Posted on June 7, 2012 - PermalinkBSU hosted its second Middle East International Conference, where participants hailing from all over the world gathered in the campus center's large ballroom for presentations and discussions focusing on issues concerning women's rights and uprisings in the Middle East.
(For full videos of all the speakers click here.)
The theme of the two-day program was "Women and Gender in the Middle East: Recognition, Reflection and Realignment."
"This is a conference that crosses disciplines and emphasizes the need to think more about women and gender in an international context," said Dr. Sarah Wiggins, assistant professor of history and coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies Program, who opened and co-organized the program.
The conference attracted 60 participants from a number of higher education institutions in the United States, Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria and Oman.
Conference co-organizer Dr. Jabbar Al-Obaidi, professor of communication studies and director of the Center for Middle East Studies, said the focus of the conference was to help educate a new generation on the importance of improving women's rights in the Middle East.
She discussed women's role
in the Arab Spring
uprisings, which have
occurred in a number of
Tunisia, Libya, Egypt,
Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.
"As we watch these sweeping
changes throughout the
Middle East, we recognize
that women's role in all of
this is extraordinarily
important," she said in her
talk, "Similarities in
Challenges and Triumphs
Between the Women of the
Middle East and the United
Reaching Out Globally
Posted on September 21, 2011 - Permalink
Praise and Warm Goodbyes
Posted on May 19, 2011 - Permalink
Mr. Takeshi Hikihara, Consul General of Japan in Boston
On April 14, Mr. Takeshi Hikihara, Consul General of Japan in Boston, visited Bridgewater State University. Mr. Hikihara spoke about Japan after the earthquake, and U.S. - Japan relations, to an audience of faculty, students, administrators and staff.
BSU Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Theater Workshop
The first post-earthquake Japan-related event for the rest of the semester was held Thursday, March 17, from 2 to 4 pm, in the Campus Center Auditorium, in conjunction with a Japanese theater workshop. An update of the disaster and its aftermath was provided, future fundraising efforts were announced, and the campus was presented with an opportunity to donate to the Red Cross through the Community Service Center drop box or campus box office area.
The Asian Studies Program, the Department of Theater and Dance, and the Department of Foreign Languages invited a visiting artist from Kyoto, Japan, Mr. Katsumi Yanagimoto, and Dr. Matthew Fraleigh, a professor from Brandeis University to lead a Japanese kyogen theater workshop. Kyogen is the name for a dramatic style and repertoire of short comic plays focused on the world of the common man and woman, one of the oldest theatrical traditions in Japan. The demonstration provided a general introduction and overview of the history of kyogen, described some of the general features of the dramatic style, and demonstrated its techniques. Selections from a performance of "Chidori" (Plovers) and an explanation of the costumes used in kyogen theater were presented. Students and other attendees learned about typical gestures, stances, and poses used in kyogen and asked questions of the artists.
In the News:
By Vicki-Ann Downing
Enterprise Staff Writer
Mar 12, 2011 @ 06:00 AM
BRIDGEWATER -- When news of the earthquake and tsunami broke on Friday morning, Roopa Rawjee's first thoughts were about the 15 students from Japan attending Bridgewater State University.
Rawjee, director of international student services at BSU's Center for International Engagement, immediately sent e-mails to each student, acknowledging the event, asking for their families and offering to help in any way possible. She was relieved to learn that none of the students came from Tohuku Province, the region in northeast Japan most affected by the earthquake.
The Japanese students "tend to speak less," said Rawjee. "They are quiet students."
Local residents with friends or family members in Japan were worried after hearing about the devastating earthquake and tsunami on Friday in Japan.
Hundreds of Japanese were dead or missing following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake -- the largest in Japan's history -- and the accompanying tsunami, which reportedly sent waves as high as 30 feet onshore, sweeping away cars, boats and buildings. The West Coast and several islands in the Pacific were also under tsunami warnings. In Oregon, a tsunami sank several boats in Brookings Harbor on Friday, swept half a dozen others out to sea and washed into the ocean four people who were later rescued, said authorities in southern Oregon.
Locally, Sonia Brightman of Bridgewater also turned to the computer when she heard about the earthquake. Her brother lives in Yokohama, south of the area where the quake occurred.
"I think he's fine. I got an e-mail," said Brightman. Last year, she brought her son to Japan as a high school graduation present. "What a beautiful country," said Brightman. "It breaks my heart. The people are so gracious and helpful. My heart goes out to them."
In an e-mail, Yuka Mombara, an exchange student at Bridgewater State University studying education, wrote Rawjee: "I came back to Bridgewater this morning from California. I checked my e-mail account and I got an e-mail from my mother about the earthquake. All of my family are safe.
"I feel so sad for people who died and had serious damage on their families and houses."
Miyuki Abe, an undergraduate studying economics at Bridgewater, said, "I could talk with my parents eventually and now I know they are OK."
Another exchange student, Saki Kano, who is studying anthropology, wrote, "Thank you very much for your concern. My family is safe."
Rawjee said she was "relieved" by the messages. "It's always a worrisome thing when these natural disasters hit."
At Stonehill College in Easton, officials were considering whether to go ahead with plans to send two students to study at Sophia University in Tokyo later in the month, following the Japanese academic calendar.
College spokesman Martin McGovern said Sophia University had so far been unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami.
"We have been in touch with Sophia and need some time to assess the situation," said McGovern. "The students also have some time before making up their minds" about whether to go ahead with plans, he said.
The disasters on Friday also delayed Easton Town Administrator David A. Colton's return from Malaysia. Colton was scheduled to leave Malaysia on Saturday and fly home through the Tokyo airport, but it was closed, said selectmen Chairwoman Colleen A. Corona. Corona said Colton was able to re-book his flight through London instead. He will return to Massachusetts on Tuesday afternoon at the earliest. Colton was vacationing in Malaysia with his husband, Brian Khoo, a native of that country.
U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Steve Valley, a Brockton native, told WCVB-TV Channel 5 that the earthquake was "intense" at Yokota Air Base, 28 miles north of Tokyo, and measured 5 on the Richter scale there.
"I'll tell you the truth, it was a lot of shake, rattle and roll and luckily no other damage," said Valley. "It was a slow, progressive quake, my first time through an earthquake. Lasted well over a minute. It was intense," Valley said. "It's just an amazing feeling. Something you have no control over."
Valley said the damage from the tsunami that followed the earthquake was incredible. "It's the strongest earthquake in many years in Japan, and even though they're in the 'Ring of Fire,' I don't think you can ever prepare for something as intense as that," Valley said.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross activated a disaster operations center in Washington, D.C., is monitoring the situation and is ready to provide assistance as needed, according to the organization's website. Anyone trying to contact friends or family in Japan who are U.S. citizens is encouraged to search for them on the Red Cross' "Safe and Well" family-linking website.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the foreign relations committee, released a statement calling Japan a "close friend and ally."
"We will continue to watch closely for tsunamis in the Pacific and stand ready to assist our citizens as well as our friends and partners in surrounding countries with humanitarian and disaster assistance," the statement said.
GateHouse News Service material was used in this story. Enterprise staff writer Vicki-Ann Downing can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright 2011 The Patriot Ledger. Some rights reserved
(NECN: Greg Wayland) - In the early
going, quake survivors were cut off from the outer world, and from the far-off
world of Japanese students studying at Bridgewater State University south of
Boston -- all of them worried about their families.
Students -- we spoke with a half dozen -- quickly bridged the miles and broke the silence -- by email, Skype and MSN.
"Some of my friends text me about the tsunami," said Saki Kano, an exchange student from Osaka, Japan.
Yuka Mombara, another student, told us: "I came back last Friday from my vacation and I got email from my mom."
The social media they'd mastered in their young lives let them quickly learn that their families were fine. Then there was the life-line known as Twitter.
Joe Gabriel, who was traveling in Asia for the Bedford, Mass-based software security company RSA, "Hadn't done a lot of tweets," but that quickly changed.
Joe said, "We were taxiing down the runway, getting ready to depart." Then the quake struck Tokyo's Narita Airport.
"I turned to look out to my right out the window and said, 'We're not moving.' And I could see the wings of the airplane, you know, shaking violently, almost touching the ground."
During six hours trapped on the tarmac, Joe tweeted and received dozens of tweets in return.
Joe, "Just sort of let people know -- more importantly, let my family know -- what was going on.... and found people started to interact with me, asking, 'I have a relative on that flight. Is everybody okay?'"
Everybody was -- and was able to let the world know it. Quickly.
"Not only via Twitter but via the internet. We were able to get internet access on the plane. I had an I-pad. We were able to go to the various news outlets to see what was going on around us."
It was an example of the new social media making a difference in a crisis.
To see the video of this story, visit the NECN website.
Last Modified: June 28, 2012