkhen addresses the question of, is this a century of dislocated people or dislocated passion? What I gained from the article is that migrations isn’t going to stop, what has to stop is the way we look at migrants and learn to accept it.

         The article Islam and the West: Narratives of Conflict and Conflict Transformation by Nathan C. Funk and Abdul Aziz Said discusses the issues between the United States and Muslim Middle East. The conflict between the two can be descried as “Frictions generated by conflicting interest and desires spill over into the cultural domain, resulting in the politicization of identities and escalatory conflict dynamic in which the basic value commitments, beliefs and mores of the “other” are regarded as threatening and problematic.” (Funk & Said 2004) When we stereotype we divide ourselves in to the “other” and “self” which leads to dehumanization, this only pulls the two further apart. I believe this creates fear due to lack of knowledge between the two. “Clash of symbols” has also posed a conflict between the two Westerners view headscarf’s and other symbols of Islamic religion to be expression repellent, and Muslims see blue jeans and other western symbols to be anti-Islamic statements. “Belief systems are being simplified into images to be either rejected or absorbed in their entirety, resulting in deeply impoverished notions of both Islam and the West.” (Funk & Said 2004) In order for Muslims and Westerners to achieve the cohesiveness they need to stay true to their values and learn to find the common ground that will allow one another to learn from each other rather than focus on differences.

 

References:

Caryl, C. (2015). Refugees are flooding countries that can’t protect them. Will the levies break? The Dispossessed Issue. Retrieved from: https://bblearn.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-3161662-dt-content-rid31263792_1/courses/SP2017.GERMAN.4810.01/The%20Dispossessed.pdf

Nathan C. Funk and Abdul Aziz Said. Islam and the West: Narratives of Conflict and Conflict Transformation. From:https://bblearn.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-3161661-dt-content-rid-31263465_1/courses/SP2017.GERMAN.4810.01/Funk%26Said_91IJPS.pdf

Politics of the Veil & The Challenge of Multiculturalism

Week 9 // Post 8

To continue our discussion form last week about Muslims and the Islamic system we read more into the book Islam, Europe’s Second Religion by Shireen T. Hunter. This week we focus on the “failure of integration” and gender roles in the French and Islamic system.

There where two significant movements that led Muslims to immigrate into European cultures. The first was the migration of laborers and their families to fill low wedge jobs. This occurred in the 1950’s to 1970’s when the economy downturned and forced the immigration to the states. The second movement was after the end of the cold war; this was caused by the economic insecurities and conflict in their home countries, which led them to flea and migrate to Western Europe. These movements led to the “failures of integration”.

Zemni and Parker explain the “failure of integration” of Muslims in Europe of reasons. The first reason that European segregate Muslims into a different category then themselves. “…As a failure to adapt styles and practices of daily life considered compatible with the more of hegemonic national cultures” (Hunter, 2002) an example of this would be that in 1970 “others” referred to a number of different guest workers from different countries like turkey and Morocco, Today the “others” group are all Muslims. ” Migrants, whose “problems” had been seen as a consequence of their low socioeconomic status during decades, were perceived as “culturally different.” (Hunter, 2002) The other reason explained to be a contributing factor of “failure of integration” is the lack of successful immigrants in European society. This attributes to the failure of conforming to the European norm of the culture.FT_15.01.14_MuslimPopulation420px

The French and Islamic gender system is very different in what they believe in specifically sexuality. The French believe in freedom of expression and feel the veil is hindering them to express their freedom. “…The French system celebrates sex and sexuality as free of social and political risk.” (Scott, 2007) The Islamic system is the complete opposite, “It is a recognition of the threat sex poses for society and politics.” (Scott, 2007) Muslim woman wear veils stray the need to sexualize woman as well as men. The girls who wear headscarves view them to be signified as moistest and sexual unavailable.pic 1

The Islamic headscarf poses a challenge to the French republic’s ideal of “abstract individualims” and “laïcité”. This is further explained the book Politics of the veil by Joan Wallach Scott, she says that “ The French system of gender was offered as not only the best, but the only acceptable, way to organize relations between the sexes. Those who did not conform to it were by definition inferior and therefore could never be fully French. The issue of covered or unconverted sexuality … gave the headscarf affair both its resonance and it intensity.”(Scott, 2007) This is a perfect example of how the Islamic and French “culture” is irreconcilable.

My opinion on this debate and controversy is that it is hard to see where we are debating over this still. For me I think it comes from the ignorance of each culture, and the fear. I believe that French see a veil and at times they serotype and assume that they are terrorist. On the Muslim side of the debate the French are being very insensitive to the Islamic religion. While both sides feel strongly about their opinion and more Muslims continue to move to European countries they will have to be more accepting of each other, which I’m sure is easier said then done.downloadWhile gaining a better understand of Hijabs I found an article from NBC News. Nike is in the processes of manufacturing headscarves or Hijab for athletic Muslim woman and receiving backlash on the topic. Some on social media have used the hashtag #boycottNike because critics are saying that the product supports the oppression of woman. I found this article interesting, because in the Politics of the Veil Scott dose go into detail about how Islam oppresses woman and French liberates them. I though that this article went along with the reading for this week, coming from more a westernized perspective.

References:

Scott, Joan W. The Politics of the Veil. Princeton University Press, 2007. Print.

Shireen, Hunter T. Islam, Europe’s Second Religion. Westport: Praeger, 2002. Print.

 

Islam, Europe’s Second Religion

Post 7 Week 8 //

Justin Vaisse, a senior fellow in the center of the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution wrote and article called Muslims in Europe: A short Introduction. In this article he discuses the different myths regarding Islam in Europe and the issues and challenges this religion faces.

vaisse
Justin Vaisse 

The first myth Vaisse brings to topic is that; being Muslim constitutes a fixed identity, sufficient to fully characterize a person. He goes on further to support his myth by stating, “ When it comes to Muslims, people wrongly assume that religion – rather than nationality, gender, social class, etc. – necessarily trumps other identities.” (Vaisse, 2008) Society is always first to jump to conclusion and fall into stereotypes, I believe that media plays a big role in this. Vaisse uses an example about how in 2005 violence broke out due to largely immigrant communities and the social and economical condition, the media was coining the term “Muslims riots in France” to cover this topic. However these riots had absolutely noting to do wit the Islam faith, “ Muslim groups, who tried to play a mediating role, discovered themselves tot be irrelevant and powerless.” (Vaisse, 2008)

 

Myth number two says that Muslims in Europe are, in one way or the other, inherently foreign, the equivalent of visiting Middle- Easterners who are alien to the “native” culture. However many Muslims living in the European culture, and have been as early as the 8th century. Many would not think of themselves as anything but Europeans, they hold nationalities of French, British, and German to name a few. “…There is more difference in political culture and social codes between a French Muslim and a German Muslim than there is between a French Muslim and a French of other religious orientation.” (Vaisse, 2008) This proves that Muslims are more than just inherently foreign they in fact are very diverse in culture.

The last myth I would like to talk about is Muslims are demographically gaining on the “native” population. I agree with the point that Vaisse makes to contradict this myth. With the rate of intermarriage and integration through many countries this myth become more and more less true. Birth rates do have an effect on this however, “European birthrates are generally low, and birthrates among immigrant groups are often high. But in the latter group, they actually fall rapidly after their arrival and among subsequent generation, as they tent to conform to the national norm.” (Vaisse, 2008)

n-MUSLIM-DAD-628x314

It is important to understand the distinction between the religious and political dimension of Islam. There is in fact a distinction between the two as many people clump them together. Shireen T. Hunter gives an example of the difference in the book Islam, Europe’s Second Religion, he says that Regarding ‘Ibadat (worship) Muslims have to do what is strictly prescribed, if they want to pray they have to do exactly what is written down. On the political side “ One can do whatever one wants as long as it does not contradict a prescribed principle.”(Hunter, p. 210) The distinction between the two have been around since the middle ages and It is important to recognize the difference in the two because it is a very important topic to the Islamic faith.

Education and social rifts in Europe have brought many challenges to Muslim communities in Europe. Education is declining “ Whether in Muslim families or any other families, the old clear cut divisions (family providing education and school providing learning) are dead and gone…” (Hunter, p.216) This then shift responsibility on to others because of the transparent line. Ramadan suggests Muslims should find their place in society, and work together to determine the school education.

unnamed

       Social rifts are also bringing challenges to Muslim communities “The question of unemployment is haunting many people and more pockets of economic marginalization, social exclusion, and hence delinquency are developing.” (Hunter, p. 216) From this violence is breaking out in more towns, cities, and suburbs in Europe. Ramadan suggests that they develop partnerships at local levels in order to fight all type of social devastation. (Hunter, p.217)

 

References:

Shireen, Hunter T. Islam, Europe’s Second Religion. Westport: Praeger, 2002. Print.

Vaisse, J. (2008, September). Muslims in Europe: A short introduction. Retrieved from: https://bblearn.missouri.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-3161664-dt-content-rid-31262538_1/courses/SP2017.GERMAN.4810.01/09_europe_muslims_vaisse.pdf

Sachs vs. Easterly

Week Seven // Post 6

Continuing the discussion regarding the book Poor Economics by Banerjee & Duflo we have been introduced to many aids and ways to end poverty. This week we are focused on two economists Jeffery Sachs and William Easterly who see two different sides on aid to Africa. I personally agree with William Easterly and his theories on ending poverty.

Both Sachs and Easterly prove to have an argument to each side. Jeffery Sachs believes that the way to end poverty is to bring aid to Africa that is monitored and given with the intent of a specific goal rather then just giving money and not know where it goes. Sachs believes that better the people and the wellbeing of life will make aid more successful in Africa. “ Raising living standards, Sachs argues, would empower civil society and governments to maintain the rule of law” (Banerjee & Duflo, 2011) Sachs believes in corruption of the country. That someone can come in a fix the problem of poverty. This brings in a problem of an outsider coming in and is most likely not as educated about the country, as someone would be if they were to have been born and raised there. He thinks that one if the many diseases of a poor country is the lack of institution. I agree with Sachs in the aspect of targeting a specific goal or issues and how the small gains can make a difference. Sachs gives an example of these specific issues to target in Poverty Education “ Money could be used to invest in basic infrastructure including paved roads, airports and seaports, electricity for rural homes, broadband cables to promote Internet access, and silos to store grains so that they can be sold gradually instead of all at once.” While I agree with pic2.jpgthis and can see how it would help the poor, I also think that if you are just giving these items to people who have lived in a poor country all of their life it is harder for them to adjust and pull themselves out of the poverty trap if they are not educated and have to policies.

William Easterly views of poverty are much different that Sachs. Easterly views are poverty is more of a step back and let’s see what they can do for themselves. He believes that if you let them sort out their own problems they will be more successful in the long run. I agree with this because if you are bringing someone in to do all of the work how are theses people going to learn if someone is doing the work for them? I can see how some would criticize him for his beliefs as he is not hands in helping the country, but I believe he is doing more work by letting the issues be resolved more internally. Easterly also mentions that policies play a big factor into aid, his starting point to helping aid begins with policies. “ If the policies are right, good policies will eventually emerge. And conversely, without good politics, it is impossible to design or implement good policies …” (Banerjee & Duflo, 2011) In order to fix the problem internally you have to start somewhere, there is no point to be sending money to Africa if the money isn’t going to make it there or be used wisely, therefore the need of good policies. Easterly brings this issue up in Poverty Education saying that there has been trillions of dollars send to counties in poverty and if just sending money was the solution than those countries would be flourishing and out of poverty and going back to his point of fixing policies.

images.pngBanerjee and Duflo have address many topics to end poverty in the book Poor Economics, they have talked about goals like ending poverty in all forms everywhere (Goal #1) and end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (Goal #2). I believe that they have helped these two goals immensely, especially brining awareness to the topics, which I believe is the most important. They have suggested way to end goals 1 & 2 however have not wiped them out completely. In order to end hunger and poverty all together it is going to take lots of time and people involved, its not going to happen overnight. These authors believe that redefining the way we think about poverty can change the way we address poverty, which has had a positive impact on poverty.

References:

“The Foreign Aid Debate.” PovertyEducation.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017

Banerjee, A. & Duflo, E. (2011).  Poor Economics.

 

 

Micro-Credits

Week 5// Post 6

In previous blog post I have referred to Poor Economics, by Banerjee and Duflo and how they have addressed the issues regarding aid in Africa from the good to the bad in in-between. This week we are introduced to micro-credits, which are playing a role in aid. Micro-credits are defined as a small financial loan made to poverty-stricken individuals seeking to start their own business according to Business dictionary .

Banerjee and Duflo make notions for and against the aid of microcredits. They said that if done right micro-credits could do a lot for a country and pull it out of poverty. Staring a new business is hard enough in a country that isn’t stuck in poverty, so staring a business in a country that is poverty is nearly impossible. When these people receive loans it gives them the motivation and hope that they are capable of reaching their goals and dreams while taking of some of the pressure to get it started. It has the potential to do great things if executed correctly and gives the people something to strive for.

Starting a new business comes with a lot of work and responsibility. Typically we only see the finished product not all of the work that is involved. When you receive a loan you have to pay it back in the long run, which the entire point of a loan. When you give out money to a country in poverty it is hard to expect that money is going to returned because they are so poor and if there business fails they are put into even more debt; again pushing them back into the poverty trap. The other issue is, is that it takes so long of for a business to establish itself that people lose their motivation and end goal and cant pay back their loan.

In my opinion I agree with the good and bad, I can see where both sides of the argument is presented. I think that if educated correctly on the process businesses have the opportunity to succeed. However, I also agree with the bad and how when you give someone a loan that cant repay you, you are pushing them deeper into poverty. As well as starting a business in a poor area and expecting your business to succeed.

As I have been focusing on Burkina as a country over the past couple blog post. I have been discussing the different aid and how it has been successful in Burkina the same goes for micro-credits. The Hunger Project has been a big success by bringing awareness to the end of hunger in Africa. “…The economic empowerment of the most important but least supported food producers on the continent – African woman” (Greenberg, 2017) In Burkina Faso there are currently 15 epicenters that have a bank with an office and out of that 5 of them are considered Rural Banks. Each of these fifteen epicenters has partners that concentrate on a number of different topics like agriculture, food processing, handicrafts, livestock, petty trade and general services. Because of these loans many people have be able to seek a life other than farming due to the opportunity that micro-loans has provided. While reading up on the hunger project something that I found to be interesting was that this project is focused on woman and woman empowerment. The Hunger Project Microfinance program (MFP) is locally owned and led by woman as well as being fully intergraded. This program is met to train these women how to manage credit and loans in order to be successful. “ The majority of the microfinance committee seats are for woman and 75% of the board of directors of the rural bank are woman, giving woman a powerful choice in the community – often for the first time.” (Greenberg, 2017) The program will eventually gain the financial means that will give them the economic self-reliance as well as the government certification that will allow the Rural Banks to flourish.

 

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-8-12-53-pm

I am pro micro-credits for the country of Burkina Faso. From the research and different programs there have been a lot of positive outcomes. The “training” that is offered to help woman and men that goes hand and hand with the loans that are given out allows the economy to achieve. This program is going above and beyond to create a sustainable aid by educating rather than just handing out.

Digital technology is increasing by day and especially in developing countries. With the increase more and more countries in poverty have has access to mobile phones. With mobile phone it has given these countries lost of opportunity. According to World Bank “ Digital technologies can promote inclusion, efficiency, and innovation. Bangladesh is a great example of how digital technology has a positive impact on a country; mobile banking has expanded financial inclusion for the poor. Expanding the world of ecommerce.

 

References

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/05/16/digital-technologies-have-spread-rapidly-but-digital-dividends-have-lagged-behind-says-new-world-bank-report

http://www.thp.org/our-work/where-we-work/africa/burkina-faso/microfinance-economic-activity-burkina-faso/

Banerjee, A. & Duflo, E. (2011). Poor Economics.

Aid to Burkina – Hannah

Post 4 || Week 5

Lasts weeks blog post introduced a new country called Burkina Faso; I also discussed the meaning behind the ‘cheetah’ generation and how they are self-relevant, self- starters that are brining new ideas to businesses and the government. The thing that sets them apart from everyone is their motivation to move their country in the right direction.

Philip & Allison Le Dune have dedicated their lives to aid in Burkina Faso after visiting in February 2008 they recognized the need for aid and started their charity “Aid to Burkina” categorizing them in the ‘cheetah’ generation. The aid to Burkina is driven to resolve issues facing education, the church, health care, and business sponsorships.

ab

http://aidtoburkina.org.uk/

            Burkina Faso is ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world, located in the sub-Saharan country in West Africa according to the United Nations’ Human Development index in 2005. Burkina Faso or previously known as Upper Volta broke from France and acquired its independence on August 5th 1960. This grid locked countries main crop export is cotton, which makes up for 30% of the GDP, however in 2004 the price of cotton fell 30%. “ The US government heavily subsided its own cotton farmer with $4.2 billion injection of cash, a sum greater than the entire GDP of Burkina Faso, as a result Burkina Faso lost 12% of its income that year making living conditions even harder for the Burkinabe.”(Philip & Allison Le Dune) The flood in 2009 concluded in 100,000 being homeless after a heavy rain season washed away homes. Pulling Burkina Faso deeper in to poverty.

Aid to Burkina has helped many aspects of poverty including health. A total of 45% of the population is living below the poverty line, which hinders their health. “Poverty and illness are interdependent. The first pooper you are, the more likely you are to suffer from preventable disease.” (Philip & Allison Le Dune) Aid to Burkina is involved in 3 main area of healthcare. Provision of medication, with the donations and aid they are able to send medicine/ vaccinations to government approved clinicians who offer free or little cost help. Building and staffing medical clinics is the second aid, which has provided three small medical locations with staff and sterile rooms and equipment. Water projects is the third area of health care which is driven to clean water because dirty water creates more diseases and therefore revers all of the health care.

Poor education is also a problem that aid to Burkina addresses. Daily survival trumps education any day, which is the case in Burkina woman and children are not being educated because of basic survival needs are not being met. Only 10% of children make it through school, with classrooms jam packed up to 100 kids can be in one room. Aid to Burkina offers the opportunity to sponsor a teacher or student and allow you to donate supplies and money to help educate.

Philip & Allison Le Dune have been leaders in the community for many years, by giving back to Burkina. They have come up with plans and foundations to help pull them out of poverty and the trap that so many countries in Africa have been trapped in over the years that has been discussed in previous blog post. Philip & Allison Le Dune are the ‘cheetahs’ that are bring hope to the country.

Burkina Faso scored a 59 on a 0-100 democracies and freedom scale according to Freedom house. With the score slightly above average Burkina is considered partly free and has a freedom ranking of 3.5, political rights ranked a 4, and civil liberties ranked a 3 on a scale of 1-7 (1 = most free and 7 = least free). Burkina political rights jumped from a 6 to a 4 and in 2014 they led their most successful election for president and legislative ever, driving their trend arrow up.

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-9-54-27-pm

 

As discussed in the last blog post about Poor Economics about how heath is in issue that people in poverty face daily. Banerjee and Duflo introduce the ‘low hanging fruit’ and how even though it is right there to grab, it is not always the easiest to obtain. Bed nets are essential to the prevention of malaria and cost a minimal amount of money. Malaria is so easily prevented “…a child in Kenya sleeping under a treated net has 30 percent less risk of being infected with malaria between birth and age two, compared to a child who doesn’t.” (Banerjee and Duflo 2011) With the technically of bed nets improving, many may  not always be the most affordable to a family in poverty. When families get the little money they do, they don’t always spend it on needs.  Another heath issues are the diarrhea epidemic like malaria is preventable. Children are dying at young ages because they are not getting the treatment they need. Clinics are offering oral rehydration solution, (ORS) which consist a mixture of salt, sugar, potassium chloride, and antacid that is mixed with water and drink by the child. The rotavirus could to prevented by a vaccine, however “three “miracle drugs” could already save most of these children: chlorine bleach, for purifying water; and salt and sugar, the key ingredient in the rehydration solution ORS.” These illnesses could also be prevented by treating there water, which is again the cycle of poverty.

References:

Homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://aidtoburkina.org.uk/

Freedom in the World 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2017, from https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2016

Banerjee, A. & Duflo, E. (2011). Poor Economics. Print.

Poor Economics – Hannah Scott

Post # 3 – Week 4

As expressed in previous post about Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries are Leading the Way by Steven Radelet, we discussed the controversy on the aid and poverty in Africa. In later chapters we are introduced to two generation “Hippo” and “Cheetah”. Starting with the cheetahs, they bring fresh ideas to the table in the business setting and government. There are 5 cheetah generation standouts; ideas, technology, entrepreneurship, market power, and the push for good governance and accountability. The cheetah generation is self relevant and they are self starters, they are bringing new ideas to business and government “…a nebulous yet palpable group across the continent that is seeking to redefine Africa through democracy, transparency, and a dynamic private sector, and by fostering strong connections with each other and the rest of the world” (Radelet, 2010) This generation is not defined like the typical generation would be, there are all different ages. Some of the members are old and some of them are young, they live mostly in urban areas however some can be found in smaller towns and villages. What qualifies them in the “cheetah” generation is their motivation to move their countries in the right direction. On the opposite end of the “cheetah” generation is the “hippo” generation. The “Hippo” generation is the slow moving and old. “…Ayittey sees as stuck in the past complaining about colonialism and imperialism…” (Radelet, 2010) They are also another emerging class as entrepreneurs they are more fixated on developing Africa as unique, by giving attention to accountability, basic human rights, transparency, and good governance. While both generations are focused on different topics they are brining positivity and hope to Africa in many ways.

 

After reading chapters one and two of Poor Economics by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo addresses many issues of poverty and aid. One the things that stood out to me in chapter two was “Poverty Trap: The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer and eat even better, and get stronger and even richer and the gap keeps increasing” (Banerjee & Dufflo, 2011) Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is driven to reduce poverty and hunger around the world. They define the poor as someone who doesn’t have enough money to eat and doesn’t eat enough. The government then thinks that in order to help the poor they need to send over food. The governments mindset is the quaintly of the food is what matters, however is that really helping? In Orissa “…the poor are entitled to 55 pounds of rice per month at about 1 rupee per pound, less than 20 percent of the market price” (Banerjee & Dufflo, 2011) Right now the Indian parliament is trying to pass an act where people who are starving would be allowed to sue the government, they are calling this movement the Right to Food Act. Another problem that comes along with shipping food is the logistics. “In India, it is estimated that more than one-half of the wheat and over one-third of the rice gets “lost” along the way, including a good fraction that gets eaten by rats” (Banerjee & Dufflo, 2011) When you don’t eat, you don’t have the energy or nutrition, when you don’t have energy you can’t better yourself. For example you work to make money, you can’t work when you have ant energy. It’s a vicious cycle. In the book we are introduced to the S shaped curve this is based on physiological mechanism where if all the poor needed to do was eat more to get stronger then they could do work that was meaningful, they would make enough money to bring themselves out of poverty then why don’t they just eat more. When you look at the poor community as a whole they don’t seem to be starving with their low income they are buying food, however it not necessary the right food. They are buying food that taste better rather then food with the right calories. While they don’t have much to spend on food they still have to buy items like clothing and health items. While some spend their money on alcohol and Tabaco. Feeling richer is driving them to buy more of the “bad” calories “…getting more calories was not a priority: Getting better tasting ones was.” (Banerjee & Dufflo, 2011) I think we should rethink the food policy for many reasons, the effort is there but the execution is not. We are doing the minimal because it is hard to do the maximum, with the logistics. There is also a huge problem with education, which is in the circle of not knowing what to buy when they do have the little amount of they have to spend.

 

poor-economics.png

http://aadhaar4governance.blogspot.com/2015/01/poor-economics-and-food-subsidy.html

Back in the mid sixteenth century when witch hunting was prevalent, the idea behind it was when things got scarce the “witches” typically widowed woman would go out and kill the weaker to make themselves stronger. “The pressure of just getting enough food to survive seems to have driven some people to take rather extreme steps” (Banerjee & Dufflo, 2011) During the drought in Tanzania many were faced to go witch hunt while times were tight to make it better for themselves

 

The country that I was assigned to was Burkina Faso and to report the progress of the SGD’s along with economical and political situation in the country. Looking at the GDP’s on World Bank Data I found that starting in the year 2000 the GDP was 2.2629 billion and in the year 2015 the GDP was 10.678 in the 15 years that was a significant increase. The population had also increased 7 million between 2000-2015. Burkina Faso is a land lock country that has to be dependent on the rainfall, which affects their crops of gold, livestock, and cotton. GDP per capita (PPP) in 2016 was $1,800 the GINI index- distribution of family income in (2007) was 39.5. Burkina Faso has made significant increases from where they were in past years.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-9-24-04-pm

http://data.worldbank.org/country/burkina-faso

References:

Banerjee, A. & Duflo, E. (2011).  Poor Economics.

Radelet, S. (2010).  Emerging Africa

The World Factbook: BURKINA FASO. (2017, January 12). Retrieved February 07, 2017, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/uv.html