Charlie Young (England, AC 08-10)
The way I see it, we can pull our way out of this crisis in two ways. We can try and run as fast as we can up the down escalator or we can make a concerted effort to jump over the barrier to the stairs.
From all corners of the globe experts have been calling for and granting fiscal stimuli. We can spend our way out of this. The question is how? Personally I think it would be good to have something to show when we come out the other end of this crisis. The easiest short term option would be to just support what we have at the moment – arguably what brought us down.
Contrary to the claims of the Hamas-sympathizers, the conflict is entirely the fault of the Palestinian government. Israel is the only semifree nation in the region, the only nation that upholds the right to an objective trial, freedom of and from religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of trade. The Palestinian government ruled by Hamas recognizes none of these rights. In a military conflict a rights-respecting government has a moral obligation to defend itself, even if this requires mass killing of civilians in the enemy territory; those civilians suffer and die because of their government’s actions — Israel has a moral duty to defend its own civilians, not sacrifice them out of concern for the civilians in enemy territory. The Palestinians, who elected Hamas, and whose enthusiasm or passivity keeps them in power bear moral responsibility for their government’s actions, and for the all of the deaths, Israeli or Palestinians that ensue in subsequent conflicts.
Zainab Syed (AC 08-10)
Sitting in the AC castle dining hall it is interesting to see that in a place like UWC Mostar, where there is no communal dining hall, let alone a castle, we, the students and Mr. Regan, the head of UWC Mostar share the same goals for the UWC movement.
Lena Goergen (Germany, AC 07-09)
Interviewing Dr John Lawrenson, Director of the Red Cross Nordic UWC in Norway his enthusiasm and passion for the UWC ideals and the Colleges’ mission were easy to sense throughout.
Dr John Lawrence started his time in the UWC movement at Atlantic College where he worked for many years before he was appointed head of the UWC in Norway seven years ago. Having experienced the life in two United World Colleges he sees the special element of the UWC movement in the multicultural and multinational origins and backgrounds of its students. Being asked what the main difference between a UWC and a general international school is, Dr Lawrence described the ethical learning that only takes place at the colleges and that is one of the college life’s most important components. In his eyes it mainly takes place in the nonacademic life of the students; in their CAS hours and their service times, in the process of giving to the community and committing oneself fully to it.
Honor Mishcon (England, AC 07-09)
Everyone is aware of the situation in Gaza, the bombings in Mumbai and Barak Obama’s inauguration, but little seems to be mentioned about an ongoing conflict in a small country in the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has two major ethic groups: the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The Sinhalese are mainly Buddhists and speak Sinhala. Whereas, The Tamils are practice Hinduism and have their own language, Tamil that is completely different from Sinhala. The Sinhalese have the majority in population and after the British rule that favored the Tamils; Sinhalese Nationalism broke out at the end of the British rule slipping the country in two. The south was monopolized by the Sinhalese and the North became Tamil country. Due to this separation Tamils moved towards having self-rule and their own government. This led to Civil War breaking out in the 1983 and has since then claimed 60,000 lives.
GOOD news for students looking for a chance to study overseas. Applications for scholarships to study in United World Colleges (UWC) for the 2009 academic year is now open!
- United World College Student Magazine -
Riikka Karttunen and Lara Savenije (UWCiM 08-10)
December started with a huge shock; our whole school was in disbelief. After our Monday morning assembly, some students walked out with tears in their eyes and others could not get a word out of their mouths for the whole day. In the corridors, the most common sentence heard was “This can’t happen.”
Rina Amanda Kuusipalo (Finland, AC 08-10)
Following the recent Israeli offensive to Gaza, students and members of staff at Atlantic College crammed themselves into the Old Staff Common Room on Tuesday January 13th, to hear from Israeli and Palestinian students at the college a first-hand account on the events and its wider causes and implications. Three weeks of the Israeli attacks left the Gaza strip with 1,200 Palestinians dead, a third of whom were women and children, and several thousands wounded. On January 18th, Hamas announced a ceasefire following Israel’s call for a truce, and the Israeli army started a partial withdrawal. Nonetheless, with this conflict, this is not the end, nor was it the beginning.
Hannah Smithies (UK, AC 08-10)
Flying low, we saw elephants in their dozens bathing in the Nile. They say an elephant never forgets, and these were returning home to Sudan after years of civil war. We landed at Kajo Keji in a 5-seater missionary plane that had flown literally on a wing and a prayer. Groups of excited children crowded around to greet us as we got off the plane, feet bare, faces dusty, all beaming – one of the warmest greetings I’ve encountered in my short life.
The war in Sudan started almost as soon as the Brits left in 1956 due to tensions between the Arab, Muslim North and African, generally Christian South. Peace was brokered by the World Council of Churches in 1973 which lasted ten years. Yet war broke out again, the situation not helped by the discovery of oil. This was traded from the North (the Arabs dominate the government) and accusations arose of the wealth not trickling down to the South, which was as poor as ever. The Common Peace Agreement of 2005 means that now most of Sudan is relatively peaceful though there are of course ongoing problems in Darfur.
José Ignacio Luis Miguel (Spain, AC 07-09) & Andrés Miguel Rondón Anzola (Venezuela, AC 08-10)
Mauricio Viales is probably the youngest among the Heads of the UWC movement. He worked for ten years for an international organisation which promotes education for those without economic resources. Three years ago, he was offered the chance of becoming the Principal of a new United World College in Costa Rica. He accepted the challenge.
Honor Mishcon (England, AC 07-09)
This is a further article in the UWC-Heads-interviews series.
From the moment Julian Whitely first experienced Atlantic College four years ago, being whisked away into the depths of St. Donat’s Castle with the quiet whisperings of ‘The Movement’, his career as the principle of the UWCSEA commenced. This school has been criticized for not being completely UWC like, as the college is not just the last two years of high school but starts from a very young age and has thousands of students. I wondered if this meant that some of the ethos and spirit might be altered. However, by not having an exclusive age group, the South East Asian School spreads UWC experience to a wider range of people. Moreover, being introduced from a young age means that the spirit of UWC is even more ingrained within the children and they grow up following the mission.
Chris Cheng (China, AC 08-10)
First I would like to claim that as a Chinese national; I insist there should be ‘One China’ and do not support any political ideas of separating Tibet. Yet it is always my pleasure to discuss the Tibetan issue with Tenzin, my Tibetan second year student at Atlantic College. Discussions usually focus on the main barriers blocking communication between ‘Student for a Free Tibet’(SFT), an Atlantic College Organization, and Chinese people.
Carlos Ignacio Hernández (LPCUWC 08-10)
The morning of the 23rd of November there was a rare calm in the roads and neighborhoods of Venezuela. Non-stop rain had flooded the streets of the capital, and there were high expectations for what was to come. With all the rush, euphoria and noise of the speeches and events that filled the atmosphere since the campaigns started in March, the quietness somehow felt out of place. Continue reading
The UWC heads meeting held at Atlantic College, strived to determine the future of the UWC movement, and celebrated the differences within the colleges. As the heads and other central figures in UWC movement hid themselves in the glass-room for hours of discussions, the lesser informed members of the college might have been forgiven for completely missing this opportunity. However, United Words was lucky enough to secure some time between the attendee’s hectic schedule for brief interviews with some of the heads. Within the next few weeks, United Words members will share the conversations that they had with some of the leading figures of the UWC movement. We will make a start with David Hawley, interviewed by Jessamyn McArdle (AC 07-09).
We are all currently walking around wrapped up for the onset of winter and with the turn of the weather I secretly hope for a harsh winter with snow drifts in the inner court yard. The castle has seen all of the elements in different states and withstood them over time. Some of the old photos from the 1970’s show impressive amounts of snow around the castle, hence the wish for a good snowfall this year. The castle is one of the oldest buildings in Wales if not the oldest which has been continually habited in and it is sometimes easy to forget that we live amongst walls that have seen many different faces. I thought that some of the studentry (A term I read in a book the other day and from Professor Strunk of Cornell, 1869-1946, coined and substituted for student body; not much of an improvement but less cadaverous) may appreciate a brief history of the myths and fact that surround the grounds of the college and the people who lived in and around them. There are two books that have been written or contributed in by former staff members including; Roberts Denning’s the story of St Donat’s and Atlantic College, as well as Allan Hall’s St Donat’s castle a guide and brief history.