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2005-04-06 - 10:38 p.m.

They chose a Kurdish man as the new Iraqi President!

I had a lot of fears about forcing American brand democracy on a country such as Iraq, but this latest turn of events surprises and pleases me, and makes me wonder if this war really will turn out positive results.

I'm not naive enough to think that this Kurdish man must be better than anyone else simply because he's a Kurd, or that in choosing a Kurd the Iraqis will solve all of their ethnic problems, but it seems to be a step in the right direction.

I was privaledged enough today to attend a live video feed interview with a Psychology professor at Tel Aviv University who discussed the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He talked about many things, and what stands out the most in my mind is the idea that once a struggle happens for a long time, 20 years or more, it becomes part of the country's identity. A lot of Palestinians and Israelies both seem to define themselves through the struggle and indeed it's impossible to mention either country or nationality without thinking about the issues of land ownership. It was an interesting way to state yet another reason why it's so difficult to come to any sort of agreement.

I received a $5 gift certificate for the coffee shop in the building the teleconference was being held. Apparently they were supposed to serve us lunch but were unable to, so they compensated us with the gift certificates. I was amazed because I wasn't expecting anything. Later when I cashed in the gift certificate, I ordered a fancy coffee and a muffin, and with tax it came to exactly $5. The luck didn't end there. There was supposed to be a quiz today in Arabic Lit. which I apparently failed to hear about during class earlier this week. Naturally I had done no studying for it. However, the Prof. announced in class today that he was postponing the quiz.

What a great day. The weather was perfect, too.

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