ELI STUDENT VOICES
Volume 10, Issue 3
The Agony of Your Stolen Memories
Anibal Ruiz (1st Place)
Cold. I open my eyes and I only feel cold. Grains of
sand on my lips. Wherever I look, I can't see a thing. Darkness.
My skin and discomfort are all I have.
I try to get up but I can hardly move. Something heavy
stops me. Every time I try to free myself, it pushes down harder
against me. I can barely breathe.
Suddenly, a white ray of light blinds me. (Extremes.)
Anything and everything drives me to the same place: they
distort my sight and cloud my mind.
An inner voice whispers my name. Is it you? My
intuition tells me it's so. Your most recent glance at our earliest
photos--the ones that you hid so well in that trunk stashed in
your attic--causes that sudden flash of light. Reflections of
secrets only you and I shared. The exclusive instances that your
shyness let me capture. Magical moments that now live only in
my memories. Why did the flame that you ignited in my heart
have to bur out? Our silhouettes fade away and our faces
You did not choose this; nor is it coincidence. It is
simply the result of bad luck. All of this pain began when he
claimed you as his next victim. He has cruelly broken your
memories. Only fragments remain. Those that are rebelling in a
ruthless storm that ails me over and over, again and again.
Infinite grey, like the sand that grazes my face once more. The
tide is rising and it threatens our future without knowing
whether or not it will be as beautiful as we have dreamt.
Wind distracts me. Perhaps I am on an island. Yes. I
am sure it is a far away, isolated location. I am lonelier than
ever. I can't interact with anything of the exterior world. I am
unable to breathe out the air I have breathed in. Everything
depends on me, which helps direct me, choiceless, towards
failure and uselessness...and concludes in a thousand and one
tears being born with no hope of drying. They flood me.
I am frightened. Our end is mercilessly approaching.
Loneliness still consumes me and, despite my devotion to you,
incessantly forces me to visualize you, having decided that
there is no way other than to accept the excruciating countdown
where only one protagonist exists: injustice.
Five...four...three...two...one... he, the tide, reaches for
me, so as to drag me into the ocean of indifference. I feel that
you are so very far away... I cannot stand it... I am drowning...
Goodbye forever, my love.
P.S. Alzheimer's: you should be the one to forget us. Let me
imagine that, if just for one moment.
Guns, Germs and Steel
Nadav Sorek (2nd Place)
On November 15th 1532, Pizzaro, the leader of 168
Spanish conquistadors, waged a war against the Inca Empire.
He arrived in the holy city Cajamarca, in Peru. Even though his
soldiers were exhausted and he fought against a vast army of
80,000 Inca troops, he won an amazing triumph. The web site
"Guns, Germs and Steel" describes, "Within just 24 hours,
more than 7,000 Inca warriors lie slaughtered; the Emperor
languishes in chains; and the victorious Europeans begin a reign
of colonial terror which will sweep through the entire American
continent" (PBS, 2005, Second Episode). Since this famous
battle, the Europeans (the white men) have taken over most of
our planet and have established many new countries overseas.
Jared Diamond, the author of "Guns, Germs and
Steel", asks in his introduction to his book: Why was the
balance of power so unequal between the Old World, and the
New World? And he answers that obviously, Europeans have
had the advantages of the cargo of: technology and horses,
literate societies, centralist governmental systems and germs.
But he asks even more basic question: Why did the Europeans
have this cargo, which help them to conquer the world? For
example, why hadn't the Indians, the Aborigines or the Africans
developed this cargo? (Diamond, 1999).
Diamond tries to rebut any kind of racist answer to this
question and explains that the Europeans weren't smarter and
did not have bigger brains. Diamond explains through his book
that the causes and the agents of this European's cargo, which
has led them to world domination, have been the geographical
and environmental enormous advantages (Diamond, 1999).
The Europeans have had easily conquered other
continents, for four main reasons. Those reasons are the four
main elements of the cargo that let the Europeans to take over
the world: Firstly, they have had vast technological advantage.
They had steel swords, guns, horses and overseas ships. With
those tools they won easily huge enemies (Diamond, 1999).
Secondly, they have had centralist governmental systems,
which have made the wars very organized. Thirdly, they have
come from literate societies, which helped them to deliver
commands, reports from the battle field and knowledge
Lastly, and probably most important, were the germs
the Europeans carried within their body. Throughout many
generations, the European's body has developed self
immunization to those germs. When they got in touch with the
Native Americans, they infected them with horrible diseases,
ELI Student Voices 1
such as smallpox, and caused death to almost 95% of them
during the last 500 years (Diamond, 1999).
Diamond asks: What are the reasons that the
Europeans have developed those advantages and not their
enemies the Indians and the Aborigines? He claims that those
advantages, which help the Europeans in their wars, and created
inequality between the New World and the Old one, are just the
proximate reasons. It is to say, that those advantages are the
final effects of a long process. This long process was based on
fundamental resources, which have supplied by the
environmental and geographical objective conditions.
Europe is a part of a bigger continent Eurasia.
Eurasia geography has endowed its people with a significant
advantage: useful and plentiful flora and fauna resources, which
were able to be domesticated. In fact, most of the domesticated
plants species are native to Europe and Asia species like
wheat, barley and rice. Furthermore, 13 of thel4 big
domesticated mammals known to us today are native to Eurasia
(PBS, 2005, Episode Two).
This variety of domesticated resources brought about
the development of sophisticated agriculture systems in Eurasia.
The societies in the Fertile Crescent (the Middle East) were the
first in 8500 B.C to transform from hunters-gathers societies to
farmers. They were the first to domesticate animal and plant
species and to develop first agriculture systems. This
knowledge, which firstly has been developed in the Fertile
Crescent, has spread rapidly toward all Eurasia through a
relatively short term (PBS, 2005, Episode One).
Eurasia's geographic shape has permitted this rapid
distribution of knowledge and agricultural systems. Eurasia has
an east-west axis, with the same range of latitudes that provides
similar climates. Therefore, same crops could be grown in many
portions of Eurasia, due to the same length of daylight and
seasons, and same amount of precipitates. That has facilitated
societies to immigrate to new areas, to continue growing crops
with the same systems, and to bring with them their knowledge.
In addition, neighbor societies could adopt easily this
knowledge. Therefore, similar climates caused rapid spreading
of knowledge and agricultural systems, from the Fertile
Crescent toward west and east, especially toward Europe.
This spread of knowledge has caused agriculture
revolution all over Europe (Diamond, 1999). The wide
transition to agriculture has created several critical changes in
the European human societies. Agriculture has provided food
surplus, which caused drastic population growth. The reserves
of food facilitated new occupations and skills. The web site
"Guns, Germs and Steel" explains, "Successful farming
provides a food surplus, and allows some people to leave the
farm behind and develop specialized skills such as metal-
working, writing, trade, politics, and war-making" (PBS, 2005,
Those results of agriculture development brought
about the causes of European world's don: technology, literate
societies, centralist governmental systems and germs.
At the technological level, weapons, such as steel
swords and guns, were created. New ships were built which
could help to explore other places overseas. The domestication
of the animals provided an important war vehicle such as
In the governmental systems aspect, the large
population required new systems of governmental control.
Societies were divided to castes, and the regimes built
sophisticated systems of control. Those helped them to
established big armies, collecting taxes easily, etc.
In the educational level, literacy was an important
conquering tool. Commands and orders of kings and merchants
were delivered by writing. The ships navigated with maps,
which were written by previous expeditions. Script descriptions
prepared new conquerors for their battles by telling them what
to expect. Finally, the new empires that were built overseas
were controlled by writing (Diamond, 1999).
At the medical level, the diseases which were brought
by the Europeans almost devastated the entire society of their
enemies. The Europeans have been leaving for centuries in
crowded settlements. In addition, they were in contact with their
domesticated animals. Those two have led to many epidemical
diseases in Europe during the years. The population that
survived those epidemics has developed self immunization to
those diseases. Finally, when they got in touch with their non-
Eurasian enemies they infected them and it caused great
devastation. For example, the accumulated mortality caused by
the Eurasian germs among nations such as the Australian
Aborigines and the Pacific Ocean islands inhabitants was from
50% to 100% (Diamond, 1999).
In conclusion, the technology and the weapons,
literacy, the governmental organization, and the germs have
marched together as modem conqueror agents. Those agents
were the result of long processes caused by a social
transformation from hunter-gather societies to farmers. Most of
the European's enemies didn't have high level of technology,
they didn't know to read, the political organizations were
usually backward, and they didn't develop immunization to
harsh germs. The reasons that these developments took place in
Europe and usually not in America, Australia, or the Pacific
Ocean Islands were environmental and geographical conditions.
Indeed, Jared Diamond successfully managed to disprove any
kind of racist reason to this gap between the New World and the
Old World. References
Diamond, J. (1999). Guns, Germs and Steel, W. W. Norton &
Diamond, J. (1999). Guns, Germs and Steel. Retrieved
December 2, 2006 from Guns, germs, and steel: The fates
of human societies. http://books.google.com/books
PBS, (2005). Guns, germs and steel: Out ofEden. Retrieved
December 2, 2006 from
PBS, (2005). Guns germs and steel: Conquest. Retrieved
December 2, 2006 from
ELI Student Voices 2
How to Teach the Korean Language
Euk Hwan Kim
(Editor's note: This paragraph was written to practice
conditionals. Can you find all of the "if .., [then]. .. "
It is very difficult to teach the Korean language
because Korean is composed of many different vocabularies
and complicated grammar. For this reason, teaching Korean
requires a skillful teacher. If I had to teach Korean to a person
who knew nothing at all about Korean, I would start with some
Korean popular songs. There are several reasons for doing this.
First of all, singing a song makes people happy. Thus, this
might be a good way to make contact with Koreans easily. If I
were a foreigner who wanted to learn Korean, I would enjoy
singing Korean popular songs. Moreover, popular songs reflect
trends in society. Therefore, foreigners who don't know about
Korea can understand Korean people's emotions through
Korean popular songs. If foreigners practice Korean music, they
will be able to empathize with the Korean people. Finally, many
Korean people like to sing songs. In other words, a song might
be a proper way to make friends. I know an Argentine person
who has been in Korea to study. If this person had not taken
lessons in Korean music, he couldn't have come into close
association with Korean people. In conclusion, singing Korean
popular songs is the first step for a person who wants to learn
Korean. If I were a Korean language teacher for foreigners, I
would spend much time teaching Korean popular songs.
Taiwan's Changes in Politics
This year has not been an easy year. From July to
November a battery of scandals related to the First Family
which includes the president's son-in-law and the First Lady,
Mrs. Wu Shu-Jan. Two hundred thousand people protested in
main roads of Taipei Metropolis and surrounded the Capitol,
which caused the international press such as CNN, BBC's
notice. However, the president said calmly and unhurriedly,
"Since Taiwan is a democratic country, we have to tolerate
Taiwan, a tiny, 95-year-old island, is too young to
understand the connotation of democracy, so the political
improvement is still moving forward. A heavy, five-thousand-
year imperialism has made the people get used to being
obedient instead of striving for freedom. The long-term struggle
makes people hope to figure out what's the status we are in
now, especially between the terms of the emperor and president.
In the ninety-five years of the newborn Taiwanese government,
the politics have undergone three main periods of time-post-
revolution from the Chin dynasty which lasted thirty-four years
(1911-1949), the move to Taiwan by the Chiangs' family
(1950-1988), and the post-Chiang era when the democracy was
truly developed (1989-presence).
The reason the Chinese government moved to Taiwan
from Mainland China is complicated. 1911 is the most
important year in Chinese history because Dr. Sun Yat-Sen
overthrew the Chin dynasty and established the Republic of
China in 1912. Five thousand years of imperialism was ended.
However, there was much turmoil at the beginning of the new
era. Some warlords wanted to be new kings to rule the new
China; therefore, China was split into several regions and the
government army, especially Kuo-Min Tang (KMT, the main
party which replaced the government army at the time) was
busy suppressing the split. In 1921, under the influenced by
Russian Communism, the Chinese Communist Party was
established. Unfortunately, the new Chinese government had to
deal with not only internal chaos but also invasion by Japan
from 1937 to 1945. During the eight years, the government
army put effort into resisting Japan's aggression. It was the
well-known "The Eight-Year War". Although Japan
surrendered finally in August of 1945, the Chinese government
did not get the peace time that it should have had. In the eight-
war year, the Chinese Communist Party only gave 30% of their
attention to help the government army fight back Japan; in
addition, the rest of the 70% of their efforts were used to hold
the KMT back and make itself stronger. Consequently, the
economy underwent huge inflation and a lot of poor people
joined the Chinese Communist Party. Moreover, they received
the weapons left by Japan and became stronger. In 1949, the
KMT government army couldn't resist anymore and was forced
to move to Taiwan.
After KMT moved to Taiwan, it was called "the
Chiangs' Era" which was led mainly by Mr. Chiang Kai-Shek.
Although in the beginning of the new government, Dr. Sun Yat-
Sen set up the new constitution and positioned the new Chinese
government as a democratic country, Mr. Chiang Kai-Shek
announced the order of martial law (Period of mobilization for
the suppression of communist) in order to suppress the
pandemonium in the beginning of the move to Taiwan. The
content raised the power of the president and froze most parts of
constitution. Moreover, he forbade the freedom of reporting and
publishing, the freedom of forming political party, and all
important decisions must be made only by the KMT. In other
words, KMT monopolized Taiwan's politics, and Mr. Chiang
Kai-Shek represented the KMT and all of Taiwan. In 1971, he
announced the vital decision which influenced Taiwan's
international relationship in the future: Taiwan would leave the
United Nations because he thought we could not share the same
stand with the Chinese Communist Party. He was elected by
Assembly members who were brought by him from Mainland
China and became Taiwan's president for twenty one years
(1954-1975) until he passed away.
However, the Chiangs' Era was not ended by his
death. His son, Mr. Chiang Ching-Kuo, continued to be the next
president. In Taiwan's history, Mr. Ching-Kuo was an amiable
and reputable president. He promoted "The Ten Constructions"
such as the first high-way which crossed all of Taiwan from
north to south and the first international airport when he was the
premier. The constructions laid a good foundation for Taiwan's
economy. At the time, a group of people felt unsatisfied by
KMT's autocracy; they formed a secret but illegal party-the
ELI Student Voices 3
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). It seemed a small step but
important to Taiwan's politic future. In 1987, due to the
tendency of Taiwanese to be democratic, Mr. Ching-Kuo
removed the ban on reporting, publishing and forming political
party. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1988 suddenly and that
was the end of the Chiang's Era. Actually, the father and son
didn't operate Taiwan with all their strength. For them, Taiwan
was just a station for fighting back Mainland China someday.
After Mr. Chiang Ching-Kuo passed away, the next
president was Mr. Lee Teng-Hui and Mr. Chen Shui-Bian.
Originally, Mr. Lee was the vice president of Mr. Ching-Kuo.
Because Mr. Ching-Kuo passed away suddenly, Mr. Lee
succeeded to the position and became the next president. After
two years, he was voted by the Assembly members and became
the formal 8th term president. He continued to push forward
various democratic reforms. For example, he announced the end
of the Period of Mobilization for the Suppression of Communist
Rebellion in his term in 1991. Furthermore, Taiwanese revolted
the National Assembly because the group had been brought
from China and had never changed for forty years. The new
National Assembly adopted some changes in the constitution.
The most significant was "the president and the vice president
should be elected by all citizens directly." Just like that, on
March 21st, 1996, Mr. Lee became the first-ever voted president
as 9th term. Taiwan entered a new epoch from this moment.
Finally, the Taiwanese can make the important decision on their
Still, the democratic reforms did not stop. Next year,
the government abolished the "Taiwan province" title; the
transformation made the central government work not only
faster but more like a nation. In addition, the next presidential
election in 2000 was an intense transform. There was a party
transition in the government. Mr. Chen Shui-Bian, who was
nominated by Democratic Progressive Party, was Taiwan's new
president. As of now is he still the president of Taiwan because
he also won the election in 2004.
It's still a long distance to achieve true democracy.
However, Taiwanese are still making an effort to let people in
the world know their existence, and develop their own political
orientation. From only one KMT autocracy to party transition
of the DPP, It's hard to judge who is right or wrong because
every policy definitely has its own reason according to the
background. Taiwanese experienced a lot of protests to fight for
their own authorities and enjoy the results of freedom now.
There will be many challenges in the future. The most
important one will be integrating with China without losing
Taiwan's status. In 1988, for the first time, the government
permitted Taiwanese to visit family that lived in mainland
China after their moving to Taiwan in 1949, and they realized
the necessity of being reunited someday. Moreover, in the past
ten years, China's economy launched high-speed and
influenced Taiwan's economy, too. For these reasons, the
reunion will be the only solution between the two-sided
deadlock. However, the two-sided political positions are so
different that Taiwan only can try little by little to make a
breakthrough. Therefore, Taiwanese need a turning point and
leader of wisdom to bring them create a different new age.
Life in the Army
There are so many ways to live in the world. As time
goes by, a lot of people suffer corpulence. On the other hand, 17
percent of people who live in the world don't even have water
do drink. In S. Korea, every man has to go to the army for 2
years. So I have experience not only in army life but also
general society. There are lots of differences between soldier
and a general public.
One evident difference is relationship. When you
quarrel with someone and hate him in normal society, you can
avoid him and just meet people whom you want to meet. In
contrast, you must live with your platoon. Some of them treat
you nicely but the others want to be dictators. Let me take my
experience as an example. As I served in the army I have a
superior who was my fellow student from middle school. His
attitude toward subordinates was terribly strict. I had heard
abusive words from him so many times. Every time when I met
him, I felt like living in hell. So after I discharged from the
army, we have never met again.
Other areas of difference between life as a soldier and
as a general public include secrecy. As a general public, I can
say anything that I want to tell. Whereas as a soldier I'm not
able to say many things related to my mission to my family and
friends through telephone or letter. I had protected the DMZ,
which is the border between N. Korea and S. Korea. Nobody
except permitted soldiers can come in and go out there because
there are a great deal of mines and blind shells and technically
we are still in war. So we always were careful for wiretapping.
This is why I can't say anything to my family and friends.
The last difference is a sense of loneliness. In society,
I'm capable of meeting people and taking a rest during a
weekend or a vacation. While I had protected the border for a
year, I had only met just 30 people who are my platoon. There
were only trees, iron railings, as you see in news, and my
platoon members. Unlike general society, it is hard to take a
vacation and somebody can't find shelter, like a good
relationship or hobby; so some of them commit suicide or
desert from their barracks.
We can look for differences between army life and
ordinary society. As a soldier, I should meet people whom I
don't want to meet and it's discouraged to tell about my mission
to my acquaintance. In addition, it's unavoidable to feel
ELI Student Voices 4
(Editor's note: Students in R/W 10 read a book titled Les
Miserable by Victor Hugo. Here are some reaction paragraphs
and some sentence practice they did.)
Les Miserables--My Opinion of Jean
Mashaer h' ikhelnit
Jean Valjean, the main character in Les Miserables, is
a good man, but he has a hard life. He was in prison; then he
becomes rich; then his life changes. He is unlucky because
Javert, the policeman, always watches him and he wants to
arrest him. Although his life changes in good ways, he doesn't
have safety because of Javert. He really wants a safe life with
Cosette, his adopted daughter. Jean Valjean is a good man
because when he becomes rich he helps the poor people. He
likes to help everyone anyway he can. He is really a noble man
but his life is hard.
Les Miserables--My Opinion
If someone asks me about a good book to read, I will
say: Les Miserables! Even though this edition of this famous
book is for children, it is fantastic! It has a lot of difficult words
and this is a great way to learn more vocabulary. The idea to
read this book is very nice, especially when the choice of the
book is a great choice like this one. Les Miserables is an
interesting story. Whoever reads this story won't stop reading it.
The reader becomes more and more curious about what will
happen. I think this activity helps me in reading, writing,
vocabulary, listening, speaking, grammar and pronunciation. I
think when I learn English very well I will try to read the
original version of the same book for adults.
The Enemies of Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean, the main character in Les Miserables,
has many enemies in the book. The first of Jean Valjean's
enemies is Javert because he believes injustice. Because
Valjean is an ex-convict, Javert thinks Valjean is a bad man and
he always wants to put Jean Valjean injail. The second enemy
is Thenardier because he is bad with Cosette and always wants
more money for her care. After Cosette has gone with Jean
Valjean, Thenardier makes a trap for Valjean because he wants
his money. Finally, Marius was a kind of enemy because he
loves Cosette. Jean Valjean didn't like that because he didn't
want to lose her, the love of his life, the young orphan he raised
like a daughter. All those listed above are Jean Valjean's
enemies. They were important for this book, Les Miserables.
These enemies make the book interesting!
My Opinion About Jean Valjean's Good
1) Jean Valjean builds some buildings in Montreuil such as a
hospital, a school, and an old people's home because he wants
to help every person. I think he does a good job to change his
2) Jean Valjean helps Fantine when Javert wants to take
Fantine to prison because he has a good heart and he later helps
Fantine with her daughter. He sends a lot of money to the
money -loving Thenardiers. I think he does a good job to help
Fantine because this is ajob no one else can do like this.
3) Police Inspector Javert goes to court because he wants
punishment for Jean Valjean, but the Paris police say there is a
man already in prison who is Jean Valjean. So, the true Jean
Valjean goes to court and says the truth. I think Jean Valjean
cares more about truth. He does not care about his own
4) Jean Valjean does a good job when he helps Marius at the
barricade. He goes to the barricade to find Marius but one
soldier wants to kill Marius. Jean.Valjean does not kill the
soldier. This is a good job because Jean Valjean does not want
to kill any one.
Les Miserables--Jean Valjean, the Ex-
Convict Who is a Good Man
These are examples of Jean Valjean's good actions:
1) Jean Valjean likes the truth. He doesn't like lies.
2) Jean Valjean doesn't want to kill. (When he is at the
barricade, he doesn't kill the soldier or Javert.)
3) Jean Valjean likes to help people, especially poor people,
because his daily life is the same and he feels how the poor
people work and live.
4) Jean Valjean is quiet but he is strong.
5) Jean Valjean likes justice and he doesn't like to cause pain or
6) Jean Valjean likes to rescue people. (When he is on the
warship, he rescues a sailor.)
7) Jean Valjean likes to help orphans, like his daughter, Cosette.
ELI Student Voices 5
Les Miserables--Jean Valjean: A Good
Jean Valjean, the main character in Les Miserables, is a good
1) Jean Valjean never commits another crime.
2) Jean Valjean becomes a rich man and he saves the old man.
3) Jean Valjean wants to help Fantine and takes care of
Fantine's daughter, Cosette.
4) Jean Valjean loves Cosette and she becomes his daughter.
5) Jean Valjean gives a beggar some money.
6) Jean Valjean likes to help people.
7) If somebody has trouble and needs help, Jean Valjean helps
Moqueca of Tilapia--A Recipe
(an original Brazilian dish)
Bruna Cavalcanti & Stephania Lucia Alvarez (her
1 to 2 pounds shrimps (shelled and deveined)
8 fillets tilapia (cut in half lengthwise)
Salt and black pepper (to taste)
Juice of 2 lemons (to taste)
Olive and palm oils (for frying)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 onion (12 finely chopped, 2 sliced)
1 green bell pepper (12 chopped, 2 sliced)
1 red bell pepper (12 chopped, 2 sliced)
1 yellow bell pepper (12 chopped,2 sliced)
Fresh cilantro, parsley and scallions, chopped (to taste)
1 can coconut milk
1 to 2 cups water
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Cooked rice and/or mashed potatoes
How to make
First of all, place 1-2 pounds shrimp on one plate and 8
fillets of tilapia on another plate.
Put salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and black
pepper, to taste, on both shrimp and fish. Let marinate for 2
Heat a thin coating of olive oil and dende (palm oil) in
a medium sized pot. Add garlic, and the following chopped
ingredients: onion; green, red, and yellow bell peppers; cilantro;
parsley; and scallions. Saute 2 minutes. Add the fish; cook 1
minute. Add shrimp and 12 can of coconut milk. (If more liquid
is desired for broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water.) Cook 3 minutes.
Next add the sliced onions and the green, red, yellow
Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then add sliced tomatoes,
and season with salt. Add coarsely chopped cilantro, coarsely
chopped scallions, coarsely chapped parsley, and the /2
remaining can of coconut milk.
Serve immediately with cooked rice and mashed
Enjoy with Bruna's company and have a big appetite.
Bruna is grateful to Lucimar Souza Lima (RW 41), who taught
her how to cook this dish.
The True Artist
Artists are the people who create some works by
displaying their professional techniques and using them as
media for communicating with the masses.
They try to express their own creative definition
through works unlike craftsmen and artisans who produce
One of the several attributes of artists is that they are
not only professional for utilizing the tools and materials, but
they are expert in conveying their thoughts by using the raw
materials. Also, they have special perspective to interpret the
outer world and express how they think about it. Artists interact
with their audience about wordly interests through their work.
Everyone who has originative viewpoint and skilled
techniques can be artists.
One's individual preference affects the value of art,
and an ordinary person may have potentiality to be an artist.
Although to get up early morning is always hard for
me, special morning activities in reading and writing class help
us to start a day vigorously. On Monday of the final week in
October, we had a joyful activity during which we shared a
description of our impressions with classmates after listening to
music. After I listened to music for several minutes, I shared my
impression with Fabiana.
While the music made me relaxed and peaceful,
Fabiana was depressed by the music. When I listened to the
music, I felt placed in a jazz bar with the sound of rain. The
whole mood of the music was placid and calm because the
stringed instrument's sound is very stable and minor keys were
partially used. Although the calm mood of the music soothed
me, Fabiana felt sad because the 50's mood made her recall the
dear memories of her grandmother. Also, when Fabiana listened
to the music, she imagined the jazz bar with back dancers
wearing old fashioned costumes. She was filled with nostalgia
while listening to the music.
ELI Student Voices 6
Unlike me, Fabiana prefers to listen to loud music such
as rock and reggae. But because Fabiana and I like the sound of
a guitar, we had fun with the music. The staccato melody of the
guitar like raindrops awakened my sleepy morning. As the old
saying goes, "Music is the universal language of mankind."
Despite our different tastes in music, we loved the sound of the
stringed instrument and the experience of sharing our feeling
A More Diversified Economy in Saudi
Do Saudi citizens feel more comfortable and reassured
about the future? if the price of oil is high, and their country is
still the leading exporter of oil in the world for a long time;
however, should Saudi Arabia seek to diversify its economy,
even if it's keeping its position of the world's largest oil
reserves, the world's largest exporter having that ability to keep
pumping oil for the next 70 years, as well as the largest
economy in the Middle East.
Of course, Saudi Arabia should be aware of another
outlooks to income money as soon as possible, even the oil is
still booming that means not fear from the vacillation price of
oil, or even the price go collapsing, only that to raise economic
more and more to fellow developed countries to be on the top of
the economic world in the future.
In general, Saudi Arabia must improve and seek for a
more diversified economy by investments in key sectors from
the public to private sector, such as technology, petrochemicals,
natural gas, tourism, desalination, power generation, and
railways, and developing other sectors, such as service, tourism,
the private sector; in addition, it has considerable for
agricultural with traditional industry occupations development.
First of all, Saudi Arabia should be concerned about
traditional income to improve that kind of economy to get the
benefit and balance from each sector such as agriculture, fishing
and shrimp catching and hatchery, because Saudi Arabia
possess an area consists of fertile plains, forests, and mountains,
for example, the Jazan region is one of Saudi Arabia's richest
agricultural region and is notable for its production of coffee,
beans, grain crops (barley, millet and wheat, rice), and fruit
(apples, bananas, grapes, lemons, mangoes, oranges, papayas,
plums, and tamarinds), truly if they are concerned to improve
that important sectors, eventually, it will be the target to export
for many European countries and another counters close to the
border or far way from it.
Equally important, Saudi Arabia has very large
deposits of minerals that are expected to economic creations of
mining and associated processing industries, such as in, Jazan
the region which extends some 300 kilometers along the Red
Sea of it is known to possess many kind of minerals including
limestone, dolomite, marble, basalt, silica and gypsum, these
are advantages conditional enterprises for industry sector in
Saudi Arabia specially in the heavy industry and petrochemicals
industry, that it will be a great target for any investors or
companies that will be treasures for the economy of Saudi
Arabia if they want to attract investments.
Recently, the Saudi government's desire to break away
from dependence on oil and nurture other industries, they have
plans to attracting investment into the country after they made
various studies. Forever, Saudi Arabia has had a natural
advantage for more resources, and in its efforts to press ahead
with ambitious developments, the kingdom has encouraged
involvement in the private sector. Recently, the total cost of
ongoing projects is estimated at $283 billion, with up to $700
billion in investments planned over the next 20 years. The
largest private sector project is the King Abdullah Economic
City, with investment set at $26.7 billion over the course of
In fact, the diversification of our national income and
our economy away from oil is key to our well being. Recently,
Saudi Arabia is also opening itself to real competition. It joined
the World Trade Organization on last year after 12 years of
negotiations, a move that is expected to give a powerful push to
the country's private sector.
One of that successful for a more diversified Economy
in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi stock market has become one of the
world's top performers, and growth in its market value for the
year 2005 was about twice as large as the country's oil
Finally, Saudi Arabia has many great chooses for its
economic to increase the income of economy from a lot of fresh
sectors, however, they have many aims to achieve the target,
such as encouraged the non-oil local industry, also encourage
international investments by showing them unique opportunities
and environments in its area, however, the various components
include transport & logistics, down stream industries, mining,
agriculture and food industries, infrastructure, education city,
tourism development and housing, with many projects will be a
next generation center of finance, healthcare, and technological
development. Also many projects offer the largest investment
opportunity such as the petrochemicals sector
telecommunications, tourism, natural gas, information
technology and industrial conglomerates. Saudi Arabia will be
on the top of the economic world in the future.
1- Saudi Arabia Investment Thrust. Skyscraper City. Home
page. October 10th, 2006, 11:16 PM.
2- By Jad Mouawad 'THE NEW YORK TIMES" Home
3- The Middle East analysis, http://www.meepas.com/
4- U.S- Saudi Arabian Business Council, 2006 http://www.us-
5- The Saudi Arabia Information Resource. Home page
ELI Student Voices 7
Some Elements Which Prevent the
Education of Girls
Educating girls has a great impact on the community
of a country. Nations are able to fight poverty, create balance,
and abolish the imbalance of human society; however, the
prevention of girls from attending school some factors could be,
school fees, cost of books, requirement of a uniform. This is a
cause of foil poor families from sending many children to
school because they cannot afford each of these.
In addition, many schools do not have enough female
teachers. Also, facilities are rare in school. On the other hand,
sexual harassment such as rape inside schools makes many
parents reluctant to send their daughters to school. In the same
way the parents are concerned about the safety and feeling of
their daughter so they keep the girls at home so that the school
has a mix between girls and boys, since both have different
personalities and behaviors.
At last, there are more and more things that are reasons
or factors to prevent the education of girls worldwide.
In the south coast of Saudi Arabia, one of many
villages are there. I was born and grew up in this village. My
village has a simple lifestyle; moreover, there are a lot of farms,
where one of those farm's family house has been standing. In
fact, that period of time a was spectacular time, because I lived
with a large family, it was a great moment when I stayed with
them, usually I did not try to remember that time in my life
from the sweet to hurtful times, because I get immediately
Naturally, in the beginning of my life, I was tiresome
for my parents, in that I had been a child hoodlum, my parents
couldn't stop me anyways. However, one day, was a halloween
day, when I was eleven years old at that time, my family were
together; and the residents of village were also celebrating that
day; all people were happy at that time, because it was the
celebration of "Eid Al Fatter" in the country.
Suddenly, inside the happiness of "Eid Al Fatter"; on
the side of my grandfather's farm a fire started burning, moved
to another sides, and quickly burned all farms, it was dangerous
for other houses in my village, exactly for anyone close to the
farm. Firstly, my family is house, it was a horrible time;
everything changed that day in our village, from celebration to
emergency. So everybody woke up from their business once the
emergency started and firemen were trying to squelch the fire,
and people hurried to see, what had happened in our village.
On the other side, my friend and I were played with
some fireworks, I was the leader of the group, we were closed
to scene, so it was a great moment for us, we didn't care about
anything, just having fun. When we were playing, I was behind
the farm, so I hadn't seen anything, but one of my friends said
"Ali look at your grandfather's farm, there is a huge fire, and it
was moving fast. However, when I saw the grandfather's farm
burned, I could not believe what had happened there.
Equally important, I was thinking for sometimes about
it, and I decided to let my grandfather know firstly. I ran to him
and gave him the information, when I told him he got so angry
that his face changed horribly. He scolded me, and asked me
who did make it, of course, he never minded about me, because
I was the one who told, but he was shocked about the event. In
addition, I said to him I thought my friends were playing with
fire works, and they were close to your farm, I think they did
that, but I am not sure about them. You can go to find out, I had
confidence in myself, so that, he trusted me.
Next, he stood up to follow his farm in the scene time
in the village. But was there no evidence to indicate who did it.
From day to day, they found out about it, the police officer
made an investigated and people talked every time and
everywhere about the scene, many questions were asked about
what happened in our village, and who did it. So it was an
important event in our village. But they could not figure out the
Finally, I was trying to explain what I really had done
to my closest brother to approach the fact to my father to reduce
the punishment that I might have. I explained what was
happened undercover from one to one, as result of I was chilled
for what I had been done, as well as what I made a stranger
falsehood for my entire village, I didn't do it on purpose what I
did on the farm, however, it's expanded undercover the story
fact of the event. Finally, they discovered the truth from I, and I
surrendered. Lately, I took a great deal of sharp hitting because
I made a stranger falsehood from my father and a huge slap for
what I had done from grandfather. I am sure; I won't forget my
In general, different cultures, religions, traditions, and
thinking, as well as education, each of these contributes
superstition in life. It is a belief and practice some objects or
actions are lucky and some are unlucky. However, does
superstition affect life? Is it fact or fiction? Should or could
be faith superstition?
At first, superstition has exist real whereby dissimilar
in our communities, mostly each of societies have a lot of
common Superstitions. For example a common superstition in
the middle Ages was that the devil could enter a person
during vulnerable moment when that person was sneezing. This
could be avoided if anyone present immediately appealed to the
name of God. The tradition of saying "God bless you" when
someone sneezes still remains today.
Again, irrational beliefs and practices resulted from
naive people who created them in the past, so superstitions grew
up inside the communities till they became more interesting for
people to believe them.
ELI Student Voices 8
In addition, superstitions occur in their life for because
of difficult experience, so they could be a product of their
existence, moreover, superstitions was effect their decision at
the same time. In fact, in many of societies, superstitions have
become habits rather than beliefs, but the rest of them still
As for my opinion, I don't believe in superstitions
for several reasons. Superstition the religion of feeble minds is
an unreasoning fear of God, where there is no indication of any
evidence, there are secret ways, so they are acts of God, who
only know it, and he controls it, also there is not any basis for
these superstitions, what the origin of them are. Naturally,
superstitions could be based on belief in the power of charms
and witchcraft, or such invisible forces as demons. It is not
something based on fact; however, some people take them
seriously. There is no factual evidence that anything will
happen to us. In fact, God is the master everything, he knows
it. We can not imagine that because, things are controlled by
him at all time.
Emigration, a Change in El Salvador
Emigration out of El Salvador has been a phenomenon
since the middle of the 19th century. 2.3 million Salvadorians
live in the Unites States and in other countries around the
world, the majority of emigrants fled because of the armed
conflict in the past which El Salvador suffered during 1980 -
1992. Now emigration continues because there are no job
opportunities. Emigrants travel to the United States in search of
health, security, good jobs and good salaries. Most emigrants
travel illegally to the United States because they don't have
enough money to pay the airplane, passport, visa, etc. Most of
these people come from the eastern providence of San Miguel,
and the province of Las Cabafias. Emigrating illegally put
emigrant's life in danger, and causes a big impact in his family.
The lack of job opportunities is the main reason why
Salvadorians are emigrating, and Juan Perez is a great example
of Salvadorian emigrants. He was a 35 year old Salvadorian
man who lived with his wife and his two children. Juan is an
accountant by profession and was unemployed for three months
because all the jobs that were hiring were requesting people
between the ages of 22 to 30. He didn't fit in that category. The
labor market in El Salvador is awful. Most of the companies
are searching for experienced and professional people, and just
offering salaries of $154 to $400 monthly. While work
opportunities are lower every day, the living cost in El Salvador
increases. Juan Perez had to emigrate in search of a job because
his family couldn't live anymore without an income. He had to
abandon his family and put his life in danger just to search for
the so called "American Dream".
Emigration affects not just emigrants; in fact, it affects
the entire emigrant's family, since the emigrant leaves his
family alone. Such is the case of Estela. She is a Salvadorian
woman with two children, Jorge, 11 years old, and Lupe, 13
years old. Estela works in a radio station as a speaker. She is a
hard working woman, but does not get paid enough to sustain
her family; she just earns $80 per month. Her husband left her
alone because he needed to go and find a job where most
Salvadorian emigrants go, the United States. In the United
States, he got remarried and stopped sending money to his
family in El Salvador, but that was not the entire problem. "I
don't want his money." Estela has said. "Money can't replace a
father. My children hardly know him. Jorge often refuses to
speak with them on the phone when he calls." The
disintegration of families is the main effect of emigration. In a
recent UN Development Program (UNDP) study, it was
reported that in 30 out of 100 Salvadorian homes, women are
the head of families, and that 80% of women in El Salvador are
Emigrating illegally is a dangerous thing to do; people
are often robbed and exposed to scary and weird situations with
people they don't even know. Such is the experience of Kyle de
Beausset, a Salvadorian student at Harvard University in
Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kyle was interested in how illegal
emigration worked out in El Salvador, and wanted to see how
illegal emigrants suffer, walking in their shoes whenever
possible to experience what they experience. He got involved in
illegal emigration without even noticing. Kyle contacted a
coyote a guy that emigrants pay to help them cross the border
illegally. The coyote took him to the city of Altar in Mexico. He
went with a group of people that wanted to cross the border
between the United States. The bus left them at 3 am in the
morning and all the people that were with him got into a taxi,
and he was left alone. Not knowing what else to do, he got into
a green van. The driver seemed a little bit nervous, and spoke
unfocusedly. He started asking Kyle questions about how much
money he carried and whether he had a camera. After that he
was left in a guest house, where he was reunited with 20 more
people. They slept on carpeted bunks three rows high.
The next day another car arrived with a different driver
promising to carry Kyle to a regular hotel. He never got into a
regular hotel, the driver was cheating him, because the driver
made signs to Kyle at lights marking were he was about to stop,
and he never stopped. The same happened with two more lights,
until he decided to jump out of the van. Kyle went back to
Mexico on foot for three hours, until he arrived at a friend's
house. "The biggest thing [I accomplished] was just quantifying
the personal suffering that they experience," de Beausset said.
"Here you work abstractly, you talk about ideas. ... The most
important thing is to broaden our understanding, realize what's
happening, and keep in mind the suffering."
Emigration is bringing good consequences too.
Official data indicates that in 2004 alone $2 billion entered the
country as remittances, small checks sent to Salvadoran families
by their emigrant families abroad. This amount, along with the
economy of the "maquila", low-wage factories owned by
multinational corporations operating outside of the country, has
been converted into the most important base of the economy.
Many say that without this remittance from brothers and sisters
abroad, Salvadorians would not be able to survive. According to
the UNDP, a third of the rural population survives thanks to the
remittances, which have also caused a reduction of dependence
ELI Student Voices 9
on local agricultural production.
Emigration in El Salvador has two faces, one is good
and the other does not help in anything. The good thing about
emigration is remittances because they help the economy to stay
were it is, remittances do not increase the economy, but it
prevents it from going down. The bad thing is what emigration
causes to families and to the emigrant himself. In El Salvador
emigration is a necessary issue for most of the people, mostly
for people who live in rural areas. It is stated "Los hombres, no
cambiarian su patria por una tierra extrafia, si la patria le da
posibilidad de vivir, desahogadamente" which means "Men and
Women would not exchange their country for a foreign land if
their country would give them the possibility to live, with the
relief of new opportunities" (www.thewitness.org).
Thanks from the Editor
Thank you for sharing your writing with everyone. I hope you
enjoy reading your fellow students' essays, paragraphs, and
poetry. Also thanks to Megan Forbes and the University of
Florida Bookstore for arranging the gift certificates, to Nora
Spencer for publicizing this issue of Student Voices, to the
Reading/Writing instructors for supporting their students in
their writing, and to Valentina Komaniecka, Jen Ramos, Art
Schneider, Todd Allen and Antonio Garza for reading and
evaluating the entries.
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks
English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-3354
Fax: (352) 392-3744
ELI Student Voices 10